Even the smallest amount of blood lead levels can damage the brain and nervous system, slow growth and development, and show learning, behavioral, hearing, and speech issues. Lead enters the blood quickly, but once the child is no longer exposed to it, lead in the blood will gradually decline. However, children under 6 years old are early on in their development and are prone to life lasting issues, especially with continuous and repeated exposure.
Children with lead exposure do not have immediate, obvious symptoms. While the primary prevention for lead poisoning can be to avoid sources of lead exposure, testing the child's blood lead level is the best way to prevent lead poisoning. Garland Pediatric Practice tests for blood lead levels at 12 months, which allows parents and the doctor know if this is a problem, and the doctor can now assess the baby's health accurately and make a plan to eliminate the presence of lead. Testing once more at 2 years old lets the baby's care team know if this is still a problem.
Hemoglobin is the main component of red blood cells. Hemoglobin tests are administered at 12 months old and 2 years old to give the doctor clues if the child has any possible blood disorders and related conditions. Hemoglobin tests are most commonly used to diagnose anemia.