Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers announced today it was awarded a $1,000 Community Grant from the Sparta Walmart to support the purchase of child blood lead analyzing equipment and supplies. These funds will expand child blood lead analyzing services to Scenic Bluffs’ Norwalk Health Center, in addition to current services at the Cashton Health Center.
Lead is a naturally occurring element that was formally used as a stabilizer in many household products, such as paint and varnish. Although lead is no longer manufactured in these products, it is still present in many homes built before 1978, commonly in the form of paint. When lead-based paint starts to peel and chip, there is risk of dust being inhaled or digested, which can lead to lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is a concern for both adults and children, however, children under the age of six are at greater risk.
Blood lead analyzing equipment is an important tool in catching lead poisoning quicker. Many children with lead in their blood have no obvious or immediate symptoms. The ability to test for lead can prevent more serious health issues, such as lead poisoning.
At Scenic Bluffs, child blood lead testing is routinely performed during a well-child check and is covered by most insurances. Through a simple finger prick, a small amount of blood is taken from the finger and tested for the presence of lead. If a child has lead in their blood above the CDC blood lead reference value, their doctor may recommend follow-up services, such as finding and removing lead from the child’s environment, feeding the child a diet high in iron and calcium, connecting the child to early educational services, scheduling follow-up blood testing or scheduling advanced treatment for very high levels of lead.
If a child may have been exposed to lead, parents should talk to their child’s health care provider about getting a blood lead test. To schedule a blood lead test with Scenic Bluffs, call 608-654-5100.
Scenic Bluffs is a non-profit, community-based healthcare provider, providing primary care and healthcare access services for patients in the region. Scenic Bluffs accepts Wisconsin Medicaid, Medicare, most private insurance and cares for those without insurance. Additionally, Scenic Bluffs offers a sliding-fee scale program, available to those with or without insurance, which may reduce the cost of care to those who qualify. Qualifications are based-on the individual’s household size and income.
For more information on lead poisoning, testing and prevention, please visit www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/lead. For more information on services provided by Scenic Bluffs, visit scenicbluffs.org.