Children under the age of 6 are at risk of lead poisoning. Before this was known, lead was very popular and used in many products. For example, paint contained lead until 1978. Due to this, many older homes still contain lead paint.
If you know you have lead paint in your home, or if you think you might:
Think about all the places in your home where your child plays.
- See if there is peeling or chipping paint.
- Pick up any paint chips and throw them away.
- Wash the floor or vacuum the carpet often (use a HEPA vacuum).
- Put furniture in front of window sills with chipping paint so your child can’t get to them.
- If you live in an apartment, don’t let children play in the hall, stairs, or on the porch.
Wash up Dust
A little bit of lead dust can easily spread over your entire house or apartment.
- Frequent cleaning using wet mops and rags can help reduce the amount of lead dust in your home.
- Wash window sills, trim around windows and doors and other areas children touch.
- Wash floors once a week.
- Go to the homeowners’ section on Maine’s Community Health, Childhood Lead Poisoning web page for more information.
Test Your Child for Lead
Talk to your child’s doctor about a blood lead test for your child.
- 1- and 2-year-olds should have a blood lead test. MaineCare requires it.
- If your child’s blood lead test comes back high, your child will need other lead tests to make sure the lead is leaving the body.
- Make sure you go to all the appointments with your child’s doctor.
- Go to the parents’ section on Maine’s Community Health, Childhood Lead Poisoning web page for more information.
Keep Lead Out of Your Child’s Mouth
- Wash hands before eating and sleeping.
- Wash toys weekly.
- Don’t let children eat food or use pacifiers that have fallen on the floor.
- Feed children at a clean table or in a high chair.
Find more resources at Maine’s CDC Website. For more information, please contact: