Lead Poisoning Prevention
It is important to have your child’s lead level tested every year.
How do children become lead poisoned?
Children become lead poisoned when they:
- Put lead-based pain chips in their mouths
- Put dusty or dirty hands, toys, bottles or pacifies in their mouths
- Chew on surfaces painted with lead-based paint
- Play in dirt or a sandbox near an old house or building or where one was torn down
- Breathe in dust from lead-based paint that is being sanded, scraped or removed
How common is lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning affects 1 in 14 Iowa children. This is four times the national average.
Lead poisoning is usually caused by lead-based paint found in homes built before 1960. About 60 percent of homes in Iowa were built before 1960, both in urban and rural areas.
Could your child be lead poisoned?
Yes—most children with lead poisoning do not look sick. Lead poisoned children may:
- Be easily excited
- Have problems paying attention
- Complain of stomach aches and headaches
- Be more tired than usual
Lead-poisoned children may have learning problems when they start school.
How can you tell if your child is lead-poisoned?
The only way to tell if your child is lead-poisoned is to have their blood tested. All Iowa children must be tested for lead poisoning before starting kindergarten.