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Buttigieg, Health Department to Highlight Free Lead Testing for Students
To promote the health of South Bend children, the City and the St. Joseph County Health Department, in partnership with the South Bend Community School Corporation and South Bend Medical Foundation, are providing free lead screening at Muessel Elementary School on Thursday October 25, 2018 from 3:30-6:30 p.m.
To highlight this event and commemorate Lead Prevention Week, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Health Department Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox, and Muessel Elementary Principal Tamra Kepshire will host a press conference at the school at 10:00 a.m.
Free lead screening will be provided for any child under seven years old. For the convenience of parents, the lead screening event will be held at the same time as parent-teacher conferences at Muessel Elementary. Community health experts from the Health Department and Near Northwest Neighborhood will be available to talk with parents about childhood lead poisoning risks and interventions.
This screening will provide parents with important information about their child’s health. Lead poisoning harms a child’s growth, behavior, and ability to learn. Children under the age of seven are especially at risk because their brains are still developing. As a person with lead poisoning does not usually look or feel sick, a simple blood test is used to discover lead poisoning. By providing lead testing to all young elementary children in South Bend, the City and County will be able to better understand the impact of lead and take steps to make the community healthy and lead-safe.
This is event launches the Mayor’s commitment from the 2018 State of the City address to partner with the South Bend Community Schools and the County Health Department in making testing available for every child enrolled in our public schools. Muessel was chosen as the first school for screening because of children tested for lead in the last 15 years, those living near Muessel had some of the highest blood lead levels in the County.
Additional South Bend Elementary schools will have free lead screening events in the next year. Madison STEAM Academy will offer free lead screening during their parent-teacher conferences on January 10, 2019.
Who: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Health Department Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox, Muessel Elementary Principal Tamra Kepshire
What: Lead Prevention Week, testing for South Bend students
When: Thursday, October 25 at 10:00 a.m. for press conference; 3:30-6:30 p.m. for testing
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