HealthWise at 5 From 4.21 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/21/03

HealthWise at 5 From 4.21

  • Lead Poisoning

New research brings disturbing news about the impact of low lead levels on a child's intelligence. The five-year study of more than 170 children found that even those with levels below the threshold for lead poisoning suffered learning problems linked to exposure, mostly in poor neighborhoods and inner cities. Researchers say they were surprised at their findings, and say the results suggest that lead exposure at any level can have a profound impact on mental performance.

Although lead poisoning in the U.S. has declined dramatically since the removal of lead from gasoline, the CDC still recommends testing all children for lead exposure at 12 months of age and, if possible, again at 24 months. The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

  • Posture Balls

You've probably seen those posture balls but you might be surprised to see who's using them now. A fourth grade class in Hastings, Nebraska. The class is taking a new approach to help prevent back aches by the end of the day.

The Posture Balls were rolled into class by a physical therapist who is also on the school board. The student's desk chairs are replaced with the balancing balls. "With the ball, you balance better because it tilts your body the right way to align your spine and then you don't get that fatigue. You're able to sit there and maintain your posture," says Julie Powers.

Actually, there are a lot of ground rules. The most important? Too much bouncing or ball abuse. You lose it and get your old chair back for a few days and apparently, that's enough of a threat to keep kids rolling within the limits.

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