What is lead poisoning?
Lead is a strong poison. You can get lead poisoning if you swallow or inhale things that contain lead. Things that may contain lead include paint, dust and polluted water. Small amounts of lead in your body can cause serious health problems. Children are at the highest risk for lead poisoning.
What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?
- Slowed growth.
- Learning issues.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Loss of appetite.
- Stomach pain and cramps.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Constipation or loose stool.
How can you test your child for lead poisoning?
A simple blood test can detect lead in your child’s body. If your child has not had a lead screening test yet, schedule one right away! It is very important for infants and children to have a lead screening at their check-ups. Exposure to lead can cause permanent damage if left untreated.
How can you prevent lead poisoning?
- If you live in an older home, keep all surfaces clean.
- Make sure your child avoids peeling paint.
- Wash your child’s hands after playing outside and before meals.
- Wash your child’s toys often.
- Remove shoes before entering your home.
- Remove work clothes before entering the house for any household member who does construction or other work that may involve lead. Wash these clothes separately from other items.
- Use only cold tap water for making baby formula, drinking, and cooking.
- Serve healthy meals.
Children who eat a healthy diet absorb less lead. Be sure the meals you serve include:
- Iron-rich foods, like lean red meat, fish, chicken and dried fruits.
- Calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt, cheese and green leafy vegetables.
- Vitamin C-rich foods, like oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes and green peppers.
Some of these foods are only good for older children, so follow your provider’s advice.
Keep your appointments with your child’s provider. Lead poisoning is easier to treat when it is found early.
Need a doctor for your child?
- Search our online provider directory to find a doctor near you, or
- Call Member Services for help at (800) 642-4168, TTY 711, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday.
Need a ride to the doctor?
- Call Transportation at (866) 642-9279, TTY 711, to schedule a ride at no cost to you. Be sure to call 2 business days before your appointment.
- Molina Healthcare members get 30 rides at no cost every year to covered health care appointments.
Need more information about lead poisoning and prevention?
- Visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website.