With young children at home, you should make sure that there is no lead paint or pipes that they can reach. Lead is a major health risk, and since young children tend to put things in their mouths, they are at greater risk for ill health effects. Lead poisoning can have lifelong side effects. Even low levels of lead in your system can be very bad for you. It can cause damage to your brain, kidneys, nervous system and blood cells. It could also lead to birth defects.
If you do suspect that you have lead in your home, you should be very careful if you try to clean it up. The best option is to hire a professional business to do the work for you, since they have the tools and training needed to take care of it safely. If you were to try to clean it up on your own, you run the risk of releasing a fine dust into the air that can enter your lungs and bloodstream.
You can identify lead paint by the way it flakes similar to the way alligator skin looks. Lead pipes will scratch very easily when you rub a metal object against them.