Jump to main content.

Ten Tips to Protect Children from Pesticide and Lead Poisonings

Este Web page está disponible en español

These simple steps can help you save children from environmental hazards around the home:

Storing a household cleaning product in an upper cabinet away from the reach of children.

1. Always store pesticides and other household chemicals, including chlorine bleach, out of children's reach -- preferably in a locked cabinet.

Man reading the label of a household aerosol product.

2. Read the Label FIRST! Pesticide products, household cleaning products, and pet products can be dangerous or ineffective if too much or too little is used.

Warning sign on a tree notifying the community to keep pets off the lawn recently treated with pesticides.

3. Before applying pesticides or other household chemicals, remove children and their toys, as well as pets, from the area. Keep children and pets away until the pesticide has dried or as long as is recommended on the label.

Homeowner immediately reclosing a pesticide chemical container after using the product.

4. If your use of a pesticide or other household chemical is interrupted (perhaps by a phone call), properly reclose the container and remove it from children’s reach. Always use household products in child-resistant packaging.

Child reaching for pesticide product on a kitchen counter that appears to be in a milk container.

5. Never transfer pesticides to other containers that children may associate with food or drink(like soda bottles), and never place rodent or insect baits where small children can get to them.

Parent carefully applying insect repellent spray to the exposed skin of their child.

6. When applying insect repellents to children, read all directions first; do not apply over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin; do not apply to eyes, mouth, hands, or directly on the face; and use just enough to cover exposed skin or clothing, but do not use under clothing.

Very old looking window of a house showing serious signs of flaking of lead based paint.

7. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. If you plan to remodel or renovate, get your home tested . Don’t try to remove lead paint yourself.

Person meeting with a realtor or landlord to discuss a property.

8. Ask about lead when buying or renting a home. Sellers and landlords must disclose known lead hazards in houses or apartments built before 1978.

Young child being examined by a doctor.

9. Get your child tested for lead. There are no visible symptoms of lead poisoning, and children may suffer behavior or learning problems as a result of exposure to lead hazards.

Mom and son at the bathroom sink making sure he washs his hands properly.

10. Wash children’s hands, toys, and bottles often. Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces to reduce possible exposure to lead and pesticide residues.


To order this publication (735-F-03-001) or others, call the National Service Center for Environmental Publications at 1-(800) 490-9198 or fax at 301-604-3408. please be sure to note the document title when ordering through NSCEP.

For more information about lead, and testing your child or home call the National Lead Information Center at 1-(800) 424-LEAD, or visit Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil Web page.

Top of page

Publications | Glossary | A-Z Index | Jobs

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.