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There are often no signs or symptoms of lead exposure. The only way to prevent lead poisoning is to keep children from coming into contact with lead. The only way to know if your child has been affected by lead is to get a blood lead test.

There is no safe level of lead in the blood, and even low levels of exposure can have life-long effects on the developing brains and bodies of young children.

What can you do?

Follow Three before 3: If you are pregnant or have a child under the age of 6, ask your doctor about lead testing. In Milwaukee, all children should be tested three times before the age of 3 for lead poisoning, and some children may need to be tested up to age 6. Your child’s health care provider or local health clinic is the best place to get tested. Lead tests are covered by most health insurance plans, including Medicaid.

Wash hands & toys: Lead dust and dirt can easily spread throughout a house. When small children crawl or play on the floor, or put their hands and toys in their mouth, lead can get into their bodies. Always wash hands before eating and after playing outdoors. Wash toys in soap and water regularly.

Eat a healthy diet: Healthy eating is important for a child’s growth and development. A child whose diet is lacking in foods that provide calcium, iron or vitamin C may absorb more lead. Be sure your child eats healthy snacks and meals.

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