Scott County health officials are teaming up to combat a potentially deadly problem and they want your help.
They’re trying to reach families who may have children with lead poisoning.
In November, nurses handled 43 cases in their Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.
The county is working with two community health care clinics to get more kids tested and since then, they’ve given 53 tests between September and October this year.
That’s compared to just 17 lead tests during the same time last year.
Although that’s triple the number of lead tests they’ve given over the last year, They still say there are dozens of families who need it and may not know.
That was the case for one Davenport mom Local 4’s Tahera Rahman spoke with on Thursday night.
Jessica Corbiser’s daughter is turning two.
She loves Mickey Mouse, the TV show Puppy Dog Pals and running…lots of running.
But Corbiser says she’s noticed other things, too.
“She’s a hitter and she’s a thrower,” Corbiser says.
“I just assumed, you know, all kids go through the biting stage, all kids go through the hitting stage.”
But about a year ago, she found out it might not be normal.
“We went in and they did a fingerprint to test all her levels,” says Corbiser.
A one-year checkup revealed a lead level of 14.
The CDC puts safe levels at below 5.
“I would’ve never known if they wouldn’t have done her blood draw,” says Corbiser
Scott County public health nurse Sue Vandewalle says that lack of awareness is all too common.
“Lead poisoning is something that needs to be monitored. I don’t think there’s a lot of importance put on it,” Vandewalle says.
She says less than 50% of the kids they need to reach have actually been tested for lead.
“There’s a lot of kids out there that we haven’t reached or we may not reach them until their kindergarten requirements at age 6 and as great as that is, we need them at age two and three,” says Vandewalle.
She’s encouraging more parents to go in for screenings.
“You are their lifeline between home and the physician or the resources that they need,” Vandewalle says.
Corbiser has worked with the health department to pinpoint lead around her home.
“The front porch was the main part because she spent a lot of time out on the front porch… We completely got rid of the back porch,” says Corbiser.
She says she’s relieved to have the problem under control before her baby boy makes his way home.
“As soon as we found out what we needed to do, we did it because, well, it’s my baby,” Corbiser says.
Corbiser says after containing the lead in her home, her daughter’s lead level is down to 13.
She says she’s already seen some behavioral changes.
Her next checkup is in February.
Scott County’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program offers medical help as well as inspections.
You can stop by a walk-in clinic at 600 W. 4th St. in Davenport.
It’s available on Wednesdays between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursdays from 8:15 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Lead screenings are free for kids up to six years old.
You can test as early ast six months old.
You can also call to make an appointment.
For more information, click here.