How Do I Get My Child Tested for Lead Poisoning?

I live in an older home, and most of the walls are covered in lead-based paint. I am concerned that my son might be in danger of lead poisoning. What are some of the symptoms of lead poisoning, and how do I get him tested?
Laurie

Lead poisoning can produce many symptoms, including irritability, headaches, weight loss, nausea, constipation, abdominal pain, fatigue, and muscle weakness. However, many kids with lead poisoning don't show any signs of the illness. If you're concerned that he may be at risk for lead poisoning, talk with your doctor. It's important to get your child tested for lead poisoning, as many other illnesses can cause these same symptoms.

If concerned about the possibility of lead poisoning, your doctor may recommend a blood test that will help to make (or rule out) a diagnosis of lead poisoning. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all kids get tested for lead poisoning at age 1 and again at age 2.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: October 2009

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