If you are a parent, likely one of your number one priorities is to keep your kids safe. You child-proof your home when they are little, buy them helmets and knee pads for riding scooters and bikes, and watch them carefully on playgrounds and in pools. You hold their hands when crossing streets and strap them into car seats and strollers so they'll be safe from harm.
Yet you may not realize a hidden danger your children may be exposed to every day in your own home: lead. Any home or facility built before 1978 likely had lead paint put on its walls, doors, trim, and windowsills. Children under the age of 6 are most at risk for lead poisoning and the toxic effects it can have on their health. According to a brochure released by the Environmental Protection Agency, this is because their growing bodies absorb more lead, their brains are more susceptible to the damaging effects of lead, and they are more likely to put things in their mouths as they are very oral at these young ages. This means they may have lead dust on their hands while crawling around and ingest it when they put their hands in their mouths, or they may eat fallen paint chips. They are also more likely to chew on door frames and windowsills, exposing them to lead paint particles. Also, if you are pregnant and breathing in lead dust particles from the air in your home, your baby is at risk in-utero.
According to the brochure from the EPA, risks to children include nervous system damage, learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder, behavior problems, muscle damage, and hearing loss among other things, and can even lead to death. This is a real and present danger.