NILES -- The city health department will offer free lead screening for children from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at Niles Community Services, 401 Vienna Ave.
Blood lead screening is mandatory for all Medicaid-eligible children who are 1 or 2, and for all Medicaid-eligible children 3 through 6 who have not previously been screened.
A parent or guardian must accompany children. Call to register at (330) 652-6412; walk-ins will be accepted.
Lead may be found in paint, water, food and soil. Most homes built before 1978 have had lead-based paint. Other sources of lead include lead-based painted toys or furniture, leaded crystal and lead-glazed pottery, a health department press release says.
Children with lead poisoning do not look or act sick, but lead poisoning can cause learning, hearing and behavioral problems. It can also cause brain, kidney and other organ damage. Some effects of lead poisoning can be permanent.
Healthy diets can protect children from lead poisoning. Children should eat foods low in fat and high in iron, protein, calcium and Vitamin C. Children should always wash their hands before eating. Parents also should wash bottles, pacifiers and toys. Avoid using or storing food in pottery, ceramics, lead crystal or open cans, the health department said.