A lead test is a blood test that measures the amount of lead in the blood. Lead is a metal that may be found in:
The test is done to check for lead poisoning. Children less than 6 years of age are more at risk for lead poisoning than adults. A lead test is usually done routinely between 1 and 2 years of age. It can be done at a regular checkup.
Lead can build up in your child’s blood and cause serious health problems. In small amounts, lead can cause headaches, constipation, and sleep problems. High levels of lead can cause problems with your child’s brain and growth.
If your child is at high risk or needs treatment for lead poisoning, your child will have follow-up tests to see how well the treatment is working.
Usually no preparation is needed for this test. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
Having this test will take just a few minutes.
The blood is collected in tubes and sent to a lab.
Ask your healthcare provider when and how you will get the result of your child’s test.
If your child has a high level of lead, your child is at risk for having health problems and may need treatment. The treatment depends on:
Test results are only one part of a larger picture that takes into account your child’s medical history and current health. Sometimes a test needs to be repeated to check the first result. Talk to your healthcare provider about the test results and ask questions, such as: