How do we test for lead?
In order to test for lead in your child, we do a simple finger stick and place the blood on filter paper and send it out to the Tamarac Laboratories for evaluation. If the result is elevated (above 10), we ask that you contact your primary care physician for a follow-up venous blood draw. This will then prove whether or not the lead in your child’s blood is elevated.
Free Lead testing kits are available at the Health Center!
Why learn about your child’s lead level?
There are many reasons why, but first and foremost, lead can be very harmful to children.
- Low to moderate levels of lead may lead to brain damage.
- High lead levels can cause coma, convulsions and death.
Lead can be present in your own home. Common areas of lead contamination include paint, water, food and soil.
What can you do?
Follow these safety tips to lower your child’s risk of lead poisoning:
- Wash your hands before fixing foods.
- Wash your child’s hands before he/she eats.
- Do not use dishes or pottery from other countries, antique dishes, family heirlooms or pewter unless you know it is lead free.
- Teach your child to keep all nonfood items out of his or her mouth.
- Wash off all bottles, pacifiers and food that drop on the floor before giving them back to your child.
Making Good Food Choices
The food that your child eats, how often, and the overall pattern can make a difference in how much lead gets into your child’s blood.
Serve foods that are a good source of calcium and iron. These foods help protect your child from lead poisoning.
- Good sources of calcium are: reduced fat milk and yogurt, cheese, ice milk or frozen yogurt, navy beans, and baked beans.
- Good sources of iron are: liver, clams, oysters, chili with or without beans, lean red meats, beans, cooked cereals, iron-fortified cereals, and enriched bread and grain products.
To enchance the absorption or iron, include a food source rich in vitamin C.
- Oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, strawberries, cantaloupe
- Tomatoes, bell peppers, greens, kale and broccoli
- Juices: orange, grapefruit, pineapple, or those that are Vitamin C enriched