Childhood Lead Program


Lead is a toxic metal that is harmful if breathed in or swallowed. Children ages six and under are at the greatest risk to lead exposure, most often by ingesting lead or lead dust. Lead poisoning is 100% preventable!

The Childhood Lead Program provides follow-up and referrals for children ages 16 or younger with higher than normal levels of lead in their blood (5 micrograms per deciliter). The program is notified of all children in Lake County with elevated blood lead levels. Staff members follow state and program guidelines to conduct lead investigations.

Lead poisoning can harm your child's health, including their:

  • Brain and nervous system
  • Growth and development
  • Hearing and speech
  • Learning and behavior

Get your child tested—it’s easy! Call your child’s healthcare provider today. Children are given a blood lead level test. A level of 5 micrograms per deciliter is considered a level of concern.

Where may I find lead in my home?

Most houses built before 1978 used lead-based paint. Today, it can be found in old or imported items around your house.

Water pipesWater pipes
Toys and jewelryToys and jewelry
Spices, candies, and make-upSpices, candies, and make-up

Protect your child from lead

Take action if you suspect there is lead in your house:

Use a lead check kit
If there is lead, call a professional to remove it
Wash your children's hands often
Wash hands
Clean floors, windows, and surfaces with detergent and disposable rags
Wash toys and stuffed animals
Wash toys

For more information on childhood lead poisoning prevention and removing lead paint from your home, call our Childhood Lead Program at (847) 377-8010.

Funding for this project was made possible by funds received from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Who Can Receive Services

  • Lake County residents Children eligible for Medicaid and All Kids insurance are required to have a blood lead test beginning at 6 months of age, even if they live in low-risk ZIP code areas.
  • Physicians are to perform annual testing for children 6 months to 6 years old determined to be at high risk for lead exposure by using the Illinois Department of Public Health Lead Risk Assessment Questionnaire. If the responses to all questions are "no," re-evaluation should be done at the next well-child visit. If any response is "yes," or "don't know," a blood lead test should be obtained. Child care facilities including daycare centers, daycare homes, preschools and kindergarten must require the child’s parent or guardian to provide a statement from a physician or health care provider as proof that a blood lead assessment or blood lead test has occurred prior to admission.