Protect Kids from Toxics

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Beyond Mr. Yuk: Protect Kids from Toxics Program


​STARS eligible class for daycare centers, preschools, and in-home childcare businesses.

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Children and fetuses are particularly at risk from toxic chemicals. Pregnant women and parents/guardians should take extra care to reduce their exposure and their children's exposure to toxics.

Why are children at great risk for exposure to toxic chemicals?

  • Their bodies are smaller. Children under the age of five breathe more air, eat more food, and drink more water, per pound of body weight, than adults do.
  • Children's bodies are still developing, and they take in toxic exposures differently than adults.
  • Children tend to put their hands in their mouths and often play on or near the floor, where toxics such as pesticides and lead settle and are tracked in from outdoors.

What you can do?

  • Protect children from lead poisoning. Lead makes its way into the dust in our home, so controlling dust is key to reducing lead exposure.
    • If concerned, ask your child's healthcare provider about testing for lead exposure.
    • Test your home for lead paint hazards if it was built before 1978.
    • Wash children's hands before they eat; wash bottles, pacifiers, and toys often.
    • Wash floors and window sills to protect kids from dust and peeling paint contaminated with lead—especially in older homes.
    • Run cold water for at least 30 seconds to flush lead from pipes.
  • Protect children from mercury. 
  • Wash hands frequently. 

Follow these simple ways to reduce exposures:

Ensure your child is getting proper nutrition, physical activity and sleep. Children who get the recommended daily amounts of essential vitamins and minerals are less likely to absorb lead and other toxics. Visit for great tips to keep your kids healthy.

Choose safer building and home repair materials.


Education & Prevention Program
Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department
412 Lilly Road NE, Olympia, WA 98506
(360) 867-2674

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