Although your home may be free of lead-based paint hazards, your child could still be exposed elsewhere, particularly if they spend time in a building built before 1978.  This includes schools, daycare centers, in-home daycare, and homes of relatives.  Look around the inside and the outside of these structures for lead hazards, including:

Interior painted areas:   Walls, cabinets, floors, doors, window sills and door frames, furniture, toys.

Exterior painted areas:   Siding, gutters, porches, windows, doors, garage doors, playground equipment.

Surrounding areas:  Nearby structures with peeling or flaking paint that could contaminate the soil around play areas.

If you find lead-based paint hazards, don’t panic. 

Lead hazards can be reduced using interim controls – repairing deteriorated paint surfaces to keep them from peeling and chipping.  If you choose interim controls, you need to watch these surfaces and keep them in good condition.  If they start to peel and chip, they will become hazards again.

Do not attempt to repair any hazardous surfaces until you know how to do so safely, otherwise you can make things worse by spreading lead dust throughout your home.  Refer to the Iowa Department of Public Health publication:    Reducing Lead Hazards When Remodeling Your Home to make sure you are working safely with each surface.

If larger repairs are needed, you should hire a professional that has been trained and certified in lead-safe renovation.  A list of certified professionals can be found here.