Lead in Toys: Could It Be Lurking in Your Home?
While many dangerous toys have been recalled, lead has been found in some that haven't made any recall list. Here's what you need to know.
Lead in Toys: Safe vs. Sorry
After Megan was diagnosed with lead poisoning, her mother began feeding her
multivitamins that contained high amounts of iron and calcium. Preston
also increased the child's intake of vegetables and fruits. Four months
later, Megan's blood lead level was less than 10.
Unfortunately, Megan still suffers from the effects of lead poisoning.
Her speech is slowly returning to normal but is markedly delayed, and she
struggles to keep up with her peers.
Parents who are worried about possible poisoning from lead in toys can have
their child screened with a quick, inexpensive blood lead level test. Norton
recommends that all children under age 6 be tested annually, if
If a blood lead level is higher than 1 mcg/dL, says Rosen, doctors or health
officials should assist parents in determining the cause and immediately remove
it. Treatment begins with removing the lead exposure. A healthy diet can help
to limit the body's lead absorption. In most cases, a healthy diet will
be sufficient to lower blood lead levels. In rare instances, a child may need
to undergo chelation, which involves administration of medication to remove
lead from the body.
"One of these days, probably well after I'm dead and buried, there will
not be lead in the homes of young children or in the toys and jewelry that
parents can purchase for their kids, and that will be a wonderful day,"
Rosen says. "In the meantime, it remains to be seen how many children have
actually been poisoned by these products."