Keep Kids Safe From Lead This Halloween: Don’t Be “Tricked” With Dangerous Candy

It’s nearly time for Halloween treats. This year, knowing how to avoid candy containing dangerous lead can keep kids safe and healthy — and prevent families in Los Angeles County from being “tricked.”

While most candy is safe for children and parents, some candy — and their wrappers — contain hidden lead. Lead is a poison that can seriously affect a child’s brain and nervous system, and may cause learning and behavioral problems. It’s especially dangerous prenatally, and for infants and children ages 0–5, because young, rapidly-growing bodies absorb more lead than older people. Eating candy and other foods with lead can permanently harm health.

The L.A. County Department of Public Health, under the direction of Dr. Barbara Ferrer, a First 5 LA commissioner, is actively working to help prevent childhood lead poisoning in L.A. County. To help parents avoid issues, here is the Department’s most recent list of candies and snacks that tested positive for containing unsafe amounts of lead: DPH Unsafe Candy Poster (pdf). Additional information is available through the California Department of Public Health.

Checking children’s treats, limiting the amount of candy they eat, providing nutritional meals and snacks, and having your child’s lead levels tested can help prevent lead poisoning. For more information, contact the L.A. County Department of Public Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 1-800-LA-4-LEAD or online at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/lead/admin/ed_material_list.htm.

Additional information on avoiding lead exposure and preventing lead poisoning this Halloween can be found here at the following pages:

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