Kent County Health Department Home Health Lead Screenings
Since we are spending a lot of time at home, Kent County Health Department wants to make sure your home is a safe environment.
Young children are the most at risk for in-home lead poisoning. Even at low levels, lead can affect a child’s brain development, causing developmental delays, learning disabilities, and behavior problems.
The Kent County Health Department is offering virtual home health screenings to pregnant residents and families with children five years old and younger to assess potential health hazards. The Health Department can help families in owner-occupied or rental homes and can connect families to the help they need.
This service, provided by the Kent County Health Department and funded by the taxpayer-approved Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage, assesses potential health hazards in a home and allows the Health Department to educate families on ways to limit exposure. Also, they suggest what to do if your family is exposed.
“The goal of Ready by Five’s lead program is to target lead and other environmental hazards in Kent County within the homes of children aged five and under,” said Julio, one of the sanitarians with the Kent County Health Department. “This program is the step we need towards prevention in lead exposure, we also target mold and asthma triggers, as well as overall home safety.”
The biggest risk has been lead-contaminated dust from paint found in homes built before 1978, the year lead paint was banned in the U.S. When the old paint chips, flakes or peels, lead-contaminated dust can get on hands, toys, clothes, furniture, and other items around the house.
Young kids are more apt to lead exposure because they have a lot of hand-to-mouth behaviors. Whether they are playing on the floor where dust from lead paint can settle, or outside in the soil where lead particles often end up, they are more likely to put their hands in their mouths and ingest lead that way.
“Right now, with everyone home during these unprecedented times, we want to make sure homes are 100% safe,” continued Julio. “Removing lead paint from homes is so important for ensuring healthy child development, and most people are unaware that lead even exists in their homes.”
The Sanitarians are currently performing home health screenings virtually or in person. Reach out to Kent County's Ready by Five team to set up a visit - call 616.326.0753 or firstname.lastname@example.org.