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ChildGuard Exposure Hair Test

Protect Our Future (HELP)


Approximately 25% of children referred to the Center between July 2011 and June 2012 had concerns of drug endangerment in the home, which is a form of child neglect. The majority of concerns of drug exposure are for nonverbal children – infants, toddlers, and developmentally delayed children.

Children’s Center drug exposure tests are conducted at a lab requiring a 100 milligram sample of the child’s hair to test for nine illegal substances: amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine, benzodiazepines, barbituates, methadone, and propoxyphene. This hair sample is tested for repeated exposure over the past three months. It also reveals whether the drug exposure was environmental or if drugs were ingested by the child or both.

WE TEST CHILD HAIR FOR 5 PANEL ($180.00), 7 PANEL ($195.00) AND 9 PANEL ($235.00)



Out of 124 valid hair tests conducted between July 2011 and June 2012, 51% came back with positive results for at least one drug. Of the positive results, the most common drugs were methamphetamine (81%), marijuana (27%), and opiates (21%).

These drug endangered children are more likely to have experienced a traumatic event, and are at greater risk of sexual abuse and physical abuse. “People on meth are unpredictable, so kids in these homes have an increased risk of sexual and physical abuse,” said Smith. “A lot of the kids we’re seeing for drug endangerment we’re also evaluating for other types of abuse.”

As a result, criminal cases were pursued more than twice as often in the positive hair test group compared with those in the negative hair test group.

Risk factors for drug endangered children include:

  • Parental substance abuse is widespread, takes many forms
  • Drug use in parents has both physical & psychological effects on children
  • Drug endangered children are frequently neglected
  • Drug endangered children are at higher risk for many types of abuse

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