There are several sources of lead you should know about. The most common way children are exposed to high levels of lead is through chipping, peeling or cracking lead-based paint in older homes. When lead is found in drinking water, it is usually because water can dissolve the lead in pipes and plumbing. What can you do to protect your family?
Dust and flakes from chipping lead-based paint inside a home are a serious hazard to children's health. Inside your home, use a disposable wet cloth to clean up paint flakes or dust on windowsills, the floor, and on toys. Outside, check for peeling paint near soil and cover those areas with grass or mulch.
More Safe Paint tips
If you live in a home with a lead service line or plumbing, you can take several steps to reduce your risk. Families with children under the age of 6, women who may become or are pregnant, and breastfeeding women, should use a filter certified to remove lead. This is especially important when making baby bottles. If your water hasn't been used for several hours, run the water until it’s cold, at least three minutes.
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The only way to know if your child has been affected by lead is to get a blood lead test. If you have a child under age 6, talk to a doctor about lead testing. All children in Milwaukee should be tested three times before age 3. Some children may need to be tested up to age 6.
More Safe Kids tips
If your home was built before 1978, it most likely does. Find out how to recognize lead paint and when it may be a hazard here.
The only way to prevent lead poisoning is to keep children away from lead. But healthy habits like good eating, snacking and hand-washing can help reduce the risk of exposure