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Lead Poisoning in Children

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning is dangerous levels of lead in your child's blood. Poisoning usually happens when items that contain lead are accidentally inhaled or swallowed. Lead is found in paint, batteries, and gasoline fumes. Lead is easily absorbed and can cause nervous system damage. Lead also replaces calcium in bones. Children younger than 3 years are at a higher risk for lead poisoning than older children or adults. Lead gets more easily to the brain, and more lead is absorbed in young children. Young children are also more likely to put items in their mouths.

What increases my child's risk for lead poisoning?

What are the signs and symptoms of lead poisoning?

How is lead poisoning diagnosed?

How is lead poisoning treated?

What can I do to care for my child?

Where can I find more information?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my child's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.