Lead Exposure

Hey y’all.

My Facebook friends/followers/stalkers already know a little bit about this but I thought I’d give a more in-depth update on a recent scare we had here at the supermominthemaking home.

LEAD.

Buddy had his 2 year well-baby appointment this past February and had to get a blood draw for lead exposure as a precaution. Every kid gets it at some point or another. I got a call a day later and it turned out that he had elevated lead levels.

Here are the CDC guidelines for exposure levels:
CHILDREN TO AGE 16
NORMAL UP TO 9 MCG/DL
SLIGHTLY ELEVATED 10-15 MCG/DL
ELEVATED >15 MCG/DL
MEDICAL EVALUATION >20 MCG/DL
MEDICAL EMERGENCY >45 MCG/DL

Buddy’s level was 10 mcg/dl. (No, I have no idea what mcg/dl is. But I do know that 10 is higher than 9. Therefore… not good.)

It wasn’t terrible, but anything above zero was FAR too high for my little boy. I was really scared and upset. I knew we had our entire house scoured for lead paint, lead pipes and basically lead anything when we had the inspector go through it prior to making an offer. It came back clean. I had also tested our water through the tap to make sure no lead was missed in the pipes. That also came back clean.

Because of this, we were at a loss as to how Buddy could have gotten exposed to lead. We had no idea how it could have gotten into his bloodstream. Eventually it came to my attention that Buddy had gotten into some lead pellets at someone else’s house. They were being stored under a gun cabinet. While the actual gun cabinet was locket, the cabinet underneath where odds and ends were stored didn’t have a lock. Buddy got into it and found a container of really old lead pellets that were forgotten about way in the back.

Once I knew of a lead source, I called the clinic and told them about it. We did another blood test, this time intravenously. (the first time is a finger prick. If it comes back high, they do it a second time through a vein in your arm) Then, we waited a few days for the results to come back. The pediatrician and I decided that if Buddy’s levels came back high, we would also do the test for the girls at their one year appointment in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime I was scouring the CDC website for signs of lead poisoning and came across this. Obviously, I freaked out. They were saying that hyperactivity, irritability etc were signs that he had poisoning. At the time, I was convinced he was going to have cognitive delays and it was all my fault for not being a more vigilant mother.

I know what you’re thinking. I wasnt even there and it would have still happened anyway probably. It was a freak accident. Plus, hyperactivity, irritability and speech delays are all very common with 2 year olds. You’re right, but good luck telling any mother that they’re over reacting when they’re scared for their child’s well-being. Seriously. Good luck.

His second test came back at 8 mcg/dl. Still a little high, but getting lower and, more importantly, in the normal range. The pediatrician said she wanted to do a re-test in 6 months to make sure he was still going down. I was satisfied. I’m still not happy that his level is slightly higher, but it went down. That’s all I can ask for.

Now… when the coupe of weeks were up, I went in with the girls for their 1 year appointments yesterday. After the appointment and immunizations, I took the girls to the lab to get their fingers pricked. They said it’d take about 48 hours for the results to come back.

I was surprised to get a call already this afternoon. The test came back within 24 hours and both of the girl’s levels were good! This means that, most likely, it was the lead pellets. I can’t tell you how relieved I am. I obviously wish it didn’t happen, but it reinforced my faith that our home is safe and this was an outside occurrence. Buddy is most likely on the mend and everyone involved has taken precautionary measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

It was a learning experience for everyone and thankfully no one got hurt in the process!

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