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National Prevention Week Educates Parents About the Consequences of Lead Poisoning and How to Prevent It

The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore’s Lead Program Offers Resources and Guidance
for Local Residents

NEW YORK (October 16, 2013) – A child’s exposure to lead from paint, house dust or any other source can cause significant damage to their health. They can develop behavior and learning problems such as aggressive behavior and hyperactivity, and other problems including slowed growth and hearing problems. October 20 – 25 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) and its purpose is to raise awareness about the consequences of lead poisoning among parents and pregnant women, and to share resources and guidance on how to treat the condition.

Hundreds of thousands of children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels that may be hazardous to their health. This year's NLPPW theme "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future," underscores the importance of testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects.

“Prevention is key,” said Morri Markowitz, M.D., director, Lead Poisoning Treatment and Prevention Program, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) and professor of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. “But we also want parents to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of lead poisoning, which is a serious and continuing problem in New York City, so they can seek appropriate treatment.”

Clinicians from The Lead Poisoning Treatment and Prevention Program (LPTPP) at CHAM will be holding daily informational sessions at The Family Learning Place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., October 21 – 25. They will be sharing educational information, materials and free giveaways for families.

LPTPP was founded in 1969 and is the oldest and most comprehensive program of its kind. It is recognized both nationally and internationally as a leading model focused on the prevention and management of lead poisoning in children and pregnant women. The Safe House for Lead Poisoning Prevention was opened in 1991 and consists of six newly renovated apartments that are offered as temporary housing for families whose homes are being made lead-safe. For more information about the program call (718) 547-2789.

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week was established in 1999 by the U.S. Senate and occurs every year during the last week in October. During this week, many states and communities offer free blood-lead testing and conduct various education and awareness events. For more information about NLPPW activities in your area, contact the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.