Information for Healthcare Professionals
Our center is here to help Healthcare Professionals with any questions or concerns they may have regarding lead exposures or lead poisoning in children and/or pregnant women. We are available for phone consultation as needed and can be reached at 315-464-7584.
Children ages 6 and younger are at highest risk for lead exposure and its impacts due to their frequent hand to mouth behavior and rapid growth and development. Most of the time children are exposed to lead by breathing in or swallowing dust from old lead paint that gets on floors, windowsills, hands, and toys. Lead can also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy. For more information on lead exposures and primary prevention, please visit the NYS Department of Health’s Website at https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/lead/.
Children should have lead tests done at 1 and 2 years of age and screenings should be conducted from 6 months to 6 years at every well child visit for risk of lead exposure. If there is a positive response to any of the screening questions (Clinical Lead Risk Assessment Questions), a blood lead test should be obtained. In addition, anticipatory guidance should be provided to all parents or guardians of children as a part of routine care.
If a child has an elevated blood lead level (≥5 μg/dL), confirmation of a capillary sample with a venous sample is required and follow up testing is necessary as per NYS Guidelines. Frequency of follow-up testing for children with previous blood lead level elevations are best guided through consultation with our office.
After a confirmed venous test (≥5 μg/dL), providers must also make sure to
- Perform a Clinical Lead Exposure Assessment (see chart below from NYSDOH)
- Provide lead exposure risk reduction education
- Consider the child at risk for developmental delays and behavior concerns and provide ongoing developmental surveillance with prompt referrals for developmental services if needed
- Test all children who spend time in the home and refer pregnant women in the home for testing
- Coordinate care with the local or state health department including environmental education and management
- Notify family of the need for follow-up venous testing on a periodic basis
New York State Department of Health Clinical Lead Exposure Assessment for Children with BLLs ≥5 μg/dL, from the New York State Department of Health Guidelines for Health Care Providers for the Prevention, Identification, and Management of Lead Exposure in Children.
Keep in mind, collaboration between providers and their county health department is key in reducing the child’s risk by identifying the exposure and removing the lead hazard from the environment.
Please see the full NYS Guidelines for Health Care Providers for the Prevention, Identification, and Management of Lead Exposure in Children for additional testing recommendations and information.
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