A handful of local children have been tested for lead poisoning as parents react to the recall of certain toys.

“I thought we would have had more,” Pam Burkett, a medical secretary, said from Somerset Pediatrics. “We had two yesterday and one today.”

Mattel Inc., the world’s largest toy maker, warned parents this week that more than 18.6 million toys sold globally might contain lead paint.

Since then, a few parents have called Laurel Pediatrics in Richland with questions about lead poisoning, nurse practitioner Brad Callihan said. He expects to get more calls as parents wade through the long list of recalled toys to check against recent purchases.

Three children have been tested so far at Laurel.

“The results aren’t back yet,” Callihan said.

Dr. Matthew Masiello, pediatrics chairman at Memorial Medical Center, said parents are right to be concerned. But he said the current threat is not as severe as lead-poisoning concerns that spurred widespread publicity campaigns a few years ago.

Those campaigns targeted children living in homes where lead-based paint was used, or kids residing near manufacturing plants where lead-tainted waste and residue had been found.

The relatively small amount of paint on toys presents a lower risk, especially if it is not chipping off, Masiello said.

“Parents need to get on the Internet or call - it’s that simple,” Masiello said. “If it’s confirmed that it is lead, and they are concerned that their child is going to be gnawing at it, they should get rid of the toy.”

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