Lead Exposure Risk Assessment Questionnaire for Children

In addition to the required testing of all children for lead with a blood lead test at one year of age and again at age two, assessment of risk for lead exposure should be done at each well-child visit or at least annually for each child six months to six years of age. The questions below serve as a risk assessment tool based on currently accepted public health guidelines. Children found to be at risk for lead exposure should receive a blood lead test whenever such risk is identified.

Risk Assessment Questionnaire
Question Answer
Yes No

1. Does your child live in or regularly visit a house/building built before 1978 with peeling or chipping paint, or with recent or ongoing renovation or remodeling?

Note: This could include a day care center, preschool, and the home of a babysitter or a relative.


2. Has your family/child ever lived outside the United States or recently arrived from a foreign country?


3. Does your child have a brother/sister, housemate/playmate being followed or treated for lead poisoning?


4. Does your child frequently put things in his/her mouth such as toys, jewelry, or keys? Does your child eat non-food items (pica)?

Note: This may include toys or jewelry products that have been recalled by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) due to unsafe lead levels. Our Lead Hazard Product Recalls site provides a list of recent recalls that are related to lead hazards.


5. Does your child frequently come in contact with an adult whose job or hobby involves exposure to lead?

Note: Jobs include house painting, plumbing, renovation, construction, auto repair, welding, electronics repair, jewelry or pottery making. Hobby examples are making stained glass or pottery, fishing, making or shooting firearms and collecting lead or pewter figurines.


6. Does your child live near an active lead smelter, battery recycling plant, or another industry likely to release lead, or does your child live near a heavily-traveled road where soil and dust may be contaminated with lead?

Note: May need to alert parent/caregiver if such an industry is local.


7. Does your family use products from other countries such as health remedies, spices, or food, or store or serve food in leaded crystal, pottery or pewter?

Note: Lead has been found in traditional medicines such as Ayurvedic medicine, liga, greta, azarcon, litargirio, and in cosmetics such as kohl, surma, and sindoor. Lead exposure risk is higher with old, imported, painted, cracked or chipped china, and in low-fired and terra cotta pottery, often made in Latin America and the Middle East.


If the answer to any of the above questions is YES, then the child is considered to be at risk for lead exposure and should receive a blood lead test.

  • Ask any additional questions that may be specific to a particular community (or population) e.g. high risk zip code, refugee child recently arrived in the United States, children with behavioral and/or developmental disabilities, children who receive Medicaid or children entering foster care.
  • Ask if any of the above conditions are expected to change in the future (e.g. house remodeling).
  • Tailor appropriate anticipatory guidance to the child and family.