If your home was built before 1978, your child is at risk for lead exposure and poisoning.
Lead can be found in old homes that were painted before 1978, as well as old pipes that were lined or soldered with lead. Consider having your home inspected by an official lead inspector to determine if your home is safe.
To keep your home free of contaminated paint chips and dust, be sure to clean all surfaces frequently with water and a cleaning solution. Never use a vacuum to clean up the chips or dust because they could be spread through the exhaust hole and into the air.
Often, children are exposed to toxic levels of lead during home renovations. The sanding and scraping of paint can produce large amounts of lead-contaminated dust, putting children at risk if they eat or inhale the tiny particles. If you live in an old home that is being renovated, be sure to take all necessary precautions to protect your child. You may want to consider hiring a company that specializes in lead-safe work practices.
Keep in mind, blood lead screening at the pediatrician's office is not universal. Your doctor may ask questions to assess the risk of lead exposure to your child. If you have concerns, you should bring them up.
Reviewed by Dr. Heather Felton, April 2020