What You Can Do About Lead Poisoning

Ask your pediatrician to give your child a blood test for lead. This is the only way to know the level in your child’s blood. All further actions stem from this knowledge.

If test results show an elevated level — 10 micrograms per deciliter or more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — talk to your doctor about ways you can protect your child from further exposure. Also, call your local health department. Many now have lead-poisoning prevention programs. Learn all that you can.

In severe cases of lead poisoning — 45 to more than 69 micrograms per deciliter — a treatment that increases the body’s ability to eliminate lead (chelation therapy) can be given to your child. Ask your doctor about it.

Protecting your child from lead poisoning — in fact, keeping your child healthy in general — is a critical challenge. Knowledge is the best prescription.