Simple Ways to Help Prevent Childhood Lead Poisoning

KEEP YOUR HOME AS CLEAN AND FREE FROM DUST AS POSSIBLE. The best way to clean up lead dust is to regularly wet mop your floors, wipe window ledges, and wash all surfaces with water and household detergent.

TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES BEFORE ENTERING THE HOUSE. Make sure they are wiped well on a doormat outside the house. This will help prevent lead dust and soil from getting into the house.

CHANGE OUT OF WORK CLOTHES and take a shower before coming home if you work with lead at your job. Lead dust brought home on the clothes of workers can spread in the house and poison children. Lead is used in many workplaces such as radiator repair shops, battery manufacturing plants and lead smelters.

NEVER SAND, BURN OR SCRAPE PAINT unless you know that it does not contain lead.

TEST PAINTED SURFACES FOR LEAD in any area that you plan to remodel, before you begin the work. If lead is in the paint, learn how to handle the paint safely. If the work is not done the right way, lead dust can scatter and poison your family, pets, neighbors and workers.

ENCOURAGE HEALTHY EATING HABITS. Eating regular and healthy meals may make it harder for lead to hurt your child. Meals should include fruits and vegetables as well as calcium-rich foods (milk, cheese, yogurt, corn tortillas, tofu or bean curd) and iron-rich foods (meat, chicken, iron-fortified cereals, raisins, and dried fruit).

WASH CHILDREN'S HANDS OFTEN, especially before eating.

DO NOT USE OLDER, IMPORTED OR HANDMADE DISHES for serving, preparing or storing food or drink unless you know that they do not contain lead. (For more information on testing for lead in dishes, call your local health department.)

AVOID HOBBIES THAT USE LEAD. Hobbies that use lead include soldering, or making stained glass, bullets, or fishing sinkers.

KEEP FURNITURE AWAY FROM DAMAGED PAINT. Do not place cribs, playpens, beds or high chairs next to areas where paint is chipping or peeling, or can be chewed.

DO NOT USE HOME REMEDIES OR COSMETICS THAT CONTAIN LEAD like Azarcon, Greta, Pay-loo-ah, and Al kohl or Kohl. These remedies often contain a lot of lead and can make children very sick.