If you have any of the risk factors, which might indicate exposure to lead poisoning for your kids, here are some proactive steps you can take.
- Test your child. The American Academy of Pediatric recommends testing kids at 12 and 24 months, but if you have some of these risk factors, you may want to test every year through age 6.
- Don’t do home renovations involving removing lead paint unless you’ve been trained to do so.
- Have an expert check to assess lead exposure in your house. Go to epa.gov/lead for pros in your area. There has been controversy about the reliability of over-the-counter tests sold at drugstores and hardware stores.
- If you work with lead, change your clothes and shower before you play with your kids. Wash your clothes separately.
- Inventory your kids’ toys to remove any that have been recalled for lead poisoning.
- Remove your shoes before walking through your house, especially if you have babies crawling around on the floors who could be exposed to lead poisoning.
- Run tap water for 30 seconds or use water filters. Remember that lead leeches more into hot water, so never use the hot water tap to fill bottles of formula. You can call the EPA’s safe water hotline at 800-426-4791 for more information.
– Paul Banas