The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced the release of Happy, Healthy, Lead-Free Me!, a new children’s book aimed at engaging children and educating parents on lead poisoning prevention and the importance of pediatric lead level testing.
The book, developed by the Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) with clinical collaboration from NH Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (NH AAP), is currently available at many pediatric health care provider offices and is available for free download at https://leadfreekidsnh.org/happy-healthy-lead-free-me-resources/.
The Public Health Council has copies of the book available for free for partners able to distribute the book to families in our area. Please reach out to email@example.com to request copies of the book.
“We wanted to create something that would resonate with parents and children,” said Gail Gettens, coauthor and Child Development Specialist and Health Promotion Advisor in the DPHS Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. “The illustrations and rhymes engage children and the parents section provides additional details about lead exposure prevention and the importance of pediatric blood lead-level testing.”
“As New Hampshire has some of the oldest homes in America, many still have lead paint,” Knatalie Vetter, coauthor and Environmental Supervisor of the Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, stated. “On average, 55% of New Hampshire homes were built before lead-based paint was banned in 1978, and, in some communities, that percentage is as high as 83%. This underscores the importance of getting your child’s lead-level tested at both the 12 and 24 month well-child check visits.
Early blood lead testing is critical. NH’s pediatric lead level testing rates dropped 14% during 2020, due to COVID pandemic, meaning that 3108 fewer children in NH were tested for lead levels in 2020, than the year prior, 2019.
Pediatric health care providers and other agencies interested in ordering free copies of Happy, Healthy, Lead-Free Me! may contact Gail Gettens at Gail.C.Gettens@dhhs.nh.gov, or visit www.happyhealthyleadfree.me to download a free copy, available in 7 different languages.
For a printable postcard highlighting the book, go to https://leadfreekidsnh.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Post-card-board-book-FINAL.pdf.