QUESTION: What do I do if my children have played with the recalled Thomas the Tank Engine toys? - 18 Jun 2007 Victoria, Australia
Recently there has been a recall on various Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends Wooden Railway items due to lead paint being detected on surface. My 3yr old and 1 yr old have several of these trains and items - they play with these daily - handling them constantly and putting their fingers in their mouths, and have had them for over 1 year. I have collected all the recalled items for return however am very concerned on whether there has been a health impact on my children eg. lead poisoning. My 3 year especially shows signs of hyperactivity, behavioural problems, sometimes a reduced attention span, stuttered at the age of 2 1/2 and although now not stuttering, his speech clarity is not that great and not always understood. These may be normal developmental stages but am not convinced now due to the exposure he has had to these recalled items. What should I do?
ANSWER: 07 Apr 2007
you definitely need to take both the children to the doctor and request a blood lead test and don't take "no" for an answer. Your doctor may take the blood or send you to a pathology clinic but if you are sent to a pathology clinic, it is wise to request a referral to the Children's Hospital pathology where they have staff who take blood from kids all the time. You can buy an Emla Patch over the counter from the chemist and as long as it's been on the skin inside the elbow for an hour before the blood is taken, it will really cut down the pain.
Please let me know how you go. It is ridiculous if the newspaper articles and recall notices don't include this simple and straightforward advice - the only way to know how much lead exposure has occurred is to do a blood lead test.
I'll send you our Info Pack on the dangers of a blood lead level above 2 micrograms per decilitre, so that you can understand the results you receive, but do make sure you get the results in writing, including the unit.
All the best
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