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Possible indications of lead paint exposure

Lead poisoning can have serious, lifelong effects, and children are often among its littlest victims. Even though lead paint is no longer in use, it remains prevalent in many older buildings, and your landlord has a duty to warn you of any potential exposure risks and minimize them as much as possible.

Most lead poisoning cases result from prolonged exposure, and children are often particularly susceptible if they live in homes that have chipped or peeling paint, and if they tend to place things in their mouths. If you suspect your child may have lead poisoning, keep an eye out for the following possible symptoms:

Potential signs and symptoms of lead exposure or poisoning

Following prolonged exposure to lead, your child may experience cramping, vomiting or constipation. He or she might also develop headaches, anemia, high blood pressure or “pins and needles” sensations throughout his or her extremities. You may notice emotional and behavioral changes in your child as well, as he or she may become more irritable, aggressive or fatigued than typical. You may also notice a reduction in your child’s developmental skills, and this may be more common among younger children.

Symptoms of high-dose exposure

In rare cases, your child may suffer exposure to large amounts of lead in a short period. In such cases, you should seek immediate medical treatment, so be on alert for severe abdominal cramping or vomiting, seizures, stumbling around when walking and muscle weakness.

Potential long-term effects

The possible long-term effects of lead exposure are considerable, and this is again particularly true among children, who have brains that are still developing. If your child is repeatedly exposed to lead at a young age, it may lead to decreased academic performance, low IQ, hearing problems, learning struggles and growth delays.

If you believe your children are at risk of lead poisoning because of your living conditions, notify your landlord immediately.

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