SHOULD YOUR CHILD BE TESTED ?
It might be a good idea, especially if you have concerns about his exposure – if you live in an older house, for example, or a neighbor has been renovating an older house, or if your child attends daycare or school in an older building. The screening is a simple blood test.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends routine screening at age 1 and 2, unless you know for sure that your child hasn’t been exposed. The CDC suggests that state and local health officials determine the appropriate screening criteria for their areas, so that more children who have been exposed to lead will be screened while children who are less likely to have been exposed won’t be screened unnecessarily.
Other groups – like the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and Healthy Child Healthy World – recommend testing annually beginning at age 1 until age 5 or 6.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that children who are at risk for lead exposure be tested at 6 months of age and then every six months until age 2 and then annually until age 6.
Even if your child isn’t at risk, the EPA recommends testing at ages 1 and 2. After age 5 or 6, most experts don’t recommend routine testing.
Talk with your child’s doctor about whether testing your child for lead is a good idea. If you have reason to suspect that your child may have been exposed to lead, insist that he be tested, regardless of his age.
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