Worcester County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program provides consultation to parents, home owners, renters, landlords, medical offices, and other concerned community members on the lead poisoning, prevention, testing, and regulations. Education and case management is provide to parents with children with elevated blood lead levels. Call 410-629-0164 for Worcester County Health Department's Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. 
 
What is lead poisoning?
 
Lead poisoning is one of the most common environmental child health problems in the United States and effects 3 to 4 million children. Lead is especially harmful to children younger than 6, but anyone who eats, drinks, or breathes something which has too much lead can get lead poisoning. Although chipping paint and paint dust are the most common sources of lead, lead can also be found in ceramic cups and dishes, fishing sinkers, craft supplies, leaded crystal, spray paint, and even in soil and water.
 
What are symptoms of lead poisoning?
 
The symptoms are not always obvious.  Symptoms can include, learning delays, fussiness, stomach pain, appetite changes, hyperactivity, trouble sleeping, and in extreme cases, seizures, coma and death.  
 
How is Worcester County affected?

About 75% of houses and apartments built before 1978 in the United States contain lead paint.  In our own county, Pocomoke, Newark, Whaleyville, Girdletree, and Stockton have a high percentage of housing units built before 1950.  If you rent an apartment or home, be sure to ask to see certification that the property is lead free.  If you are a property owner, be sure to register, treat and inspect your pre-1950 rental properties before you rent them. If you are planning to renovate, follow paint removal and disposal safety guidelines.
 
How can I find out if my child has been exposed to too much lead?
 
Lead testing is recommended for all children at 12 and 24 months of age. Many parents are not aware that children entering pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade in the Worcester County public school system are required to provide the school with documentation that the child has been tested for lead. If you are interested in having a lead test, contact your doctor.  If your child does not have a doctor or health insurance, call 410-629-0164 and ask for the MCHP program.  
 
What can I do to protect my child?
 
Teach children to wash their hands often and take shoes off before coming in the house. Check craft/hobby item labels to make sure they do not contain lead. Do not store or prepare food in open cans. Provide your child with a healthy diet full of foods high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C. These foods help reduce the absorption of lead into your child’s body and strengthen your child’s resistance to lead poisoning.
 
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WCHD News

Crystal Bell will participate in "Walkable Communities" training program.


Snow Hill, MD - America Walks, a national advocacy organization working to empower communities to create safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk, announced today that they are awarding Crystal Bell, of Worcester County Health Department, a Walking College Fellowship as part of the 2018 program. The Fellowship will enable Bell and other advocates from around the country to participate in a five-month training program designed to strengthen local efforts to make communities more walkable and livable.

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Cases are on the Rise—Effects can be Harmful and Deadly

Baltimore, MD (April 17, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Poison Center have reported the fourth hospitalization in Maryland from individuals experiencing risk of severe bleeding after using synthetic cannabinoids, which are often called Spice, K2, Bliss, Scooby Snax, or fake weed. 

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Fatalities related to intoxication down in Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico in 2017

Snow Hill, MD- Deaths related to drug and alcohol intoxication, including opioid overdoses, are down in Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset Counties, according to 3rd Quarter 2017 Overdose Data released by the Maryland Department of Health last week. From January through September 2016, compared to the same period in 2017, intoxication fatalities are down 20-percent in Somerset County, 42-percent in Worcester County, and 32-percent in Wicomico County. The drop-off in the Tri-County region comes at a time when overall drug and alcohol related deaths in Maryland are on the rise.

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Directs Attorney General to File Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers; Announces Plans to Convert Former City Jail into a Secure Treatment Facility, Enhance Data Sharing Among First Responders, Strengthen Volume Dealer Law to Include Fentanyl

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford today unveiled a series of executive actions and proposed legislation to continue the administration’s aggressive fight against the heroin and opioid crisis. The governor also authorized the Attorney General to file suit against select opioid manufacturers and distributors on the grounds that they have misled the public and helped to create the addiction crisis gripping Maryland and the nation.

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Featured Service of the Month

We offer FREE Smoking Cessation Classes

Did you know that the Health Department offers free group and individual smoking cessation counseling offered at sites throughout the county? Monetary vouchers are available for those wishing to add pharmacological therapy (Nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, and CHANTIX) to their behavior change efforts.

 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program