While much progress has been made, lead is routinely discovered in children’s products. Learn how you can identify lead exposure in children and prevent lead-tainted products from entering your home:

CDC Symptom Checklist

When children are exposed to lead, they risk short and long-term damage to their health. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), children with acute exposure to large amounts of lead may suffer from abdominal pain, constipation, irritability, memory loss, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, weakness, and pain or tingling in their hands and feet. Symptoms of prolonged lead exposure include depression, distraction, nausea, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and reduced fertility. 

Sites of Exposure

Most lead exposure comes from the environment, lead paint in older homes, or contaminated water. However, lead poisoning grows worse with repeat interactions over time. If a child has already come into contact with lead, then adding toxic toys to their environment makes things worse. Click on the images below to view printable versions.


If you suspect your child has been exposed to lead, seek medical attention.




2014-2020: Trends in Lead in Children’s Products

For children’s products recalled for lead between 2014 and 2020, the toxin was found in paint or enamel, content or parts, and plastic. Because of the use of surface paint and softened plastic, toys (10 products), jewelry (4 products), and sports equipment (4 products) saw the most lead recalls between 2014 and 2020.

Children’s Products Recalled for Lead 2017-2020 (printable version here)

Click here for a printable version of lead recalls from 2014-2016.

How can you protect the children in your life?

While all recalls are troubling, a product containing lead can threaten a child’s health without caregivers even being aware it is in the product. For this reason, KID urges parents and caregivers to be on the lookout for products recalled for violating federal standards. Sign up for KID’s monthly recall digest which will include children’s products recalled for lead.

For recall updates and product safety information, follow @kidsindanger on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Stay tuned next week when we post part 2 of our lead series.