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Protect Your Child From Lead Poisoning

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Protect Your Child from Lead

  • Wash your children's hands before they eat.
  • Foods high in iron and calcium-lean meat, eggs, raisins, greens, milk, cheese, fruit and potatoes-help get lead out of a child's system. Limit foods high in fat, oil-fried foods and snacks like potato chips, which keep lead in a child's system.
  • Clean up chipping and peeling paint inside and outside your home.
  • Clean up paint chips and lead dust on window sills and on the floor near windows, doorways and woodwork. Use a damp mop or cloth and a phosphate cleaning product.
  • Wash your child's toys often. Throw away lead-painted toys.
  • Do not store food in open cans or pottery.
  • If you work with lead, shower and change clothes before coming home. Wash your work clothes separately.
  • Run cold water for a few minutes before using it for cooking and drinking. Do not use water from the hot water tap for cooking, drinking or making formula.

Removing lead paint is very dangerous. Do not do it yourself. Call the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District at 352-7961 OR the Illinois Department of Public Health's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 217-782-0403 or 1-800-545-2200 or TDD 1-800-547-0466.

Your Child may have Lead Poisoning If:

  • The child lives in or visits a home built before 1978 with peeling or chipping paint.
  • The child has been around dust from sanding or removing old paint.
  • You live near a highway or industry that uses lead.
  • You have lead water pipes or fixtures.
  • You live with someone who works with lead.

Other sources of lead are foods grown in contaminated soil; foods stored in handmade pottery or open cans; bullets; fishing sinkers; and hobbies that use lead, such as ceramics and stained glass.

For more information, see the Illinois Department of Public Health's web page on lead poisoning. Lead Reference Guide

U.S. EPA - Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil