How Lead Poisons Your Child

Most children are poisoned in their homes. A small amount of lead dust can poison your
child. Children three years of age or younger are at the greatest risk because:

  • They are still growing
  • They absorb lead more easily than adults
  • They are more likely to put their hands or objects in their mouth

The most common lead hazards are:

  • Chipping and peeling paint and dust in homes built before 1978
  • Lead dust created during home remodeling or from use of windows and doors

Some other places where lead is found:

  • Soil or dirt
  • Some children’s toys and jewelry
  • Some jobs or hobbies
  • Some foods and candies made outside of the United States
  • Folk remedies and cosmetics such as kohl, greta, and azarcon
  • Some ceramics and crystal
  • Painted furniture

Lead is Dangerous. Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

Problems from lead may not show up until later, but can last a lifetime:

  • Learning problems
  • Lowered attention span
  • Slow growth
  • Hearing loss
  • Hyperactivity

Your child may not look or act sick. You may not know your child is poisoned until it’s too
late because symptoms are often mistaken for other illnesses. The only way to find lead
poisoning is a blood test.

Your child may have frequent:

  • Stomachaches
  • Lowered attention span
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Low iron

There is No Safe Level of Lead in a Child’s Blood

Ask about a blood test! Only a blood test will let you know if your child is lead poisoned.

Current law requires all children who are on Medicaid to be tested for lead at one year of age and two years of age. For more information Click Here

To ask about a blood test for your child, call your:

  • Healthcare provider
  • Doctor’s office
  • Local health department

Blood tests are available for children at the Medina County Health Department by calling 1-888-723-9688, Option 1. The cost for a lead test is $15.00

You Can Prevent Lead Poisoning

  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and change the filter according to the manufacturer’s
  • Wash floors and window sills often
  • Dust with a damp cloth and use a wet mop
  • Test your house for lead before removing paint or remodeling
  • Avoid peeling or chipping lead paint and get referrals to licensed lead abatement
    contractors from the Environmental Health Division at 330-723-9523
  • Avoid dry sanding paint or using a heat gun to remove old lead paint
  • Replace vinyl or plastic mini blinds made outside of the U.S. because they may have
    lead or wash them weekly to keep lead dust away
  • Wash your child’s hands often
  • Leave your shoes at the door
  • Keep your child’s regular healthcare provider visits
  • Protect yourself and your family if your job exposes you to lead by changing out of work clothes before entering your home
  • Have well water tested for lead. Tests are $55 through the Environmental Division. Call 330-723-9523 for an appointment
  • Only use cold water for drinking and cooking
  • If water has been sitting in the pipes for six hours or more, flush the pipes with cold water for one to two minutes

A Healthy Diet Reduces Lead Absorption

A diet rich in iron, calcium, and vitamin C can help keep lead from entering the bones and blood.

  • Serve foods high in iron such as lean meat, green leafy vegetables, instant oatmeal, prunes,
    and raisins. Most cereals and breads have added iron in them
  • Milk, cheese, broccoli, spinach, yogurt, kale, and turnip greens are all good sources of calcium
  • Excellent sources of vitamin C are oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli,
    and berries
  • Do not skip meals; empty stomachs absorb lead dust.
  • Limit the amount of fat and sugar in your child’s diet.
  • Offer fruits and vegetables instead of chips and candy.
  • Offer healthy snacks between meals.
  • Wash fresh fruit.
  • Do not store or heat food in unsafe containers such a cans or dishes that might contain lead.
  • Do not allow your child to eat food that has dropped on the floor.

Additional Information on Lead Poisoning

Hotlines, online brochures, and resources for childhood lead poisoning prevention.

Medina County Health Department

Public Health Nursing Division (Option 1)
Child lead blood tests

Environmental Health Division (Option 3)
Referrals for licensed lead abatement contractors and well water lead tests

Medina County Health Department Lead Screening and Testing

To schedule an appointment please

Call 1-888-723-9688 or 330-723-9688 and select option 1.

Lead exposure can affect your childs health without any visible signs or symptoms. Children can be exposed to lead through environmental sources, such as:

  • Cracking and peeling paint in homes built prior to 1978.
  • Parent’s job or hobby which may bring lead into the home.
  • Soil and dust around the home and sometimes water.

Young children are especially at high risk for lead exposure because of their normal hand-to-mouth activities, such as when playing and eating.

How does lead poisoning affect your child? Often there are no symptoms, but lead poisoning can cause speech and hearing impairment, learning difficulties, slowed growth pattern and a short attention span.

If your child is enrolled in any of the Medicaid programs, Medicaid requires that your child be tested at one and again at two years of age.

If your child is 6 months to 6 years of age and you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, please call the Medina County Health Department to make an appointment for a childhood lead test.

1. Does your child live in or regularly visit an older house built before 1978?
2. Was your childs day care center/preschool/babysitters home built before 1978?
3. Does the house have peeling, chipping, dusting, or chalking paint?
4. Does your child live in a house built before 1978 with recent, ongoing or planned renovation or remodeling
5. Have any of your children or their playmates had lead poisoning?
6. Does your child frequently come in contact with an adult who works with lead? Examples are construction, welding, pottery, or other trades practiced in your community.
7. Does your child live near a lead smelter, battery recycling plant, or other industry likely to release lead?
8. Do you give your child any home or folk remedies which may contain lead?
9. Does your child live near a heavily traveled major highway where soil and dust may be contaminated with lead?
10. Does your child drink well water?
11. Does your home have lead pipes, or copper pipes that are soldered with lead?