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This test measures the amount of lead in your child's blood. It's usually done on blood taken from a small poke in the heel or a finger, or from a vein in the arm.
A high level of lead in the blood is called lead poisoning. It's most harmful to children younger than age 6 (especially those younger than age 3). It can cause learning disabilities, behavioural problems, damage to the brain and kidneys, and anemia.
Testing for lead is done to:
An older child will have a finger stick, and a baby will have the blood taken from the heel.
For a finger-stick sample, the health professional will puncture the skin on your child's middle or ring finger with a small device called a lancet. Then they'll collect a small amount of blood.
The baby's heel is poked, and several drops of blood are collected. Your baby may have a tiny bruise where the heel was poked.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your child's test results.
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Current as of: February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & Thomas Emmett Francoeur MD MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
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