The danger of lead in homes was one of the lessons for Kindergarten classes in Mount Gilead and Highland School Districts this spring. The Morrow County Health District has joined the Ohio Department of Health in promoting healthy homes for all Ohioans.
Morrow County Health District nurses and staff visited each participating Kindergarten classroom and talked to students about how to stay healthy. Information regarding lead poisoning and other healthy home topics were sent home to families.
Last week Kindergarten classes at Park Avenue and Highland Elementary Schools participated in a coloring contest. One coloring page was chosen from each class to display at the Morrow County Community Services Building. Classes that participated enjoyed a pizza party hosted by the Morrow County Health District.
The students’ coloring pages will be on display from May – June 2017 in the lobby of the Morrow County Community Services Bldg. at 619 W. Marion Rd. in Mount Gilead.
When Morrow County Health District staff visited classrooms, they found students eager to share their knowledge about healthy eating, washing their hands, getting plenty of sleep and exercise, avoiding strangers and not putting inedible things in their mouths. Keeping objects and hands out of mouths was part of the lesson for students on lead.
Morrow County Health District Director of Nursing, Kay Benick shared information about lead that is in many Ohio homes. The most common source of lead in homes is deteriorating lead-based paint. This can create lead dust, which does not look any different from other household dust. When children are exposed to this dust through a simple act like putting their hands in their mouths, it can cause elevation of blood lead levels. Children who have elevated blood lead levels can develop learning problems, lowered attention span, hyperactivity, and hearing loss. Removing the lead exposure is the best way to prevent those harmful effects of lead.
Young children are vulnerable to lead poisoning because their bodies easily absorb lead. Young children tend to play on the floor where dust settles. They frequently put their hands and toys in their mouths. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends lead testing for young children at 12 and 25 months. Providing young children foods that are rich in calcium, iron and vitamin C can help prevent lead absorption in the body.
Following some basic guidelines when renovating an old home can reduce exposure to lead and keep the family safe. For more information on lead and other home hazards, visit www.morrowcountyhealth.org.
Health District Nurses and Staff with coloring sheets from students. From left: Morgan Kocher, RN; Stephanie Shaver, RN; Jessica Garver, RN; Kay Benick, RN and Direcor of Nursing; Brandy Brewer and Ashira Vantrees.
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