Lead Prevention Information for Parents and Caregivers

Environmental Health
Public Health

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What you need to know

Get the Facts About Lead

Lead Poisoning And Exposure Prevention Tips

The best way to protect children is to prevent lead exposure before they are harmed. The most important step is stopping children from coming into contact with lead. There are many ways parents can reduce a child's exposure to lead.

Have your child regularly visit a health care provider

  • If your child is at risk or if you are concerned about lead in your home, ask your child's doctor about blood lead testing.
  • If your child is enrolled in Medicaid, a lead test is required if your child has never had one, and the cost of the test is covered.
  • If your child does has high levels of lead in the blood, have him/her tested regularly to make sure the lead levels in the blood are not increasing.

Find lead in the child's environment

  • Lead-based paint and lead dust is the most common source of lead in children. If your home is built before 1978, assume that the paint has lead unless tests show otherwise.
  • Find lead risks in your home and where your child spends a large amount of time. Learn about sources of lead in the environment.  
  • Test your home: If you live in or are buying a home built before 1978, consider testing your home for lead. A licensed lead inspector can test if lead is present in the home. Homeowners can also find do-it-yourself lead test kits at many hardware stores. If you live in a rental unit, ask the landlord or property owner about lead testing. Learn more at Homeowner and Renter Information.

Keep children away from lead paint and lead dust

  • Keep children away from areas where there is chipping and peeling paint or bare soil.
  • Do not allow children to eat paint chips, eat soil, or chew on painted surfaces.
  • Take off shoes when entering the house to prevent bringing lead-contaminated soil in from outside.

Renovate safely

  • Keep children and pregnant women away from the work area. Children and pregnant women should not be present in housing built before 1978 that is undergoing renovation.
  • Home repairs like sanding or scraping paint can make dangerous dust.
  • Make sure you and/or any workers are trained in lead-safe work practices.

Wash hands, toys, and clean home often

  • Regularly wash children's hands and toys. Hands and toys can become contaminated from household dust or exterior soil. Both are known lead sources.
  • Household dust is a major source of lead. Use wet paper towels to clean up lead dust. Be sure to clean around windows, play areas, and floors.
  • Wet-mop floors and wet-wipe horizontal surfaces every 2-3 weeks. Windowsills and wells can contain high levels of lead dust. They should be kept clean. When feasible, windows should be shut to prevent disturbing painted surfaces.

Serve healthy foods

Feed your child healthy foods with calcium, iron, and vitamin C. These foods may help keep lead out of the body.

  • Regular Healthy Meals and Healthy Snacks During the Day
  • Calcium is in milk, yogurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetables like spinach. 
  • Iron is in lean red meats, beans, peanut butter, and cereals. 
  • Vitamin C is in oranges, green and red peppers, and juice.


Contact Information
Lead-Based Paint Program  / Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Phone Number
(402) 471-0386
Toll Free Number
(888) 242-1100
Fax Number
(402) 471-8833
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026