Health department looking to test more children for lead - WNEM TV 5

Health department looking to test more children for lead

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Yolanda Stewart brought her 3-year-old grandson Jayden to a lead screening clinic, to make sure he is tested for lead exposure. 

"I hope he isn't exposed to lead, please Lord," Stewart said.

Lead-tainted water a big issue as Flint deals with its water crisis. Stewart said she's doing everything she can to protect her grandson.

"I want to be a wise little boy. You know be wise like every other 3-year-old," Stewart said. "And I want him to have a good start. You know get an education so he can be a doctor or a lawyer when he gets older."

Organizers of the event said more kids under the age of six need to be tested for lead.

Toni Larocco is director of nursing for the Genesee County Health Department.

"The federal government wanted us to test roughly 9,200 kids that are below the age of six in the city of Flint. And last I saw I think we were around 2,300," Larocco said.

Even though the numbers aren't where they need to be, Larocco insists her department is doing everything they can to get every child under 6-years-old tested for lead.

Larocco said it's important to diagnose lead exposure at an early age, that way children affected by lead can get the educational support they need.

"I think that we're out in the community. We're certainly not in our office doing the testing. And so that's why we're at these sorts of events," Larocco said.

Stewart said she's glad there are lead testing clinics available. And she wants more parents use these opportunities to get their young children tested.

"I hope many other mothers and grandmothers come and get their child tested too," Stewart said.

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