Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Lead Poisoning in Preschoolers

Although high-quality preschools have been proven to help children with insufficient cognitive developments, this is not the case when it comes to lead poisoning. For instance, children at high-quality preschools in Ohio cannot catch up with their classmates in certain subjects at school. Children who have a past of lead exposure have a challenging time keeping up with their peers, regardless of what preschool they attend. According to research by Case Western Reserve University, children with lead poisoning were half as likely as their schoolmates to attain “on track” scores in literacy and language when they start kindergarten. The researchers discovered another displeasing result: From 2011 to 2016, only one in five children beginning kindergarten who were qualified for Medicaid were tested for lead poisoning at both ages one and two years old in Cleveland public schools.
Every student at the George L. Forbes Early Learning Center is required to partake in a lead test before entering school. The teachers and health coordinator receive this information to further educate and modify the students’ learning experiences. The Case Western Reserve University concluded that the majority of children have experienced at least one screening for lead poisoning before starting kindergarten. However, for those attending different preschools and did not partake in a test can develop long term health risks. They reported that by not testing your child, it can disguise the incremental effects of lead poisoning over a lifetime. Researchers suspect one reason some parents fail to take their kids to get tested is the challenge of making the extra trip or staying the whole duration of the visit.
If there is no continuous exposure to lead, it can leave the body after about a month. However, the toxins can last in the brain for up to two years. Kindergarteners are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, including irreversible damage to their brain development. A child’s brain is rapidly developing and exposure to lead is particularly harmful to the nervous system, creating deficits in multiple functioning areas. Lead poisoning has a negative impact on test performance, health, and cognitive development.