Is Your Child Lead Safe?

Lead is a natural element that can be found in old paint, contaminated soil, plumbing, lead crystal, pottery, and many other products.  When eaten or inhaled, lead is easily absorbed into the body and can cause developmental and neurological problems.  The damaging effects of lead are permanent and irreversible.  The only cure is prevention.

There are several easy things that you can do to protect your family from being lead poisoned:

  • Wash hands often, especially young children who have a natural tendency to put their hands in their mouths.
  • Eat nutritional foods high in iron, calcium and vitamin C.
  • Keep your house clean, wet wash floors and windowsills often and use a damp cloth when dusting.
  • Wash toys to keep them clean and dust free.
  • Run the cold water for a minute before using it.
  • Keep children away from chipping and peeling paint.
  • If you work with lead, remove your work clothes before entering the house.  Wash your clothes separately.
  • Take your shoes off at the door.
  • Do not use old dishes, handmade dishes, or dishes from another country.  Some of these dishes may contain lead.
  • Do not allow children to play on bare soil or in dirt.

Before remodeling or removing lead-based paint contact 1-800-424-LEAD (1-800-424-5323) or your local health department for information on lead-safe work practices.

Children with elevated blood levels do not look or act sick.  There are generally no symptoms of lead poisoning until blood levels are very high.

The ONLY way to know if a child has been exposed to lead is to have a blood lead test.

New Jersey State law requires all primary care physicians and other related health car providers perform a blood level test on children at 1 year and again at 2 years o age.  Children between the ages of 3 & 6 years, who have never been tested, should be tested.