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Keep Kids Away During Hurricane Sandy Cleanup, Doctors Warn

NEW YORK CITY — Doctors and researchers are warning people in Hurricane Sandy's most heavily impacted areas to keep children away from the cleanup effort.

Debris-littered homes in places like the Rockaways and New Dorp Beach on Staten Island are rife with danger for children, teens and pregnant women, according to Dr. Maida Galvez of Mount Sinai Hospital.

"It's best to be careful," said Galvez, who is the director of Mount Sinai's Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit. "Because many houses were seriously impacted by the storm, some of the homes are basically demolition sites."

Of particular concern to doctors are respiratory problems brought on by asbestos, lead paint or mold contained in the wreckage of homes. Those conditions can exacerbate symptoms of asthma and allergies, Galvez said.