Lead Screening for Children
kNOw the Facts About Lead
Take steps to protect and detect it in your child
Did you know that 160,000 infants and children are examined for lead poisoning each year? Exposure can lead to serious health challenges and lead screenings are the best way to detect risk early. As your guide to better health, Buckeye Health Plan wants to ensure Ohio families know the risk of lead exposure, ways to detect high levels of lead and steps to prevent poisoning for children under two who are at the greatest risk.
The Hidden Power of Lead
Lead exposure occurs when a child comes in contact with lead by touching, swallowing, or breathing in lead or lead dust. For example, many children under age two ingest lead dust by putting objects such as toys and dirt in their mouths. This makes them more susceptible to lead getting into their bloodstream.
Elevated blood lead levels can cause developmental delays, difficulty learning, behavioral issues, and neurological damage. Reducing the risk of lead exposure and quick detection and treatment are important for lifelong health.
Early detection is key to successful lead treatment and lifelong health.
If you think your child has been exposed to lead, contact their doctor right away to schedule a lead screening.
Plus, earn rewards! Members tested before age 2 get $25 in My Health Pays® rewards!
Can you spot lead around you?
Lead exposure occurs where children live, learn and play. Sources include:
- Chipping or peeling paint in homes or buildings built before 1980 (70% of all housing in Ohio)
- Water from lead pipes
- Soil near airports, highways, or factories
- Some imported candies and traditional medicines
- Some imported toys and jewelry
- Certain jobs and hobbies
Early detection and screening are key.
Ohio Medicaid Children are required to get tested for lead at ages 12 and 24 months or between 24 and 72 months if they have no record of ever being tested.
- The test is free.
- It only takes a moment for the blood draw.
- And Buckeye Medicaid children tested before age 2 get a $25 My Health Pays® reward!
Learn more about lead screenings and get answers to questions like:
- Who should be tested?
- How is the test done?
- What do the results mean?
Take steps to protect your child from lead exposure
Lead poisoning is preventable. Try these five things to help lower your child’s lead levels:
- Make a plan with their doctor. This may include several lead screenings.
- Find the lead in your home by using a certified lead inspector or other expert.
- Consult a lead expert before home renovations for homes built prior to 1978,
- Clean your home using a damp cloth, mop, or HEPA vaccum.
- Give your child nutritious foods. These foods may contain calcium, iron, and vitamin c, which can prevent the body from absorbing lead.
- Learn more and get support. Talk to your child’s doctor about lead risks and other ways to prevent exposure.
What to do if lead is detected
Your child’s doctor will recommend follow-up actions and care based on the child’s blood lead level. These actions may include:
- Removing or covering sources of lead
- Frequent hand washing
- Cleaning surfaces and toys the child touches
Stay in contact with your child’s doctor and get repeat lead screenings to monitor levels
Buckeye’s Healthy Homes program helps members take steps to reduce lead exposure through home modifications and other resources. Call Buckeye at 1-866-246-4358 to learn more and apply.