Testing Children for Lead

Children do not look or act sick if they are lead poisoned. The only way to know if a child has lead poisoning is with a blood lead test. Screening and testing are important tools to prevent serious health conditions caused by lead.

Why should I test?

Testing for lead exposure is a key component of lead poisoning prevention. Many children with elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs) may not show any symptoms. Early detection can prevent EBLLs or can prevent further elevation.

To improve lead poisoning prevention efforts, providers and laboratories must report all blood lead test results, both elevated and low.  Having only EBLLs does not give provide a complete picture of childhood lead exposure in Texas. Incomplete reporting limits our lead poisoning prevention efforts. Every report adds to our efforts, and every child counts in that effort.

Who should I test?

Use the 2019 Texas Childhood Blood Lead Screening Guidelines to determine which child needs to be tested based on their health insurance and by targeted zip codes.

The Lead Risk Questionnaire is included in the 2019 Guidelines. However, if you need the questionnaire in a different language, visit the For Providers page. The questionnaire is available in 4 languages: Spanish, French, Arabic, and Burmese.

Filling out the Reporting Form

Missing data prevents DSHS from conducting timely case coordination, outreach, investigations, and surveillance. A complete electronic or paper report is essential to provide timely service for the child. To avoid delays, please complete every field on the reporting form.

Last updated July 22, 2020