Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or act sick. Symptoms, if present, may be confused with common childhood complaints, such as stomachache, headache, crankiness, loss of appetite, and fatigue. The only way to know if your child has lead poisoning is to measure the amount of lead in their blood through a blood lead level test (BLL). BLLs are measured in micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (ug/dL).. There is no known safe level of BLL. If you would like your child to be tested for lead, talk to your health care provider.
The most common way to treat lead poisoning in children is to find the lead source and remove it from their environment. Few children have high enough levels of lead in their blood that they require a medicine called a chelating agent. A chelating agent is a type of medicine that helps to remove the lead from the child's body. Any other problems associated with lead poisoning, such as anemia, should be treated.
For more information on treating childhood lead poisoning visit:
- California Department of Public Health's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Family Resource page.
- CDC's Information for Parents webpage.
- For a list of education strategies recommended for children exposed to view the CDC report "Educational Interventions for Children Affected by Lead."