The pediatrician contacts the parents when the samples are ready, and this can take up to a week. A faster method is the LeadCare II Blood Lead Test System that can offer results within minutes so that the doctor can get back to the patient while they’re waiting at the office.
Saving Your Child from Lead
Saving Your Child from Lead
Lead poisoning. We prefer to stay unaware, safe in the comfort of our homes, treating the issue
like it never existed. That is until it comes down to haunt us, making us wish that we’d taken
some basic precautions earlier. Lead replacement. A much talked about issue. Something
everyone agrees is a must. But an issue that very few wish to deal with. The extra effort and
costs in front of something that may or may not happen and isn’t the easiest or the most
obvious to detect makes us want to push the dirt under the rug.
The Flint water crisis brought lead poisoning at the forefront of American news, and this
increased the attention we pay towards testing for lead exposure. But while the Flint issue
highlighted lead poisoning in old pipes, young children can be exposed to lead through all kinds
of sources, ranging from paint and soil to toys and even candy. So much so that the Center for
Disease Control believes that more than 0.5 million children between the ages of 1 to 5 had high
levels of blood in the year 2010.
Many find lead testing to be confusing, so we decided to help you figure out all you need to
know about testing for lead in children.
When to Test for Lead?
State laws and the medical industry have different opinions on when to get kids tested for lead,
and whether you should have the blood levels analyzed. According to the American Academy of
Pediatrics, doctors should advise parents on the benefits of lead replacement and risk of having
things like lead paint in the house.
Blood levels should only
be tested if there are
reasons to believe that
However, state laws may
require all kids to be
tested for poisoning at
specific ages. "Having a
parent concerned tips the
balance,” says Dr. Megan
Sandel, a pediatrician at
Boston Medical Center.
Simply put, parents who
are worried about the
issue should get their kids
obvious risks or not.
The Less Painful Method May Not Be the Best
Sure, you want to save the child from the pain of a venous blood testing method, but finger-
stick, heel-stick and capillary tests may not be the perfect methods for collecting blood samples.
"A prick to the finger is quicker and easier," explains Dr. Sandel as it can be difficult to find a vein
to draw blood in a child, and parents might not be comfortable seeing their infants cry either
Moreover, finger-sticks can be done in the field, whereas an IV test needs to be conducted in
the doctor’s office. However, the downside of a finger-stick is that it can result in false positive
results, something that many parents have painfully learned.
In-Office Results Vs. The Lab
One of the main differences between the two is
the time taken to generate results. Doctors
usually send samples to labs for analysis. The
pediatrician contacts the parents when the
samples are ready, and this can take up to a
week. A faster method is the LeadCare II Blood
Lead Test System that can offer results within
minutes so that the doctor can get back to the
patient while they’re waiting at the office.
Courtney Lias from the FDA believes that this
test can be a real boon as it offers easy access,
thereby allowing for more people to get tested
for lead poisoning. If the levels are high, doctors
can offer immediate solutions and lead replacement ideas to remove lead from the child’s
Safe Levels of Lead
No level of lead is safe for kids. Before the year 2012, the CDC believed that levels of 10 mg / dl
or more should trigger screening and testing procedures and demand lead replacement
strategies. However, the allowed level of lead has since dropped to 5 mg / dl. While this sounds
easy, things become complicated for kids with levels below 5. Lower levels may mean that there
is no lead in the child’s system as the testing is accurate within 1 – 2 points.
Many believe that we could be doing so much more to save our kids from lead poisoning, and
while many things might not be possible as individuals, parents can still do a lot to protect their
kids from lead poisoning. The most important thing to do is to take proper measures to remove
lead from the home through lead replacement solutions, and make sure that they get their kids
tested for lead when needed.
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