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New recommendations for lead testing for Wisconsin children

todayJanuary 30, 2024

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New Recommendations for Lead Testing in Wisconsin Children

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) released new universal blood lead testing recommendations for Wisconsin children. Universal testing means that children ages 1 and 2 in Wisconsin should receive two blood lead tests by age 2. And children between the ages of 3 to 5, should be tested regardless of previous test status.

Getting a blood lead test is done by taking a small amount of blood by using a finger stick or drawing blood from the arm.

Lead poisoning in children remains a public health threat. High levels of lead can harm a child’s growth, behavior, and brain development.

Early Detection is important because:

  • Lead poisoning often does not have obvious symptoms.
  • Early lead testing can help identify and eliminate lead sources to minimize further harm.
  • Children exposed to high lead levels can achieve and reach important developmental milestones.

Most children have some contact with lead through old paint, soil, or plumbing by either licking, swallowing, or breathing in dust from these surfaces. Old paint, especially in homes built before 1978, is the main cause of lead poisoning. Additionally, over 158,000 lead service lines provide drinking water to Wisconsin residencies.

Next Steps After Your Child’s Blood Lead Test:  

  • Find and remove lead hazards from the child’s environment.
  • Provide a diet high in iron and calcium.
  • Connect with early education and intervention services.
  • Schedule a follow-up test.

For more information on pediatric lead testing, contact your child’s primary healthcare provider. Lead tests are paid for most insurance plans.


Written by: Rae Johnson

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