Self-management

Prevention

Simple measures can help protect you and your family from lead poisoning:

  • Wash hands and toys. To help reduce hand-to-mouth transfer of contaminated dust or soil, wash your children's hands after outdoor play, before eating and at bedtime. Wash their toys regularly.
  • Clean dusty surfaces. Clean your floors with a wet mop and wipe furniture, windowsills and other dusty surfaces with a damp cloth.
  • Remove shoes before entering the house. This will help keep lead-based soil outside.
  • Run cold water. If you have older plumbing containing lead pipes or fittings, run your cold water for at least a minute before using. Don't use hot tap water to make baby formula or for cooking.
  • Prevent children from playing on soil. Provide them with a sandbox that's covered when not in use. Plant grass or cover bare soil with mulch.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Regular meals and good nutrition might help lower lead absorption. Children especially need enough calcium, vitamin C and iron in their diets to help keep lead from being absorbed.
  • Keep your home well-maintained. If your home has lead-based paint, check regularly for peeling paint and fix problems promptly. Try not to sand, which generates dust particles that contain lead.
Dec. 06, 2016
References
  1. Lowry JA. Childhood lead poisoning: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 17, 2016.
  2. Lead: Prevention tips. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips.htm. Accessed Sept. 21, 2016.
  3. AskMayoExpert. Chelation therapy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  4. Lowry JA. Childhood lead poisoning: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 17, 2016.
  5. AAP Council on Environmental Health. Prevention of childhood lead toxicity. Pediatrics. 2016;138:e20161493.
  6. Lead poisoning and health. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs379/en/. Accessed Sept. 17, 2016.
  7. Lead toxicity: What are the physiologic effects of lead exposure? Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=7&po=10. Accessed Sept. 17, 2016.
  8. Goldman RH, et al. Adult occupational lead poisoning. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 23, 2016.
  9. Lead: Protect your family from exposures to lead. Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-exposures-lead. Accessed Sept. 23, 2016.