Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 20, 2010

Head Start to offer anti-smoking program

— The local chapter of the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (ITPC) Agency are partnering with Head Start in Howard County on a program designed to educate families and children about the dangers associated with secondhand smoke.

“Getting a Head Start on Living Tobacco Free” has the goal of reducing children’s exposure to secondhand smoke and helping them avoid problems such as increased risk of ear infections, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome and other health and learning problems.

“We’re genuinely excited to join together with the Kokomo-Center Schools Head Start program staff to help provide the training and materials they’ll need to educate their families…we’re hopeful it will lead to providing them with the information they need for the families and children to live healthier lives,” said ITPC Executive Director Karla Sneegas.

Each participating Head Start center will receive hands-on training and related materials to help in educating the families and children served by each facility.

“In some cases, we know that parents may be unaware that their smoking is contributing to a problem their child may be having, such as asthma, by exposing them to secondhand smoke in their home or car,” added Howard County Tobacco Coalition Coordinator Shirley Dubois. “In this way, we’re able to contribute to a greater quality of life for the families served by Head Start.”

For more information about the program, contact Julie Worland, director of Kokomo-Center Schools Head Start at 765-454-7082 or Dubois, Howard County Tobacco Coalition coordinator, at 765-457-9313 ext. 113.