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Testing and Treating Lead Poisoning

Testing Children for Lead

Lead can harm your child. Lead poisoning can make it hard for your child to learn, pay attention and behave. Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or act sick.

Ask you child's doctor about testing for lead. The only way to know if your child has lead poisoning is for your child to get a blood test for lead. Most children get tested at 1 and 2 years old. Some children over 2 also need to get tested.

If your child has too much lead, a doctor or someone from the health department will help your child. A blood test for lead is free when your child gets a check-up if you have Medi-Cal or if you are in the Child Health and Disability Prevention Program (CHDP). Many health insurance plans will also pay for this test. 

A Blood Test is the Only Test for Lead

Anyone who feels that they are at risk for lead poisoning should ask their doctor for a blood lead test, or contact the Riverside University Health System -- Care Clinics
. Call our program to get more information about testing at 800.346.6520.

Management Guidelines for Lead Poisoning Testing

Testing Household Items for Lead

Hard household surfaces, such as dishes, pottery and toys can be tested for lead using a simple lead test kit. These test kits are available at hardware and building supply stores.

Structural components of pre-1978 homes can be presumed to have lead-based paint. The lead-safe work practices can be used for any repainting or remodeling. More detailed testing of homes can be done by hiring a state-certified lead professional.

Treating Lead Poisoning

Removing the source of lead and eating a healthy diet is the best way to treat lead poisoning. If lead levels are extremely high, hospitalization may be required along with a chelating medicine, which helps to remove lead from the body.

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