Lead poisoning, with its negative impact on young children, is a public health problem of continuing importance. A great deal of leaded paint still exists in older housing. Each year thousands of children continue to be exposed to lower doses of lead that can result in subtle yet serious health problems. In fact, 75% of all homes built in the United States before 1978 have lead-based paint in them. There are thousands of homes in Winnebago County with lead based paint in them. 

Lead poisoning is a significant health risk for young children. Although ingesting lead is hazardous to all humans, children under six years of age are at the highest risk of lead poisoning because their bodies are still developing and because ordinary hand-to-mouth activity brings them into frequent contact with lead in paint chips, dust and soil. Lead adversely affects every system of the body, and it can impair a child's central nervous system, kidneys, and bone marrow. At high levels it can cause coma, convulsions, and death. 

To prevent the hand to mouth route of exposure, frequent hand washing with soap and water (not sanitizer) is highly recommended. Washing hands several times a day, before meals, snacks and sleep time will greatly reduce the lead on the hands that children ingest. Eating a healthy diet rich in Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin C will help the child to absorb less of the lead they are exposed too. 

Children that live in or regularly spend time in a home built before 1978 are at risk for lead poisoning and by law are required to be tested at age one and two; it is also suggested that they continue to be tested yearly up to age 6 as long as the house they live in/visit was built before 1978.

Please see the chart below for further blood lead screening program information.

Winnebago County Health Department
401 Divison Street
Rockford, IL 61104
Mailing Address:
401 Division Street
PO Box 4009
Rockford, IL 61110-0509
All children enrolled in the WIC program under the age of 5 may be offered the opportunity for lead testing.
Participants in the WIC program may be offered free lead testing.
How do I get services?
Schedule an appointment for services by calling 815-720-4370.
Monday through Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
For information about lead screening, please contact  815-720-4370.