Did you decline 12 month bloodwork? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-15-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AntoninBeGonin View Post
I'll have to look at the symptons of lead poisoning.
By the time you see symptoms your child will be suffering permanent damage. If you test before symptoms show up you can reduce exposure.


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Sigh, I'm really tired of all the fear in our culture. Yes, you can find lead in all sorts of places both naturally and unnaturally. However, I sure hope that my child wouldn't be allowed to chew on holiday lights, batteries, or ink cartages. Please don't let fear make your decisions for you.

PS-Don't buy toys from China.
Your child can be exposed to lead even if you are a perfect parent. Realistically most of us fall a little short of perfection.

Your child can be exposed to lead from eating vegetables grown in your own backyard if there is lead in the soil. There is lead in soil all over the US and much of the world. There are way way too many ways for a child to be exposed to lead to list.

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Old 08-15-2007, 11:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow - thanks everyone!
This is a lot, to be honest, I never even thought of.

We live in a newer suburban neighborhood and I have never seen any of the lead test 'signs' anywhere so I never really gave lead much of a thought.
In fact, the Pedi seemed to mention the lead test as almost an afterthought after the anemia test and I figured he has none of the anemia symptoms so why put him through it.

I also have a hard time with any medical "procedure". We thought J was having seizures when he was younger and we had to have him heavily sedated for the MRI scan and it was terrible. (come to think of it the iv placement wasn't too bad..) The EEG was terrible. And he had to have minor surgery on his face when he turns two that I am dreading every day. I guess I just hate to subject him to any more than I have to.

As far as the finger prick - I thought it was like a diabetes finger prick - not that they would have to get a vial plus from his poor little finger.

I'm going to talk to the pedi about it again at his appointment later this month. Like some of other PPs said with something like this maybe it is better safe than sorry.

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Old 08-16-2007, 12:05 AM
 
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We were never offered this test when we went in to our previous ped (we didn't take her for routine WBV and didn't vax and I think it kind of got them all flummoxed about the schedule when we *did* take her in. And I don't know if they regularly do lead testing where we lived before.) But since we moved I just took her to a new ped today and requested the lead level. She's 21 months, and I think that this is important. In fact, before TTC I had gotten my heavy metal levels tested, and I had somewhat elevated levels of mercury, aluminum, and lead. So that's another possible source of heavy metal exposure for infants--their mothers can pass their own body burden of heavy metals in pregnancy and breastfeeding.

They asked if I wanted to do a CBC too and so I figured, what the heck! I am pretty sure that DD is not anemic but it doesn't hurt to confirm it especially since they were going to be poking her anyway. They did a fingerstick and the nurse who did it was great, and she didn't even flinch or cry or anything (I'm referring to DD of course, although the nurse didn't flinch or cry either, lol!). She just sort of watched the nurse with interest and then started trying to grab the cotton ball, the bandaid, the fingerstick poker thingy and everything else with her other hand. Same thing with the vax she got--not even a distressed blink! This was a major change from the only other shot she got (same vax, different shot-giver) when it obviously hurt her a lot and she was very upset.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:11 AM
 
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By the time you see symptoms your child will be suffering permanent damage. If you test before symptoms show up you can reduce exposure.
.
Crap. Sad, but true. We have friends whose youngest child has been impacted intellectualy. I mean he's still the sweetest, cutest kid. But it was nearly a year before they learned the plumbing in their home was problematic.

It so sucks that you can't really know for sure until after the fact.

I am not one to overly worry, but as I watch the kids around me getting diagnosed with various problems, I just wonder how we managed to escape some things.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:30 AM
 
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Lead testing is often part of a state mandate for children's health, but it is also part of the medicaid system.
But why? What's the science behind it and why is it a U.S. exclusive? Not only the lead testing but also the anemia testing. If one would check for everything potentially harmful or everything that could be potentially wrong there's be no end.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:38 AM
 
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But why? What's the science behind it and why is it a U.S. exclusive? Not only the lead testing but also the anemia testing. If one would check for everything potentially harmful or everything that could be potentially wrong there's be no end.
Thankfully, there are no laws in the US that say you must take your baby to be tested for anything! Further, I hope you know well baby checks are not required. You can pick and choose what you want or do not want based upon your own life. You also have the choice to see a doctor or to not see a doctor. Remember that basic health checks are not required by law.

So basically, if you think your baby may have been exposed to lead in an apartment, you might test. If you know she hasn't , you wouldn't. That's your right as a parent.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:49 AM
 
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OK, I hope I haven't waited too long to test DD! She has an appt next month for her 18th month WBV...should I request the test then? Or is this something that I should do ASAP? I guess I'm asking, if she HAS been exposed to lead, will waiting another 5 weeks or so make a big difference?
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:53 AM
 
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But why? What's the science behind it and why is it a U.S. exclusive? Not only the lead testing but also the anemia testing. If one would check for everything potentially harmful or everything that could be potentially wrong there's be no end.
I don't understand the question "what's the science behind it?" The toxic effects of lead exposure are extremely well-documented and are the basis of decades of public health policy, including the removal of lead from gasoline and paint. Are you looking for the biological mechanism by which lead in the blood and the brain affects cognitive functioning? For more information online, the EPA is an excellent resource. If you want to start with the hard science, PubMed and Google Scholar should offer you plenty. Iron deficiency is also a condition for which there is a long trail of reputable research.

I don't know if lead testing or iron testing is a US exclusive or not. I don't know the years in which European countries removed lead from paint, gasoline, and plumbing. I would be surprised to hear that other industrialized countries are entirely unconcerned with lead exposure, but the US is often more safety-conscious in certain areas than other countries, possibly due to our more litigious culture.

Do you feel that the fact that it is impossible to check for everything that is potentially harmful means that we should not check for anything? Even when we are talking about one of our most common and harmful environmental hazards, or one of our most common nutritional deficiencies? When it comes to lead exposure, rigorous testing and increased building regulation has lead to steadily decreasing rates of lead poisoning year after year.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:55 AM
 
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:59 AM
 
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I had this test done for ds at 12 months and was very happy to get the results back. Of course I teach in the inner city and I see a lot of high lead level kids, so I was worrying about it a bit. Ia gree with a lot of what PPs have sid about it. - I think it's important and worth your child having to suffer a few moments of discomfort.
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bunnybee View Post
OK, I hope I haven't waited too long to test DD! She has an appt next month for her 18th month WBV...should I request the test then? Or is this something that I should do ASAP? I guess I'm asking, if she HAS been exposed to lead, will waiting another 5 weeks or so make a big difference?
Bunnybee, if you have reason to think your DD is at risk for exposure, you may not want to delay. You can call your pediatrician and get a prescription for a test. Some questions to ask yourself might be: Do you live in a building built prior to 1978? Does you live in an urban environment? Is there anyone doing gut renovation or construction nearby? Do you allow shoes in the house? Does your DD spend considerable time playing in your backyard, if you have one, and if so, is there bare soil or is it grassed? I would suggest you check your state health department recommendations as there are significant regional differences.

If you go over the risk factors and you feel your DD is at low risk, I think you can afford to wait for the appointment. In addition, you don't have to wait five weeks to start living in a more lead-safe way, regardless of when you get the test. I think a PP linked to a thread about mothers dealing with elevated lead levels and you may find some good, simple suggestions there.

Please don't panic. Most children are fine. It's just better to know for sure.
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:06 AM
 
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yes not only do we do lead tests but iron as well. despite a wonderful diet of fresh fruit, veggies, bit of meat, breastmilk, and grains, DD was SIGNIFICANTLY iron deficient. not just anemic, specifically, the level of iron in her blood was tested and she was well below normal. that can also affect brain development. since then, I've known to limit her calcium intake and after supplementing for a short time, we've modified her diet to increase iron. I would've never known otherwise, as she wasn't sleepy and didn't look pale or get sick.

a simple blood test will not traumatize your child. being deficient in an essential mineral, or having an excess of a poisonous one, may affect the rest of their lives.
My child had blood drawn for health reasons, and it was the single most horrific experience of her or my life.

She absolutely freaked. I was holding the baby, and my partner was holding her. He couldn't hold her. The nurses tried everything and eventually had to help him hold her down.

We certainly did not instill any fear in her. We explained what would happen, why they were doing it, and that it wouldn't hurt, but might pinch.

She cried for an hour afterwards. She was scared for weeks to go anywhere in the car. She is still scared to this day to go to the doctor.

My daughter has anxiety issues and is very nervous around strangers.

PLease don't minimize what my child went through or say that it won't traumatize her.

I know of course there is no choice sometimes, and that the tests she had were important for her health, but to say it won't traumatize a child is ridiculous. Just because it didn't hurt or traumatize your child, doesn't mean it will be the same for every child.

One of the things they tested was her iron, and it was fine, so it doesn't concern me.

Also, since the tests are not routinely offered here, and we don't have droves of children with iron or lead problems, I am not concerned.

ALthough this thread has inspired me to bring it up with my doctor when my son goes for his 12 month visit this month.

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Old 08-16-2007, 01:38 AM
 
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My child had blood drawn for health reasons, and it was the single most horrific experience of her or my life.

She absolutely freaked. I was holding the baby, and my partner was holding her. He couldn't hold her. The nurses tried everything and eventually had to help him hold her down.

We certainly did not instill any fear in her. We explained what would happen, why they were doing it, and that it wouldn't hurt, but might pinch.

She cried for an hour afterwards. She was scared for weeks to go anywhere in the car. She is still scared to this day to go to the doctor.

My daughter has anxiety issues and is very nervous around strangers.

PLease don't minimize what my child went through or say that it won't traumatize her.

I know of course there is no choice sometimes, and that the tests she had were important for her health, but to say it won't traumatize a child is ridiculous. Just because it didn't hurt or traumatize your child, doesn't mean it will be the same for every child.

One of the things they tested was her iron, and it was fine, so it doesn't concern me.

Also, since the tests are not routinely offered here, and we don't have droves of children with iron or lead problems, I am not concerned.

ALthough this thread has inspired me to bring it up with my doctor when my son goes for his 12 month visit this month.
That's absolutely horrible! I am so sorry she had to experience that! I thank the fates everyday that we've been lucky, One of my children was born with major and multiple birth defects-- blood was drawn from the main vein in the arm a few times. I managed to keep the child home and nursing for nearly a year before we had to face the world.

The blood draws were not an awesome experience, although the trauma, due to our fabulous pedi people, was minimum to non exisitent. They were so amazing. Most blood draws were done as we nursed. I will be forever thankful.

As the mother of a past medically involved child, I've learned over the years that you must seek out the best of the best. Some techs can't draw blood to save their lives, and some do it with no trauma at all. For those folks with children who need to be monitored, say this to the tech : "Are you the best at drawing blood? If you are not, please get me the best,and yes, I plan top nirse my child through this". And then stand firm. Don't be afraid to sound like a bitch.

When one has a medically compromised child, you don't settle for mediocre. A good tech can spare your child massive trauma. I'm sorry your child had to needlessly suffer like this. Over the years I've learned that there are only a few really good techs.

That said, lead tests here in MA involve a quick prick on the finger, which was an absolute cake walk for even my hospital -savvy child.
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Old 08-16-2007, 02:44 AM
 
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Thankfully, there are no laws in the US that say you must take your baby to be tested for anything! Further, I hope you know well baby checks are not required. You can pick and choose what you want or do not want based upon your own life. You also have the choice to see a doctor or to not see a doctor. Remember that basic health checks are not required by law.

So basically, if you think your baby may have been exposed to lead in an apartment, you might test. If you know she hasn't , you wouldn't. That's your right as a parent.
I know, I was just thinking that there must be some studies showing , well, something, if this mass testing is going on. It's a painful and invasive procedure after all.
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Old 08-16-2007, 02:54 AM
 
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I don't understand the question "what's the science behind it?" The toxic effects of lead exposure are extremely well-documented and are the basis of decades of public health policy, including the removal of lead from gasoline and paint. Are you looking for the biological mechanism by which lead in the blood and the brain affects cognitive functioning? For more information online, the EPA is an excellent resource. If you want to start with the hard science, PubMed and Google Scholar should offer you plenty. Iron deficiency is also a condition for which there is a long trail of reputable research.
I was thinking some studies showing that lead poisoning and anemia are not uncommon in 1 year olds and thus showing the need for invasive mass testing
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I don't know if lead testing or iron testing is a US exclusive or not.
I at least don't know of any European country that does it
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I don't know the years in which European countries removed lead from paint, gasoline, and plumbing.
The year is 1989 in the european union


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I would be surprised to hear that other industrialized countries are entirely unconcerned with lead exposure, but the US is often more safety-conscious in certain areas than other countries, possibly due to our more litigious culture.
I wouldn't call it safety conscious, but that's not the point.

Quote:
Do you feel that the fact that it is impossible to check for everything that is potentially harmful means that we should not check for anything?
No, I don't. unknown genetic/metabolic disorders are common, which is why i support the newborn screen. It's also less traumatic than a blood draw if done properly.

Why don't they test for Mercury then? it looks like testing for the sake of it


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Even when we are talking about one of our most common and harmful environmental hazards, or one of our most common nutritional deficiencies? When it comes to lead exposure, rigorous testing and increased building regulation has lead to steadily decreasing rates of lead poisoning year after year.
That's all good, I still believe mass testing should be statistically justified.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:17 AM
 
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That's absolutely horrible! I am so sorry she had to experience that! I thank the fates everyday that we've been lucky, One of my children was born with major and multiple birth defects-- blood was drawn from the main vein in the arm a few times. I managed to keep the child home and nursing for nearly a year before we had to face the world.

The blood draws were not an awesome experience, although the trauma, due to our fabulous pedi people, was minimum to non exisitent. They were so amazing. Most blood draws were done as we nursed. I will be forever thankful.

As the mother of a past medically involved child, I've learned over the years that you must seek out the best of the best. Some techs can't draw blood to save their lives, and some do it with no trauma at all. For those folks with children who need to be monitored, say this to the tech : "Are you the best at drawing blood? If you are not, please get me the best,and yes, I plan top nirse my child through this". And then stand firm. Don't be afraid to sound like a bitch.

When one has a medically compromised child, you don't settle for mediocre. A good tech can spare your child massive trauma. I'm sorry your child had to needlessly suffer like this. Over the years I've learned that there are only a few really good techs.

That said, lead tests here in MA involve a quick prick on the finger, which was an absolute cake walk for even my hospital -savvy child.
I will definitely ask my doctor about the test, and I wouldn't not have blood drawn because of the possible trauma.

I'm just saying it was sheer trauma for my daughter, and it galls me when people say it won't traumatize your kid or it won't unless you instill fear in them.

That said, I don't know that it has much to do with the skill of the lab person because it took us twenty minutes to even get to the point where they could get near her arm with a needle. At the very least, I will go to a different lab (everyone in the lab we went to were helping us).

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Old 08-16-2007, 10:21 AM
 
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We didn't intentionally decline, but were only in the states for a month and between other appts and visiting family, we were unable to make it to the lab. So, DD2 didn't have it done. DD1 did.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:36 AM
 
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I am and just at the title of this thread.

There is no such thing is this country. Lead solder, let alone lead pipework has been illegal here for use with drinking water supplies for over 15 years.

Surely it would be simpler to test your drinking water supply for contamination than draw blood from every 12 month old in the country? Or would insurers not pay for that? /irony/sarcasm call it what you will
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:03 AM
 
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Yeah I would be very interested in anemia and lead poisoning stats in the U.S. and countries that don't do these tests routinely, and how much, if at all, these tests help outcomes.

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Old 08-16-2007, 11:06 AM
 
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I know, I was just thinking that there must be some studies showing , well, something, if this mass testing is going on. It's a painful and invasive procedure after all.
A lead test is a finger prick and yes it hurts, but it's not a blood draw.

There are countless studies showing that lead poisoning damages the brain. It's an issue the world over.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:12 AM
 
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Huggerwocky, of course there are relevant studies. Why don't you start here:

http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...ull/116/4/1036

You asked why we don't test for mercury, then. The reason is that the risks and sources of lead exposure are far more thoroughly researched and understood. EPA limits on mercury exposure are based on a couple of particular instances of mercury poisoning, whereas we have long-term data on the relationship of lead exposure at various levels to cognitive deficits. I could compare lead exposure and mercury exposure further, but I don't wish to get diverted into a conversation about vaccinations, amalgam fillings, etc. Perhaps down the road we will have more data on mercury exposure - certainly we will if the activists have their way - and recommendations will shift accordingly, but for now I'm glad that my daughter's health wasn't further jeopardized by lead exposure simply because I wasn't able to do a mercury test at the same time.

Further, on whether it's a "painful and invasive" procedure. Frankly, there should be very little pain to a blood draw if the practitioner is skilled. I understand that a few people have had dreadful experiences. I don't believe this is the norm. In addition, I believe it would be far more painful to have a brain-damaged child.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:15 AM
 
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I am and just at the title of this thread.

There is no such thing is this country. Lead solder, let alone lead pipework has been illegal here for use with drinking water supplies for over 15 years.

Surely it would be simpler to test your drinking water supply for contamination than draw blood from every 12 month old in the country? Or would insurers not pay for that? /irony/sarcasm call it what you will
Well...lead pipes are the least of it, pipes aren't made of lead in the states these days, either. There's lead paint, and cars emit tons of lead and more and more. You're not saying there is no lead poisoning int he UK, are you?

As for insurance, if you get WIC, say, they 'require' lead tests. Lead tests are free for children most places, and kids on welfare, fi, get lead tests as part of the WIC/Food stamp programs. Also, I am pretty sure that if you live in public housing, children are lead tested.

Oh, and say you live in an apartment, and your child comes up postive for lead... you can sue the pants off the landlord. In MA, it is required by law that landlords remove lead paint if a child is found with elevated lead levels. It's one reason some people don't like to rent to families with little kids. (Not that they can legally say they aren't renting because the family has kids).
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:28 AM
 
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Some links about lead testing in the UK. There is a 2004 BBC article in there as well about identifying lead posioning better.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...sting+UK+child

And you are spot on about UK not lead testing kids--

http://www.childalert.co.uk/absolute...d=193&zoneid=3
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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My child had blood drawn for health reasons, and it was the single most horrific experience of her or my life.
That's truly awful; your poor baby. I also had a terrible experience with my first blood draw, I was more like 8 years old, and I had a issue with needles for years.

I can understand why it aggravates you to hear people say that a blood draw is not a big deal. At the same time, my daughter's experience was the complete opposite; she sat in my lap and did not make a sound or flinch when they did the draw. So it bugs me when people call the procedure, by definition, traumatizing for a child. It can be but it certainly also can not be.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:41 AM
 
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Surely it would be simpler to test your drinking water supply for contamination than draw blood from every 12 month old in the country?
If only it were so easy. There are so many sources for lead exposure that it is not at all a simple matter to test or even completely control the environment in which kids live. There are several posters here who have children adversly affected by lead who have never been able to determine the source, even retrospectively.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:31 PM
 
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So basically, if you think your baby may have been exposed to lead in an apartment, you might test. If you know she hasn't , you wouldn't.
This is misleading, and plays into the poor, inner-city lead poisoning stereotype. Once again, Lucy was exposed while living in my mom's very clean, 1960's-era suburban home. Lead paint was phased out in 1978, but I'm convinced that it was used for at least a few years after that due to cans sitting around. And it's still used in things like vinyl mini-blinds (and sadly, products from other countries...)

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:32 PM
 
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This is misleading, and plays into the poor, inner-city lead poisoning stereotype. Once again, Lucy was exposed while living in my mom's very clean, 1960's-era suburban home. Lead paint was phased out in 1978, but I'm convinced that it was used for at least a few years after that due to cans sitting around. And it's still used in things like vinyl mini-blinds (and sadly, products from other countries...)
I agree with you 10,000 %. I was just trying to give the doubters a way out.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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I agree with you 10,000 %. I was just trying to give the doubters a way out.
Thanks. I think that this thread definitely struck a nerve!

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:42 PM
 
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I do understand that lead poisoning in children is a serious problem, & have considered requesting that my own children be tested because we live in an old house where I know there is lead-based paint under the newer paint. However, I do feel that we took recommended precautions to stop their exposure to lead, & based on those choices, I haven't requested the blood test.

Honestly, it was the age of the child + the two vials of blood, & the routine mentality from some posters that gave me pause. To the OP, do you think your child is at risk? Or is just your pediatrician who thinks your child is at risk? You have weigh the possible outcomes & your circumstances & decide accordingly, yk?

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As for insurance, if you get WIC, say, they 'require' lead tests. Lead tests are free for children most places, and kids on welfare, fi, get lead tests as part of the WIC/Food stamp programs. Also, I am pretty sure that if you live in public housing, children are lead tested.
See now, that kinda freaks me out, if only because vaccines are free here in Australia (indeed, the gov't will pay you money if you vax on schedule- at least they used to a few years ago) & that still doesn't make it a good thing. Not saying lead tests for some inner-city littlies is a bad thing, it's just the free mandate part that has me concerned. Do you know if you have to have a child blood test done before you can receive public assistance in the US? Because that, to me, would be really really freaky.....



Also, maybe it's just me, but I'm kinda getting a vibe from this thread that mamas who don't have routine infant lead testing done in their home countries (unlike the US, apparently) are ignorant of the issues or are somewhat behind the times when it comes to child health. If that is the case, I do strongly resent that. WHat happens in the US is not best for the rest of the world.

Australia has high blood lead levels in children in some places like Mount Isa. It is a small town that has many mines near the town centre, & some of those produce lead as a by-product. Some of the children in that town have high blood lead levels. So we are not ignorant of the issue, or uncautious. Pragmatic in problem solving, however, I would accept & it is a problem that is being dealt with. Personally I could never, ever live in Mount Isa- for lots of reasons.

...............................


And finger pricks are horrid, imo. I used to have one twice a week when I went to Ohio University & sold my plasma for...... beer money. Had to have the finger prick first each time, & I hated it more than the needle in my arm. Fwiw.

Aussiemumhippie.gif (40), DH caffix.gif (39), DD reading.gif (13), & DS 2whistle.gif(11).

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Old 08-16-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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A lead test is a finger prick and yes it hurts, but it's not a blood draw.
Actually, the blood draw is far more accurate and the reason my daughter's pediatrician only offers a blood draw for lead testing. I think this probably varies based on region and doctor.

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