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BTDT: besides immunizations, is lead and TB test mandatory for NYC pre-school?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello NYC moms! DS (3,5yo) will attend a 3-half day (private) preschool program this fall. In addition to immunizations (for which I've prepared an exemption) is there anything else legally mandatory by the Department of Health? The school isn't much help, I asked what THEY in particular request, but they say they rely on the standard medical form. I always thought only vaccinations are mandatory for school, how about the lead and TB test? If we're not going to do them, will we run into the same legal issues as with non-vaxing?

Thanks for your input!
post #2 of 17
I briefly lived just north of NYC a couple years ago. The preschool was fine with the vax exemption but they told me the state requirement was they could not admit DD without a lead test and their licensing agency would not allow them to admit my child without it and a physical form, which I was also refusing. They didn't mention TB so that may be a city thing.

We declined and found a private sitter.

HTH!
post #3 of 17
I'm not sure if the current requirement is different, but when I was working in a preschool (public) a few years ago the medical was required, but NOT the TB test. I am fairly certain that the TB test was required for older children though.

You should contact the licensing agency and get the specific requirements.
post #4 of 17
Why wouldn't you want to do a test to see if your child has been exposed to a dangerous metal that could affect their neurological development? Lead poisoning is serious stuff--I've been there.
post #5 of 17
How is lead supposed to be a matter of public health, though? Can a lead poisoned child infect others?
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by staceychev View Post
Why wouldn't you want to do a test to see if your child has been exposed to a dangerous metal that could affect their neurological development? Lead poisoning is serious stuff--I've been there.
I'm sorry to hear that, staceychev. You are right when you think that I don't know anything about lead poisoning. That's because my country is an industrialized country, too, and kids don't get tested for lead and still grow up healthy. So I am wondering about the necessity of a blood lead test when we are not living in an old house, play with reasonable toys and drink tap water whose lead level I've had tested. I've just become a little critical about all the "mandatory" procedures in New York City, a place I find over-over-medicated compared to my parenting philosophy. But I see where you are coming from, thanks for your thoughts.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by swissmom View Post
I've just become a little critical about all the "mandatory" procedures in New York City, a place I find over-over-medicated compared to my parenting philosophy.
I totally get you with the overmedication thing. Sorry for the mini thread hijack!
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
How is lead supposed to be a matter of public health, though? Can a lead poisoned child infect others?
No, but knowing where and how a child was exposed to the lead is a matter of public health. If a child was exposed through the dirt at the local playground, through a toy that has not yet been recalled, through their apartment building etc.

Also, the last neurological effects of high lead levels become an issue in schooling.

But my kid has already had 3 lead level tests, because he has had high lead levels, (along with practically ever other kid I know who lives in Philadelphia.) If NYC requires it, I don't know if they do, I would imagine the results are somewhat similar to Philadelphia because of the age of the buildings in the city.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post
No, but knowing where and how a child was exposed to the lead is a matter of public health. If a child was exposed through the dirt at the local playground, through a toy that has not yet been recalled, through their apartment building etc.

Also, the last neurological effects of high lead levels become an issue in schooling.
Then let the government test playground dirt, toys, and apartment buildings. Let the school recommend children with apparent neurological issues seek medical attention. It's not the government's place to mandate that every child be tested for something. We are not all exposed to the same risks. I'm sorry that your child has been sick. My husband was poisoned last year at work with nickel and cobalt. He works with all kinds of horrible stuff and it's their policy to test employees frequently. Should all adults be required to have this testing, even people who don't do anything remotely like what he does?

My first child had the lead test at 9 mo. It was horrifically traumatic and I have no intention of doing that to a child of mine again without a really good reason.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by swissmom View Post
I'm sorry to hear that, staceychev. You are right when you think that I don't know anything about lead poisoning. That's because my country is an industrialized country, too, and kids don't get tested for lead and still grow up healthy. So I am wondering about the necessity of a blood lead test when we are not living in an old house, play with reasonable toys and drink tap water whose lead level I've had tested. I've just become a little critical about all the "mandatory" procedures in New York City, a place I find over-over-medicated compared to my parenting philosophy. But I see where you are coming from, thanks for your thoughts.
Possibly the counhtry you came from (I'm guessing Switzerland from your user name) Just doesn't have the same levels of environmental lead for children to be exposed to. In this area, there is a lot of lead. It is just in the dirt on the streets, it is every where.

A few years ago someone thought they could solve both the canada goose over population problem and feed the homeless by hunting the geese and feeding them to the homeless. When they got a few geese they ran tests on them and found that the geese had a very very high lead content, high enough to make them unfit for human consumption.

The geese don't live in old houses. They don't play with painted toys from suspect sources. They just sit around on lawns munching the grass. There is just a lot of lead in the area.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
It's not the government's place to mandate that every child be tested for something. We are not all exposed to the same risks.
My child was exposed either when the front storm door on my mom's circa 1970s house was replaced by a licensed professional, or she was exposed in some random way that we will never ever discover. We didn't live in the city, and the county was unable to find out where the lead definitively came from. She had a lead level of forty-seven and had to be hospitalized. She had no neurological signs. The only reason it was caught was because of the lead test that my doctor's routinely recommend at the 1-year appointment. If it hadn't been caught and quickly reduced through chelation, she most likely would have had permanent neurological damage

I am sorry that your child's blood draw was traumatic, and I'm not attacking you at all Paquerette. But I feel really strongly that implying that only children "at risk" should be tested is wrong. There's this feeling among the public, especially in the suburbs and higher socioeconomic brackets, that impoverished inner-city children who regularly gnaw on windowsills are the only kids at risk of lead poisoning. It's not the case. I'm constantly encountering people who are shocked at my daughter's lead poisoning, as if "people like us" don't get lead poisoning and it must be some kind of fluke.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, I see that there is a lot more to lead poisoning than I expected. And I truly appreciate all advice and respect sharing your experiences. But going back to my original question: is the lead test really mandatory to start preschool? Can we be expelled until we bring the documentation?
post #13 of 17
Did you see this document? It looks like it's mandatory, but you may have some wiggle room in terms of time, depending on your school's director.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/download...ah-med-req.pdf

Can you call 311 and ask?
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by staceychev View Post
But I feel really strongly that implying that only children "at risk" should be tested is wrong. There's this feeling among the public, especially in the suburbs and higher socioeconomic brackets, that impoverished inner-city children who regularly gnaw on windowsills are the only kids at risk of lead poisoning. It's not the case. I'm constantly encountering people who are shocked at my daughter's lead poisoning, as if "people like us" don't get lead poisoning and it must be some kind of fluke.
big

I am soooo thankful that we caught our daughter's elevated lead levels early, so that we had plenty of time to do something about it. The blood draws were stressful for all of us, but we endured it to keep her healthy. And finding it early meant that we could treat it with iron supplementation (done largely via diet and cast iron cooking), and by taking the time to thoroughly clean our house. She did not have to endure anything invasive like chelation. She did not experience any developmental delays.

I totally understand your feelings about all the public health requirements that are placed on babies and kids. For many of them, you can easily ascertain your own risk level and make an educated decision to decline.

But it is very hard to know whether or not your child has been exposed to lead, and whether or not that exposure lead to a dangerous level. For me, I see it as having the same level of importance/benefit as the newborn PKU test, which can tell me something about my baby that I would not be able to know on my own, and with enough time for me to do something about it. If you decline the PKU, then I guess that argument won't hold water with you, but it's how I feel.
post #15 of 17
To OP: Lead and an up to date medical are required (current within the year...ie. last medical was June, 2009 is fine until June 2010). Record of immunizations or religious exemption letter also required.

TB test is not required.

It is up to the director's discretion on how strictly they enforce the records being up to date, but when DOH (dept of health) does an assessment of records at the preschool, they will cite the school for any missing/incomplete records.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Update

We did the lead test this week (LOVE my pediatrician, he did a venous blood draw and DS didn't even realize it!) and it is normal
Thank you for all your information, thoughts, concerns and support. I always learn from you moms. Thanks!
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by swissmom View Post
Update

We did the lead test this week (LOVE my pediatrician, he did a venous blood draw and DS didn't even realize it!) and it is normal
Thank you for all your information, thoughts, concerns and support. I always learn from you moms. Thanks!
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