An ounce of prevention…
“As a pediatrician and former medical director of the clinic caring for children with lead poisoning at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, I have seen the devastation of this preventable medical problem. Most of these children were exposed to lead by ingestion of lead-based paint chips and the resulting household dust found in older housing. More children could be detected with this problem if health care providers would screen young children with a blood lead test. The future promise lost to lead exposure is one of the greatest tragedies, as it is completely preventable – still 8,000 PA kids each year are exposed and poisoned by lead paint.”
These insightful words by Dr. Carla Campbell published in the Ambler Gazette remind us that lead paint poisoning is not an issue of the past. Thousands of children are poisoned every year and face a lifetime of challenges because lead poisoning is medically untreatable. The best approach, after removing lead hazards, is early detection and early health and learning interventions.
The Lead-Free Promise Project, a statewide coalition spearheaded by Children First, is leading the way for parents, case managers, medical professionals, and community leaders to prevent lead poisoning. The newly released A Resource Guide: Care Management of a Child with Elevated Blood Lead Levels provides ten specific steps to address lead hazards and valuable contact information so families and professionals know where to turn for help.
Children First and our coalition partners are not the only ones sounding the alarm about lead poisoning dangers. Just this week, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health announced it plans to spend $50 million over 10 years to get lead paint out of Lancaster County homes, helping at least 2,800 families including 200 in the first year.
It’s a tremendous step toward protecting children but there’s more that can be done. Dr. Campbell put it best when she wrote, “I support the Lead Paint Promise Project’s goals to create a state fund for low-income homeowners and landlords to remove lead paint-based hazards in properties, guarantee all children get tested twice for lead at ages one and two, and ensure all poisoned children are referred to Early Intervention services. I urge Governor Wolf and all state legislators to support these goals and protect kids.”
If you support these goals, sign up to join the Lead-Free Promise Project.