Friday, July 27, 2012

Got Milk? Be Sure It’s Pasteurized

Raw milk — milk that comes straight from the cow, goat or sheep without being pasteurized can carry harmful bacteria and other germs that can cause severe illness, even death. The same goes for milk products such as certain cheeses, ice cream, and yogurt produced from raw milk.  

Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to a high enough temperature for a long enough time to kill disease-causing bacteria contained in the milk. Pasteurization became widespread in the United States by 1950. While the retail sale of raw milk is banned in many states, including Colorado, it is still made available in this state and others through the purchase of a cow or goat share operation.  In this case, the consumer purchases a share of the actual animal and receives a quantity of the milk produced. Milk and milk products in Colorado are monitored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability.  Inspections are regularly performed and products are regularly sampled at all dairy farms, dairy plants and milk plants around Colorado.

Public health officials warn consumers that consuming raw milk poses a high risk of contracting foodborne illness.

  • The Centers for Disease Control has a  raw milk website that contains useful information and materials, including a list of relevant publications and other scientific resources on illnesses associated with raw milk consumption.
  • Real RawMilk Facts: Families share their stories on video to help raise awareness about the potential risks and negative effects on health from drinking contaminated raw milk.  Real Life Stories page. 

Breast Milk for Thought

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, 2012 and is celebrating 20 years of promoting the healthy benefits of breastfeeding.  Not only is breast milk rich in nutrients and antibodies protecting infants from disease, but it also is easier to digest and can help moms bond with their baby. JCPH Nutrition Services offers breast feeding classes as well as certified lactation counselors to assist women with a successful breast feeding experience. The department also supports breastfeeding in the workplace and offers a comfortable workplace lactation room for moms and their infants.
  • For information on JCPH Nutrition Services and the Breast Feeding Classes, visit our Web Site or contact Margaret Lees-Roldan at 303-239-9581.
To find out more on World Breastfeeding Week, visit

Protect against Pertussis or “whooping” cough

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, a contagious bacterial infection spread by coughing/sneezing, continues to circulate around the country. It is most notable for the persistent, often severe, and long-lasting cough in those infected and can be life threatening in infants and young children. 

JCPH urges everyone to be sure they are up-to-date on vaccinations. The childhood vaccine, DTaP protects against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. However, a booster vaccine, called Tdap is required when a child enters 6th grade. Children 7-10 years of age who are not up-to-date should also receive the Tdap vaccine. Due to an ongoing increase in reported pertussis cases throughout Colorado, Tdap is also recommended for all adults. This is especially important for adults who live with an infant and for childcare providers.  To make an appointment, call 303-232-6301.

Smoke Free Environments Are Catching On

An interest in improving health, the environment and safety has communities and businesses across the State working to protect everyone from the dangers of tobacco smoke.  Recent local examples include the following:

In April, the City of Lakewood strengthened its smoke-free ordinance to include prohibiting smoking within 25 feet of all public entryways and around all playgrounds, swimming areas, skate parks, athletic fields, picnic shelters, tennis courts, and similar locations in outdoor areas.  Smoking is also prohibited on festival grounds or in places where people congregate to partake in city events or outdoor concerts. 

Denver International Airport (DIA) announced in May that it supports Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s plans for creating a better, healthier Denver by moving toward becoming a smoke-free facility.  Creating a healthier environment for travelers and employees, the airport has closed all but one of its four indoor smoking lounges with plans to close the final lounge in 2018.

In June, the pedestrian and bike path along Clear Creek in the City of Golden was declared as smoke-free through administrative order by City Manager, Mike Bestor.  This action was taken primarily to address environmental and over use concerns but has sparked conversations regarding the desire for expanded smoke-free restrictions in outdoor areas.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.*  Smoke-free environments protect everyone.
* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.

Parents! Add Immunizations to your School Readiness Checklist

Books, backpacks, clothes, pencils and IMMUNIZATIONS!

  • Immunizations can save your child’s life and the lives of others from preventable diseases
  • Vaccination is safe and effective.
  • Immunizations can save your family time and money by preventing costly illnesses.
To get your child/children up-to-date on immunizations, make an appointment with your healthcare provider or Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH).

August is National Immunization Awareness month.
All JCPH Immunization clinics are by appointment only!
Call 303-232-6301 to schedule an appointment in
Arvada or Lakewood.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

“Let’s Move! Video” by LiveWell Wheat Ridge and the City of Wheat Ridge Receives Honorable Mention from White House

Organizations Recognized for Community Efforts to Reduce and Prevent Childhood Obesity

via Storify -- July 19, 2012 at 11:35AM

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July is National Blueberry Month

This fruit is a SUPER food and as such has super powers. It can lower risk of heart disease and cancer, and help maintain youthful, healthy skin by eating just 1 to 2 cups a day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Do You Know the 4 D’s of West Nile Virus Prevention?

The best way to protect yourself, your family and your community from mosquito bites, is to follow the four D’s: Drain, Dusk/Dawn, Dress, DEET.

DRAIN: Drain or empty standing water around your home and neighborhood, since that is where mosquitoes lay their eggs

DUSK/DAWN: Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning (dusk and dawn) or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times when mosquitoes are most active

DRESS: Dress in long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn or in areas where mosquitoes are active. Wearing light-colored clothing may also help prevent being bitten.

DEET, Picariden or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus: Wear insect repellant containing either DEET, Picariden or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

  • Follow label instructions
  • Apply repellants to exposed skin and/or clothing.
  • Never use repellants over cuts, wounds or irritated skin
  • If using DEET, choose the concentration that best fits the amount of time spent outside. 25 percent DEET lasts up to 5 hours, 5 percent lasts 45-90 minutes. Use a concentration of 30 percent or less for children.
  • DEET should not be used on children less than 6 months of age. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children less than 3 years of age. 

Safe Sex

Access to sexual and reproductive health services is essential for healthy populations. JCPH supports all women’s and men’s rights to such access. The Family Planning Program provides comprehensive contraceptive services to Jefferson County residents. Services include education, counseling, medical examination, treatment and birth control methods for men and women.

Reproductive health and birth control (family planning) services are available at our Arvada and Lakewood locations. Services are provided on a sliding fee scale and to people with Medicaid. No one is denied services due to the inability to pay. 

 In addition to providing birth control pills and condoms to prevent unintended pregnancies, the department offers alternatives through long acting birth control methods. Remember, some activities are definitely high risk for HIV, STD and Hepatitis infection. Protect yourself and your partner . . . wear a condom and get tested!

For appointments in Lakewood: 303-239-7078 or in Arvada: 303-275-7500.

Splish. Splash. Practice Healthy Swimming Behaviors

Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) encourages healthy swimming behaviors to reduce the risk of recreational water illnesses.  Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) are illnesses that are spread by swallowing, breathing or having contact with contaminated water from swimming pools, spas, lakes, rivers or oceans. RWIs can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including gastrointestinal, skin, respiratory, neurological and wound infections. The most commonly reported RWI is diarrhea. Diarrheal illnesses can be caused by germs such as Crptosporidium, Giradia, Shigella, norovirus and E. coli. 

Practice healthy swimming behaviors: 

  • Refrain from swimming when ill, especially if you have diarrhea.
  • Avoid swallowing pool water or even getting in your mouth
  • Shower before swimming and wash hands after using bathroom or changing diapers. Change diapers in bathroom and not at poolside or near water.

EHS performs routine inspections of year round public and semi-public pools/spas. Follow up inspections are performed as needed. JCPH also offers a two-day course is designed to prepare individuals in the basic knowledge, techniques, and skills of pool-spa operations. 

Pool/Spa Certification Course 
  • For more information about Recreational Water Illness Prevention and Healthy Swimming, contact Leslie Frank, Environmental Health Specialist at 303-271-5776 or email at:
  • Information can also be found on the Centers for Disease Control web site at:

In some areas of Jefferson County, a substantial number of residential dwellings receive water from private wells. The department recommends that well water be tested for certain contaminants. JCPH Water Quality page

It is Hot Outside! Protect Yourself, Family and Pets

Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of extreme heat, and must rely on other people to keep them cool and hydrated.

  • Never leave infants or children in a parked car, even if the windows are open. 
  • Never leave pets in a parked car - they can suffer heat-related illness too. 
  • Never leave infants or children in a parked car. Nor should pets be left in parked cars—they can suffer heat related illness too. 
  • Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. 
  • Seek medical care immediately if your child has symptoms of symptoms of heat-related illness. 
  • Drink plenty of water