WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- In observance of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, the Winnebago County Health Department is stressing to parents the importance of having children tested and taking other steps to reduce the risk.
Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, and yet an estimated 250,000 U.S. children have elevated blood-lead levels.
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) is October 21-27 and this year's theme, "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future," underscores the importance of testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects.
Here are three simple things you can do to help protect your family:
Get your Home Tested- Most houses built before 1978 are likely to contain some lead-based paint. However, it is the deterioration of this paint that causes a problem. Before you buy an older home, ask for a lead inspection. If you live in an old home, get an inspection or a risk assessment. Federal law requires that all sellers and landlords disclose the results of any lead inspections prior to renting or selling a unit.
Get your Child Tested- Children 6 years of age and younger, particularly those at or below the poverty line who live in older housing, are at highest risks for lead poisoning. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead or call the Winnebago County Health Department at
(815) 720-4130 to schedule a blood lead level test.
Get the Facts- The Health Department can provide helpful information about preventing childhood lead poisoning. Visit their website at www.wchd.org.