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Experts give parenting advice on lead poisoning

Author James Dunsford
Submitted 26-05-2008

Most parents are aware of the dangers in their home for small children, from sharp knives to hot irons and stairs.

However, there may also be a silent killer present in their house that many families do not realize is there – lead.

Lead used to be included in paint before health authorities realized it was toxic in the early 1970s and is still on the window-frames of many older properties.

According to USA Today magazine, the US government banned lead paint in 1978. Since that time, the percentage of children with high levels of lead in their blood has dropped from 88 percent in the 70s to 1.6 percent three years ago.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that a quarter of children still live in a house with a deteriorated lead paint, the magazine reported.

Therefore, order to protect the nation’s children, Ruth Ann Norton of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning says the only safe parenting advice is for people to replace any windows in their home installed before the 1970s.

Familydoctor.com states that low levels of lead in a child’s body can cause a fall in their IQ level and behavioral problems, while high levels can trigger serious health issues including vomiting, muscle weakness, seizures, hair loss and kidney problems.