Test Your Child For Lead

Symptoms of lead poisoning are difficult to detect until a child is seriously poisoned. Annual blood lead level testing is the best way to determine if a child has had exposure to lead. This is supported by MO State law 701.372, which requires that all children less than 6 years of age in an area identified as high risk are to be tested annually. The entire City of St. Louis is considered to be a high risk area and parents are urged to have pediatricians test their targeted age children for lead poisoning each year, through the child’s 6th birthday.

Testing services are available at the City of St. Louis Department of Health FREE of charge for households with pregnant women or children under 6 years of age. For more information call Lead Safe St. Louis at (314) 657-1487 or drop by at 1520 Market Street, Room 4051, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

Other things a parent can do to help keep children safe from lead poisoning:

  • Wash your hands before preparing foods.
  • Make sure your child’s hands, pacifier, bottles and toys are washed often.
  • Make sure your child’s diet consists of foods high in iron, vitamin C and calcium.
  • Do not dry scrape old paint. Only wet scrape and immediately wet clean afterwards.
  • If you hire someone to make changes to your home, make sure they are certified to do lead safe renovation, repair, and painting.
  • Do not dry sweep. Use wet or damp cleaning methods for floors and surfaces. Always clean sponges and mop heads after use.
  • Use only cold water from the tap for drinking, cooking and making baby formula. Hot water from older pipes is more likely to contain higher levels of lead.
  • Avoid using materials with lead when doing hobbies or crafts.
  • Use vacuums with HEPA filters. Lead Safe St. Louis has HEPA vacuums available to borrow.
  • Don’t let children play in bare soil.