In most pediatric offices, children get blood counts and lead tests at nine months and two years of age. After the finger poke is done, a lab tech puts a bandage on the childís finger to stop the bleeding. Young children donít like finger pokes. Consequently, they often try to pull the bandage off shortly after itís been applied. Whatís worse, they typically do this with their teeth and may choke in the process. In my practice, we deal with this safety hazard by telling parents to wait in the office for five minutes (thatís when the bleeding stops) and to remove the bandage before they put their child in his car seat.
Howard J. Bennett, M.D.