Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is October 21-27
In 2011, less than one-third of all Georgia children were tested for lead. The chief source of childhood lead poisoning is invisible lead dust, which comes from decaying paint. Any home built before 1978--when lead-based paint was banned nationwide--may have lead dust. Nearly one out of two Georgia homes is at risk.
See below for some lead prevention tips.
Test Your Home
Have your home tested if you have a child under 6 and/or your home was built before 1978. For information about testing lead, soil or drinking water call (478) 751-6113.
Keep Your House Clean
Lead particles can settle as dust in a home. Clean using wash cloths in soapy water and keep a bucket of rinse water to wash the cloth in use. Window sills and floors are also particularly susceptible for catching lead dust.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet can help prevent lead from harming your child. Choose foods high in Vitamin C, iron, calcium, peanut butter, raisins and green vegetables. These foods can help your child's body absorb less lead.
Teach Your Child Proper Hand Washing
This is especially important beofe eating. Your child should also wash hands after playing and before they go to bed.
Wash Toys, Pacifiers, & Bottles
This will help prevent your child from swallowing lead dust that adheres to the objects after being dropped or collects from sitting.
Avoid Tracking Inside Your Home
Leave shoes outside of the door to prevent tracking in dust and dirt which may be contaminated with lead. If you work around lead, take steps to prevent tracking dust into the home by changing in a foyer, laundry room, or changing contaminated clothing before leaving work.
Watch What Goes In Your Child's Mouth
It's natural for a child to put objects in their mouth. Make sure your child doesn't chew painted surfaces, paint chips or eat dirt.
Use A Certified Professional for Lead Abatement
Ask to see the credentials of the person you would choose to abate the lead in your home.
If You Are Pregnant, Consider Getting Tested for Lead
Lead poisoning can be passed on to the fetus during pregnancy. If you think you may have been exposed, a simple venous blood test can identify any exposure to lead.
Run Your Faucet for 30-60 Seconds
This helps flush lead that may come from water pipes. Do this before boiling the water used to prepare infant formula.
Certain Candies from Mexico May Contain Lead
The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists recalls on their website of toys, candies, etc. which contain lead.
Some Cosmetics Contain Lead
Little girls playing dress-up may want to refrain from using red lipstick as has been proven to contain lead. Black kohl used to line the eyes also contains lead.
To learn more about preventing lead exposure, visit CDC's website at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead.