Two SLO County children had alarmingly high levels of lead in system

Alarmingly high levels of lead were recently found in two San Luis Obispo County children, public health officials said.

A 3-year-old North County girl and 2-year-old South County boy are being monitored for lead poisoning by the county’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

One child received special treatment to reduce the high amount of lead in the body. Health officials will continue monitoring both children.

A lead prevention team investigated the children’s homes and environments for possible sources of lead. Children often are lead poisoned when they ingest lead-contaminated dust, paint chips or soil. Imported candies and food products may also be sources. It was unclear Friday morning what the poisoning source was for these two children.

County health officer Greg Thomas emphasized that lead poisoning is preventable and treatable. Children who may be at a higher risk for poisoning should be screened by their pediatricians, he said.

Lead poisoning can damage a child’s brain and nervous system. Most children with lead poisoning do not look or act sick, and a blood test is the only way to confirm if children have lead in their system.

Health officials want to remind parents that lead poisoning can be harmful to a child’s health and development.

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