• Sixteen caretakers of children hospitalized for their first episode of lead poisoning and 16 caretakers of children with normal lead levels were interviewed in their homes to determine if caretakers of children with lead poisoning provided more inadequate child care than the comparison group of caretakers. Children were matched according to age, race, and sex. Correlations were found between children's lead levels and caretakers' scores on the measures of inadequate child care. Differences were evident in the overall physical and cognitive emotional care provided to these children. No differences were found in the caretakers' ages, number of years of education and family monthly income, number of occupants in the household, and family mobility. Implications of the intertwined roles of inadequate child care, subclinical lead poisoning, and later developmental sequelae are discussed.
(Am J Dis Child 1982;136:538-542)