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Every Child Twice By Two.

While there are many dangers that can confront us every day,
one that is entirely preventable is exposure to lead.

Why Test Your Child for Lead?

A simple blood test is the only way to know if your child has been exposed to lead. Please make sure your doctor follows District law, which requires lead testing of all young children at least twice. Ask your doctor to test your child for lead at age 6–14 months, and again at age 22–26 months. An easy way to remember: Test every child, twice by two.

Why Test for Lead Twice?

Even if a child shows no lead exposure at age 6–14 months, the child must be tested again around the time of their second birthday. There is a simple reason for testing young children at least twice: children are potentially exposed to lead in different ways and at different stages of their development. Children move around a lot more at age two than they do at age one. They can reach more surfaces and grab more objects.

Other circumstances that require children under the age of six years to get a lead test include when a child:

  • Lives in or frequently visits housing built before 1978 that has been recently renovated or that is currently undergoing renovation, or where the paint is not well maintained;
  • Has a sibling or a playmate who has been diagnosed with lead poisoning; or
  • Puts non-food items in their mouth on a frequent, regular basis.

If you have concerns about your child’s potential exposure to lead at any time, please let your pediatrician know, and request a blood lead test. These tests are required by District law during well-child visits at age 6–14 months and again at age 22–26 months, and if any of the above-described circumstances are occurring.

Typical effects of lead exposure at an early age are:

  • Learning disabilities, including an inability to concentrate;
  • Behavior problems, including disruptive or even violent behavior; and
  • IQ deficits, a permanent loss of brain power.

The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE)

The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) is the leading authority on energy and environmental issues affecting the District of Columbia. Using a combination of regulations, outreach, education, and incentives, their agency administers programs and services to fulfill our mission.

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