County launches campaign to increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– The County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health announced plans today to commemorate Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week from Oct. 25 to 31. This year’s campaign message emphasizes, “even small amounts of lead can harm a child’s health. Ask your child’s doctor about a blood lead test.”  The week-long campaign will educate families and community members about ways to prevent lead poisoning and the importance of testing children for lead. 

The campaign will include the display of street banners in the cities of Colton, Fontana, and Ontario, mailing out information and materials to local agencies and businesses, and social media posts. Public Health will also partner with cities including Fontana, Redlands, and Upland to proclaim October as National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.

“This campaign is a reminder to parents that lead poisoning has lifelong effects on young children’s health and development,” said the County Interim Health Officer, Dr. Erin Gustafson. “It is important for parents to ask their child’s doctor about lead testing.”

Lead poisoning can seriously affect a child’s brain and nervous system.  It can cause learning and behavioral problems. A blood lead test is the only way to identify and confirm lead poisoning in children.

In California, children can be exposed to lead by ingesting lead-contaminated dust, paint chips from deteriorating lead-based paint, and lead-contaminated soil. Other sources of lead poisoning include lead dust brought home on parents’ work clothes, certain imported ceramic pottery, painted objects traditional home remedies, and imported spices, candies, and other food products. Additionally, activities that involve lead products such as soldering, making stained glass, and handling bullets or fishing sinkers can put children at risk.

All parents and caregivers of young children can visit http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/clppb or call (909) 383-3022 for more information on program services or ways to protect their children from this silent and serious environmental disease.

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