My baby tested high for lead, suggestions please - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-04-2010, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 13 month old just came from his well-visit and tested high for lead, 7.3. My three year old was tested a couple of months ago and his test came back fine, so the nurse suggested maybe it was our toys because the baby puts lots of things in his mouth. I am really upset and don't know where to begin. Anyone have any experience with this? The pediatrician wants him tested again in three months...

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Old 03-04-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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Well, was this a finger prick or actual blood draw. if ti was a finger prick, I'd probably simply redo the test. it could be error. Beyond that, a retest in a couple months is reasonable..the reading is barely high, and not indicative of immediate harm. i would start looking at the environment. This includes all environments baby spends time in, like if you use a daycare, etc. How old is the house? Older than 78? Then it might have lead paint. is any paint chipping or peeling? There are a lot of ways you can go about fixing this if it ends up being the problem. Anything obvious about your geography? , like, you don't live next door to a major highway or gas station? Then, look at the toys. What does he put in his mouth? do you know what the lead status of it is? What about older hand me down stuff..do you have any of that? blinds? Sunlight streming in through lead-containing blinds causes the lead particles to shed into the air. Keys....you dont let him play with/munch on your keys, right? What about your water supply? lead pipes in your house? does he drink water that comes out of those pipes? There's really so many things ot consider.

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Old 03-04-2010, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It was a finger prick test. Because my three year old was just tested a couple of months ago and his levels weren't high we are assuming it is not coming from something like lead paint in our house, although our house was built in 1921. Everything has been painted over in the past few years and nothing is peeling, again, if it were lead dust I would think the three year old would have also tested high. As far as the toys go, this is where I think the problem might be. Nothing we own has been recalled but we do have toys Made In China and I have heard home lead-testing kits for toys are not accurate. Should I throw out everything Made In China? Everything plastic? I have a wooden Educo play kitchen, made in China, some of the toy food is painted, should I get rid of the whole thing? We don't let him chew on our keys but he does put EVERYTHING in his mouth right now...

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Old 03-04-2010, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh and no, nothing in our geography is obvious. We do not live near a highway or gas station.

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Old 03-04-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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We've recently had to throw out several toys due to high lead levels in the toys. Check out, http://cpsc.gov/

: 2:Ma To 6 :12,8,7,5,2,1&
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniet View Post
It was a finger prick test. Because my three year old was just tested a couple of months ago and his levels weren't high we are assuming it is not coming from something like lead paint in our house, although our house was built in 1921. Everything has been painted over in the past few years and nothing is peeling, again, if it were lead dust I would think the three year old would have also tested high. As far as the toys go, this is where I think the problem might be. Nothing we own has been recalled but we do have toys Made In China and I have heard home lead-testing kits for toys are not accurate. Should I throw out everything Made In China? Everything plastic? I have a wooden Educo play kitchen, made in China, some of the toy food is painted, should I get rid of the whole thing? We don't let him chew on our keys but he does put EVERYTHING in his mouth right now...
Well..not necesarily. Because the baby was just recently/still is crawling around, and more likely to be putting stuff (even just fingers) in his mouth, so it could actually be environmental, but only the baby is getting enough exposire to test high. it happens a lot actually. you can have an entire family, and only the baby will test high. i personally would suspect the test first and foremost. finger prick tests are simply not very accurate, period. if you go back and get a second high prick test, they will send you for a blood draw. if oyu are truly worried, i woudl just go ahead and schedule a cblood draw now. And i would certainly do that before throwig away a buinch of expensive toys. A house that old will have lead pipes, right? do you drink house water? does he maybe slurp his bathwater? That seems like a potential issue that would be weasy to solve with a filter or bottles water options. You can go ahead and take a wet mopcloth and really mop the entire floor , and then also do the baseboards, and walls up to 3 feet or so, and all the window sills. this will also give you a chance to inspect teh entire house...crawl around at your childs level and see and touch what he sees and touches. Dos your county/city have any type oif lead program in place? Where you could mayeb get toys tested, or your house inspected. Sometimes there ishelp like that available. depends on your community.

The MIC isn't really accurate to determine what might have lead or not. non-MIC stuff has lead, and much MIC stuff does not have lead. I mean, a recent recall involved one side of one block of a set of baby einstein blocks! it can be that weird and specific. (i had that set, btw, LOL!) And at work, we had the county come in and test our stuff, and foudn out the BLUE mega blocks, just the blue ones, had high levels of lead. *sigh* Also, a recent study found many, MANY vitamins, including some supposed "good" high quality, organic/whole foods ones, have HIGH levels of lead in them.

so anyway...my first plan of attack would be a retest, ASAP. it will keep you from worrying for 3 months while you freak every time he touches anything. If a blood draw shows elevated levels, your town/hospital/health dept. really should have a program to deal with it. It's considered a serious public health problem, and there has a been a lot of money thrown at it lately. I'll bet your HD has $$ sitting around specifically for lead, lol.

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Old 03-04-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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Oh, and vitamin C reduces blood lead levels, so starting or increasing a daily vitamin C supplement wuld be an easy, safe way to start treating the issue, and well...it's good no matter what!

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Old 03-04-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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I thought it was standard practice that if a finger prick returned a high level, the child would be sent for a full blood test.

The finger prick is known for returning false positives/false high numbers.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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You're getting great advice. I'd get the veinous draw as a first step. Both my older kids had elevated lead levels for much of their babyhood, and my DH works in public health and is a certified lead-tester. We couldn't find it anywhere except in patches on the outside of the house. We checked the cans of food we used (some foreign sources use lead in the connections of the top and bottom), our pipes, our victorian bathtub, toys, all the indoor surfaces, our coffee tables. You get the picture. It was frustrating.

Some additional things you can do to cut down on the possibility of lead dust in your environment (and ditto pp...baby has high levels BECAUSE he puts everything in his mouth. When that toy goes on the floor it picks up lead dust and he ingests it...that's why you and ODS don't test positive). 1) Put all the hard toys through the DW and all the soft toys through the washing machine with some regularity. We'd occasionally toss big items like the exersaucer into the bathtub for a shower-off, too. This is easier in sunny weather as you can hose off outside (with a food-grade hose...most garden hoses have lead in them). 2) take off your shoes when you come in the house to avoid tracking in lead dust which is ALL OVER THE PLACE from the time when gas contained lead. My understanding is that any parking lot or roadway can be a source of lead tracken in by foot. 3) Cook with cast iron pans. Iron helps the body resist lead contamination because the iron lodges in the 'gaps' in cells that the lead would occupy. Cooking with cast iron is a better way than supplementing with iron...again as I understand it, this is because you're eating the iron with food which helps your body absorb it. 4) Wash your baby's hands all the time. Just get in the habit of doing it every time you and he pass the sink. Rinse off toys he's playing with while he's playing with them.

If your next test comes back positive, I'd recommend an audit by a lead examiner. It can be expensive, especially if you end up having to delead, but it's worth it (and it'll make your house more saleable, too, for families with youngsters...when we moved last Summer you can BET this was one of our top issues!).

ETA: If you do do a thorough cleaning of all your surfaces, use vinegar and water and paper towels. THROW AWAY the paper towels as you use them...don't dip them back into the cleaning solution as this will just spread around the lead. I know it's a huge waste, but that was one thing that the people from the state de-lead program really emphasised for us.

HTH. It's a worry I know, but at least this is something you can do something about, right?!

Gwen , partner to D ; Mamma to T (6) , J (4) , and baby P
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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Sadly, a PP's advice that your county will help is probably wrong. I know you're feeling horrible right now, but I don't think any regions send out help for a lead level of 7.3. My daughter's lead was 47 and she had to be hospitalized immediately. We got a county-sponsored lead check, but even at that level didn't get any help with remediation.

The thing that's frustrating about lead is that there's a really good chance that you'll never know what did it. It took me a while to get to that point, and now that I'm having another baby, I'm starting to get a little stressed again (even though we aren't living in the same place as when we she was poisoned).

I totally agree with the advice to get a blood draw ASAP. Also, make sure her diet is rich in vitamin C, iron and calcium, or supplement her.

Good luck, mama. I remember all too well how hard this is for you!

Oh, and there's a LOOOONG lead poisoning/elevated lead thread in "health and healing." You can find it here:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...=elevated+lead

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much!!!! Your responses have all been HUGELY helpful.

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Old 03-06-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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Lots of ped's don't do blood draw til the finger prick level is 10.

My nephew's was 17. His was a maraca that SIL had brought home from Aruba. It had teeth marks in it...he loved it. It was tested at the county nurses offices and had a very high lead concentration!!!
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:09 PM
 
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The lead thread will have lots of ideas.

Since you have an older home, do you have forced air heat? When is the last time the ducts were cleaned? If it was a while ago, you could be blowing lead dust around the house with the heating system.

Vit. C, Iron, calcium...but take the calcium at a different time than the iron. Take Vit C w/ iron, as it helps with absorbtion.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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Old 03-06-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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One other thing to consider: Do you have a detached garage or other out-building on the property? People often don't realize it's a threat because it's not in the house and the children don't play there. BUT, if the paint is flaking off the garage and you are bringing the dust in on your shoes, this is a possible source of contamination. I've heard of this a couple of times.

Metis, partner to a peaceful soul, mothering DD born July '11

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Old 03-06-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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A suggestion might me to find a naturopath in your area who not only can test for lead content in your child but also treat and remove it. I have found this to be a helpful solution w/my own children. In addition, of course, the naturopath could possible help you find the actual cause of the toxicity.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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I went ahead and moved this to our Health and Healing forum. Here's is a link to our Moms dealing with elevated lead levels
thread which I hope you find useful.



* FYI I will leave a link to that thread in our resources section for everyone.
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