Thursday, July 3, 2014

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, including no scalpel vasectomy for men. Remember, some activities are definitely high risk for HIV, STIs and Hepatitis infection. Protect yourself and your partner . . . wear a condom and get tested!

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. 
For more information about Recreational Water Illness Prevention and Healthy Swimming, contact Leslie Frank, Environmental Health Specialist at 303-271-5776 or email 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:

Children’s Diets a Prescription for Ill Health

Did you know that more than 1/3 of American children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are overweight or obese? How about that, children consume twice the recommended amount of sodium per day? High sodium intake is associated with the risk of high blood pressure in children and adolescents and may raise blood pressure even in infants. Most of the sodium Americans eat is found in processed foods. Fresh foods are generally lower in sodium, so eat more fresh foods! We all can improve health by making healthier food choices.

Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. Food day works throughout the year to educate and build support around healthy food policies and culminates each year on October 24 with events held across the country. View this Food Day Infographic on Children’s Diets to learn more. Download this educational handout with tips for reducing salt and sodium intake. Visit the JCPH Nutritional Services web page and begin making healthier food choices today.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It is Hot Outside! Stay Cool. Stay Hydrated. Stay Informed.

As summer temperatures rise, so do the risks of heat related illnesses. Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion often begin suddenly, and may include: Feeling faint or dizzy, nausea, heavy sweating, rapid, weak heartbeat, low blood pressure, cool, moist, pale skin, low-grade fever, heat cramps, headache, fatigue, dark-colored urine. See these tips on preventing heat related illness from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and have a safe and cool summer.

Elderly people (65 years and older) and Infants and young children are more prone to the effects of extreme heat. Take precautions:
  • Never leave anyone in a closed parked vehicle. Never leave infants or children in a vehicle, even if the windows are open. 
  • Never leave pets in a parked car - they can suffer heat-related illness too. 
  • Drink plenty of water 
  • Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. 
  • Call 911 or emergency medical help if fainting, confusion or seizures occur, or if fever of 104 F or greater occurs with other symptoms.
More information:  >> Download CDC brochure

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.
For more information: