Teaching About Toxins

By Kelley Dawson Salas

Nationwide, asthma is the number one reason that students miss school, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Seven percent of children in the United States suffer from asthma. But in urban areas, the rate shoots up to 14 percent-twice the national rate.

While the rate of lead poisoning cases is 4.5 percent nationwide, it too is much higher in urban areas. In Milwaukee it jumps to 22 percent. And, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in some neighborhoods in Milwaukee as many as 80 percent of children have lead poisoning.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), more and more children are developing Type 2 diabetes, a condition that has generally been more common among adults. Type 2 diabetes commonly occurs in children who are overweight, older than 10, have a family history of Type 2 diabetes, and are African-American, Latino, or Native-American.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the child obesity rate in the United States has tripled in the last two decades, and 15 percent of children ages 16 to 19 are overweight.