There are many reason to learn about your child’s lead level. Low to moderate levels of lead may lead to brain damage while high lead levels can cause coma, convulsions, and even death. Lead can be present in your own home. Common areas of lead contamination include paint, water, food and soil.
To test for lead in your child, we do a finger stick and collect a small amount of blood. We then process the sample in our lab. If the result is elevated then more conclusive testing would be recommended.
To help reduce your child’s risk of lead poisoning you should:
- 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 their mouths.
- Wash off all bottles, pacifiers and food that drop on the floor before giving them back to your child.
There are other was to reduce how much lead gets into your child’s blood. Serving foods that are a good source of calcium and iron help protect your child from lead poisoning.
Good sources of calcium include: Reduced fat milk and yogurt, cheese, ice milk or frozen yogurt, navy beans, and baked beans.
Good sources of iron include: Liver, clams, oysters, chili with or without beans, lean red meats, beans, cooked cereals, iron fortified cereals, and enriched bread and grain products. To enhance the absorption of iron, include a food source rich in vitamin C such as oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, strawberries, cantaloupe, citrus juices or those that are enriched with Vitamin C as well as tomatoes, bell peppers, greens, kale and broccoli.
For more information about lead poisoning or to schedule your child for lead testing, please call the Schuyler County Health Department at (660) 457-3721.
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