Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Oct. 25, 2010

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is October 24-30, 2010

Nearly a quarter of a million children living in the United States have blood lead levels high enough to cause significant damage to their health, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based on data from a 2003-2004 national survey. Major sources of lead exposure among U.S. children are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings.

Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable.

"Parents need to talk with their health care provider about having their child tested at ages one and two years," said Dennis Norfleet, MD, Public Health Director for Oswego County.

To increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention, the Oswego County Health Department, along with CDC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is participating in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week October 24 to 30.

This year's 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.

Dr. Norfleet gives the following tips for parents to help prevent lead posoning:

  • Keep the area where your children play as dust-free and clean as possible.

  • Ask your doctor about lead testing for your 1- and 2-year-olds.

  • Report chipped or cracked paint to your landlord if you live in an older home built before 1978.

  • Make sure your children do not chew on painted surfaces, such as toys or window sills.

  • Learn about and avoid toys that have been recalled due to high lead levels.

  • Before buying an older home, ask for a lead inspection.

The Oswego County Health Department will be visiting WIC sites throughout Oswego County to provide parents with additional information on lead poisoning prevention.

For more information about preventing childhood lead poisoning, contact the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or oswegocounty.com/health, or call 1-800-424-LEAD.

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