HOUSE ENROLLMENT ACT 1313: SCREENING CHILDREN FOR LEAD POISONING
Beginning 2023, Indiana expanded its lead testing requirements with House Enrolled Act 1313. This new legislation requires health care providers to offer testing to all children under 6 years old.
Prior to Indiana’s new legislation, testing rates for the state have been low. It’s estimated that Indiana only finds 2 out of every 10 lead poisoned children. Offering testing to all families gives Indiana the opportunity to find a higher number of lead poisoning cases early on. This means fewer lead poisoned children and better health outcomes for Hoosiers.
IKE has partnered with organizations across the state to encourage families to get tested
Children exposed to lead can suffer serious health problems throughout their lives. There is no safe level of lead in children. Even small amounts of lead can cause permanent damage. The only means by which the exposure can be detected is through testing at an early age. Every child should be tested for lead poisoning before they are six years old and, ideally, when they are one and two years old.
To encourage more families to get tested, Improving Kids’ Environment is working with the NAACP and local Minority Health Coalitions in 10 communities in Indiana. Each community has a Healthy Child Advocate providing an on-the-ground presence for the project. These advocates take the message about lead testing to places where local parents and guardians are already going: parent groups, barber shops, beauty shops, churches, community centers, festivals, block parties, and food pantries.
IKE and its partners aim to reach at least 600 individuals per month. The partnership will continue until summer 2024 and is part of Indiana Lead Free.