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.
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.
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."
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.
Resources for Families
Share these resources with families to help protect children from lead exposure.
Resources for Communities
Download and share this infographic illustrating the long-term effects of lead exposure.
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.
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.
February 22, 2016
American Academy of Pediatrics