The long-term effects of lead in a child can be severe. They include learning disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity, impaired hearing, and even brain damage. If caught early, these effects can be limited by reducing exposure to lead or by medical treatment. If you're pregnant, avoid exposing yourself to lead. Lead can pass through your body to your baby.
Ways to Protect Your Family
The good news is that there are simple things you can do to help protect your family:
Get your child tested for lead poisoning, even if he or she seems healthy.
Clean floors, window frames, window sills, and other surfaces weekly. Use a mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead. Change the water and towel/rag often to avoid spreading.
Reduce the risk of lead paint. Make sure your child is not chewing on painted surfaces.
Don't bring lead dust into your home from work or hobbies.
Have your water tested. If the cold water hasn't been used for more than a few hours, let it run for 15 to 30 seconds before drinking it or cooking with it. Don't use the hot water for drinking or cooking.