A leading health risk often overlooked as a possible cause for disruptive and irritable behavior in children, lead poisoning is a serious condition that if left untreated can cause various health threats. In fact, according to the CDC, lead poisoning can damage the kidneys, the nervous system, the reproductive system, cause elevated blood pressure and is especially harmful to the developing brains of young children and fetuses.
So how does a child end up with too much lead in his or her system? Most people know about the dangers of lead paint found covering walls of many older houses and apartment buildings. However, not too many people consider their child’s exposure to water run through lead pipes or the massive amount of environmental lead residue. The EPA estimates that more than 12 million children primarily living in urban areas are exposed to around 10 million metric tons of lead residue resulting from the use of leaded gasoline and paint. Even juice boxes can be a source of lead!
According to the Mayo Clinic the signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in children may include:
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Sluggishness and fatigue
• Abdominal pain
• Unusual paleness from anemia
• Learning difficulties
You can get your child tested for lead poisoning, often for free. Start by checking with your local health department regarding lead screening guidelines specific to the risks in your area. If your child does indeed have lead poisoning, you’ll want to talk to your health care provider before starting any treatment, but there are a number of natural remedies that might help.
Natural Strategies for combating lead poisoning include utilizing homeopathic remedies specifically for lead accumulation. For instance, Hanna Kroeger Herbs makes a Plumbum (Latin for lead) remedy specifically to help dispel lead from the body. Helpful herbs for combating lead poisoning and heavy metal toxicity include Alfalfa and Dandelion. Make sure to always buy organic or wild herbs that haven’t been treated with pesticides. And of course, it is important to identify the source of lead so that your child isn’t exposed again. Finally, don’t forget to test yourself and other family members for lead poisoning if your child tests positive! Other people in your family could also be at risk!