Keep keiki away from lead.
Keiki do better in school and do better in life when they stay away from lead. You can help them stay smart, healthy, and lead-free.
Why is lead dangerous?
Lead is a metal used in a lot of things. It hurts keiki when it gets into their bodies. As keiki start to crawl and walk, they may touch things with lead. Even a little bit of lead can make it hard for keiki to learn, pay attention, and do well in school. It is important to get help as early as possible for keiki who have lead in their bodies.
Paint is the most common source of lead in Hawaii. Lead was used in house paint until 1978. Lead dust from old paint falling apart can get on things inside and outside a building. You can’t see lead dust. Keiki get hurt by putting things with lead or lead dust into their mouths or putting fingers into their mouths after touching things.
How can I stop keiki from getting lead in their bodies?
Here are some easy ways you can help keiki stay smart, healthy, and lead-free.
- Test for lead paint in your home or anywhere keiki spend a lot of time. Do not mess with paint unless you are 100% sure there is no lead. Call us for help.
- If you think you might have lead paint, don’t dry sweep. Use a wet mop and HEPA vacuum. Wash toys often.
- Take shoes or slippers off before coming inside.
- Don’t let keiki play in dirt or places where paint is falling apart.
- Don’t let keiki play with old toys. Toys made before 2012 were never tested for lead.
- Don’t let keiki put stuff in their mouths like dirt, paint chips, jewelry, fishing sinkers, souvenirs, and anything found on the ground.
Mealtime and Snacks
- Make sure keiki wash hands before eating or putting fingers in their mouths. Sanitizer doesn’t work on lead.
- Don’t use antique, old, or damaged dishes for eating and drinking. Look for the lead-free label.
- Give keiki regular meals with lots of calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
- Don’t use spices or food bought or labeled for sale outside the USA.
- Don’t use the hot water tap for cooking, drinking, or baby formula.
Work and Hobbies
- If you work with lead, change into clean clothes and shower before getting in your car/truck or going home.
- Wash work clothes separately from other laundry and use an extra rinse cycle.
- Store work gear and hobby supplies out of keiki’s reach.
- Don’t melt lead or cast sinkers near where keiki live or play.
- If keiki touch anything that might have lead on it, wash hands well with soap and water right away. Sanitizer doesn’t work on lead.
Is there anything else I can do?
A simple blood test is the only way to know if keiki have lead in their bodies.
Keiki should get tested at 1 and 2 years of age, and later if never tested before. If keiki gets insurance from QUEST, testing is required and it’s FREE. Most other insurance plans cover testing at low or no cost. Ask your keiki’s health care provider about a simple blood test. It is okay to test at other times too if you and your doctor think your keiki may have lead in their bodies.
Learn more with one of the links below.
MY FAMILY – Learn about lead, where it can be found, and how to keep your family safe.
MY HOME – Learn about lead in paint, water, and dust.
MY WORK – Learn how to prevent your jobs and hobbies from bringing lead into the home.
MY PATIENTS – Learn about probable lead sources, when/how to test keiki for lead, and the effects of exposure.
HANDOUTS – Read, print, and order free handouts in 12 different languages.
CLASS – Take a self-paced, online class with very detailed information about preventing lead poisoning.
Call us for help. It’s free and easy.
The Hawaii Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (HI-CLPPP) is committed to helping the community:
- Prevent keiki from being exposed to lead.
- Identify keiki already exposed to lead so the source can be removed.
- Link families with recommended services.
741 Sunset Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816