Testing kids for lead poisoning

Health Smart
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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Lead is known to be a danger in some homes, but exactly where do you find lead in a home?

Health agencies are urging parents to know that information.

"Parents often ask ‘what are the symptoms of having lead?’ There aren't. It's hard to tell the difference between the terrible twos and whether they've had a high level of lead,” said Paula Cox, environmental health manager for the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services.

Children with high lead levels can develop behavior and learning disabilities, slowed growth or hearing problems.

Homes built before 1978 are the most common for lead-based paint, but even some present day items pose a risk, including certain items made of brass, cosmetics,  mini-blinds and even some cooking items such as Mexican pottery.

Parents can take the extra step to protect their families by using an in-home lead test kit available at home improvement stores.

The kit will determine if a product contains lead.

Cox says the best way to find out if children have been exposed to any lead hazards is to have them tested.

The Guilford County Health Department highly encourages children younger than 6 years old who live in homes built before 1978 to get tested.

Both the Greensboro and High Point locations offer free blood lead testing for children under the age of 6.

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