The WIC, Case Management, Environmental Health, and Clinical staff of
the Henry and Stark County Health Departments offers information about lead poisoning.

   The WIC, Case Management, Environmental Health, and Clinical staff of
the Henry and Stark County Health Departments offers information about lead poisoning.  The Health
Department joins with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the US
Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Department of Housing and Urban
Development to increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention.

   Their 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.

   Michele Beckstrom, RN Health Department Blood Lead Program Coordinator,
states, "Nearly half a million children living in the United States have
elevated blood lead levels that may cause significant damage to their
health."

   Beckstrom adds, "In 2011 in Illinois 3200 lead poisoned children were
identified. The major sources of this lead exposure to children included
lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in deteriorating buildings.
Children can also be exposed to lead from additional sources including
drinking water, take-home exposures from a workplace, and lead in soil."

   Lead poisoning is a preventable condition that can affect a child's
ability to learn and develop normally.  Parents can reduce a child's
exposure to lead in many ways.  Here are some simple things you can do to
help protect your family:

1)  Get your home tested.  Before you buy an older home, ask for a lead
inspection.

2)  Get your child tested.  Even if your young children seem healthy, get
them tested for lead.

3)  Get the facts.  Your Health Department can provide you with helpful
information about preventing childhood lead poisoning.

   The easiest way to make sure your child is safe is by having them tested
for lead poisoning at their doctor's office or the local health department
by a simple finger stick.  Most children do not show any symptoms of
poisoning, so testing is crucial.  Testing at ages one and two and treating
the child as early as possible is the best way to prevent any developmental
problems.

   For more information regarding lead poisoning, call the National Lead
Information Clearinghouse at 1-800-424-LEAD.  To schedule a blood lead test
at the Health Department's Main office call (309) 852-5272 or at the Colona
Office call (309) 792-4011. You may also get more information by visiting
our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and
Stark County Health Departments.