What Daycare Owners Must Know About Lead Based Paint

The most common cause of childhood lead poisoning is the dust that comes from lead based paint. While lead paint was banned for NYC residential use in 1960, and nationwide in 1978, it has never been completely banned for use in commercial buildings. Because of this many daycare services may contain lead based paint.

If paint is peeling, chipping, cracking, or repairs are done unsafely, paint chips could spread easily. Young children can easily swallow lead dust from putting their hands and/or toys in their mouths. Young children are also the ones most at risk for lead poisoning,

Don’t worry though, lead poisoning has definitely declined over the past two decades, and there are precautions you can take to ensure you are safe. The below checklist is used for New York City daycares.

What Daycare Operators Must Do:

  • Inspect – your facility once a year (at least) for LBP hazards
  • Complete/return – the Annual Survey to the Health Department.
  • Immediately repair – all LBP hazards and peeling paint of unknown lead content AS SOON as you find them. If you can’t immediately repair, wet mop all surfaces that could have dust.
  • Use safe practices – Children must not be present in any room or area where work is being done that disturbs LBP surfaces.
  • Use trained workers – for any work that disturbs more than 2 square feet of LBP
  • Clean-up – work areas promptly and thoroughly
  • Properly Dispose – dust & debris
  • Have “clearance dust wipe tests” performed – after work is completed
  • Keep Records – of all notices, inspections, and repairs of having to do with LBP


  • Wash toys and items put into children’s mouths often.
  • Clean floors, windowsills, and dusty places with wet mops & cloths.
  • Wash children’s hands before they eat.
  • Use cold (not hot) tap water for cooking, baby formula, drinking, etc.
  • Remind parents to have their 1 and 2 year olds tested. It’s required by law.

Hopefully this serves as a good refresher. If you do all, or most of these steps listed above, you will greatly reduce your risk. We don’t want this to happen to you: Lead paint contamination closes Garner daycare

If you need further help contact a risk advisor and we will direct you to the correct resource. Also make sure you are covered if a problem ever occurred. Contact one of our risk advisors to assess your daycare insurance coverage.

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