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Lead Free Promise Project releases guide on caring for kids who have been poisoned by lead-based paint

The interactive toolkit defines the six steps necessary to help a child get healthier who has tested positive for lead through 67 county specific downloadable PDFs.
Credit: Lead Free Promise Project

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Lead Free Promise Project on Monday released the state’s first Lead Poisoning Parent Resource Toolkit, a county-by-county interactive guide to care for a child who has been poisoned by lead based paint.

The interactive toolkit defines the six steps necessary to help a child get healthier who has tested positive for lead through 67 county specific downloadable PDFs.  The guide provides detailed contact information to help families navigate through the steps to obtain free home lead inspections available through Medicaid and CHIP and assist families with private coverage. 

The guide also provides information to connect families with financial hardship in 22 counties to FREE remediation programs – and the resources available to higher-income families who do not qualify.

In addition, the tool is a one-click connect to contact information for care management staff at all of the Medicaid and CHIP plans in the state, local county health departments, Early Intervention Programs and WIC services.

“Finally, Pennsylvania families can easily access the tools they need to navigate the scary and complicated process they face when their child is harmed by lead paint,” said Jeffrey R. Martin, MD, Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. “This toolkit also provides a valuable resource to doctors, nurses, other health care providers, childcare and social service providers – but lead paint poisoning is entirely preventable, and Pennsylvania must do better to protect children from it.”

“This tool is extremely valuable to families facing lead paint poisoning, like the Lead Free Promise Project provider toolkit released earlier this year, and I encourage news outlets and elected officials to share it far and wide,” said Colleen McCauley, Health Policy Director at Children First, Co-Chair, PA Lead Free Promise Project “This coalition is making strides fast, and now I urge Pennsylvania lawmakers to do their part by dedicating $40 million to a fund to end lead paint poisoning – the promise of tomorrow is so much greater when you’re not facing lead poisoning today.”

Across Pennsylvania today, approximately 8,000 children test positive for lead every year. Recently, the Pennsylvania Department of Health adopted the CDC’s new blood level reference value of 3.5 mcg/dl down from 5mcg/dl, as recommended by the Lead Exposure and Prevention Advisory Committee (LEPAC) and suspect this change will likely double the number of children who will need intervention services.

Currently, Pennsylvania does not provide any funds to get the lead out of homes. The Lead Free Promise Project is a dedicated advocacy coalition – with 52 member organizations – advocating the creation of a $40 million state fund, utilizing American Rescue Plan dollars, to help residents and property owners with low to moderate incomes remove lead-paint hazards.   

The goals of the coalition include removing lead out of homes, guaranteeing all children get tested twice for lead at ages one and two, and ensuring all poisoned children are referred to Early Intervention services.

The Parent Resource Toolkit is available at  https://paleadfree.org/prt/

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