One and two year old children are at greatest risk for lead poisoning because of:
- Increased mobility resulting in more access to lead hazards
- The presence of normal hand to mouth activity
- The developing systems of young children are more susceptible
to the adverse effect on lead.
Universal Screening Recommendation for Children Living in Manchester
All Manchester children should receive a lead screening at one and two years of age. Older children, ages 36 to 72 months who have not been screened previously should also receive a lead screening. Lead screenings are available at the Manchester Health Department on a walk-in basis. Results are provided to families within three minutes. Screenings are done Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Lead is highly toxic and can affect many organs and systems throughout the body. Coma, seizure and death may be related to very high levels of lead. At lower levels, lead may cause adverse effects on the kidney and circulatory system. The central nervous system may be affected, resulting in reading and learning disabilities, hyperactivity, cognitive impairment and behavioral problems.
Preventing Lead Poisoning
- Remove paint chips, dust and particles from window wells and sills. Remove by wet washing
with a detergent. Cover areas of loose, flaking paint with contact paper or vinyl siding.
- Before any remodeling or renovations are done in the home, find out if the paint is lead-based.
If it is, contact the Manchester Health Department at 624-6466 before renovating.
- Restrict children's play area and sleeping area away from windows and areas of chipped and peeling paint.
- Damp mop floors at least twice per week.
- Wash children's hands frequently, especially before meals and naps.
- Provide meals and snacks high in iron and calcium.
- Remove lead sinkers, bullets, solder, matches, pottery and other lead sources from the child's environment.
- Restrict child from playing in soil alongside buildings.
- Refrain from giving children folk medicines or other products which may contain lead.
- Children under the age of seven and pregnant women should not be present in a dwelling during the removal of lead-based paint.
A Community Health Nurse provides case management for all Manchester children with elevated blood lead levels. The objective of case management is to ensure that children with an elevated blood lead level receives appropriate, comprehensive and coordinated medical and environmental follow-up. The nurse case manager provides home visits to provide an assessment of the home environment and education on reducing exposure to lead hazards. Case management is provided until the child's blood lead level is no longer elevated or until the child is discharged from case management for other reasons.
For more information on lead poisoning: