The stomach is one of the important muscular organs that is located on the left side of the upper abdomen in human body. A stomach is the size of a fist, so a carefully planned meal must be taken in order to protect our stomach. In this video, MOMmy – Emiza from Energise Kids is going to share with you on how to measure the size of a stomach and some helpful diet tips to improve your stomach’s health.

Check out more nutrition tips from our other postings under Kids’ Health!

via Cincinnati Children’s: Have you heard of GERMS? Do you know what a germ is?

Germs can cause you to be sick. They’re tiny little microorganisms that exist all around us. And they are invisible, so small you can’t even see them.

But, they’re real, and here are a few common nasty ones. Scary-looking, I know.

These germs have favorite places to hide and live, too. We call these areas germ hot spots, like kitchen counter tops, door knobs, and even your gaming devices and cell phone.

And they love to live in your bathroom. If you don’t kill these germs, they can spread and get on you and then inside you and make you sick.

But here is the good news: You can kill these germs and help protect yourself by following these three simple clean and healthy germ knock-out rules.

Number one, build you immune system. A healthy body is a strong body. Always eat lots of veggies and fruit to build your immune system to protect yourself if and when a germ attacks your body.

Number two, wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Any time you encounter a hot spot where germs live, scrub your hands all over, front and back, between fingers and around nails, for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice to really knock those germs out.

And three, germs love to spread from one sick person to another. So try to keep your germs to yourself. Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow to keep your hands clean and your germs contained. Then, wash your hands.

Just remember, germs are out there. And they can make you sick. Do your best to help prevent the spread of germs, and knock them out.

via catsterOur feline companions are cherished members of our families, and it can feel physically and emotionally devastating when one of the human family members develops an allergic reaction to them. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease reports that between 6 million and 10 million Americans are allergic to pets. And cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies.

Most feline allergies result from something called Fel d1, a protein found in a cat’s saliva and skin. When a cat cleans himself, the Fel d1 in the saliva becomes airborne and looks for a warm, moist spot to live, usually landing in the eyes and nose. The same thing happens when the cat’s skin flakes and releases the protein.

Sometimes parents don’t know their child has an allergy to a pet until the little one is toddler-aged. Our cats never affected our daughter, but when she was around age three, we participated in a local walk-for-animals fund-raiser and she spent a good part of the day petting some of the canine walkers … and then rubbing her face. We initially had no idea what was happening when her face became red, itchy and so puffy that she couldn’t open her eyes. She’d been around dogs, but not so many of different types all at once.

We raced to urgent care and eventually discovered that she did indeed have an allergy to some dogs. We also learned that if one or both parents have allergies of any kind, the child is likely to develop them as well. My husband has eczema, which flares from various triggers (none of them animal-related). Consequently, our daughter went on to develop eczema as well.

We have friends and family with dogs and we didn’t want to avoid them, so we began researching ways we could help our daughter avoid allergic reactions. We discovered there was a lot we could do and much of it applied to both cat and dog allergies.

One point I can’t emphasize enough is that you do not have to rehome your cat if your child starts sneezing. There are many strategies you can use to create happy cohabitation with both cats and children with sensitivities. Here are 10 tips for helping your child cope with feline allergies.

1. Definitively identify the allergy
Make sure the reaction is to the feline protein and not something else. In addition to other common allergies like mold or dust mites, outdoor cats can bring pollen and grass inside — these could actually be the culprits. If you’re able, start by eliminating some of the suspected triggers and see what happens. We did this with regard to food allergies with our daughter. Perhaps keep the outdoor kitty inside and see if the reactions lessen or stop.

You may choose to visit your family doctor to discuss other options like allergy testing. Your decision will certainly depend on the age of the child and the severity of the reaction.

2. Make your child’s bedroom a cat-free zone
Wash all sheets, blankets, pillow and drapes in the child’s bedroom — better yet, replace everything if you’re able. The allergens may not disappear from the room immediately, but over time, you’ll notice a definite difference.

3. Replace carpet with a hard surface
Carpet collects allergens and frequent vacuuming only blows around the offenders. If you can, rip up the carpet and replace it with a hard surface — even if it’s just in the child’s bedroom. If this isn’t possible, use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and regularly steam clean.

4. Use an air purifier
Purchasing a good air purifier with a HEPA filter will go a long way in keeping the air clear of allergens. Again, even if you’re only able to place on in your child’s bedroom, it’s well worth it.

5. Regularly bathe or clean your cat
Some cats react more positively (or less negatively) than others to bathing. If your cat is one who doesn’t mind a once-or-twice weekly wash, then go for it. If your cats are like mine, you may opt to purchase nontoxic cleaning wipes. Bathing or cleaning won’t eliminate the allergens, but will slightly lessen them.

6. Remind your child to wash her face and hands after handling kitty
It’s hard to share your life and home with a precious cat and not want to cuddle and pet him. In order to reduce the chances of a sneezy nose and itchy eyes, it’s critical that the child wash her hands and face after spending up close and personal time with your cat.

7. Frequently wash cat beds and toys
Obviously, if your cat spends time lying on a cat bed or playing with toys, those items will contain allergens. Purchase beds and cloth toys that can be tossed in the washing machine and use nontoxic cleaners on the hard toys. Always use the hot water setting on the washer.

8. Clean upholstered furniture and open windows
My cats constantly nap on top of our upholstered sofa and chair. I know this because of the amount of cat hair I remove on a daily basis! If your child is allergic to cat allergens, a steam cleaner would be a great investment. Additionally, keeping fresh air circulating through your space will increase ventilation, resulting in fewer trapped allergens.

9. Consider a hypoallergenic cat breed
Is there such a thing as a hypoallergenic cat breed? There are absolutely breeds that produce fewer allergens and many families who live with these cats experience amazing results. We’ve identified the top hypoallergenic breeds, including some from the Oriental lines, “Rexes” and both a hairless and hairy type. For additional information about hypoallergenic cats, including breed information, read Catster’s recommendations.

10. Explore medications, if necessary
I’m not one who immediately turns to medication, especially with children. I believe in trying the more conservative methods listed above; however, you may arrive at the decision to try an OTC (antihistamines and decongestants) or prescription medication. Always consult a physician first because the type of medication and dosage amounts will depend on your child’s age and medical history.

Do you have tips for helping your child cope with feline allergies? Tell us about it in the comments!

via Almanac: Use these natural mosquito repellents and mosquito bite remedies to keep the mosquitoes away and get relief from itchy bug bites!

We love summer but staying away from mosquitoes is annoying. No one wants to wear long clothes in the heat just to prevent mosquito bites, but the bugs can be relentless.

It’s not all mosquitoes that feed on blood, though: male mosquitoes only drink nectar, whereas female mosquitoes nourish their developing eggs with protein-rich blood. To that end, the female mosquitoes prefer to bite ankles and wrists, where blood vessels are nearer to the skin’s surface. Ever noticed where you get bitten?

When a mosquito bites you, it injects a small amount of saliva into the wound to stop your blood from clotting. Our bodies react to this foreign substance and, in defense, produce a protein called histamine. Histamine triggers the characteristic inflammation seen around mosquito bites, as well as the itching.

(Note: Though it’s rare, mosquito saliva can also carry encephalitis, malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever. If you have any complications with bug bites (besides itching), check for symptoms of these other diseases.)

Did you know: A higher body temperature and more sweat make you more likely to be bitten. A first step is to wash off any sweat and keep your body temperature down.

Topical Mosquito Repellents

  • Many readers claim that rubbing apple cider vinegar on your skin to repel insects. If you take in enough apple cider vinegar by putting it on foods you eat, you’ll develop a body odor that will repel insects, including black flies. One great and refreshing summer drink for this purpose is switchel, made from apple cider vinegar.
  • Lemon Eucalyptus oil is recommended by the C.D.C. to repel mosquitoes, as is picaridin.
  • Some people swear garlic works and swallow slivered garlic to ward off these summer pests. Others take garlic tablets or rub garlic juice directly on their skin.
  • If you are going to use a DEET repellent, do not use one with more than 25% DEET. Unlike the SPF rating in sunscreens, higher concentrations of DEET don’t mean more protection.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard

  • To keep mosquitoes to a minimum, eliminate their breeding sites on your property. They need standing water to lay their eggs in, so empty those puddles, old cans, buckets, and plant pots. If you have a pond, don’t worry—dragonflies love ponds, and they are a big mosquito predator.
  • It is thought that certain plants repel a broad spectrum of insects. Marigolds, chrysanthemums, asters, and pyrethrum daisies, as well as herbs such as basil, anise, and coriander, are all thought to repel insects. See more plants that repel mosquitoes.
  • Citronella candles are not proven to work, however the smoke repels mosquitoes. Or, burn a little sage or rosemary over coals to repel mosquitoes.
  • Add a bat house to your home! Did you know that one small brown bat can eat as many as 600 mosquitoes in one hour? Check this page for more information on bats and other creatures that eat annoying pests!
  • Be aware that using pesticides to get rid of mosquitoes can also harm more beneficial bugs like fireflies and dragonflies. Try some home remedies before making that decision!


  • It helps to ice the area of the bite to constrict the capillaries near the skin’s surface and reduce swelling.
  • If you are going to use a topical cream, stay away from caladryl and calamine lotions for mosquito bites; it’s better to apply a low-potency hydrocortisone and simple patience.
  • Remember not to scratch the bite; this will only make it worse. For itchy bites, rub on meat tenderizer or lemon juice. A paste of mashed garlic can also help make bug bites stop itching.
  • White vinegar is another remedy for relieving the itch of insect bites. Apply it in full strength. Don’t use vinegar if the area is raw. See more household uses for vinegar.
  • A paste of baking soda and water can provide much-needed relief to bug bites. Learn more about the countless household uses for baking soda.
  • Oatmeal can also help to provide itch relief—not only for bug bites.
  • Some people have luck with high doses of vitamin B1 (100 milligrams, two or three times a day), but it doesn’t work for everybody.
  • If you have an intense reaction to mosquito bites, consult your doctor.

We hope these natural mosquito repellents and bug bite remedies help you beat the bugs this season! Have some tips of your own? Please post in the comments below!

Diaries such as cheese for kids are amazing sources of protein, calcium and energy for growing kids. They are needed to

As the quote by Ray Bradbury goes “Too much of anything isn’t good for anyone”, it is important for parents to learn about the right amount of cheese for kids per day and to not exceed the limits.

In order for your kids to enjoy the maximum benefits of cheese, check out the following article now for the ultimate guide to feed your kids with cheese.

Do you agree with the following article? Comment below to share you point of view with us today!

Via Childrensfood: How much cheese should children have

A new survey out this week highlighted that cheese can often contain more salt than you might think. Read a good summary of the response in the Guardian. Most kids love cheese, so what’s the best way to use it in a healthy diet for them?

Here are my top facts and tips:

For 1-5 year olds:

  • Cheese and other dairy foods are a good source of energy, protein, calcium and Vitamin A. A portion of cheese can be one of the three portions of milk and other dairy foods that children of this age should have every day
  • You’ll find pictures of healthy cheese portion sizes for under-fives on P23 of our guidelines for nurseries, children’s centres and childminders here. It’s easiest to see with the pictures but as a guide, a good portion size for hard cheese is about 15-20g grated (that’s about 1-2 tablespoons of grated cheese). For soft cheese, it’s about 20-25g
  • Don’t forget – cheese can be high in saturated fat, which is why you need to watch portion sizes carefully
  • For under-fives, it’s best not to give them unpasturised cheese, mould-ripened cheeses like brie or camembert and soft blue-veined cheeses like Danish blue or gorgonzola – they can cause food poisoning in very little ones
  • It’s recommended that 1-3 year olds don’t have more than 2g of salt a day. This rises to 3g for 4-6 year olds.

For school-aged children:

  • Cheese is still a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin A, and school cooks meeting the national school food standards use it carefully to help children get enough of these nutrients
  • Children of this age start to need less of their energy from fat (it’s the same for us as adults). So it’s really important to keep an eye on portion sizes, use lower fat versions of dairy products where you can, and to look at how much salt they contain by reading the nutrition information on the food label
  • It’s recommended that children from 7-10 years old don’t have more than 5g of salt a day. This rises to 6g for 11 year olds and over. There are good tips on reading salt information on food labels here
  • Cheese sandwiches are often a bit of a staple in children’s lunchboxes. But variety’s the trick for making sure kids are getting a healthy diet with all of the nutrients they need – so you might want to try some of our packed lunch menu ideas or these ones from Change4Life.

Mosquitoes are insects that belong to the fly family. They have short lifespans whereby female mosquitoes typically live for a couple of months while male mosquitoes can only live for a week. Despite their short lifespan, mosquitoes can cause tons of health issues to us!

Insect bites on kids are common, but the effects these bites are different from one kid to another.

For some, mosquito bites on kids could cause itchiness, swelling, and inflammation. In worse cases, it could even transmit fatal diseases such as West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, Dengue Fever, and many more.

If you are concerned about mosquito bites on your kids, check out the following article for 6 effective ways to treat the mosquito bites in your kids!

Via Mom Junction: 6 Effective Tips To Treat Mosquito Bites In Toddlers

Toddlers are often bitten by mosquitoes even before they know it. The itchy nuisance that these insects create can make your toddler highly irritated.

It is very important that you take measures to prevent mosquitoes your toddler from mosquito bites. Though not very common, mosquitoes can cause serious diseases like dengue, malaria and West Nile Encephalitis. The itchy bites, when scratched, lead to scarring and scabbing. Prevention is thus the best strategy.

9 Ways To Proteqct Your Toddler From Mosquito Bites:

You need to protect your toddler from mosquito bites. Here is what you can do:

1. Use protective clothing that covers his arms and legs. Wearing socks is also a good idea to protect him from the bites.

2. Make your toddler wear light colored clothes and avoid flowery prints to keep away the mosquitoes.

3. Rather than applying insect repellent on his body directly, you can apply it on the clothes and rub gently. The repellents you use must contain eucalyptus oil, picaridin or geraniol. It must not come in contact with his hands and eyes.

4. You must never rub DEET products on the clothes of your toddler. The chemicals can cause potential harm to his skin.

5. Using a mosquito net at home is a good practice that you should follow. You can keep one handy in your car and carry it wherever you go.

6. Keep your toddler away from areas that have too much of mosquitoes. Stagnant water and woody regions are highly inhabited by these pesky insects. Keep your toddler away from motionless water.

7. You must look out for empty garbage cans, unused toys or portable pool for your toddler that are also suitable breeding grounds.

8. If you have broken window seals, repair them. Keep the doors and windows closed if you face the problem of mosquitoes where you live. Use a fan or an air conditioner instead.

9. You must be particularly vigilant with your preventive techniques during dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

6 Effective Tips To Treat Mosquito Bites In Toddlers:

Toddlers usually become an easy target for mosquito to bites. Here is what you can do while treating mosquito bites in toddlers.

1. If you find your toddler scratching the affected area, apply ice to prevent swelling and itchiness.

2. You can also apply a roll-on deodorant containing aluminum chloride.

3. To treat the bite you may also apply calamine lotion.

4. Continuous scratching may break finger nails into the skin and cause growth of bacteria. So ask your toddler not to scratch it.

5. In case you find any signs of infection like pus, redness and swelling, call the doctor.

6. If symptoms like vomiting, nausea, fever and headache persist, you must immediately notify the doctor.

Symptoms Of Allergies From Mosquito Bites:

Some of the common symptoms of allergies that you should look for are as follows:

  • Lymphangitis
  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Red patches
  • Swelling of the throat

You should immediately see a doctor as these symptoms can be life threatening. Apart from being concerned about the allergies, you must also consider the dangerous diseases transmitted through mosquito bites.

When To Be Extra Alert For Toddler Mosquito Bites?

In the following cases, you must take your toddler to a doctor at the earliest, by doing this you can provide mosquito bite relief for toddlers.

  • If you find reactions occurring in different body parts and he complains of difficulty in breathing.
  • In case itchiness or swelling gets worse.
  • If your toddler complains of pain in the affected area and it does not subside even after some days.
  • If any other things are bothering your toddler.

There is no way you can avoid mosquito bites completely, but you can definitely minimize the chances. You should be more careful and vigilant of where your toddler is playing so that he is less prone to such bites.

Moms tell us what you do to protect your little one from mosquito bites.

Via Today’s Parent: Here’s the formula for how to raise a healthy kid

Ever wished there was a formula for raising a healthy kid? It finally exists. A new set of guidelines plot out exactly how long young kids should be active, sleeping and sedentary for optimal healthy development. What could be easier, right? Well, there’s still the matter of getting your kid to comply, but here’s the rundown on the goals you should be aiming for, according to the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years.

If your kid is under a year, they should be:

  • Active several times through the day, with 30 minutes of tummy time before they’re mobile.
  • Sleeping 14 to 17 hours (when they’re zero to three months) or 12 to 16 hours (when they’re four to 11 months).
  • Restrained in a stroller or high chair for no more than an hour at a time. (It’s hard to qualify what time is spent being sedentary for babies, especially because they spend so much time fading in and out of sleep at the start, but screens should generally be off limits at this age.)

If your kid is one to two years old, they should be:

  • Active for three hours throughout the day (whether climbing a jungle gym at the park, toddling behind you as you do laundry or chasing a pet around the house).
  • Sleeping for 11 to 14 hours, including naps. And by now, they should have a fairly consistent bedtime and wake-up time.
  • Restrained in their car seat or stroller for no more than an hour at a time. Kids at this age should still not be having sedentary time with screens, but if they do, keep it under an hour. Toddlers shouldn’t be sitting for long stretches, but when they are, make the time interactive by reading a story or playing a game together.

If your kid is three to four years old, they should be:

  • Active for three hours throughout the day—and at least an hour of that should be energetic play.
  • Sleeping for 10 to 13 hours, with a regular bedtime and wake-up. For some kids, this may include a nap.
  • Restrained for no more than an hour at a time, and watching screens for no more than an hour total. Preschoolers really shouldn’t be sitting still for extended periods, so try to keep them busy and engage with them by doing something interactive during those times that they are sedentary.

Have an older kid? Check out the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth, which came out last year.

If your kid’s day doesn’t quite measure up, you’re not alone: Only about 13 percent of preschoolers’ days follow this pattern.

Just who’s behind these new rules? The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology teamed up with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, the Public Health Agency of Canada and ParticipACTION to create the guidelines, which aim to bring a lot of existing data and guidelines on sleep, screen time and physical activity together. It makes sense, because all of these activities are connected. For instance, research shows that extra screen time, particularly before bed, can interfere with kids’ sleep.

The good news is that this means making small changes—like replacing a bit of their sedentary time with active play—can go further because there are indirect effects. Exercising more through the day will help them sleep better at night. And who knows, that additional sleep might give them the extra energy they need to run around outside longer the next day. So if you haven’t nailed the formula yet, just take it one step at a time.

Via Parenting: Activities for Kids on Sick Days

Entertain your sick kid with these fun and easy indoor and outdoor activities.

If your kid’s running a fever, vomited or had diarrhea in the past 24 hours, or seems lethargic and just not himself, plan to stay home and play nurse. Here’s how to also have some fun with your patient.

With younger kids: Break out the photo album. Tired of the same book? Your child will end up “reading” family pics to you—“Look, das Gwamma!” or “I met Santa!” Bonus: He may even be content to sit and peruse them on his own.

With older kids: Burn some memories. Whip out those photos you’ve been meaning to put in an album or on a CD and enlist his help. In the throes of hockey or basketball season? Take that video footage and start working on a team DVD together that he can give to teammates and coaches at the end of the season.

Play fair

Today’s not the day to challenge your child with a new Memory game, complicated puzzle, or Lego robot. Under-the-weather kids will get frustrated that much more easily. If he’s on the cranky side, stick to activities that are simple or that he’s done a million times and knows how to master.


Hide objects around your house in fairly obvious spots so the game isn’t too difficult, then send your kid on a scavenger hunt. Give him a bucket and send him looking. Younger kids will play this game over and over, so it eats up a nice chunk of time without much effort on your part—perfect!

Get some air

If the temperature is above freezing and it’s not too windy, bundle up and go for a short stroll. Breathing fresh, brisk air can do wonders for a croupy cough, and the change of scenery will do you both a world of good.

Gift him

Whip out a video game or craft kit from the holiday presents you put aside (smart!) and watch his symptoms disappear. Plus, it’ll entertain him longer than his same old stuff.

Tune in

Watching TV is what sick days are all about, right? Let your sickie lounge around in his pajamas, watch iCarly and Ben 10 on repeat, and boss you around from the couch (“I’m outta juice!”). When he falls asleep, switch to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and thank your lucky stars you’re not one of them.

Notes from MAma:

I’ve not tried this. But ff you are ever trying this out, I’d suggest to make your own healthy version of ice cream. Check out our healthy fruit yogurt popsicle recipe.

Via International Business Times: Eating Ice Cream For Breakfast May Improve Mental Performance And Alertness, Study Says

Most parents would consider it a crime to give a child ice cream for breakfast. But they might rethink allowing their kids to have a scoop of the cold, sweet treat first thing in the morning, if they knew it could make them smarter. Although an early morning sugar rush may be parents and teachers worst fears, a new study recently found eating ice cream first thing in the morning can actually be beneficial for the brain. The study, published by Kyorin University professor Yoshihiko Koga, said eating ice cream right after waking up can result in improved instances of alertness and mental performance.

The study, which was published on Japan’s Excite News website Tuesday, compared participant’s brain activity in people who had been given ice cream immediately after waking up with those who had not eaten ice cream. Koga found that people who had consumed ice cream for breakfast showed better reaction time and were able to process information better than those who did not have the ice cream. Further tests of brain activity also showed that the people who had ice cream first thing in the morning had an increase in high-frequency alpha waves, which are associated with higher levels of alertness and can reduce mental irritation, the report said.

Subjects were tested a second time, during which they were given cold water instead of ice cream immediately after waking up. Although the results from that particular test did show higher levels of alertness and mental capacity, people who had ice cream for breakfast showed significantly higher mental stimulation.

More research still needs to be conducted to thoroughly determine what specific ingredient in ice cream could be responsible for the mental boost. Koga said in the report that he is also hoping to determine if ice cream is a trigger for positive emotion and higher levels of energy.

As for the sugar high that may come along after eating ice cream for breakfast, that may also be something worth reconsidering, according to a 1994 study that tested the affects of sugar on a group of children and found that sugar doesn’t actually change behavior or affect cognitive skills.

Via Philly Voice: How to keep kids safe from lead poisoning

You’ve checked off every item on the 12-step checklist to childproofing your home – the stair gate, outlet covers, cabinet locks – you name it. We go to great lengths to ensure our little ones are safe, but in all our efforts, one of the largest threats is often overlooked.

If you live in an older building, there could be lead paint in your home. When this paint cracks, flakes or is sanded or rubbed off, lead dust is released into your living space, where it can get into your child’s body.

Lead dust is invisible, but it doesn’t have to be a mystery. Arm yourself with a few facts, and you’ll be able to keep your family safe. We talked to Dr. Anna Baldino, IBX medical director and board-certified pediatrician, about how to lower your family’s risk of lead poisoning.

Who is at risk for lead poisoning?

If you live in a home that was built before 1978 (the year lead was removed from house paint), then your family may be at risk. In Philly alone, more than 90 percent of residences were built before 1978. Children are most often poisoned by lead dust and lead paint in these older homes and in day care centers.

How can lead dust end up in our homes?

In three ways:

  1. Lead dust can come from repairing lead-painted areas, opening and closing lead-painted windows and through normal wear and tear on lead-painted areas. Lead dust settles to the floor, where babies crawl, or onto their toys. It gets into their bodies when children put their hands (or their toys) into their mouths.
  2. Lead particles from leaded gasoline or paint can settle on soil and remain for years. This can be a problem around highways and in some urban settings. Soil close to older houses can also contain lead.
  3. Household dust can contain lead from lead paint chips or from contaminated soil brought in from outside.

Lead can also be found in water, pottery, toys, jewelry, cosmetics and other places.

Why do we worry about lead poisoning in children and not in adults?

Lead poisoning is mainly a concern for children under the age of 6 because their bodies are growing rapidly and they tend to put their hands and toys into their mouths. Children face the biggest risk between 12 and 24 months.

Image source iStock

What are the signs of lead poisoning?

Signs and symptoms of lead poisoning usually don’t appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated in the body. Some of these include: developmental delays, learning difficulties, irritability, loss of appetite, weight loss, sluggishness and fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, hearing loss, seizures and eating things, like paper and dirt, that aren’t food (this is also called pica).

In the long term, lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and attention deficit disorder (ADD). One in five children diagnosed with ADD may have had lead poisoning.

When should my child get tested for lead?

Lead testing consists of a blood test usually performed at 12 months and 24 months of age. Your doctor may continue to screen for lead until your child is 6 years old. If your child’s blood lead level is greater than five micrograms/deciliter, your doctor will make recommendations to help lower the level.

What can we do to prevent lead poisoning in the home?

Here’s a five-part action plan to lower your risk of lead poisoning:

  1. Get tested: If your home was built before 1978, have it tested for lead by a licensed lead inspector. Have lead hazards corrected using properly trained and licensed professionals.
  2. Bust the dust: Wipe dusty areas with a household cleaner and paper towels. The harder you scrub, the better. Take off your shoes to prevent contaminated soil from being tracked into the house.
  3. Watch your children’s diet: Feed your children four-six small meals during the day (they absorb less lead on a full stomach) and focus on foods high in iron, calcium and vitamin C. Keep children from walking around with food (it could be put down in dusty areas).
  4. Wash hands and toys: Wash your children’s hands often and always before eating and sleeping. Wash or wipe toys regularly.
  5. Run the taps: If you drink from the tap, run any water that you use for drinking, cooking or for making baby formula until it is cold. You can also use a water filter that is certified to remove lead.