Free lead poisoning tests for children from nine months to six years old are being given this week in Department of Human Services clinics throughout the city.

Parents are urged to have their children tested if they suspect they have chewed or mouthed objects covered by lead paint or if they are exposed to chipping or peeling lead paint. Parents who live in older homes or apartments should have their children tested routinely, health officials say.

Testing will be between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at DHS neighborhood health clinics at 1328 W St. SE; 10th and R streets NW; 850 Delaware Ave. SW; 3012 18th St. NE; Benning Road and C Street SE; 702 15th St. NE; 4130 Hunt Place NE; 1101 Seventh St. SE; and 3855 Eighth St. SE.

Testing also will be offered at the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Office, 613 G St. NW, in room 109 on the lower level.

Among the symptoms of lead poisoning are unusual irritability, poor appetite, stomach pains, vomiting, persistent constipation and sluggishness or drowsiness.

Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, blindness, kidney problems, anemia and, in later stages, convulsions and death. If lead poisoning is suspected, a physician should be consulted, DHS officials say.