How Safe Is Your Home?
The Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP) provides a free in home assessment focusing on home safety. An HNP team member can discuss areas where safety can be improved and may also supply FREE items to assist you with making your home safer!
Tioga County Residents can call 687-8390 to schedule a FREE home safety check!
Last Updated: 7/31/2018
Elevated levels of lead (especially in children) can have harmful effects on the brain and body. Many learning and physical disabilities can be avoided if lead poisoning is prevented. Unfortunately, you cannot tell that a child has elevated levels of lead in the body by looking at them, which is why it is so important to get kids tested for lead at 1 and 2 years old.
In 2017, only 695 children in Tioga County were tested for lead. Only 35% of 3 year olds in the county have had one lead test done, and 16.5% have had the recommended two done. This means that 65% of the 3 year olds in Tioga County have never been tested for lead! This is a serious concern, with 58 of the 695 children tested in 2017 had elevated levels of lead in their blood. This means there are many more children in our county with elevated levels of lead who are not being treated, and long term effects of exposure may occur.
At Tioga County Public Health, one of our goals is to decrease lead poisoning in our children. We do home visits to look for lead sources and provide free home lead testing kits. We also provide education about what lead poisoning is, why it is bad, and what changes can be made in the home and adjustments to the care of the child to help get rid of lead. In addition to talking with parents, we also work closely with our primary care offices. We encourage them to test all children who are one and two years old.
We are pleased to announce that Tioga County currently has three providers who have set the bar high for lead testing. These providers are UHS Candor, UHS Newark Valley, and Lourdes Richford. These providers took the time to talk to parents about why lead testing is important and then assured the test was done. The more testing we do, the more likely we can find children with high lead levels and we follow up on children with high lead levels.
Supervising Public Health Nurse, Mel Miller said, “Testing children for lead is a great way to see if a child has the start of any lead poisoning. By changing diet or removing any lead sources, a child’s lead level can return to normal over time.”
If you would like to know more about our Lead Prevention Program, please contact us. Call Tioga County Public Health at 687-8600 or visit our website at www.tiogacountyny.com/departments/public-health/.