Any child can have lead poisoning. There are not necessarily any symptoms OR your child could have violent flu-like symptoms without a fever (like mine did/ as a result of an acute exposure - click here for a link to their symptoms.) 

Lead poisoning does not discriminate but many healthcare providers do (a sort of reverse-discrimination if you will!)

If you are not a low-income minority (or you belong to an HMO plan like Kaiser) it is very likely that your doctor has not considered testing your child for lead - either with a routine check up or in response to reported symptoms (headache, gastro-intestinal distress, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.)   The medical establishment is under the common misconception that lead poisoning is a disease of the past and there is no longer a need to test for it. (Photo below is shortly after we found Avi was poisoned.) They have not made the connection between new cases of lead poisoning
and the further deterioration of a home stock (homes that are now 30 years older than they were in 1978 when the lead paint ban was first put into effect, homes that now have deteriorating lead paint for the first time.) Most parents I have spoken with have never had their toddler or infant tested, especially parents that are in the upper-to-middle class income brackets (I have even been told stories of parents who live in older homes that are undergoing active renovation - yet the pediatrician did not think it prudent or necessary to test the child!)

Education has not quite made it to the pediatric medical community that supports the rise of lead poisoning among middle class homeowners that are renovating/ gentrifying or upgrading their older historic homes.

Please get your child tested.  The only way to know if your child is safe is to have them tested (and if they test positive get your home tested.)  A blood test is not as traumatic as living with a life time of lead poisoning (take it from one who knows!)  If your children are nervous about getting stuck with a needle - bribe them!  I bought my son a scooter (only $40) as a prize for being brave... it helped me deal with the guilt of the pain I was causing him as well.  The pain of a needle prick only lasts for a minute and your child WILL stop crying!  I promise.

Don’t just accept a yes/no result from your doctor.  Ask for the BLL number. If the number is over 2 (two) yet under 10 (ten)  your doctor may tell you that your child has tested “negative.”  This is not true. It is based on a misconception and misinterpretation of language put out by the CDC. 

Understand your child’s level, do research.  If they test over a BLL 2 - locate the source of their poisoning.  Ask lots of questions and e-mail me if you like.  I will forward articles and resources about the impact of low levels and solutions for low level lead poisoning (which has recently been discovered to be just as damaging as higher levels in many cases!)


© 2009. Tamara Rubin,  All Rights Reserved