Date: March 25, 2022


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New Children’s Book Helps Parents And Children Learn How To Prevent Lead Poisoning

Concord, NH – 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

“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.

Pediatric health care providers and other agencies interested in ordering free copies of Happy, Healthy, Lead-Free Me! may contact Gail Gettens at, or visit to download a free copy, available in 7 different languages.

For a printable postcard highlighting the book, go to

Production of this book was made possible through a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Regional reviewers included the clinical team at Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit Region 1/Boston Children’s Hospital and EPA Region 1 Boston Lead Program.


Book Reviews

“Beautiful, effective, and fun! We are so proud to have been able to collaborate with the NH DPHS on this initiative to create Happy, Healthy, Lead-Free Me! It is an innovative and creative way of teaching families about the dangers of lead and the importance of lead level testing while allowing children to benefit from the amazing developmental gains associated with reading. The pediatricians across the state who are enthusiastically handing out the book and the families who are receiving it - all universally love it!”

- Erik Shessler, MD, Chair of General Pediatrics, Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Manchester and President of NHAAP

“The book is a small masterpiece. Engaging and user-friendly, from the attractive illustrations and simple rhymes to the informative but easy-to-understand prevention guidance included for the adult reader.”

- Katie LaJoie, RN, Public Health Nurse, Charleston, and member of Greater Claremont Lead Action Committee

“It’s great to be able to give a book to families about a health topic in an age-appropriate presentation for the patient. The rhyming board book format is familiar to parents and children, making it a comfortable fit with the routine of reading stories. The age-appropriate presentation, bright colors, diversity of the characters, and availability in additional languages makes this book a winner!”

- Eleanor Maguire, ANPR, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Nashua