Resources for Parents
Have your kids have been lead poisoned, or are you worried that they may be at risk for lead poisoning? Rhode Island now has many resources to help you take action to protect your kids. Take a look at the information below, and also be sure to read about tenants' rights if you live in an apartment.
If you're worried that your kids may have been exposed to lead hazards, your first step should be to contact your doctor and ask for a lead test right away. Keep in mind that kids rarely show any symptoms from lead poisoning, and you can only know if they have been poisoned if you get a blood test. If your kids are under age 6, make sure they get a lead test at least once a year.
In-Home Poisoning Prevention
If you are worried about lead problems in your home, you may be eligible for a home visit from a Lead Educator. Call the Lead Center closest to you to find out more.
Rhode Island Legal Services provides legal services for issues regarding lead paint exposure. Contact them for assistance in matters such as seeking remediation for healthcare costs of lead exposed children, securing lead-safe living conditions and other related matters.
If your home has lead hazards that need to be fixed, you may be able to get free grants, loans, and tax credits to make this affordable - or even free. Read this page for more information about financial assistance for property owners. It's also very important that the person who fixes your home is licensed to do the work safely. If you live in an apartment, learn about your legal rights.
In an effort to increase awareness of the risks related to lead exposure, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street has re-launched Sesame Street Lead Away! Originally released in 1996, this updated bilingual (English and Spanish) online resource offers young children and their families important information geared toward creating awareness of the health risks of lead, where it can be found and age-appropriate strategies to aid in the prevention of lead exposure. Families and their children can incorporate these easy-to-implement activities into their everyday routines.
Lead poisoning is the number one environmental hazard threatening children throughout the United States, affecting an estimated 310,000 children under the age of six. To address this need, Sesame Workshop has updated the 15-minute video featuring Elmo and his friends, with a new introduction by Luis from Sesame Street, conveying key messages to children and adults such as everyone can help to keep one another safe from lead poisoning and keep children away from dust and other sources of lead. In addition to the video, printable materials help families extend the learning and provide helpful reminders on how to work together to avoid lead exposure. These materials include a parent and caregiver mini-poster, children’s activity pages, and a story to help children learn what to expect during a blood test.
“Lead Poisoning is an issue that has affected me personally, and to be able to work on the issue through Sesame Street, a program that I have enjoyed as a child, as well as with my children has been a wonderful opportunity,” said Liz Colón, a project advisor and Director of Training and Outreach at The Childhood Lead Action Project. “With more efforts such as Lead Away!, parents will be better able to protect their children from lead hazards in their homes. Together we can turn the corner on lead poisoning.”