Keeping your children safe against lead poisoning

MOUNT JOY, Pa. (WHTM) – Children in Lancaster and York counties are being poisoned by lead at one of the highest rates in the country.

A study published this week in the Journal of Pediatrics say because of the alarming rates of lead poisoning, children in those two counties are at a higher risk for behavior problems and going to jail.

ABC27 News spoke with at least one family who said they are concerned.

Katie Nissley and her family moved into their Elizabethtown home two months ago. Part of the Nissley family includes three children, the oldest of which is 5 years old.

As the family adjusts to their new life in a 19th century home, they’ve already done some renovations to get rid of old paint which contained lead.

“We repainted the baseboard,” Nissley explained. “[We painted] around the windows and doors.”

However, the Nissley’s said an untouched windowsill in a bedroom remains a concern.

“It’s because the paint is chipping,” Nissley said. “It’s at [my children’s] height that they could easily touch it and put the chips in their mouth.”

Ken Long, a hardware manager at JB Hostetter’s, explained that lead in paint can come from doors, windowsills, and other sources. He said there are test kits you can buy to see if there is lead in your paint.

“I would always recommend doing the tests when you first move in,” he said.

There are also test kits that allow you to test for lead in your water. Long said both kits cost around $10. He said the one for water needs to be used fairly often, but both are simple to use.

He said that if the kits give positive results, repairs can be costly.

ABC27 News also talked to a spokeswoman at Lancaster General Health and Penn Medicine, who said children need to be screened for lead before they reach the age of 1. The spokeswoman said if there is concern with children who are older than 1, it’s best to contact your primary care physician. She also said that often tests can be completed for free, or can be covered by insurance.

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