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

Spring is just on the horizon and Worcester Health is encouraging residents to take part in this year's #1BillionStepsChallenge. Our team this year is WorcesterSpringSteps (#273). You can register with the link below through MoveSpring using the code APHA2019. It is completely free to register and participate.

For more information please contact 410-632-0056. Thank you!

(Click the image below to register)

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What’s the Bottom Line on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults?

  • The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults.
  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.1
  • E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine.
  • Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.

Click the image below for more information about youth vaping.

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Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds.

Take Care During Winter Storms:

  • Stay off roads.
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Check on neighbors.

Learn more about snow and extreme cold safety here.

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Local Health Improvement Coalitions (LHICs) equip local jurisdictions to determine their public health priorities and address specific public health concerns. The Worcester County Local Health Improvement Coalition seeks a broad membership from the community to assist the local health department and its partners in determining local health priorities and the Community Health Improvement Plan. 

Click the image below for a full schedule of upcoming LHIC meetings:

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Salisbury, MD- What do you picture when you think of “heart health?” We asked women across the Lower Eastern Shore to tell their stories about how heart health has affected their families and themselves, as well as the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We are sharing those accounts across social media and screening the videos at the 2019 Go Red event in February.

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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