You can find toys around every corner nowadays. From the newest fads to good old-fashioned teddy bears and Barbie dolls, there are so many choices and price ranges that you may very often make the wrong choice for your child’s health.
It may sound like too much, but the reality is that not every toy is to be toyed with. It’s because of the likely presence of lead in toys that come from countries with not so strict quality regulations, such as China.
One such example turned out to be the newest fad, the fidget spinner. You can read more about it here. Whatever the toy, the risk is equally present, since so many toys seem to cross the border and get into your homes, without you being aware of the possible outcome.
The outcome is lead poisoning. It can enter the body by inhaling, swallowing, or even by absorbing it through the skin (just touching lead-ridden paint is enough). Lead can severely affect both the physical and mental health of a child, and the most vulnerable are children aged under 6.
The main problem with lead is that the body distributes it throughout like the helpful minerals (such as iron, copper, zinc, or calcium). Since most of it ends up in the bones, the lead will interfere with and lower the production of blood cells, and the absorption of the much-needed calcium.
Even small amounts of lead invade the child’s organism and they result in a lowered IQ and behavioral problems, which are believed to be irreversible. Regarding the physical health, small doses of lead can cause anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, toxicity to the reproductive organs, immunotoxicity.
And the most concerning part is that the obvious lead poisoning symptoms are shown after the lead has been deposited in the body in dangerous amounts.
The World Health Organization warns that in high doses, the lead will attack the brain and the central nervous system of the child, which can cause coma, convulsions, and even death.
If your child exhibits this kind of behavior, you might want to check with your child’s doctor
The most common symptoms of lead poisoning are psychological and behavioral, and you can spot them easily if you know your child well.
- Lack of attention: Seems to be less attentive than usual
- Antisocial behavior: Has started showing increased antisocial tendencies
- Reduced educational attainment: Has started failing at school, and it’s unusual for him/her to fail.
- Increased irritability: Is more irritable than usual.
- Wild tantrums: Has started acting violently for reasons he/she wouldn’t usually be triggered from.
- Loss of appetite: Has gradually started losing appetite.
- Weight loss: Because of the reduced appetite and the blood’s inability to distribute oxygen to the blood cells to provide the necessary energy and thus nutrition
- Sluggishness or fatigue: The same lack of oxygen needed to provide the necessary energy.
- Muscle and joint weakness or pain: The inactivity and the malnutrition can contribute to this.
- Headaches: Has started experiencing headaches more regularly.
- Constipation: The child started having constipations no matter what food he/she eats.
- Abdominal pain: Resulting from the constipations.
- Vomiting or nausea: The body’s natural response to poisoning.
- Pale skin: Resulting from lead-caused anemia.
If your child has started exhibiting these symptoms, they may be victims of lead poisoning. However, sometimes these symptoms can indicate to a variety of other illnesses. Whatever the case, talking to your child’s doctor about them is essential.
Lead is not only found in toys (or more particularly in toy paint and batteries). Your water may contain lead if the pipes are leaded, and your food may contain lead from lead-glazed or lead-soldered containers.
The best prevention against lead poisoning is to be more cautious with the sources you can control. That includes the choice of toys (their country of origin), drinking water, and food. Speaking of food, a healthy diet that contains Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron will help to decrease the body’s lead-absorption potential.