WIC / Lead

  • WIC is a food and nutrition program for eligible women, infants, and children.  WIC offers nutritional counseling, health care referrals, and assistance for:
  • pregnant women
  • nursing women
  • postpartum women
  • infants and children up to age 5
  • low-cost food ideas and special diets


    Call for current years guidelines






Lead poisoning affects 1 in 14 Iowa children.  This is four times the national average.  Lead poisoning is usually caused by lead-based paint found in home built before 1960.  About 60% of homes in Iowa were built before 1960, both in urban and rural areas.


WIC conducts lead screenings at their clinics.  All Iowa children must be tested for lead poisoning before starting Kindergarten.  Children become lead poisoned when they:

  • put lead-based paint chips in their mouths
  • put dusty or dirty hands, toys, bottles, or pacifiers in their mouths
  • chew on surfaces painted with lead-based paint
  • play in dirt or a sandbox near an old house or building or where one was torn down
  • breathe in dust from lead-based pain that is being sanded, scraped, or removed

Most children with lead poisoning do not look sick.  Lead-poisoned children may:

  • be easily excited
  • have problems paying attention
  • complain of stomach aches and headaches
  • be more tired than usual

Lead-poisoned children may have learning problems when they start school.  Children with VERY high lead levels may develop brain damage or even die.