HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Christmas decorations are beautiful to display but some may contain lead which can be harmful to children.

Valley Baptist Chief of Pediatrics Dr. Asim Zamir said lead found in holiday decorations has been a hazard for years, specifically for children under the age of six.

According to Dr. Zamir, screenings for lead were not available 40 years ago which made it difficult for health experts to determine whether a child had been intoxicated. However, over time proper screenings have advanced in the help. 

According to Dr. Zamir, children who are exposed to lead tend to be affected physically and socially. 

“The children would come in with learning disability and memory loss and developmental learning disability and so we started looking into it and we found that lead was the cause for those,” he said. 

The most common way children experience lead intoxication is by mouth which is why Dr. Zamir advises parents to help prevent lead exposure by teaching kids to wash their hands and not put things in their mouths.

If a parent notices a change in a child’s behavior and suspects lead exposure has taken place, Dr. Zamir urges the child to be taken to the doctor.

During the process, Dr. Zamir said parents should be prepared to answer the following questionnaire.

“We ask the parents where do they live, what kind of environment do they have, what kind of things do you have in the house and that takes us how much of at risk is this patient,” he said.

While most holiday decoration products have a warning label sign, Dr. Zamir said it is best to keep them out of reach.