This section provides more information to help childcare providers understand the laws related to lead hazards. This section also provides materials to inform parents and children about lead hazards and lead poisoning prevention.
Childcare provider responsibilities
Illinois' Lead Poisoning Prevention Act focuses on preventing lead poisoning in children and places requirements on several groups of people, including childcare providers. Prior to starting daycare, for example, children must have their blood tested for levels of lead. The daycare must provide information about lead poisoning prevention annually to the parents or caregivers of enrolled children.
The law also requires childcare providers to distribute What You Should Know About Exposure to Lead to the parents and guardians of enrolled children. Action for Children provides an additional resource that can be given to parents and guardians—What Every Caregiver Should Know About Lead.
Less than forty percent of children required to be tested are actually tested. Given the harms of lead poisoning, it is important for childcare providers to support these laws and encourage childhood testing for lead poisoning.
Lead poisoning prevention educational materials for kids
Loyola law students worked with grade school children from Avery Coonley School to create a children's Growth Chart that provides a fun and informative poster that tracks children's height growth while at the same time teaching them about lead poisoning prevention. To order a copy of the Growth Chart for your daycare center, please contact the Loyola Civitas ChildLaw Center at (312) 915-6481.
KITS for KIDS is a curriculum guide for Pre-K teachers on lead poisoning prevention. It provides an overview of the lead poisoning problem, suggestions for using the curriculum, five units complete with learning objectives, background information, suggested activities, and a full complement of informational materials for parents and caregivers. To order a copy, contact the Loyola Civitas ChildLaw Center at (312) 915-6481.
Very young children explore the world by putting things in their mouths, placing them at risk for ingesting lead. Exposure to lead is toxic and can cause serious health problems including permanent brain damage.
Lead poisoning may not be noticed until it is too late. Lead poisoning is one of the few causes of social and learning problems that we know how to solve. This is why prevention is critical.