National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is October 23-29

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Hillsborough County Health Department Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is recognizing National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW), October 23-29, 2011 to raise awareness of lead poisoning in children. For children, even low levels of exposure to lead can cause a host of developmental effects such as learning disabilities, such as decreased intelligence and delayed speech and language, and behavioral problems, which can affect children for a lifetime.

"Lead poisoning can have life-altering health effects, especially in our children. But it is entirely preventable if we take the right steps to protect our children in all the places where they live, learn, and play," Hillsborough County Health Department Lead Poisoning Prevention Coordinator Cynthia O. Keeton said. "National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week gives us the opportunity to strengthen our awareness and prevention efforts and ensure medical providers, parents, landlords, renovators, repairmen, and painters have the tools they need to protect children against lead exposure every day of the year."

Major sources of lead exposure among children are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings. Lead most commonly occurs in the environment as a result of improper repair or renovation of pre-1978 homes. Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable.

This year's NLPPW theme, Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future, underscores the importance of testing homes and children and getting the facts about how to prevent serious health effects.

Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your children:

• Get your home tested. Have your home inspected if you live in a home built before 1978.
• Get your child tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead.
• Get the facts. Visit or call 1-800-424-LEAD.

More information on lead poisoning prevention: or

In Spanish:

Activities for the week;
• October 24: Distribution of lead brochures, flyers to community retailers, libraries, schools, and through the partners of Healthy Homes Partners of Tampa Bay.
• October 25: Lead Awareness Training for families living in pre-1978 housing
• October 26 and 28: Lead-o-ween for childcare centers: Childcare Center visitations promoting I Know Where Lead is Hiding, an interactive program for children.
• October 27: Visits to health care provider offices to promote increased blood lead screenings;

Cynthia O. Keeton
813-307-8015 ext. 7108