Lead poisoning affects many children younger than 6 years old in Maryland. Lead can harm a child’s brain, causing lifelong learning and behavior problems.
The only way to know if a child has been exposed is a blood test. There is NO SAFE LEAD level in children, but any level over 3.5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) requires action.
Since 2016, all children born on or after 1/1/15 must be tested for lead at ages 12 and 24 months. Children born before 1/1/15 should continue to be managed according to the 2004 Lead Targeting Plan (which defines specific areas of the State as ‘at risk’).
? What can I DO?
- Have your child tested for lead at 12 AND 24 months.
- Lead testing is quick and easy and can be done with a fingerstick (capillary) or vein (venous) blood draw in your healthcare provider’s office or a lab.
- If your healthcare provider doesn’t test in their office, and you have any kind of insurance, get a referral from your provider and go to a lab for testing.
- If you do not have insurance, contact Access Carroll at 410-871-1478.
- If your child’s lead level is elevated, follow up with your child’s healthcare provider and get further vein (venous) testing…It is IMPORTANT!!!
? Who is at risk?
- All children are at risk because lead can be found in toys, jewelry, clothing, some medicines, and even dirt.
- Children are at higher risk if they live in an old home (built before 1978) that contains peeling paint or lead pipes. Have your home checked or ask your landlord if you rent.
- Parents can bring lead home on clothing, shoes, and belongings if they work or do recreation activities in construction, manufacturing, transportation, hunting, fishing, furniture refinishing and other areas.
? What damage can lead do?
- Lead exposure can cause learning, behavior and developmental problems.
- Damage can be permanent.
? What can I do if my child has elevated blood lead levels?
- If your child has an elevated lead level, your medical provider will work with Carroll County Health Department to offer you Lead Case Management services.
- For more information on how to protect your family from lead please visit the CDC’s Protect Your Family from Sources of Lead and Recommended Actions Based on Blood Lead Level. You can also call the Health Department at 410-876-4956.