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Blood Test: Lead

What Is a Blood Test?

By taking and testing a small sample of a person’s blood, doctors can check for many kinds of diseases and conditions. Blood tests help doctors check how the body’s organs are working and see if medical treatments are helpful.

To help your child get ready for a blood test, find out if they need to fast (not eat or drink) or should stop taking medicines before the test. Explain what to expect during the test. If your child is anxious about it, work together on ways to stay calm.

What Is Lead?

Lead is a metal that is found in the environment and in many consumer products.

Too much lead in the body is called lead poisoning. It can lead to problems in children, such as learning disabilities, behavior problems, and anemia. Very high levels can cause serious problems, such as seizures or a coma.

Why Are Lead Tests Done?

Lead tests are done routinely for children, at least once when they're around 1 year old and sometimes at 2 years old. They also may be done for kids who are at risk for a high lead level (for example, from living in older homes or in communities with many older homes).

What if I Have Questions?

If you have questions about the lead test or what the results of the test mean, speak with your doctor.