What is lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning affects a child’s brain, nervous system, and red blood cells as they grow and develop. It can cause permanent damage such as learning disabilities, speech and language problems, poor hearing, hyperactivity, and poor school performance. While this can be a significant concern, there are steps you can take to keep your child safe from lead.
Lead poisoning in Jackson County
There has been considerable progress in the past 20 years in reducing the number of lead-poisoned children. However, currently, there has been a decline in testing, health consultation, and elimination of lead hazards.
Blood lead testing in Jackson County as well as the State of Michigan has been down for the last couple of years. Testing your child is crucial as untreated lead poisoning can lead to damaging lifelong complications. The Jackson County Health Department encourages testing and recognized high blood levels through case management and proper education.
As of January 1, 2024, Michigan's blood lead testing guidance has changed for providers. Physicians must test, or order a test, to check for lead in blood on all minors at 12 and 24 months of age (age one and 2) or between age 24 and 72 months (i.e., sixth birthday) if there is no record of a previous test.
Training Opportunity for Nurses, Social Workers, Public Health Workforce
This Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) online interactive course is designed to enhance professional awareness of childhood lead poisoning, increase blood lead testing rates for young children, educate on how to eliminate the sources of lead poisoning—especially in aging housing—and improve inter-agency collaboration and communication regarding resolution of this complex environmental health issue.
Download the flyer on the course or go to the following site: https://courses.mihealth.org/PUBLIC/home.html Search for CLPPP Lead Poisoning class. If you don't have a user id in MIHealth.org, you will have to create one.
The only way to know for sure if a child has lead poisoning is to have the child tested. Your primary care physician can do a capillary or venous blood draw test to determine your child's blood lead level. It is recommended that a venous test is performed as it is the most accurate.
Lowering of the Blood Lead Reference Value
The Centers for Disease Control lowered the reference level for intervention from 5.0 micrograms per deciliter to 3.5 micrograms per deciliter in October 2021. In May 2022 the State of Michigan Medicaid Policy was updated to align with the CDC action.
-High in Iron such as iron-fortified cereals, peas, beans, lentils, dried fruits, dark and leafy green vegetables.
-High in Vitamin C such as oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, potatoes, strawberries, melons.
Public Health Nurse Case Management by a Registered Nurse for income eligible children with elevated blood lead levels. Nurse will provide assessment including nutrition (diet), physical and developmental status, visual inspection of home for lead hazards and community care needs, provide plan of care, service delivery referrals and links to primary care providers if needed.
Call Children's Special Health Care Program at (517) 788-4422 for more information.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Lead Page
- CLPPP Training
- Lead and a Healthy Diet
- Michigan Lead Safe Home Program
- US Department of Housing and Urban Development
- US Environmental Protection Agency Lead Program
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