Yes. Children are generally tested for lead exposure at 12 months and again at 5 years. Houses built before 1950 generally have lead paint and if you live in one its a good idea to test the walls for lead exposure. Babies, especially when they become mobile, will eat paint chips and even a little lead may build up over time and can cause problems. Make sure your dr knows the age of your house.
Yes. Lead is a naturally occurring element, and was used in homes and paint for generations before the most recent 30 years. So, children growing up in older homes will likely have more lead exposure than kids living in new homes will have. A blood lead test is routinely done at age 1 year and 5 years, in communities with elevated lead exposures. Be sure toys are not painted with lead paint.
Yes. Even a little lead exposure is now known not to be a good thing, especially if it is going to be an ongoing exposure. Even lead levels that are considered by many to be "normal", like 5-10 range, have been shown in studies to lower IQ by a few points. And we certainly know higher levels can lead to even worse long term neurologic problems. If you're concerned, simple tests can be done to check.
Yes. It is dangerous for babies to be exposed to lead paint in a form which can be ingested or breathed in. For instance, if lead paint has peeled from the walls and the baby picks up a piece and eats it or if the paint has crumbled into dust over the years and is in the dirt in the yard, the baby can get it in his/her system. Elevated lead can be very dangerous to a child's brain.
Please don't. Lead is very toxic to the nerves and to the brain. In adults it usually just causes injury to the peripheral nerves. In infants and children it can cause severe injury to brain cells. Infants crawling on and chewing on paint chips have developed brain swelling to the point of death. Children exposed to gas fumes with lead show learning problems. Do not take chances. Read more...