Protecting children from exposure to lead is important to lifelong good health. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. The following information and resources can assist pediatricians with the prevention, identification, and treatment of lead exposure in children.

Watch this video for recommendations on how to identify children who are at risk and how to help mitigate their exposure. To learn more, visit the CDC’s video training series, “Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention.

Lead Exposure Overview

Lead exposure can cause serious damage to children's developing brains.  Pediatricians play a key role in preventing exposure, identifying and treating lead poisoning in patients, and advocating for public health measures to address the problem.

AAP Recommendations

The AAP policy statement, Prevention of Childhood Lead Toxicity, states that “Lead toxicity results in substantial, population-level effects on children’s intellectual abilities, academic abilities, problem behaviors, and birth weight. Pediatricians may be well equipped to advocate for more stringent regulations to reduce sources of lead exposure and prevent childhood lead exposure. The AAP recognizes the importance of a variety of educational, enforcement, and environmental actions to reduce the number of children who are exposed to lead hazards and concur with recent detailed recommendations for prioritization of primary prevention of lead toxicity."

View Recommendations

More About the Science

Learn how children are exposed to lead, safe levels of lead exposure and signs of lead poisoning. 

Professional Tools & Resources

The following resources are designed to assist with the prevention, identification, and treatment of lead exposure in children.

Podcasts and Voices Blogs

Learn what others are saying. Listen to our podcasts and read our blog posts.

Lead Contamination in the Water of Flint, Michigan - Episode 29

In this episode hosts David Hill, MD, FAAP, and Joanna Parga-Belinkie, MD, FAAP, focus on the need for advocacy in pediatrics. They talk to Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, about her work to expose lead contamination in the water of Flint, Michigan. 

Pediatrics on Call


November 10, 2020

Baby Food and Heavy Metals: What Parents Should Know

Reports have many parents concerned about their babies’ exposure to lead, mercury, arsenic, and more.

Voices Blog


March 11, 2021

Lead Poisoning Before and Beyond Flint

Dr. Jennifer Lowry, a pediatric specialist in toxicology, asserts that lead exposure in children is preventable and urges pediatricians to remain vigilant with appropriate screening and testing.

Voices Blog


February 22, 2016

Last Updated



American Academy of Pediatrics