Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Protecting Youth from Tobacco . . . A Special Engagement for Youth!

Youth populations remain one of the main targets of the tobacco industry's marketing tactics. The Tobacco Free Jeffco Alliance is meeting to address youth tobacco prevention needs and identify ways to reduce the toll of tobacco on our communities. Please join us for dinner and discussion on September 4th from 4:30pm-6:30pm in the Lookout Mountain Room at the Jefferson County Courts and Admin Building (100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO 80401). Contact tobaccofree@jeffco.us or 303-275-7555 to RSVP.

Despite the tobacco industry’s efforts to counter life-saving tobacco prevention policies, young people continue to demonstrate the power behind their voices. One way young people in Jefferson County are becoming engaged in tobacco prevention efforts is by joining local Breathe Easy (BE) teams. BE teams have made significant gains in shaping tobacco-free norms and decreasing youth access to tobacco products in Jefferson County communities. To learn more about opportunities for your high school student to get involved, please contact Nicole at nswagger@jeffco.us or 303-239-7007.

Safe Medication Disposal

Do you know how to safely dispose of medications? More than 60,000 young children under the age of five are seen in hospital emergency rooms each year due to accidental poisoning. In addition, it is important to realize that flushing and putting unused medications in the trash can pollute our lakes, streams and water supplies. A recent study shows that 80% of US streams contain small amounts of human medicine.

The best way to dispose of your unused medication is at a medication collection site. Please do not flush medication down the toilet. If you cannot get to a site, please take the following precautions when placing it in the trash:
  • Pour medication into a sealable plastic bag. If medication is a solid (pill, capsule etc.), add water to dissolve it.
  • Add kitty litter, coffee grounds or anything that would make it less appealing for children or pets to eat, to the bag.
  • Remove and destroy all identifying information on the prescription label on the medication containers before recycling or throwing them away.
  • Wrap sealed plastic bags and all empty containers in newspaper before putting them in the trash. This will help make sure that your unused medication is not easily seen and does not get into the wrong hands or eaten by a pet.
  • Put disposed medication in your trash can on the same day as your trash pick up. Leaving it in the trash over night or for just one day is enough time for someone else to find it. 
For more information and medication collection sites in Jefferson County see our brochure. You can also get more information through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Hazardous Materials and Waste Division or visit www.coloradomedtakeback.info.

Love Your Pets? Protect against Rabies

September 28, 2013 is World Rabies Day. By keeping your pets vaccinated against rabies, you are not only protecting them, but you are protecting yourself and your family too. Show your pets how much you love them by honoring September 28th and getting them vaccinated.

The Foothills Animal Shelter offers rabies vaccinations for your dog or cat for only $15. Please visit their website or call 303-278-7575 for more information. The JCPH animal borne disease program works to monitor and respond to disease threats in the county. Please read our animal borne disease newsletter for up-to-date information and data.

Are You Prepared for a Public Health Emergency?

In the event of a disaster, will you and your family be prepared? 

September has been coined as Emergency Preparedness Month. JCPH urges you to make this month a time to get prepared. Assemble an emergency supply kit, make your emergency plans and stay informed. It is also important and get involved in helping your family, your business, and your community be ready for emergencies. Please visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website for tools to help. It is also important for you to know that the Jefferson County Public Health’s Emergency Preparedness team works very hard to serve the public health needs of the community before, during and after an event. To learn more, visit our Emergency Preparedness webpage.

Keeping Your Baby Safe at Bedtime

As a parent, you are in charge of your baby’s health and safety. Jefferson County Public Health reminds all parents and caregivers that sleep time for baby should be no exception. As tempting as it might be to share a bed and snuggle with your baby, the truth is, it is not safe and could be life threatening. The risk of suffocation is real. Never share a bed or sleeping space with an infant. Protect your baby by making sure that anyone else who might be putting the baby down for sleep, including grandparents and other family members, understands the importance of a safe sleep environment and follows these few steps.

Create a safe sleep environment for infants. This will reduce risk of suffocation, as well as sudden unexplained infant death syndrome (SUIDS).
remove all items from the crib, including crib bumpers, blankets and toys.
Be sure to place infants on their backs to sleep and keep them warm by using a simple sleep sack or one-piece sleep wear.

Some parents and caregivers feel more comfortable having the infant sleep in the same room, and that’s ok! Place your baby in a portable sleeping crib or bassinette next to your bed.

To learn more about keeping your baby safe at bedtime, please watch the Jefferson County Public Health safe sleep video or download our brochure.

Excellence in Food Safety Class Celebrates 20 Years

Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of its Excellence in Food Safety Class (EFS) on September 10th, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. during the Food Safety Forum, which is held each month at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. The celebration offers an opportunity to thank the many individuals, food safety operators and food handlers who have made food safety their mission during National Food Safety Education Month this September 2013.

The Excellence in Food Safety (EFS) Class was developed in 1993 by dedicated staff in the Jefferson County Public Health Food Safety Program and an enthusiastic group of local restaurant owners and operators. The EFS class was one of the first in the state provided by a local health department.

Dave Hooker, supervisor of the JCPH Food Safety Program explains, “Several food handlers from the Lakewood Country Club attended the first class. Since then over 9,000 food handlers from hundreds of Jefferson County restaurants, schools, and grocery stores have taken the class and improved their food handling and preparation techniques.”

The decision to develop a classroom style food safety class was triggered by several foodborne illness incidents that occurred in the early 1990s and raised awareness nationwide of the importance of food safety. These included the 1993 Jack in the Box E coli 0157:H7 outbreak and the 1993 Milwaukee outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis associated with water.

Today’s EFS Classes continue to be current and cover the latest in food safety information in addition to any updates in the Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules & Regulations. Students are able to participate in hand washing demonstrations, pop quizzes, and a final quiz to test their food safety knowledge. The cost of the class hasn’t changed much in twenty years. It is only $10.00. “We want to keep the cost low so that as many food handlers as possible can attend”, said Dave Hooker.

To sign up for a class, contact Jefferson County Public Health at 303-271-5700 or view our web page and download the class brochure. A convenient online class is also available in 5 languages at www.jeffco.statefoodsafety.com.

Back to School Safer and Healthier!

As Jefferson County students go back to school, its important to keep a few public health lessons in mind. Eating healthy, staying active, staying up to date on immunizations, and knowing the signs of bullying are ways to make sure that kids have a healthy and safe start to the school year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers tips to help you stay ahead of the curve this year. Please visit their website for more information.

Jefferson County Public Health is holding special immunization clinics at their Lakewood clinic for school age children and their siblings on the following dates:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

To make an immunization appointment for your child, please call 303-232-6301.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jefferson County Seeks Public Input for Health Improvement Plan . . .

Online Survey Available

via Storify http://sfy.co/gQ3z -- August 19, 2013 at 01:54PM

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Join American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study

Fight back against cancer by enrolling in the American Cancer Society’s new research study called Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). By joining CPS-3, participants can help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer, which will ultimately save more lives!

To be eligible to enroll in CPS-3, men and women should:
  • be between 30 and 65 years old
  • have no personal history of cancer (this does not include basal or squamous cell skin cancer)
  • be willing to make a long-term commitment to the study which simply involves completing periodic follow-up questionnaires.
Enrollment is free and will take place at various locations throughout Colorado during September. To schedule your 30-minute enrollment appointment, click on the location below most convenient for you.

Enrollment sites in the surrounding Denver area
Denver West September 14-20 ; Longmont September 4-7; Denver South September 10-13; Aurora September 10-14;

Sex Ed with Mel in 30 minutes or less

The more you know about sexual health, the more you can protect yourself. Watch one or all of the sex ed with Mel episodes:
  • Click here to watch "How To Use a Condom" 
  • Click here to watch "STDs" 
  • Click here to watch "Family Planning" 
  • Click here to watch "Birth Control" 
  • Click here to watch "Hormonal Birth Control" 
  • Click here to watch "Long Lasting Methods of Birth Control"

Breast Milk for Thought

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, 2013 and is celebrating 21 years of promoting the healthy benefits of breastfeeding. This year’s theme, “Breastfeeding Support Close to Mothers” highlights the importance of breastfeeding counselors which JCPH offers to its Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program clients during pregnancy and throughout their breastfeeding experience. 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.