Lead Information for Teachers & Caregivers

by Fiona Abolade on December 15, 2008

Is There Lead in my Child’s School or Daycare?

If you are a teacher or childcare provider and are concerned that your facility may have lead paint, the following are some things that you can do to keep the children that you care for from being lead poisoned:

  1. Find out when the facility was built: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of paint with more than 0.06 percent of lead in 1978. Any building that was built before that year will likely have lead-based paint. If that is the case, ask the school officials or landlord to have the building tested for lead.
  2. Clean play areas frequently: Using a mop or a wet cloth to clean areas where young children play will greatly reduce the chance of lead dust lingering in the air. Sweeping the area will just cause the dust to go back into the air and scatter to other parts of the facility. Assign cleaning cloths to specific rooms so that a cloth that may have residual lead dust from the playroom is not being used in a kitchen or bathroom.
  3. Give the children healthy snacks: Children who eat foods rich in calcium, iron and zinc are less likely to be poisoned by lead. Snacks such as cheese, yogurt, and ready-to-eat cereals can give your students the minerals that they need to keep lead from being absorbed into their bloodstream.
  4. Have children wash their hands often: Lead dust can get on a child’s hands through many different ways whether it’s by touching the floor, a toy or a counter. Make sure that the children wash their hands and faces before they eat to reduce the amount of dust that they can ingest.
  5. Clean toys regularly: Wash stuffed animals and other toys regularly to lower the amount of dust on them. Also, clean bottles and pacifiers often.

If you follow these tips, your facility will less likely have lead paint dust and will less likely cause your students to suffer from lead poisoning.

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