Lead poisoning affects many families throughout the U.S. Find out now what you need to know about lead screening and when your child should get screened.
High levels of lead exposure affect around four million households in the U.S. We’re here to give you some tips to keep you and your children safe and to help you learn when to get screened for lead.
Why get screened? Even low levels of lead in your child can cause anemia, hearing loss, kidney problems, ADHD, a reduced IQ, physical and developmental delays, seizures, a coma, and even death.
Make sure to get your child an initial lead screening by at least the age of two. However, the New York State Department of Health recommends getting your child checked at age one and again at age two.
If you think your child may have been exposed to lead through paint, water, dust, or even food, get them checked. The most common way to get them tested for lead is a blood test.
Even low levels of lead in the blood can cause negative side effects. Be aware of your child’s diet and home environment. Baby and toddler foods have been found to have levels of lead, so it’s important to feed your child a well-balanced diet. Get some tips on what to feed your baby here. A healthy diet can even help a child absorb less lead.
Make sure your home is safe by getting it tested for lead. You can ask your landlord to test your apartment as well. Lead can also appear without any signs in water, dust, paint, soil, and more. Learn more about the CDC’s breakdown of pathways to lead exposure here.
Find out as well whether you can get your water tested, starting with this guide from the CDC.
Take your child for their well-child screenings at the right ages; their doctor should test for exposure to lead at these visits.
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“Lead Poisoning Prevention,” NY Department of Health. October 2013.
“Childhood Lead Poisoning Data, Statistics, and Surveillance,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed February 14, 2018.
“Lead,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed February 14, 2018.