Child tests positive for meth, doctors weigh in - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Child tests positive for meth, doctors weigh in

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A one-year-old child was tested positive for methamphetamine in Newton.

Dr. Daniel Wright, a pediatrician with Covenant Medical Center, says innocent playtime for a child can turn dangerous in a meth house.

"Methamphetamine is one of those substances that's used in multiple different ways. It can even be the solid form. A little kid about one year of age is very likely to pick things up, and put them in their mouth," Dr. Wright said.

Children can also inhale meth from second-hand smoke, and residue from the drug also poses a risk.

Lt. Corbin Payne with the Tri-County Drug Task Force says remnants of meth can be found in carpet floors, and if a child is crawling on the floor, meth can get in a child's system that way. Lt. Payne also says there can be meth residue left on walls in a home, and even get into an adult's system that way as well.

Dr. Wright says the first few years of life are crucial for development, and says exposure to meth can stunt mental and physical growth.

"We know that in the first three years of life children have most of their brain development and most of their emotional, and most of their social development goes on."

Homeowners do not have to disclose if a property was a prior meth lab. A bill in the Iowa Legislature last year tried making disclosure a law, but the bill died. The Tri-County Drug Task Force tells those moving into new spaces to look out for needles on the floor, old bottles lying in the area and that an ammonia smell can indicate previous meth use.

The DEA has a list of known former meth houses on its Clandestine Laboratory List, found here:

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