peeling paint on a house

Lead Poisoning: What You Need to Know About Lead and your Child’s Development

Did you know that 83% of all houses built before 1978 contain lead? And did you know that 69% of Summit County housing units were built before 1980? Why does this matter? It means your home could contain lead-based products and pose a hazard to your family if you don’t have all the facts. Lead is harmful to humans, especially young children whose brains and bodies are still developing. Find out how you can protect you child from lead exposure and some of the resources available to help support your family.

Why are children more susceptible to lead poisoning?

Lead is a harmful neurotoxin. It can be inhaled or swallowed and can be very harmful to unborn babies. Decades ago, lead was found in many commonly used items such as gasoline, metals and paint. Because many homes in our area were built before 1978, they were painted inside and out with lead-based paint. This paint can flake off over time, leaving lead-based paint chips and dust in your home.

Children tend to play on the floor and put items in their mouths. This puts them at higher risk of ingesting lead that can cause problems like, damage to the brain or nervous system, learning problems, delayed growth or behavior problems to name a few. Be sure to check out some of the resources below for symptoms to look out for and home checklists to help protect your family.

What options do I have for help?

Get rid of hazardous lead paint. The good news is that we no longer use lead in these everyday products. The better news is that there are Lead Abatement programs to get rid of any lead paint in your home – no matter if you own your home or rent! These Lead Abatement Programs (coordinated by the Summit County Public Health Department) can pay for the removal of any lead-based paint in your home. Find details and requirements on the lead abatement program application. Call 330-926-5600 to request an application or print a copy at

Get support for your child. In addition to removing lead paint from your home, there are programs to support your child if they have elevated levels of lead in their blood. Fortunately, there are now community programs, like Summit DD’s Early Intervention, that can support your child’s development and progress. Additionally, there are community resources are available to families depending on need and eligibility. Contact Akron Children’s Hospital Lead Clinic to get an evaluation if you think your child may be suffering from lead exposure or call 330-543-5323.

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