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Lead in Toys and Lead Poisoning in Children

Lead poisoning in children has become significantly less prevalent in recent decades. However, lead is highly toxic and remains a severe threat to the health and development of children. According to the EPA, children are more susceptible to lead poisoning. Their growing bodies absorb more lead. Their brains and nervous systems are also more sensitive.

This page will discuss the dangers lead poses for children. It will also describe some of the more common sources of lead. If you fear your child has lead poisoning, your healthcare provider can administer blood lead tests. You can also contact childhood lead poisoning hotlines near you.

Sources of Lead

The primary source of lead is lead paint. Lead paint was standard in homes until the government banned it in 1978. If lead-based paint is in your home, contact a professional to remove it.

Lead paint is dangerous for kids because they're likelier to play with paint chips or wipe lead dust off windowsills. What's even scarier is that young children tend to eat paint chips. The amount of lead in paint is high. If your child ingests or inhales lead, they can become very ill.

Contact a healthcare professional immediately if your kids have ingested lead. They can check your child's blood lead level and determine if they're at risk of lead poisoning.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), numerous children's toys and other products can also make your kids sick. Some of these lead-containing products include the following:

  • Candy wrappers
  • Playground equipment
  • Jewelry
  • Lead solder in toys and jewelry
  • Vinyl coatings
  • Antique toys
  • Stained glass
  • Imported toys (China, India, etc.)

Sadly, an estimated 815 million children worldwide have suffered from lead poisoning. That's a staggering one out of every three children. More than half of these children live in developing countries. The other half live in developed countries with regulations on lead.

How Can You Check Consumer Products for Lead in Your Child's Toys?

If you suspect your child's toys and other household products have lead, there are ways to know for sure. Some products contain warnings about lead exposure. A word of caution - do not rely on at-home lead testing kits. The only way to know if a toy contains high levels of lead is to have a certified laboratory test the product.

The Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) requires companies to include precautionary labels on any lead-containing household product. Also, for the most part, the use of lead in toys and other children's products is illegal.

Lead in Toys

Due to the stringent restrictions on lead use in toys, lead is no longer commonly found in toys. However, if your child plays with older toys, be careful. Toy manufacturers used to paint their toys with lead-based paint.

You can also find lead in toys manufactured in a foreign country such as China or India. There needs to be rigorous quality control upon imports to the United States. Be cautious of all toys with metal pieces your child may put in their mouth.

Signs of Lead Poisoning in Children

According to a recent study by The Lancet Planetary Health, more than 5.5 million children under five have experienced heart damage due to lead poisoning. They also found that children exposed to lead experience a decrease in I.Q. of almost six points.

Unfortunately, it can be challenging to detect lead poisoning in children, so lead blood testing is required. The symptoms of lead poisoning are generally not severe until the child is seriously ill.

It's essential to be aware of the sources of lead poisoning and be vigilant in protecting your child from lead exposure. Low levels of lead exposure can result in:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Hearing problems
  • Learning and behavioral problems
  • Slower growth and smaller size than children of the same age
  • Lack of energy or appetite
  • Hyperactivity
  • Anemia

These are just the mild symptoms. Children with severe cases of lead poisoning can suffer from seizures, coma, and even death.

If you suspect your child came into contact with lead, talk to your doctor immediately. They can administer a blood lead test to determine if your child has lead poisoning. Early intervention is critical to preventing debilitating lead hazards.

If a consumer product causes your child's lead poisoning, contact an experienced product liability attorney.

What To Do if Your Child Has a Lead-Containing Toy

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all toys and infant products must undergo mandatory lead testing before retail. If the toy or product violates the 2008 Children's Product Safety Improvement Act, the FDA will not approve it for sale.

If you suspect one of your child's toys has lead, immediately remove it. Then, schedule an appointment with their doctor so they can perform a blood lead test. You should go to the CPSC website to see if there are any recalls for the product. Their website maintains a comprehensive list of all recalled toys.

Who Can You Sue for Damages in a Lead Poisoning Lawsuit?

If your child gets lead poisoning from a toy or other product, you may have a legal claim for damages. As long as your product liability attorney can prove that the toy caused your child's illness, you should receive compensation for their injuries.

In most product liability cases, plaintiffs demand the following types of damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages for parents and caretakers
  • Lost future income (for the child)

Your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement with the manufacturer or their insurance carrier. However, if need be, they will take your case to trial and demand compensation.

An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If your child gets sick after playing with a toy with lead, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. You can schedule a case evaluation to learn whether you have a valid claim.

Refer to our attorney directory for a local product liability lawyer.

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