A report from the Iowa Department of Human Services this week showed a dramatic decline in the number of kids who’re exposed to meth labs in their homes. The D-H-S credits that drop to Iowa’s new law that strictly controls one of the main ingredients in meth.

But Mary Nelson who oversees the D-H-S personnel that investigate abuse reports says meth use is still a big factor for Iowa kids. Nelson says parents who’re using meth don’t have the capacity to take care of their kids. She says investigators will often find kids that’re unsupervised, they have dirty diapers, they haven’t gotten the food they need.

Nelson says kids of parents who use meth suffer in other ways too. Nelson says they often find the kids are developmentally delayed because they haven’t gotten the nurturing you’d expect from parents. Nelson says it’s great to see fewer kids exposed to the dangerous chemicals used in making meth, but she says there’s more work to be done to cut the impact of meth on children.