Children at Lincolnton day care to be tested for lead exposure

Lincoln County health workers will test children for lead exposure at a Lincolnton day care where paint chips had been washed away from an awning.

A Place to Grow, a North Poplar Street facility that received a top five-star rating from the state, was conducting routine maintenance by pressure washing the awning when workers discovered paint chips had been washed away, county health officials said Friday.

“There was lead found in paint that was slightly higher than the recommended safe level,” Rhonda Saunders, child health clinic coordinator for Lincoln County, said in a news release.

“As paint is scraped off or as it begins to peel or chip, it can go into the soil,” Saunders said. “Lead exposure occurs when children play outside in the soil and place their hands in their mouths without proper hand washing. Blood tests are the only way to diagnose if a child has lead poisoning.”

As a precaution, the health department has scheduled three on-site clinics at A Place to Grow where parents are recommended to have their child tested for free.

The clinics are scheduled for 2:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, and also on June 8 and June 17.

Parents can also have their child tested at the health department for free by calling 704-735-3001 for an appointment or at their primary care provider.

Testing is recommended only for children 6 and under and those who have been at the facility in the past six months.

Marusak: 704-358-5067;

Twitter: @jmarusak