Information on Your Waushara County

Lead Poisoning…is your child at risk??

Does your child live in or frequently visit a home built before 1978? If so you should be worried that your child is being exposed to a lead hazard. Most homes built before 1978 will have lead paint in them and if your home was built before 1950 the amount of lead in the home is even higher.

Lead paint, when intact and in good condition, poses very little hazard but in older homes that paint can be aging and this is when we start to see problems. As it ages it will start to chip, peel, or create dust due to rubbing and friction and this creates a very serious hazard to the developing child and to adults.

Children, age 6 years and under, are at greatest risk because their brains are growing quickly and their bodies absorb lead more easily. They play on the floor and near windows or on porches where lead dust settles and paint chips fall or are brought in on shoes. They learn by putting things in their mouths and if their hands or their toys have any lead paint chips or dust on them they will be poisoned.

Most children who are lead poisoned do not look sick. Without a blood test you may never realize your child is lead poisoned. What you may see as they get older is learning or behavior problems. Your child may not live up to their full potential in school, they will struggle to learn and understand what is being taught. You may not even realize it is from being lead poisoned. More serious problems of lead poisoning are brain and liver problems and hearing loss. The worse cases of lead poisoning can lead to seizures, coma and even death.

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