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State law requiring lead checks in children begins January 1

Baby Doctor
Posted at 2:05 PM, Dec 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-30 14:05:47-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, House Enrolled Act 1313 requires that all Indiana healthcare providers determine whether children under age 6 have been tested for lead poisoning and to offer the screening.

With the new law going into effect, the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) is asking parents to know and ask their child’s provider about testing for lead.

According to IDOH, testing is recommended at a child’s 1- and 2-year check-ups but can be done at any time if a child aged 3-6 hasn’t been previously tested.

“There is no safe level of lead, and the sooner we can identify that a child is at risk, the earlier we can take steps to improve the health outcomes for that child,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “By having parents and providers understand the importance of asking for this simple blood test, we have an opportunity to protect hundreds of Indiana children each year from the harmful effects of lead.”

According to IDOH, lead exposure can damage the brain and nervous system, causing slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, issues with hearing and speech, impulsivity, nausea and other debilitating effects.

It is more toxic to unborn and younger children but can negatively impact adults as well. Early intervention, including proper nutrition and removal of sources of lead exposure, can lower lead levels in individuals.

Most lead poisoning in Indiana stems from chipping or peeling lead paint that mixes with dust in the air. Other common sources of lead are contaminated soil, drinking water and, occasionally, children’s toys and jewelry.

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