Lead Poisoning by Teething Bracelet

lead poisoningLead Poisoning

A 9 month old infant girl from Connecticut was found to have lead poisoning.  Doctors discovered that the young infant had a high lead level during her routine physical exam.

 

CDC Report

According to a report (http://bit.ly/2wBf8LJ) by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on August 31, 2017, her blood lead level of 41 micrograms per deciliter of lead was much higher than  acceptable.  According to CDC, an acceptable blood level is up to 5 micrograms per deciliter.

 

Home Investigation

Investigators reviewed the home in detail.  Although there was lead paint on two of the windows in the home, the infant girl was not able to reach those windows, so she couldn’t have contracted lead poisoning from them.  In addition, the her 3-year-old and 5-year-old siblings didn’t have lead poisoning, so the windows were not the source of the lead.  

 

Teething Bracelet

The baby girl’s parents bought her a homeopathic magnetic bracelet to help with teething pain.  She had used the bracelet for teething relief, chewing on it, causing her to ingest the lead.  The homeopathic community believes magnets help with healing.  Tests on the beads of the bracelet revealed that it contained 17,000 parts per million (ppm). According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), for the most part, products containing 90 to 100 ppm are considered safe.

 

Chewing & Lead Poisoning

Please be careful with items that your child may chew on.  Sadly, each year, there are recalls on children’s jewelry due to high levels of lead and cadmium poisoning (https://drsilvatotstweensandteens.com/2010/02/cadmium-jewelry-poisoning.html).  Infants and toddlers place objects in their mouths as part of their development and natural curiosity.  They learn about their world orally, in this fashion.  Depending upon the lead level in a child’s body, lead poisoning has long-term consequences including, but not limited to lower IQ, speech delay, behavior problems, seizures, and death.  Treatment does not necessarily reverse the negative effects of lead on the brain and body.

 

Routine Physical Exam & Lead Testing

Please remember to follow-up with your pediatrician for your child’s physical exam, as so much is done at these visits, including lead level testing, if recommended.  Consider buying a lead surface test kit for your children’s toys or objects they may place in their mouths, as lead poisoning is a nightmare for any family to handle whether from teething bracelet or toys.

 
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About Nancy M. Silva, MD, FAAP

I'm a Board Certified Pediatrician. I've been in practice since 2000. I'm happily married with two children. I graduated Medical School from the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, NY. My Pediatric Residency training was at University of South Florida, College of Medicine. I've been in private practice since 2000. As a medical student, I had the privilege to care for children at Kings County Hospital & Downstate Medical Center in urban Brooklyn. As a resident, I cared for children at Tampa General Hospital & All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. These experiences helped shape the Pediatrician I am today.

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