People can get lead in their body if they breathe in lead dust, put their hands or other objects covered with lead dust in their mouths or eat paint chips or soil that contain lead. Some simple steps will help reduce the risk of lead poisoning:
Wash your children’s hands before they eat and before they go to sleep
Keep your home clean
Wipe up any paint chips with a wet sponge or rag
Wash your children’s toys often and throw away any lead-painted toys
Encourage your children to play in grassy areas rather than in dirt, and do not allow your children to eat dirt
Ensure that your family eats well-balanced meals – foods high in iron, calcium and vitamin C help get the lead out of a child’s system
Avoid fried and fatty foods because these foods allow the body to absorb lead faster
All children 6 months through 6 years old should be assessed for their risk of lead poisoning. Illinois state law requires all children entering day care, nursery school, preschool or kindergarten to provide proof of a blood test or an assessment. To find out how to test your child, call your doctor or the Rock Island County Health Department 309.558.2935.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also a good source of information about lead and lead safety. The EPA offers valuable information about protecting your children from lead poisoning and reducing the risks of lead in your home.