/District Offers Free Blood Lead Screenings to Uninsured at Risk Children

District Offers Free Blood Lead Screenings to Uninsured, At-Risk Children

Young children absorb lead more quickly than adults, and are at increased risk for toxic effects

May 3, 2006

LAS VEGAS – May 3, 2006 – The Southern Nevada Health District is offering free blood lead screenings to young children from uninsured, at-risk families. Young children are at increased risk for lead poisoning, since they absorb lead more quickly than adults and are more susceptible to the adverse effects of lead. Elevated blood lead levels can harm critical body organs, cause learning and behavioral problems, and even result in death. There were more than 1,000 known cases of elevated blood-lead levels in Clark County during 2005.

Free screenings will be offered to the first 500 uninsured children that are six years old or younger, and meet any of the following criteria:

  • Children who live or have lived in homes built before 1978;
  • Children that have eaten imported food products, such as Mexican candies;
  • Children that play with imported products, such as toys and jewelry;
  • Children that have been given non-prescription drugs, like folk remedies;
  • Children 6 years old or younger that have never been screened for lead poisoning.

The screenings will be conducted by appointment only at locations around the valley, including the Ravenholt Public Health Center at 625 Shadow Lane. A finger-tip stick method is used to collect a small blood sample from each child. Results are typically available within one week. Families with medical insurance may receive a blood lead screening through their family doctor or pediatrician.

For more information, including fact sheets on lead poisoning, visit the health district website at www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org. For information by phone or to schedule a screening appointment, call (702) 759-0896.

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The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.