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National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) is October 20th- 26th 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Get your Child Tested- Children 6 years of age and younger, and 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.
  3. Get the Facts- The Health Department can provide helpful information about preventing childhood lead poisoning. Visit us at www.wchd.org.

About childhood lead poisoning

Lead is a highly toxic metal that at one time was an ingredient in many household products, including lead-based paints manufactured before 1978. Lead poisoning can affect every system in the body and is known to cause growth, hearing, speech and learning delays, as well as loss of IQ.  Lead-based paint and lead contaminated dust are the main sources of exposure for lead in children. Because lead poisoning often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. A simple blood test can prevent permanent damage that will last a lifetime.

The Winnebago County Health Department is currently accepting applications for the Creating Lead Safe Rockford program.  This program provides funding to households of children under the age six to help fix lead hazards. The program is available to residents who reside in Winnebago and Boone Counties. Income guidelines apply.

Please contact the Winnebago County Health Department Lead Application Specialist, Carmelo Porta-Gonzalez, at
 815-720-4112 for any questions or to apply for this program.

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