childcare link


Importance of Screening

Information for Childcare Providers



In addition to Essential maintenance practices, the steps can be taken to reduce the risk to children and should include most or all the following:

Play areas
Play areas should be established on less porous or easier to clean surfaces. as an example, establishing a play area on a vinyl floor that is easy to clean is much safer than having a play area on a porous wood floor that is very difficult to clean. Putting an are rug over a lead painted floor immediately makes that surface safer.

Interior hazards
Limiting access to areas that are likely to contain elevated lead dust (such as child accessible window wells) also reduces the chance that children might ingest lead. This can be as simple as keeping a window closed, or arranging furniture in a room so children can't easily touch the window(s).

Exterior hazards
Limit exterior dust tracked in by removing shoes, wiping feet, etc. When children are outside, do not let them play in any area where there is bare soil, especially in areas next to the building foundation, or in any area where paint chips are visible on the ground.

Recently, everyone has become aware of lead paint problems with many imported toys. New recalls are being announced almost daily. While keeping track of which toys are being recalled is an increasingly difficult task, you should periodically check the consumer product safety commission website for the most up-to-date recall notices. It is important to remember that while the lead in toy problem seems to be huge, the vast majority of lead poisoned children are poisoned by lead paint in housing, not toys.

Hand washing
Frequent hand and face washing and cleaning of toys is another way to reduce the risk to children by removing lead dust before it can be ingested. Since children tend to put their hands and toys in their mouth and often each with the hands ("finger food"), swallowing lead dust is the most common exposure route. Wash children's hands and face frequently, especially before meals, snacks, and bedtime. Also wash toys and pacifiers frequently.

Remember anything that limits a child's access to a lead hazard lowers their risk of ingesting lead. This allows you to be creative in your methods, but the method of limiting access should take into account children's normal behavior. Children are inquisitive by nature and do not understand the risk. A barrier that is easily overcome by a child or an instruction that is age inappropriate (like a warning sign) will not lower the risk.


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