(HealthDay News) -- Exposure to lead among children can cause lifelong learning disabilities and behavioral problems.

To help protect your family, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests:

  • If your home was built before 1978, getting it tested for lead.
  • If you're doing repairs, making sure the work is done properly to prevent release of lead dust.
  • Preventing children from playing near old, peeling or chipping paint.
  • Covering dirt near an older home with grass or mulch.
  • Requiring children to wash hands regularly, especially before eating.
  • Dusting and mopping frequently.
  • Removing your shoes before you come inside.
  • Using only cold water for drinking, cooking or mixing baby formula.
  • Feeding kids a nutritious, balanced diet, which can help them absorb less lead.