Tuesday, December 18, 2012

7 Germie Places and Things. . . Dring the Holiday Season

During the holidays many are busy with celebrations, family get-togethers and lots of shopping. It is also the season for colds and flu. So, Jefferson County Public Health has created a list of the seven germiest places during the holiday season.

via Storify http://sfy.co/cC2k -- December 18, 2012 at 11:40AM

Friday, November 30, 2012

Wash your Hands, Get your Flu Shot and Stay Home if you’re Sick!

It’s the season for joyful celebrations with family and friends. It’s also flu season and a common time for the spread of disease and illness. Following basic public health practices during the holidays, such as washing hands, staying home if you’re sick and adhering to proper food handling and preparation techniques, can help you and your family from getting sick or from spreading illness to others.

You can also protect yourself and your family by getting flu shot. It is not too late to get immunized. Call Jefferson County Public Health to schedule your flu shot at 303-232-6301 or click here for more information.

Candy and Cookies and Fudge! O My!

The Holidays are here! Many of us will be going to parties, hosting family gatherings and eating more than usual. Jefferson County Public Health reminds everyone that moderation is important when it comes to what you are consuming.

JCPH’s Portion Plate Guide can help you keep track of how much you’re eating.

Keeping fruits and vegetables in your kitchen, instead of sugary snacks are a great way to curb your sweet cravings.

Food isn’t the only thing that we tend to overindulge in this time of year, sugar-laden drinks also tend to abound. Help your friends and family members rethink their drink.

Speaking of drinking, alcohol is also often consumed in excess during the holidays. Pay attention to how much alcohol you drink and know the health effects of excessive alcohol use. If you want to quit drinking alcohol, be sure to seek professional help, as withdrawing from alcohol can be life threatening without medical attention.

For those who smoke tobacco, try cutting back or take steps towards quitting instead of increasing your habit during the holidays, contact the Colorado Quit Line for more information. And, although this time of year gets incredibly busy, be sure to schedule time for a little exercise. Not only can physical activity help attack holiday weight gain, it can also help reduce stress --something that can certainly sneak up on us this time of year.

Keep Children Safe This Holiday Season

Picking the perfect toy for that special child in your life can be fun. Knowing that the toy is safe and won’t cause a tragic injury is priceless.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent federal regulatory agency created to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with some 15,000 types of consumer products, including toys.

Choking on small parts, small balls and balloons remains a leading cause of toy-related deaths and injuries. Here are some tips to help you with your toy selection:
  • To prevent injuries, choose toys that are safe for the age of the child.
  • Look for labels to help you judge which toys might not be safe, especially for infants and children under age three. The law bans small parts in toys for children under three and requires an explicit, prominent warning label on toys with small parts for children between the ages of three and six. In addition, balls with a diameter smaller than 1.75 inches are banned for children under three years old.
  • For children of all ages, consider if the toys are suited to their skills and abilities. 
For more information, download the JCPH Toy safety flyer.

Know Your Status

December 1st is National World AIDS day. Jefferson County Public Health asks you to recognize the day by knowing your HIV status.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 1.2 million people are living with HIV and 1 out of every 5 aren’t even aware that their status is positive. They also estimate 50,000 Americans are newly infected every single year.

This is why Jefferson County Public Health urges you and your partner to get an HIV test. The only way for someone to know if they have HIV is to take the HIV test. Knowing your status can prevent you from inadvertently infecting someone else. There is no cure for HIV, but there are new treatment options allowing people to live productive lives while living with HIV.

Get HIV counseling and testing at low cost at one of our conveniently located HIV testing clinics. With a rapid test, you can even get results during your visit. Make an appointment today by calling 303-239-7078.

Helping Families Grow Healthy

Jefferson County Public Health offers nutrition counseling and education for all families through its Women Infant Children Program, also known as WIC. Moms, Dads, Grandparents and legal guardians can participate in the program if they:
  • Live in Colorado 
  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding and/or have a child under 5-years-old. 
  • Have a family income less than the WIC guidelines
WIC helps keep families healthy by providing personalized nutrition consultants, breastfeeding information, checks for free healthy food and referrals for health care, housing and much more. This program also offers help with meal planning, weight management, and caring for a new baby. If you need help with your family’s nutritional needs, please do not hesitate to get more details at one of our WIC clinics.

JCPH Nutrition Services also offers nutritional assistance for families with children with special needs. Please call to make an appointment or visit us online:

Lakewood- 303-239-7143
Arvada- 303-275-7510
Edgewater- 303-271-5780

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What Does Your Insurance Cover?


Many of us were taught at an early age to take charge of our health, our bodies and our minds. That is why many of today’s sexually active women rely on family planning services.  Unfortunately, for so many women the pocketbook gets in the way of making responsible choices when it comes to the use and availability of contraception choices.  Getting on a birth control pill, the patch, an IUD or any other female form of birth control involves visiting a healthcare provider.  Even if you have insurance, contraception and family planning services may not be covered. 

Under the The Affordable Care Act, insured women are meant to have better coverage and access to  preventive services including birth control.  Not necessarily. Recently, a friend of mine found out that her policy does not and will not cover contraception.  During a recent visit to get birth control services for her college-aged daughters, who are covered under her plan, she was told that despite having insurance there was no form of contraception that would be covered.  She was confused.  How is better and more affordable access possible if your plan denies coverage?

Upon further research, my friend discovered that because her insurance provider, through her spouse’s employment, was faith based they were exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement.  In fact, any plan sponsored by certain religious employers or group health insurance in connection with such plans, do not have to cover contraceptive services.  So with health insurance that doesn’t cover contraception, my friend and many others are left wondering how best to take care of their and their children’s reproductive health needs.

Fortunately, Jefferson County Public Health does provide family planning services, including contraception to individuals regardless of race, religion, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or marital status.  All services are confidential and fees are based on your ability to pay- no one will be denied services for inability to pay. 

Calling your insurance company to find out whether or not you are covered is the first step when it comes to taking charge of your reproductive health.  If you find that you are not covered, rest assured that Jefferson County Public Health can help.  For more information on Jefferson County Public Health clinic and other services, please call 303-232-6301.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Raising a Generation of Healthy Eaters

The news in health lately has focused on the growing issue of obesity in our country. This has many people concerned about their families, especially their children. The CDC states that childhood obesity can cause heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea and social discrimination. But, the question is, how do we raise healthy eaters? Here are a few tips:
  • Encourage healthy eating habits. 
  • Look for ways to make favorite dishes healthier 
  • Remove calorie-rich temptations 
JCPH reminds everyone that parents and caregivers set the examples for children when it comes to eating. Getting your kids to eat healthier now will help to set a high standard for eating as they get older. Enjoy this fun video by Turn the Tide Foundation!

Health Care Access

Finding yourself without health care can be a scary thing. Jefferson County Public Health is here to help. There are programs to assist you and your family get the care you need.

If you are Pregnant and need immediate prenatal care- Please call 303-232-6301 for Presumptive Eligibility. This program, based on eligibility, can get you the care you need while you are waiting to be approved for Medicaid.

If you are Pregnant and have children- Please call Jefferson County Human Services department at 303- 271-1388 for information on how to get your family covered with Medicaid. While you are waiting for Medicaid approval, you might consider applying for Presumptive Eligibility (listed above) so that your unborn baby can get a healthy start.

If you are already on Medicaid but need help finding medical, dental, vision, or mental health care– Contact Healthy Communities at 303-239-7041. They can assist you in finding the correct care for you and your family.

If you have children and have applied for Medicaid but have been declined- You may be eligible for CHP+. This program can help you get medical care for your children under the ages of 18. There is a small annual fee and co-pays are based on factors such as income and family size. Please call 303-751-9051 for more information.

There is also help for all children enrolled in the R-1 School District. All children who are actively enrolled can apply to get Medicaid for their families through school. For more information, please call 303-982-7276.

Take a Hike Day

November 17, is National Take a Hike Day
Although this may be something you’ve been trying to tell your unwanted house guest, we mean get outside and go for a hike!  Outdoor physical activity can improve your health.  It can lower your blood pressure, your risk of heart disease and even some cancers.  It may even be the answer to your sleepless nights and low energy levels. Did you know that, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, less than half of all adults get enough physical activity to improve their health.  Here’s the answer.  Get Healthy. Stay Health. Go for a Hike. Visit Jeffco Outdoors.org for more hiking ideas and here for hiking maps in Jefferson County!

Holiday Food Safety

The holidays are quickly approaching. The scent of turkey, ham, stuffing, and pumpkin pie will fill many homes in Jefferson County!  While creating delectable creations for your dining table, please keep a few of these food safety tips in mind:
  • Thawing turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature. Get the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation on how to thaw your turkey!
  • Bacteria present on raw poultry can contaminate your hands, utensils, and work surfaces as you prepare the turkey.
  • For optimal safety, cook the stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole dish.
For more information on thawing, storing, and cooking your holiday meals, please click here.  

Healthy People, Healthy Places . . . Jefferson County Public Health Wants You to be Involved in Creating a Healthier JeffCo

Over the next several months and throughout 2013, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) will invite you to participate in the development of a comprehensive community health improvement plan (CHIP). All local Colorado public health departments will develop a community health improvement plan every five years that includes a multi-phased approach made up of a community health assessment, the development of a community health profile, a community engagement prioritization process and finally, the development, implementation, and evaluation of a CHIP.  Current JCPH accomplishments related to this project include collecting existing health data and information on risk factors, quality of life, mortality, morbidity, community assets, social determinants of health and health inequity. We are also gathering information on how well the public health system provides essential services. Additionally, some community outreach has occurred through a mix of methodologies, internal work teams have been formed, a communication plan is being developed, and Dr. Mark Johnson, Executive Director has invited key stakeholders to be a part of a health council. 

The next phase of the process involves members of the community.  JCPH wants as many constituents from multiple jurisdictions to be involved in this important process to ensure a collaborative and inclusive process to improve the health and the environmental conditions of our County.   JCPH believes that when community members engage with health data, notice trends and choose health indicators to track, they will better understand the health issues facing our County and will want to get involved in creating solutions. 

As a resident, employee or stakeholder, JCPH believes you are a key partner in the process. Over the next 14 months, www.healthypeoplehealthyplacesjeffco.com will be a place for you to connect with the CHIP process, JCPH and our many partners in the County.  The overarching goal is to have Jefferson County Colorado exemplify Healthy People and Healthy Places! Keep your eye out for continued communication on this initiative. If you have specific suggestions, or would like more information, please contact Elise Lubell, JCPH Director of Health Promotion and Lifestyle Management, at 303-271-5719 or elubell@jeffco.us.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Meet My Grandma, She is a Survivor This October, Make Breast Cancer Prevention a Priority

We all know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) reminds us that the best prevention against Breast Cancer is early detection.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is one of the leading causes of cancer death among women.  JCPH offers breast cancer screenings to women who qualify. 

If you have not made this life saving appointment  and need a little inspiration, meet Alexia.  

“My Grandma, Antoinette Paniagua, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 12 years ago.  She then went to nursing school so she could work in the field of Breast Health and Breast Cancer.  She even got certified as a Breast Patient Navigator.  She works at Jefferson County Public Health as a Nurse Case Manager and Patient Navigator in the Breast Program.

My Grandma is a survivor and because of that she is passionate about helping people get mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies when they are needed.  She tells me "Early detection is the best protection."

If you are uninsured or under-insured, you can call her to see how you can get some help getting a Mammogram. 
Grandma says "October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month but, we need to fight EVERYDAY to find a cure so that my generation won't have to worry about Breast Cancer."  We work hard as a family to raise funds and awareness like participating in the Komen Denver Race for the Cure. I am so proud of my Grandma.”

To contact Antoinette and find out how to get your breast cancer screening, please call 303 239-7044. You can also get more information by visiting JCPH online.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Growing Up With Second Hand Smoke

I had the best childhood ever.  I rode my bike everywhere, hung out with the kids in the neighborhood, and had loving supportive parents who indulged my every whim.  They supported me when I struck out- every time- in baseball.  They watched me practice dances in the living room and always gave me a standing ovation.  We took road trips across the country in the family station wagon, and while we were driving, they even cracked the windows so that I didn’t have to breathe in their secondhand smoke.  Although I know my parents meant well, I don’t think they realized that this didn’t protect me from their smoke.  According to a recent study, over one-fifth of nonsmoking children are exposed to secondhand smoke in cars. This smoke exposes them to more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer. This doesn’t only happen in cars.  Secondhand smoke is also being breathed in by non-smoking children in their own homes.  I don’t think my parents knew this when I was a child. I’d like to believe that if they did, they wouldn’t have exposed me, their only daughter, to such a dangerous environment.

Truth be told, I have the best parents in the world.  But, I also have parents with an addiction to cigarettes.  As a child, their smoking never bothered me.  I mean, everyone smoked.  Yes, my house smelled, and my clothes and hair were always infused with the scent of tobacco. But, wasn’t that just like everyone else? 

In elementary school I began to understand the negative impact my parents’ smoking was having on them and on me.   Several of my friends’ parents stopped smoking and were beginning to care more about their health.  Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda were inspiring our moms to wear leg warmers and head bands.  (Luckily for me, my mom never picked up on those embarrassing fashion trends!) Unluckily for me, both of my parents ignored the 80’s health boom.  They continued to smoke in our house, in our car, at my dance recitals, the mall, the park…  Suddenly my friends were not allowed to stay over because they went home smelling like smoke.  I began arming myself with any brochures I could get about the negative effects of smoking.  I stole their cigarettes and hid them under my bed.  Even as a child, I understood that giving up cigarettes would be difficult.       

I am a grown woman now with children of my own, and I am happy to tell you that I have not personally suffered any major health issues directly associated with my parents tobacco addiction (other than multiple ear infections).  I’ve been very lucky.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to secondhand smoke can cause more than just ear infections.  It is also responsible for severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, and a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in children.  In fact, secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 150,000–300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia annually and approximately 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States for children 18 months old and younger.  Guess I was luckier than a lot of children who grew up in the same environment.

There are over 45.3 million adult tobacco smokers in the US today. According to a 2010 study by the CDC, 69% of these smokers want to quit.  Many of them will succeed.  My father has quit.  I think he has actually quit 5 different times now. Unfortunately his addiction is still winning.

My parents are still smoking- just not in the house anymore.  And not in the hospitals they have been admitted to.  Through cancers and debilitating heart disease, one thing has remained the same.  My parents are smokers.  It is part of who they are, regardless of my persistent pleas, their doctors’ warnings, and the aches and pains they have endured.  They are still the best parents in the world, and I love them more than they could ever know.  But, I will never let go of the dream of them quitting forever.    

I know some of you are reading this and thinking, “Here she goes. Another anti-smoking story…”  I guess, if I have to be honest, it is indeed an anti-smoking story.  But, if you have children and you smoke, I sincerely hope this story is an addition to the smoking brochures left casually around the house, the stolen cigarettes that are hidden under your child’s bed, and the requests to roll down the car windows.  

My name is Tina Thorpe.  I'd love to hear your stories of growing up with second hand smoke.  Please post your experiences below.  Thank you so much for sharing.
Written by Tina Thorpe

- Jefferson County Public Health    

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Empowering Pregnant Women to have a Healthy Pregnancy and a Healthy Baby . . . Prenatal Plus and Nurse Family Partnership

Prenatal Plus is for Medicaid eligible women, whether it’s their first or fifth child. A public health nurse, dietitian and/or mental health specialist will meet with mother during home or office visits throughout the pregnancy and up to 2 months after the baby is born. The team supports expecting moms in setting goals to positively impact the health of their baby and their family.

JCPH Nurse Family Partnership is for women having their first baby. A public health nurse will visit mother in her home during pregnancy and until baby is 2 years old. The nurse will help mother learn about pregnancy and parenting while helping mother set and achieve goals.

Please call 303-232-6301 to talk with a nurse about either of these programs. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It is October and Breast Cancer Awareness month. Take some time this month to learn more about breast cancer, breast health and the latest research developments. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness and provide greater access to services.   
Jefferson County Public Health offers breast and cervical cancer screenings for women who qualify. Call 303-239-7078 or visit the JCPH cancer screening web page.  
More Information  on Breast Cancer & Getting Screened
•           Komen for the Cure
•           American Cancer Society
•           Women's Wellness Connection - Provides free breast & cervical cancer screening services to eligible women in Colorado.  Call 1-866-951-WELL for more information.

Food Day is October 24th!

Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Residents throughout Jefferson County are reminded that the food we eat should boost our health and enhance our communities.
Food Day was created to:
  • Promote safer, healthier diets
  • Support sustainable and organic farms
  • Reduce hunger
  • Reform factory farms to protect the environment
  • Support fair working conditions for food and farm workers
For more information or to get involved, please visit the Food Day Website.
In addition, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health recently published its report, F as In Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future http://healthyamericans.org/assets/files/TFAH2012FasInFatfinal.pdf The report highlights the alarming trend of obesity rates and potential impacts if trends are not reversed.  “This report outlines how policies like increasing physical activity time in schools and making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable can help make healthier choices easier. Small changes can add up to a big difference. Policy changes can help make healthier choices easier for Americans in their daily lives.” said Jeff Levi, PhD, executive director of Trust for America’s Health.

Injury Prevention . . . Across the Lifespan

Injuries and violence affect everyone, regardless of age, race, economic status or geographic location. In fact, injuries are the number-one killer for Americans, Coloradoans and those living in Jefferson County between the ages of 1-44.
JCPH is partnering with hospitals, childcare providers, high schools and senior groups to increase awareness and education and ultimately decrease injuries among infants, teenagers and older adults in the County.
  • Safe Sleep for Baby
Parents, grandparents, childcare providers and others who may be responsible for putting an infant down to rest or sleep are reminded of the importance of providing a safe sleep environment. Studies show that infants who are placed on their backs when going to sleep or napping have a 50% reduced risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is also important to be aware of a baby’s sleep area, clothing and location of sleep. 

  • Safe Driving for Adolescents
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths in this age group. In Jefferson County alone, there were 123 teen injury cases involving motor vehicles last year.  Following the Colorado Graduated Driver Licensing-laws can help teens prevent motor vehicle crashes.  Since these laws have been established in 1999, the number of teens killed in motor vehicle crashes in the state of Colorado has decreased more than 50%. 
  • Fall Prevention for Older adults  
Every year In Colorado, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports, an average of 400 Coloradans ages 65 and older die from a fall-related injury, and more than 10,000 are hospitalized for nonfatal injuries.  Improving balance, evaluating medications that may cause dizziness and getting a yearly eye exam are ways to help prevent injuries from falls.  Eliminating hazards at home that may cause falls, such as throw rugs or extension cords, are another way to stay safe. 

The JCPH Injury Prevention Program encourages everyone to learn more about preventing injuries across the lifespan. For more information about preventing injuries, please visit the JCPH Injury Prevention web page or contact Susan Moyer at 303-239-7045.

Need Birth Control or Other Reproductive Health & Family Planning Service

Did you know that Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) offers confidential family planning and reproductive health services with little wait time at two convenient locations?
§  Lakewood Clinic, 260 South Kipling Street - 303-239-7078
§  Arvada Clinic, 6303 Wadsworth Bypass - 303-275-7500

In the United States, almost half of all pregnancies are unintended.  Yet, many safe and highly effective methods of birth control are available to prevent unintended pregnancy.  Women with unintended pregnancies are less likely to obtain early prenatal care and their babies are at increased risks of both low birth weight and preterm birth, which can cause health and development issues all through their lives. An unintended pregnancy can also limit the education and employment opportunities of both parents often leading to significant financial challenges. 
That is why JCPH is dedicated to offering the following services:
  • Pregnancy testing and all options counseling
  • Treatment of minor gynecological problems
  • Abstinence counseling
  • Emergency Contraceptive Pill
  • STD Clinic                            
  • HIV Confidential Counseling & Testing 
  • Teen Health Program
All services are confidential and parental consent is not necessary for minors.   In most cases, a birth control method can be started on your first appointment.  More information can be found at www.jeffco.us/health

New Teen Trend of Smoking Hookah Tobacco is Unhealthy

Hookah smoking lounges are opening in some Jefferson County communities that have not yet strengthened their smoke free laws.  Although state law prohibits the use of any form of tobacco, including hookah tobacco, for anyone under the age of 18, kids as young as 16-years old are encouraged to come in to some of these establishments, and are often enticed by the candy or fruit flavored tobacco and club-like atmosphere of these smoking lounges.

So, what exactly is “hookah”?  A hookah is a water pipe used to smoke flavored tobacco.  Many think that “smoking hookah” has no negative health effects.  The truth might surprise some, especially parents who have allowed their children to participate in this new trend.

There are many things that you should know about smoking hookah tobacco.  For more information on the facts, click here.  If you are looking for ways to help your teen make informed decisions, contact JCPH at 303-275-7555 or visit, www.jeffco.us/heath.

Protect against Pertussis, DtaP Vaccination Clinics offered at No Cost for Kindergarteners and Preschoolers

In response to rising rates of pertussis disease in Jefferson County and throughout the state of Colorado, Jefferson County Public Health will hold a pertussis (DtaP) vaccination clinic at no cost for kids on:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 
and on 
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 
from 2:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. at our 
Lakewood offices, 260 South Kipling Street. 

The target population for these clinics is preschoolers and kindergartners, however we urge everyone to check with their health care providers and be sure they are up-to-date on pertussis vaccinations. Please call 303-232-6301 to register for the October 24 or November 14, 2012 clinics.

Stop the Flu!

Get Your Flu Shot, Wash Your Hands, Stay Home When Sick

Now is the time to start paying close attention to protecting yourself and your loved ones from flu. While it is impossible to say just how bad the season will be, public health officials expect flu to be circulating and urge everyone to do their part in preventing its spread. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, on average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. Everyone has a role in preventing the spread and severity of this year’s flu season. More details at www.jeffco.us/health or call 303-275-7555.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Leaders in Food Safety

This year marks the 12th anniversary of the award. Congratulations to this year's winner, Santiago's in Golden! http://flic.kr/p/d9Wxev

Leaders in Food Safety

This year marks the 12th anniversary of the award. Congratulations to this year's winner, Santiago's in Golden! http://flic.kr/p/d9Wxox

Friday, August 31, 2012

Free Car Seat Check Up. 8/30/12

Thanks for making sure your kids are riding safely! http://flic.kr/p/d38Ahb

Free Car Seat Check Up. 8/30/12

Thanks for making sure your kids are riding safely! http://flic.kr/p/d38AEQ

Free Car Seat Check Up. 8/30/12

Thanks for making sure your kids are riding safely! http://flic.kr/p/d38zYA

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Childhood Obesity

It is no secret that obesity rates in the United States are soaring, especially in our children. According to the National Childhood Obesity Month website, more than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight.  This is a statistic that health and medical experts consider an epidemic.  And this epidemic puts nearly one third of America’s children at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.

The causes of obesity are complex. They include genetic, metabolic, behavioral, environmental, cultural and socioeconomic factors.  Colorado communities with the highest rates of obesity face limited access to healthy and affordable foods, recreational facilities, safe neighborhoods and preventive health care.  These conditions make it difficult for healthy eating and physical activity to be easy choices for all Coloradans in the places where they live, learn, work and play. 

Families can help prevent Childhood Obesity by:

·         Breastfeeding- The risk of childhood obesity is one-third greater for children who never have been breastfed compared to children who have been breastfed.
  • Make healthy personal food choices and be a positive role model for your children.
·         Practice healthy eating habits early, including at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily and 6 servings of grains daily (including whole grains).  Avoid keeping high-fat foods, such as sweetened drinks and high-calorie snacks in the house.
·         Require at least one hour of physical activity each day.
·         Reduce time engaged in sedentary activities.  Limit screen time (computer or TV) to less than two hours per day.

Jefferson County PublicHealth, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and its public health partners are supporting proven and promising strategies to fight the obesity battle including: 

  • Promoting best practices for schools to provide daily physical activity for students, adopt nutrition guidelines and partner with local farmers to serve fresh produce in school meals
  • Encouraging health care professionals to adopt Colorado Adult and Childhood Obesity Guidelines to provide healthy lifestyle advice to their patients
  • Partnering with communities to design streets and neighborhoods to include bike paths and sidewalks and convenient linkages to parks, schools, grocery stores and community gathering places
  • Supporting communities in developing community gardens, sponsoring affordable healthy-cooking and exercise classes, and offering team sports opportunities for people of all ages
  • Providing businesses with tools for creating incentives and welcoming environments for employees to be healthy and physically active
·         Livewell Colorado

Emergency Preparedness Month

Throughout the month of September, everyone is encouraged to focus on individual and family preparedness at home, at work, and at school. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there are some things that you can do to make sure you are prepared in case of an emergency situation.

·         Be Informed- Know what to do before, after and during an emergency.
·         Make a plan- Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance.
·         Build a kit- Find recommended items here.
·         Get involved- Find opportunities to support community preparedness.

 Jefferson County Public Health believes that healthy communities are resilient communities and continues to encourage citizens to get plenty of exercise, eat healthy foods and stay up to date with immunizations and health screenings. Get more information about how you and your family can be prepared with the JCPH’s Plan to be Safe.

Food Safety

For many, September means last minute BBQs, busy schedules and back to school.  As you celebrate the end of summer, keep in mind that September is National Food Safety and Education Month.  Inadequate or improper food handling, preparation or food storage can make you, your family and guests sick.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 million Americans get sick from foodborne diseases each year.  3,000 of them will die.
So, enjoy your end of summer celebration, but remember to be safe!  Click here to see JCPH’s recommendations on how to handle, prepare and store food properly.
If you are sending the kids off to school with packed lunches, click here to find quick tips to packing a safe lunch!
Don’t forget, practice proper food handling, preparation and storage techniques.
·         Wash hands and surfaces often.
·         Be especially careful not to cross-contaminate foods.
·         Cook to proper temperatures.
·         Chill or store foods properly.

This chart from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the causes of illness in 1,565 single food commodity outbreaks, 2003–2008

For more information, please visit the JCPH food safety page, The United States Department of Agriculture food page or call our Food Safety Program at 303-271-5700.

World Rabies Day is September 28, 2012

Everyone knows the importance of keeping our families healthy.  But, many of us don’t think about rabies when it comes to protecting the ones we love.  Recently, skunk rabies cases have been on the increase right here in Colorado.  Other animals like bats and foxes can also carry the virus. These unwanted intruders can get into your yard and on your property, putting you and your family at risk.  As of August 10, 2012, there have been 131 confirmed rabid wild animal cases in Colorado. The best way to keep your family and pets safe is to make sure all your pets have been immunized for rabies.   
 JCPH urges all pet owners to make sure their pets have current rabies shots and to keep their pets from roaming free.  Please report any incidents to the Jefferson County Animal Control office, call 303-271-5070 or email, Animal-Control@jeffco.us
Get more information about World Rabies Day here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Produce and Health Fair August 2012

Great turn out for the last Produce Fair! Thank you all for participating. Have a great fall and see you next year! http://flic.kr/p/cPc8XE

Monday, August 6, 2012

NFP Partners for Healthy Families Picnic 2012

The annual NFP Partners for Healthy Families picnic was held Friday, August 3, 2012. Several graduates and families currently enrolled turned out to celebrate with their nurses! http://flic.kr/p/cLPeNW