SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) wants to lower the level at which public health interventions are initiated for children.
According to Jackson County Health Department, lead is especially harmful to children younger than 6-years-old. Illinois law requires that all children 6 or younger be checked for risk. Jackson county Health says their goal is to reduce the problem and prevent further exposure and long term consequences.
“Children, developmentally, they are putting everything in their mouth," Karen Brown, The Director of Nursing at Jackson County Public Health said. "And that goes on until they are usually you know even early elementary school age. So that behavior puts them at risk. Their little bodies also absorb it so quickly.”
The nurse also says a Child may have lead poisoning and not feel sick. Ways to protect your children:
- Wash your children’s hands before they eat
- Foods high in iron and calcium (lean meat, eggs, raisins, greens, milk, cheese, fruit, potatoes) help get lead out of a child’s system. Limit foods in high fat and oil like fried foods and potato chips
- Clean up chipping and peeling paint inside and outside your home
- Clean up paint chips and lead dust in window sills and on the floor near windows, doorways and woodwork. Use a damp mop or cloth and a cleaning product
- Wash your child’s toys often. Throw away lead-painted toys
- Do not store food in open cans or pottery
- If you work with lead, shower and change clothes. Wash your work clothes separately.
- Run cold water for a few minutes before using it for cooking and drinking. Do not use water for the hot tap water for cooking, drinking or making formula.
If you have any questions, the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 217-557-5097