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North Central Health District

COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS

Wilkinson County Health Department to Offer Free Lead Testing for County Children

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Lead testing to be offered at three convenient locations across Wilkinson County.

 Wilkinson County Health Department and North Central Health District (NCHD) are partnering with the cities of Irwinton, Danville and Gordon to offer free lead testing to children of Wilkinson County. Free testing will be available at these dates and locations:

  • April 17, 5-7 p.m.
    Wilkinson County Health Department
    123 High Hill St., Irwinton, GA 31042
  • April 25, 5-7 p.m.
    Danville City Hall
    101 Railroad Ave., Danville, GA 31017
  • April 26, 5-7 p.m.
    Gordon City Hall Annex
    108 Elam St., Gordon, GA 31031

Parents and guardians of children in Wilkinson County can request a free blood level test at each of these testing events. Parents and guardians will need to bring identification and will need to sign a form permitting their child to be tested. Anyone found to have an elevated lead level will be connected to care and receive education about preventing further exposure.

“We have continuously worked with community partners, local governments, businesses and families to reduce lead poisoning among children across our district,” said NCHD Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Coordinator JaLisa Brown. “These free testing events give families a chance to learn more about their children’s health.”

Lead is a metal commonly found in the environment in soil and industrial paints. Lead exposure can occur in the home environment due to deteriorating paint, which is peeling, chipping or chalking. Deteriorating lead paint can create a dust which many children can inhale or ingest by hand-to-mouth exposure. Lead may also enter drinking water when household water systems that contain lead-based pipes, solder and other plumbing components become corroded.

“Our number one priority is teaching people that lead poisoning is easily preventable,” said NCHD Deputy Director Dr. Anita Barkin. “There are simple measures people can take, and testing is that first step. We want to provide peace of mind to parents and empower county residents by giving them the knowledge and providing lead testing to their children.”

Lead poisoning affects children by damaging the brain and nervous system and some effects may never go away. Continued exposure to lead can cause more severe symptoms. Damage to the child’s health can include hearing and speech problems, behavioral and learning disabilities and slowed growth and development. Each of these symptoms of childhood lead poisoning may lead to a lower IQ, a lower ability to pay attention and underperformance in school.

“The impacts of lead exposure are best managed early, so parents are encouraged to take advantage of this free testing,” said Wilkinson County Nurse Manager Jessica Yates. “If we detect high lead levels, we follow-up with the individual, parent or guardian, and make sure they know what to do to receive treatment and care and how to prevent further exposure.”

Lead poisoning is completely preventable. You can take control of your environment and reduce lead hazards before they cause harm. Keep children away from peeling paint around the home and remove any recalled toys, jewelry or other products that may contain lead. Use cold water for drinking or cooking; hot water may contain higher levels of lead.

Learn more about lead services offered by the health department by visiting NCHD52.org/Lead or calling the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 478-751-6113.

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