What can I do to reduce my child’s exposure to lead?

  • Make sure that your child eats healthy foods that are high in iron, calcium and vitamin C, which help protect against lead poisoning.
  • If you live in a house or apartment built before 1978, talk to your state or local health department about having your home’s paint and dust tested for lead. You can also call 1.800.424.LEAD (5323) for more information.
  • If you rent your home, talk to your landlord about peeling and flaking paint. Call the health department if the paint is not safely repaired.
  • Wash your child’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys frequently.
  • Always wash your hands before eating.
  • Always wipe your feet before entering the house.
  • Wipe floors and other surfaces with a damp mop or cloth on a regular basis.
  • Let tap water run for one minute before using.
  • Because hot tap water is more likely to contain higher levels of lead, use only cold tap water for drinking, cooking and for making baby formula.
  • Don’t try to remove lead-based paint yourself.
  • Avoid any home remedies that contain lead.

Should I be concerned about lead poisoning if I’m pregnant?

Pregnant women should make sure to avoid exposure to lead, since it can be passed along to the unborn child through the mother. A child can be harmed by lead poisoning even before he or she is born.

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