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.