Lead testing is offered the first Thursday of each month along with Well-Child Clinic for children under six years of age. Call 373-0611 Ext. 2308 for an appointment. Our zip code 45750 is considered a high-risk area, therefore, testing is recommended for all children at 1 and 2 years of age. If they have not been tested at 1 or 2 years of age, they should be tested at 3 years of age, or more frequently if lead poisoning is expected.
Childhood lead poisoning is the most common environmentally caused health threat to Ohio children under six. Lead and lead dust is all around us in paint and soil. Children get lead into their bodies by ingesting it. The risk of lead poisoning is greatly increased during renovations. Lead poisoning in children affects their brain and brain development. The long-term affects of lead poisoning in children can include learning difficulties, lowered IQ's delayed growth and development, impaired hearing, and even brain damage. Children who appear healthy and have no symptoms may have high levels of lead. Having a simple blood test can determine this.
The following are ways to reduce the risk of your child becoming lead poisoned.
- Keep painted surfaces in good repair. Avoid peeling and/or chipping paint inside and outside. Containment of paint is the key.
- Frequent hand washing. Since children may have lead dust on their hands, frequent hand washing can prevent high lead levels. Wash your child's hands every time you give them something to eat or drink. This includes before meals, snacks, naptime, bedtime, and after coming in from playing outside.
- Frequent damp cleaning with water and powdered automatic dishwashing detergent that contains trisodium phosphate (TSP). Soap and water have also been proven to be effective. Tables, highchairs and surfaces where children eat should be cleaned daily. Window sills/wells and all floors should be cleaned/mopped twice a week.
- Provide children with a healthy diet and snacks. Give them foods that are high in iron, calcium, Vitamin C and fiber, and low in fat. Don't allow children to walk around with food; they should sit at the table or highchair to eat.
Please have your child screened at our next free clinic by calling 373-0611 Ext. 2308, or contact your family physician. More additional information can be obtained by visiting the Ohio Department of Health Website at www.odh.ohio.gov. and searching for lead poisoning.