- Target Audience: Children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years of age
- Eligibility: Children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years of age
- Most insurances, including IL Medicaid, cover lead screenings.
- For more information, call Becci Weirich, RN (618) 296-6062 or (618) 692-8954 ext. 2 and ask to speak to a nurse.
Screening for lead poisoning is done during regular clinic hours on children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years of age. An assessment tool is used to determine lead poisoning risk for each child. If testing is indicated it is done by a blood test at Madison County Health Department. We use a capillary or fingerstick procedure. For children age 7 and older, a nurse will assess the risk of lead poisoning and refer the child to their physician for further evaluation.
Children who have a venous blood lead level of > 10 mcg/dL are automatically case managed by the lead nurse. The nurse makes a home visit to educate the parents about lead hazards in the home including dietary changes and cleaning procedures that can reduce the potential for lead poisoning. The lead nurse works in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Public Health’s lead inspector in investigating the source of the lead in the home. The lead nurse works closely with the child’s physician until the blood lead levels become normal.
The Lead program nurse is also responsible for educating the community and local health care providers about lead poisoning.
This program was started at Madison County Health Department in the fall of 1997. Lead poisoning can affect nearly every system in the body. Lead poisoning often occurs with no obvious symptoms and frequently goes unrecognized. Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and at very high levels, seizures, coma, and even death.
The goal to reduce the number of children in Madison County with blood lead levels greater than 10 mcg/dL can be reached by providing education to community members so they are able to recognize lead hazards in their homes and by providing ways to reduce the potential risk for lead poisoning. Providing health care providers with education on lead poisoning will allow them to identify children with risks for lead poisoning earlier so that interventions can be implemented to produce better outcomes for the child.