February 4, 2019
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 Madison STEAM Academy on February 5 from 5:30-7:30pm.
Free lead screening will be provided for any child between one and six years of age. 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. Children do not have to attend Madison to receiving testing services.
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 aged one to six years old 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 event continues the City’s commitment from the Mayor’s 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 South Bend public schools. The next lead screening will be offered at Harrison Elementary on March 21. Muessel Elementary hosted a testing event in October. Madison, Muessel, and Harrison were chosen as the first schools for screening because of children tested for lead in the last 15 years, those living near these schools had some of the highest blood lead levels in the County. This event is a rescheduling of the January 10 event at Madison that was moved to the South Bend Medical Foundation due to a power outage at the school.