CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Imagine finding out that your child’s preschool has toxic lead paint, you would be concerned and so was a grandparent who reached out to Channel 9 after getting a letter from Tryon Hills Preschool on Friday.
When Corey Sigle picked up his 3-year-old granddaughter from her Tryon Hills Head Start program last week, he was alarmed.
“I’m a concerned grandfather and I’m concerned for the other parents and staff as well,” Sigle said. “Friday, Jan. 31 when I arrived at school and looked into her cubby hole and I see a letter.”
It said “A recent inspection by the health department identified lead-based paint hazards at our facility” and because of the age of the facility, the health department routinely evaluates for lead-based paint hazards.
“That’s pretty much all I got was that letter,” Sigle said. “I don’t want to cause an uproar or inconvenience for daycare, but I think it’s only right that the parents know.”
The organization behind the school gave Channel 9′s education reporter Elsa Gillis a diagram of where the paint was found. The health department said the lead-based paint was found outside the classrooms in the breezeway area near the cafeteria and on the exterior door frame of some classrooms, but no lead hazards found in the classrooms.
They said the exposure risk at the school is low because the chipping paint was found outside the classrooms.
A representative for the organization behind Tryon Hills, Bethlehem Center of Charlotte, told Channel 9 the health department gave them 14 days to come up with a plan to fix it and then, 60 days to do so.
In a letter that the representative shared with Channel 9 from the health department, it said parents of children under the age of six must be notified.
“Awareness is the big thing,” Sigle said. “I’m glad that they’re trying to rectify the problem and get everything situated. I just think it’s important for parents to know everything.”
According to Bethlehem Center of Charlotte, the letter Sigle and other parents received was provided to the child care facility by the health department.
Being exposed to lead can seriously impact a child’s health. According to the CDC, it can damage the brain and nervous system, slow growth and development and also cause learning, hearing and speech problems.
A blood lead test is the only way to find out if your child has a high lead level. Most children with lead in their blood have no symptoms.
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