Homes Built Before 1978 May Cause Lead Poisoning

Parenting September 27, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 5 Month Old Baby

In last month's parent letter we talked about how tiny amounts of lead once found in paint can poison an infant. If your house was built before 1978, you could have a lead problem. Lead poisoning reduces memory, intelligence, ability to concentrate, and hearing.

The damage to a baby’s developing systems cannot be cured, but it can be prevented. Lead paint becomes a problem when it chips or turns to dust. It becomes dust when doors or windows rub while being opened and shut, when people walk over a painted floor, during remodeling, and as outdoor paint weathers. When your baby crawls, then puts her fingers in her mouth, she may be eating dust that contains lead.

Household repairs can also create lead dust. Find out how repairs can be made so your baby is not exposed to lead dust when repairing walls, windows, plumbing, or electrical lines.

If your baby spends time in any place built before 1978, ask your doctor, clinic, or public health nurse about a blood test that can determine if your baby has lead in her body. Look at last month’s cleaning tips. For advice and help in dealing with lead in your home, call your public health office or call (800) 424-LEAD. You can also check out this Web site:

Learn more about Your 5 Month Old Baby from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.

Note to Parents: When reading this newsletter, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.
References: These materials were adapted by authors from Extension Just in Time Parenting Newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


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