Keeping Kids Lead Free
The Merrimack Valley Lead Poisoning Prevention Program provides free lead tests for children, plus a lot more.
Call 978 681-4940 to make an appointment.
Test Every Child
Children with lead poisoning do not look sick. The only way to tell is to test them. The test is fast and requires pricking a finger for a small sample of blood. Our staff is expert in working with children to make the test a positive experience.
In Massachusetts, every child must be tested for lead three times by the age of 3:
- At least once between 9 and 12 months
- Again at age 2
- Again at age 3
If the child lives in a high-risk community, the child should be tested again at age 4.
Children must be tested for lead before they begin kindergarten.
Lead Poisoning is Serious …
Lead poisoning in infants and children is a very serious problem. Elevated levels of lead in the blood can result in learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and in the cases of very high levels, seizures, coma and death.
… It’s Also Preventable
The good news is lead poisoning is preventable. Children are exposed to lead in their environment, most often at home or outside in the yard. By removing lead from in and around homes and testing children for lead, we can prevent poisoning.
Watch Out for These Risks
While progress has been made in removing lead from consumer products, lead can still be found:
• In lead-based paint in older homes built before 1978. Paint chips and dust from remodeling pose a real threat.
• Soil in yards of older homes may have high lead levels from peeling paint.
• If a parent’s job or hobby involves lead, their clothes may be contaminated with lead dust.
(Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)