A little snap, a little drop of blood, and three minutes is all it takes to determine whether or not a child has elevated levels of lead in his or her body. And those six years old and younger are the most at risk.
According to Natasha Davidson of the Ingham County Health Department, "Their systems are developing. Their brains are still developing. So they're in that age group where the lead can still affect their development."
Monica Kwasnik, Health Team Leader of the Allen Neighborhood Center says, "It's the age where kids are the most likely to put things in their mouths. Before they're one they're not as mobile. After they're seven or eight I think they understand a little more the dangers of putting things in their mouths."
In Allen Neighborhood on Lansing's eastside, zip code 48912, the majority of homes were built before 1978 when lead-based paints were still legal. That's why the Ingham County Health department provided free lead screenings to children on Wednesday.
Davidson says by performing a simple finger prick ICHD can tell if a child's level is below 10. If not, he or she may be suffering from lead poisoning. "They tend to have behavioral problems and learning difficulties. They tend to be irritable more of the time than normal."
If you'd like to have your child screened for lead, contact your primary care physician or your local health department.