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Lead Safe D.C. and HSCSN Bring Lead Poisoning Prevention to The District's Children With Special Needs

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children with special needs will benefit from a new program to test lead environment levels in District households. Health Services for Children with Special Needs, Inc. (HSCSN), in collaboration with Lead Safe D.C., has begun offering free in-home lead testing to HSCSN member families with small children with special needs. The collaboration will initially focus on children under age two as a pilot.

"Lead poisoning is a particular challenge for young children with special health care needs," said Dr. Cyd Campbell, chief medical officer for Health Services for Children with Special Needs, Inc. "Many children and families that we serve live in older housing [before federal regulations on lead paint]. We want to ensure that the District's families with special needs are not further challenged by exposure to lead in the home, and prevent lead as a health risk."

Children under six years of age are most susceptible to the effects of lead exposure. Lead poisoning can affect nearly every system in the body, especially dangerous for young children who are still going through major developmental phases. Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems and impaired cognitive and motor skills, and at very high levels, seizures, coma and even death.

For the program an outreach worker conducts dust swipe tests in different locations in the home and instructs the family in using the "Lead Bucket" to minimize the presence of lead in the home. The Lead Bucket kit includes a mop, hand soap, sponges, hand wipes, furniture wipes and rubber gloves. The team follows up to report test results, and advises the family on appropriate action if lead presence is found.

Health Services for Children with Special Needs, Inc. coordinates health, social, and education services of children and their families of Washington, DC who receive pediatric Supplemental Security Income (SSI). HSCSN is part of The HSC Health Care System, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that is devoted to serving special needs children and their families. Lead Safe D.C. is a program of the National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC), funded by the DC Department of Health and U. S. Centers for Disease Control. The NNCC represents nurse-managed healthcare centers across the United States and supports health programs that seek to provide quality care to the underserved.

SOURCE Grillo & Company
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