Lead poisoning is a silent, yet devastating threat that continues to endanger children worldwide. Despite substantial progress in mitigating lead exposure, it remains a pressing public health issue. Sadly, many manufacturers still sell products that contain levels of lead that are considered to be unsafe for children.
That is the case with a recent recall of Bolt Foldable Scooters made for children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging parents to be aware of the risks of lead poisoning and discontinue use of potentially dangerous products.
Below, the children’s product liability lawyers at Kherkher Garcia shed light on the recent recall, lead poisoning, and the alarming dangers that lead-contaminated products pose to children.
Bolt Foldable Scooter Recall
Bolt Foldable Scooters, manufactured by Anker Play Products, are subject to recall due to lead levels that are higher than the federal limits. The CPSC reports that around 5,000 scooters are included in the recall. The scooters were sold between March 2022 and May 2022, and were sold at stores nationwide. Parents can identify the scooters by the model number APPLLC120806218142.
Parents are urged to immediately discontinue use of these scooters due to the risk of lead ingestion and lead poisoning. Anker Play Products is offering a refund of the purchase price.
Lead Poisoning in Children
Lead poisoning occurs when lead, a heavy metal, accumulates in the body over time, often due to prolonged exposure to lead-contaminated substances. Children are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, primarily because their growing bodies absorb lead more efficiently than adults. Even small amounts of lead exposure can have significant and irreversible effects on a child’s health and development.
Common Causes of Lead Poisoning
- Lead-Based Paint: One of the most common sources of lead exposure in children is lead-based paint, which was widely used in homes built before 1978. When this paint deteriorates or is disturbed through renovation or peeling, lead dust and chips can be ingested or inhaled by children.
- Water Contamination: Lead can leach into drinking water from lead pipes, solder, or fixtures, particularly in older homes and schools. Even minimal exposure to lead-contaminated water can have severe consequences, as it is a primary source of lead exposure in some communities.
- Soil Contamination: Lead particles can settle in the soil, especially in areas near highways, industries, or homes with lead-based paint. Children playing in contaminated soil may ingest lead through hand-to-mouth contact.
- Imported Products: Imported goods such as toys, cosmetics, and ceramics may contain lead-based materials or paints. Children can ingest lead through contact with these items.
- Occupational Exposure: In some cases, children may be at risk of lead poisoning if their parents or caregivers work in industries where lead exposure is common. Lead dust can be carried home on work clothing and shoes.
The Dangerous Effects of Lead Poisoning
Lead poisoning can have a wide range of detrimental effects on children, impacting their physical, cognitive, and behavioral development. Some of the most serious consequences include:
- Neurological Damage: Lead is a neurotoxin that can impair the development of a child’s brain, leading to decreased IQ, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. It can also cause attention deficits and hyperactivity.
- Developmental Delays: Children with lead poisoning may experience delays in physical and mental development, including delayed speech and language skills.
- Behavioral Issues: Lead exposure has been linked to increased aggression, antisocial behavior, and decreased impulse control in children.
- Anemia: Lead interferes with the body’s ability to produce hemoglobin, leading to anemia, which can result in fatigue and reduced physical activity.
- Kidney and Liver Damage: Lead poisoning can harm vital organs like the kidneys and liver, impacting their ability to function properly.
- Hearing and Vision Problems: Lead exposure can cause hearing loss and vision impairments in children.
- Lowered Immunity: Children with lead poisoning may have weakened immune systems, making them more susceptible to illnesses.
Preventing Lead Poisoning
Given the severe and irreversible consequences of lead poisoning, prevention is paramount. Here are some essential steps that society can take to protect children from lead exposure:
- Testing: Regularly test homes and schools, particularly those built before 1978, for lead-based paint and water contamination. Address any issues promptly.
- Renovation Safety: If renovating an older home, take precautions to contain lead dust and debris during the work and clean thoroughly afterward.
- Water Testing: If you live in an older home, have your water tested for lead contamination. Consider using a water filter certified to remove lead.
- Soil Testing: Test the soil in your yard, especially if you live near a highway or in an older neighborhood. Take steps to reduce lead exposure if necessary.
- Proper Nutrition: Ensure that your child has a diet rich in calcium and iron. These nutrients can help reduce lead absorption.
- Hand Hygiene: Teach children to wash their hands thoroughly before meals and after playing outside to minimize the risk of ingesting lead from contaminated soil or dust.
- Regular Check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with a healthcare provider to monitor your child’s growth and development, and discuss any concerns about lead exposure.
Lead poisoning is a dangerous and largely preventable health threat to children. Its insidious nature means that many cases go undetected until severe damage has occurred. Recognizing the sources of lead exposure and taking proactive steps to prevent exposure are critical in safeguarding children’s health and wellbeing.
How to Get Help after Lead Poisoning from a Product
If you or someone you know has been exposed to lead poisoning from a product, it’s essential to take prompt action to seek medical help and address the issue. Here are the steps you should take:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you suspect lead poisoning or have symptoms such as abdominal pain, fatigue, headaches, irritability, or cognitive issues, consult a healthcare professional immediately. They can perform blood tests to determine the level of lead in your or your child’s system.
Identify the Source of Exposure
Try to identify the specific product or source that caused the lead exposure. This information will be crucial if you need to report the incident or take legal action later.
Contact Your Local Health Department
Notify your local health department about the lead exposure incident. They can provide guidance on how to address the situation and may conduct an investigation to determine the source of lead contamination.
Keep records of medical diagnoses, treatment plans, and expenses related to the lead poisoning. Document the product or source that caused the exposure, including any packaging, labels, or receipts you have.
Report the Incident to Appropriate Authorities
Depending on the situation, you may need to report the lead exposure incident to relevant authorities. This could include the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) if the product is related to consumer goods or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) if it occurred in a workplace.
Consult an Attorney
If you believe your lead exposure resulted from a defective product or the negligence of a manufacturer, distributor, or property owner, consider consulting a personal injury attorney who specializes in product liability or toxic exposure cases. They can advise you on legal options and help you seek compensation for damages.
Contact Poison Control Center
If you suspect lead poisoning and need immediate guidance, you can also contact your local poison control center for advice on managing symptoms and seeking medical care.
Notify the Manufacturer or Retailer
If you have identified the product responsible for the lead exposure, contact the manufacturer or retailer to report the issue. They may recall the product or take corrective actions to prevent further incidents.
Follow Medical Treatment Plans
Comply with your healthcare provider’s recommendations for treatment and follow-up care. Treatment for lead poisoning may involve chelation therapy, medication, and dietary changes.
Learn more about lead poisoning, its effects, and prevention strategies to safeguard yourself and your family in the future. Knowledge is key to preventing further exposure.
Advocate for Change
If your exposure resulted from a widespread issue with a product or industry, consider becoming an advocate for change. Raise awareness about lead hazards and advocate for stricter regulations and safety standards.
Remember that lead poisoning can have long-term health consequences, especially for children, so seeking help and taking action promptly is crucial. Be proactive in addressing the issue, documenting everything, and seeking legal advice if necessary to protect your rights and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
Get Help if Your Child is Harmed by a Dangerous Product
At Kherkher Garcia, we are deeply committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of our most vulnerable citizen. Every day, countless children are exposed to hazardous products that can cause life-altering injuries or even tragic loss. We firmly believe that no child should ever suffer due to the negligence or irresponsibility of product manufacturers, distributors, or retailers.
We are a leading law firm specializing in children’s product liability cases. Our mission is clear: to hold those responsible for unsafe products accountable and ensure that justice is served for the innocent victims.
If your child has been harmed by a dangerous or defective product, contact us today for a free consultation. Let us review your case and determine the best options for pursuing justice and compensation. Call us at 713-333-1030, or complete our online contact form to get started.
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