Options Parents Have To Test Child's Exposure To Lead Paint - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/15/07

Options Parents Have To Test Child's Exposure To Lead Paint

The recent recalls have caused a mounting wave of safety concerns.

Pediatrician Melanie Wick tells us what you should know if your child has one of those toys with lead paint.

"If they play with them, if they hold them, even if they licked them it wouldn't cause a problem. They would actually have to chew the paint off the toy and swallow it before it can get into their system," said Dr. Wick.

If that's the case for your child, any pediatrician can administer this blood test. It's a simple prick of the finger.  Blood is collected in a vile and sent off to the lab.

"We don't have an instant test in the office, we would have to send it off.  So in a few days or a few weeks we would have an answer," Dr. Wick said.

There is a way for you to get instant results by testing the toys themselves. We bought a take-home kit from Home Depot for about six dollars.

All it takes is three simple steps to detect lead on any surface in seconds.

We randomly chose three toys, also made in China, to administer the take home test. After rubbing the yellow liquid in the vile on the painted surface, if the liquid turns pink or red, that means lead has been detected.

The tests on these toys were negative, but Wick said the blood test is the best way of knowing if your child has been exposed.

"If [the results] were a level that was 20 or 30, then [a child] would need medical intervention," said Dr. Wick.

That hasn't been necessary for child patients in East Texas. But if there are more recalls in our future, doctors will have to be more than prepared.

So what do you do if you're in the position of having to take away a recalled toy from your child?  Here are some tips from parenting.com:

*If you're child's a baby they probably won't notice that the toy is gone if you take it away.

*For a toddler it's different since they do get attached to toys. You can try distracting them either with a different toy or activity.

*If you have an older child there are a couple options. Make the toy "disappear." While they're sleeping is the best time. Or go the direct route and tell them why you're taking it away. Kids can understand if you use reason about the dangers and their safety.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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