Lead Poisoning

By: Nikki Boyd
By: Nikki Boyd

(Knoxville) WVLT- If you have a child, it's entirely possible you may have one of nine million recalled toys in your home.

And even as you check the recall list, Mattel warns there could be more.

The recall of these imported toys made with lead paint is placing renewed focus on lead poisoning in children.

We're covering East Tennessee health with more on the symptoms.

If you have a child, it's entirely possible you may have one of nine million recalled toys in your home.

And even as you check the recall list, Mattel warns there could be more.

The recall of these imported toys made with lead paint is placing renewed focus on lead poisoning in children.

We're covering East Tennessee health with more on the symptoms.

It is the very place you take your children to keep them healthy.

But even East Tennessee Children's Hospital isn't immune to the recall of potentially hazardous toys.

They've spent hours doing what you've likely done.

East Tennessee Children's Hospital Child Life Specialist, Anna Taylor says, "And went through all of our toy storage areas and playrooms, anywhere we'd have toys for the children."

That's literally thousands of toys.

Taylor says, "Yes, we did have to pull one or two toys that we had bought."

Mattel is recalling the toys because of tiny magnets that can be swallowed by children, but also because of lead paint.

"The signs and symptoms of lead poisoning are really pretty non-specific, so it can just be something like loss of appetite, maybe they get really cranky or fussy or they have insomnia."

East Tennessee Children's Hospital emergency department Dr. John Williams says no level of lead exposure is acceptable for a child, because it can harm the developing brain, causing reduced i-q, learning disabilities and behavioral problems.

And while a single exposure can cause a medical emergency, it's more common for lead poisoning to build up gradually, over time.

Dr. Williams says, "Yes, it would have to be ingested, it would not be inhalational, you wouldn't breathe it in, it would actually be something that you take in and swallow."

Still, the risk to children playing with these toys is relatively low.

And while the Consumer Product Safety Commission is yet to confirm any cases of lead poisoning due to this latest recall.

Doctors say it could take some time before a problem is apparent.

Lead poisoning is one danger, the tiny magnets are the other.

If a child swallows more than one, the magnets can attach to each other and cause intestinal tearing, infection, or blockage, which can be fatal.

If you're concerned you should have your child screened by a doctor.


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