What Now?


Medical Care

At what level must we take immediate action? While we are not medical professionals, the guidelines below were developed by the Health Department of the City of Detroit, and are a good starting point. Click here for the full chart.


Finger-stick Method

Venous Blood Method

15 - 19
Your child needs a venous blood test within 1 month. Talk with your Doctor.

Your child is lead poisoned. Ask for lead education literature. Keep follow-up appointments.

A visit from a Health Department Public Health Nurse (who will help you get the proper care for your child) can be expected.

20 - 44
Your child needs a venous blood test within 1 week to 1 month. The higher the level the more urgent the need for a venous blood test. Talk with your Doctor immediately. Your child is lead poisoned. The Health Department will likely send an inspector to your home for a lead assessment. Your child needs a lead safe home. Your family must work closely with your health care provider and/or the Health Department. Your child will need more blood tests and medical care until the blood lead level is lowered. Read lead literature thoroughly.

45 and above
Your child needs a venous blood test within 48 hours. A level above 60 should be retested in 24 hours. A level of 70 and above should be treated as a medical emergency. Talk with you Doctor immediately. Lead poisoning at this level is VERY SERIOUS. A blood lead level over 70 is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Your child needs a full medical checkup and possible medical treatment (chelation) NOW! Your child may have to stay in the hospital. Your family must work closely with the Health Department. The Health Department will assist you with a plan to protect your child. Your child must be removed from lead hazards. Your child needs a lead safe home to get well.

Get Your Child Away from the Lead. The best way to do this is to move to a lead free home. However, if you are a tenant, this may involve costs that you do not believe you can afford. If you are a homeowner, such may not be feasible because of your investment in your home.

DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE THE LEAD PAINT YOURSELF. Lead paint and other lead exposures in your environment, can only be safely removed by certified lead contractors. This requirement is not bureaucratic silliness. By trying to remove lead paint yourself, you are almost guaranteed to make the hazard worse, by stirring up lead chips, dust and fumes which may only be a marginal problem, before you start.

Nutritional Care. Better nutrition can make a difference. Click here for more information.

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