For Immediate Release
October 17, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461


“Healthy Kids Live in Healthy Homes”

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Highlights Importance of
Testing Children and Homes for Lead

Governor Kathleen Sebelius has proclaimed October 21-27 as Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in Kansas. Free lead tests and educational fun days are just some of the events being held across the state to celebrate National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. A display of “Healthy Homes” coloring sheets from Kansas children, along with the interactive “Dusty the Dog” demonstration will be located in the Statehouse Rotunda on October 22-24.

Many children are poisoned from exposure to lead hazards. Recent reports about contaminated toys have parents concerned. Dust created by disturbing lead painted surfaces can also settle on toys, windowsills and floors and can poison young children.

Children who are poisoned by lead often suffer from learning disabilities, brain and central nervous system damage and other physical effects. Living in a home built prior to 1978 increases the risk of lead poisoning.

Childhood lead poisoning is preventable, and the following Lead Poisoning Prevention Week events will be held around the state to offer free lead testing and educational material on lead poisoning prevention:

In addition, Gage Park and the Topeka Zoo will host ZOOrific! Healthy Homes Family Day from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 25 . The event will be held at the Big Shelter House at Gage Park, 10 th and Gage Blvd. in Topeka. Sonic, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, CiCi’s Pizza, Pepsi and Frito Lay provided donations for this event. Activities will include:

For more information on the ZOOrific! Healthy Homes Family Fun Day, please call Chrishundra Mitchell, Healthy Homes & Lead Hazard Prevention Program at (785) 296-3259.

Parents are urged to ask their doctor or local health department to perform a lead test, if they are unable to have their child tested at one of these events.

Call the Kansas Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Program toll-free at (866) 865-3233 or visit www.kshealthyhomes.org for information on lead poisoning prevention as well as how to find professionals to test your home for lead.