LPPP: Information for Families and Caregivers
The Louisiana Healthy Homes and Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is a program of the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health, Bureau of Family Health. Our program’s goals are to:
- eliminate childhood lead poisoning in Louisiana by making sure that healthcare providers are testing children under the age of six for lead in their blood
- reduce or eliminate lead in the home by testing homes and properties for lead hazards
- coordinate care for children affected by lead poisoning
We want to focus on protecting current and future generations of children from the dangers of exposure to lead from contaminated paint, dust and soil by making sure people know the importance of home assessments and the health impacts of lead exposure. It's important to know the signs of lead poisoning in young children, how to identify and then act against lead risks in your home, and know what services are available to you as a property owner or tenant.
What do parents and caregivers need to know about lead?
- Lead, specifically lead dust, can leave harmful residue in paint, soil, water and even air. It can be toxic, and is especially dangerous for babies and young children. Lead-based paint is the #1 source of lead poisoning in children under the age of six.
- There is no “safe” level of lead in the blood and, unfortunately, many children come into contact with lead in their homes. Most homes built before 1978 have, at some point, contained lead-based paint.
- Too much lead exposure can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs. It can also cause learning disabilities and behavioral or neurological problems.
- Children are at higher risk for lead poisoning because their developing bodies absorb lead much quicker since they often put things in their mouths.
- Check out our Louisiana Lead Prevention Video on YouTube if you'd like more information:
What can I do at home to protect my family from lead exposure?
- Be aware of lead-safe practices in the home. This includes regular hand washing after playtime outdoors or in soil.
- Parents should remove thier work clothing and shoes before entering thier home if they work around materials that contain lead.
- Keep the area where your children play as dust-free and clean as possible.
- Ask your doctor to test your young children for lead even if they seem healthy.
- Be a good neighbor. Spread the word about EPA’s lead-safe renovation rule. You can learn more about this at the EPA Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program home page.
- Report chipped or cracked paint to your landlord if you live in an older home built before 1978.
- Make sure your children do not chew on painted surfaces, such as toys or window sills.
- Learn about and be careful of toys that contain lead.
- Check out this helpful infographic from HUD about Protecting Kids from Lead Poisoning.
What do I need to know about blood tests for my child and next steps?
- First, did you know that it is the law for healthcare providers to make sure that every child between 6 months and 6 years have a blood test for lead? (source: LAC 48: V7005, 7007, 7009)
- We need providers to follow this law so that we can identify children under age 6 in our state who have elevated lead blood levels. Please talk to your child's provider if you are not sure whether they've been tested or not!
- We provide case management services for those families with positive tests so they can get the resources they need to lessen the effects of the lead exposure and to identify and remove or reduce the lead hazards in their homes. You do not need to apply for services; we will contact you if you qualify.
Where can I find more information about lead poisoning and resources for my family?
- We have a detailed Frequently Asked Questions page here that we invite you to read if you have further questions or concerns. You are also welcome to contact us directly.
- We've also developed a Lead Poisoning Risk Checklist and Facts Flyer for Parents that we invite you to read and print for your household.
- Our program has published a Louisiana Healthy Homes Healthcare Provider and Parent 2016-2018 Toolkit to serve as a resource for health education materilas around lead poisoning prevention.
- If you'd like more information about making your home or rental property lead-safe through repairs and renovations, be sure to check out our Lead Abatement Program.
- For more inforrmation about organizations and services that assist children and youth with special health care needs and thier families, including families that have been affected by lead exposure or poisoning, please visit our CYSHCN Family Resource Hub.