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Child & Adolescent Development: Overview

Health Tip: Prevent Exposure to Lead

HealthDay News

(HealthDay News) -- Lead exposure has been linked to problems including reduced IQ, focus and academic performance. So every effort should be made to prevent lead exposure in the home, particularly among children.

Lead-based paint was banned for use in American homes in 1978, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. But older homes may still pose a danger.

The CDC suggests how to reduce the risk to you and your children:

  • Talk to your state or local health department about testing paint and dust for lead.
  • Make sure your child does not have access to peeling paint or chewable surfaces containing lead-based paint.
  • Children and pregnant women should not be present in a home built before 1978 that is being renovated. They also should not participate in cleaning up paint debris after work is completed.
  • Regularly wash children's hands and toys. They may be contaminated from household dust or outside soil, either of which may contain lead.
  • Regularly wet mop floors and wet wipe all window surfaces, including sills and wells.
  • Prevent children from playing directly in soil.

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