The Edgar County Lead Prevention program is a much needed program that offers lead education, testing, and follow-up case management including home visits, nutrition education, and counseling for elevated results.
All of Edgar County is listed on the High-Risk ZIP Codes list for Pediatric Blood Lead Poisoning, thus IDPH states that any child residing in Edgar County is required to have Blood Lead Testing completed routinely at age 6 months through 6 years of age. CDC recommends that children have blood lead tests at age 1 & 2 years of age as this is the time in a young child’s life that they are crawling on the floor and putting everything in their mouth. Testing is also recommended after a child’s 4th birthday.
This is such an important and easy test. Without it, children may go untreated and suffer lifelong impairment due to elevated lead levels. Unfortunately, children will not show signs or symptoms of elevated lead levels until it is too late. Often, children will not show any symptoms at all. Lead poisoning can cause a number of serious health problems, such as: learning disabilities, mental retardation, behavioral problems, lowered IQ’s, slowed growth and development, and hearing impairment. Children who live with an elevated lead could slip into a coma and death can occur at higher lead levels. All of this can be prevented by a simple finger stick or blood draw. We offer lead testing here at the health department and many tests are also completed in conduction with WIC appointments.
In 2014 we tested 60 children ranging from age 12months to 5 years of age of age. Currently in Edgar County we have 9 cases of Elevated Lead Poisoning that are being followed and treated. Without completing this very easy test these children would have continued to be exposed and had even greater Blood Lead values resulting in even greater long term health issues.
We have much work to do though as the 2012 IDPH Illinois Lead Program Annual Surveillance Report shows that Edgar County had only 273 children tested for lead out of 8,810 housing units. Of those 273 children tested 4.4% Medicaid eligible children tested >10mg/dL, 13.7 %tested >5mg/dL, 6.6 % of non-Medicaid children test >5mg/dL. There is no safe level of lead. Levels greater than 5 mg/dL have been associated with adverse health effects.
With proper education, this is such a preventable disease. In 2015, we will be working with local physician’s offices to increase the number of children tested in Edgar County and to help increase the knowledge of Lead Poisoning among Edgar County Residents and importance of testing. For more information on lead poisoning, renovations, or disposal of lead paint click here
To schedule a appointment or have questions call:
Cost is $35 or if you have a medical card there is no charge to you.
WIC is an equal opportunity provider.