4 Ways to Keep Your Family Safe from Lead Poisoning
1. Test your home for lead.
In the United States, lead is in paint in 87% of homes built before 1940, 69% of homes built from 1940–1959, and 24% of homes built from 1960–1977. If your home was built before 1940 up until 1977, contact your local health department and ask them to conduct a lead test.
2. Be aware of old homes your child visits.
Avoid allowing your child to come in contact with old windows, old porches, and areas with chipping or peeling paint. These items could contain lead.
3. Sanitation is important.
Be sure your child washes their hands frequently. Cleaning your home regularly, especially the floors and other level surfaces, is important to ensure that no outside lead contaminants are in your home.
4. Eat healthy.
Some baby foods, candy and seasonings like Turmeric can contain detectable levels of lead.
Signs of lead poisoning
Unfortunately, there are no immediate telling signs of lead exposure. Children can be exposed to lead and look and appear completely normal. The best thing you can do as a parent is to prevent the exposure before it happens. If you think your child has been exposed to lead, contact your pediatrician. Medicaid eligible children are required to be tested at 12 and 24 months of age and between 36 and 72 months if not previously tested. Lead testing is not part of a routine pediatric check-up. Parents should ask their provider to test their child’s blood for lead if they have concerns.
For more information about lead exposure, visit the Florida Department of Health or the American Academy of Pediatrics website.