Lead Info for Parents and Caregivers

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Testing Children for Lead Exposure​

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. A blood lead test is the best way to know if a child is exposed to lead.

Parents and caregivers can use a screening questionnaire to learn about lead exposure risks.  ​ 

​Lead Screening Questions for Parents

Lead Risk Questionnaire for Parents and Caregivers​

If you can answer "yes" or "do not know", ask your doctor about blood lead testing.  

  1. ​​​​​​​​​Is your child enrolled in Medicaid? 
    1. ​Children enrolled in Medicaid are required to have lead test at ages 12 and 24 months
  2. ​Does your child live in a high-risk zip code? ​See list of zip codes​ for testing.  ​
  3. Does your child live in or often visit a home built before 1950?
  4. Does your child live in or often visit a home built before 1978 that has been remodeled or renovated within the last year?
  5. Does your child have a sibling or playmate with lead poisoning or an elevated blood lead level?
  6. Does child live with an adult with a job or hobby that involves exposure to lead? Examples: 
    1. ​Metal manufacturing and foundries, welding, battery recycling; 
    2. Building repair, renovation, and painting; 
    3. Ammunition production, firing ranges, casting bullets; 
    4. Making stained glass, pottery and glazing, auto repair;
    5. ​​​See more examples of jobs and hobbies​ that involve lead exposure.
  7. Does child's family use products from other counties that may contain lead? Such as traditional medicines, cosmetics, spices, or glazed pottery? Examples:
    1. ​Traditional medicines: Ayurvedic medicine, bali gali, pay-loo-ah; 
    2. Cosmetics and powders: surma, kohl, sindoor, kumkuma; 
    3. Spices imported or brought in from another county; 
    4. Glazed pottery and imported cookware.
    5. See more examples of products​ that many contain lead. 
  8. Is your child a refugee, migrant, immigrant, foreign adoptee, or in foster care?​​​

When should children be tested for lead?

  • ​If ​your child is at risk for lead exposure, blood lead testing should occur around ages 1 and 2 years. If your child is at risk and is 3, 4, or 5 years old, they may need a lead test at least once if they have not already had one. 
  • Other children may also need a blood lead test, including: 
    • ​If your child's doctor suspects lead poisoning.​
    • If you child's risk of lead exposure has changed. 
    • If your local health department recommends additional criteria for lead testing.
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 and caregivers can reduce a child's exposure to lead.

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.

Learn about Sources of Lead in the Environment. There are many sources of lead, including paint, soil, products from other countries (foods and spices, traditional medicines, cookware), and occupational sources. Find lead risks in your home and where your child spends a large amount of time. 

Test your home: If you live in or are buying a home built before 1978, consider testing your home for lead. 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
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Phone Number
(402) 471-2937
Toll Free Number
Fax Number
(402) 471-3601
Mailing Address
PO Box 95026, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026