June 19, 2018
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Guidelines for lead screening in children

By Tom Walsh, BDN Staff

Lead screening and blood testing for lead is based on a child’s risk for lead poisoning. Since children rarely display symptoms of lead poisoning, a blood test is the only way to know for sure whether a child has been exposed. Children ages 1 and 2 are especially at risk for lead exposure.

All children enrolled in MaineCare should have:

• Blood lead tests at 1 year (9-17 months of age).

• Blood lead tests at 2 years (18-35 months of age).

• Blood lead tests if the child is 3-6 years old and has not been tested.

All other children should have a blood lead test at 1 year and 2 years of age unless the provider determines that the child is not at risk for lead exposure using a questionnaire.

Test all children 3-6 years of age if:

• Their risk for lead exposure has changed.

• They have changed their residence since their previous blood lead test.

Testing for lead should also be considered in:

• Children diagnosed with pica, developmental delays, behavioral problems or ADHD.

• Children presenting with unexplained illness such as severe anemia, lethargy or abdominal pain.

Source: Maine Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

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