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How Sun-Smart Are You?

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Test your knowledge of sun-related illnesses by taking this quiz.

What’s your sun IQ? Take our quiz to find out.

True or false? (See answers below)

  1. You do not need to use sunscreen if you will be staying in a shaded area.
  2. You will get sunburned faster if you are in the water.
  3. Disease-causing bacteria grow more rapidly on lukewarm food than cold – and can more readily result in food poisoning.
  4. Sun exposure is considered the single greatest risk for developing skin cancer.
  5. Skin cancer affects only light-skinned people.
  6. The sun’s strongest rays occur between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  7. If you are in good health and your doctor has not restricted how much fluid you should have, you should drink at least 16 to 32 ounces of water an hour to adequately replace fluids when working in a hot environment.
  8. Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications can increase your sensitivity to the sun.

Answers

1.You do not need to use sunscreen if you will be staying in a shaded area.

FALSE: Ultraviolet rays will still reach you. Also, there is strong evidence that more UV rays are filtering through because of the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer.

2. You will get sunburned faster if you are in the water.

TRUE: Water reflects sunlight, so you will get added exposure to your head, shoulders and any other areas that remain uncovered while you are swimming.

3. Disease-causing bacteria grow more rapidly on lukewarm food than cold – and can more readily result in food poisoning.

TRUE: The bacteria that cause food poisoning thrive in temperatures between 40 degrees and 140 degrees. Prepared foods are safe in that zone for about two hours. The same foods are considered safe only for one hour if the temperature rises above 90 degrees.

4. Sun exposure is considered the single greatest risk for developing skin cancer.

TRUE: About 1 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year and the increasing trend is blamed on exposure to solar rays.

5. Skin cancer affects only light-skinned people.

FALSE: Although skin cancer is more common among light-skinned persons, it is not unheard of in people who have dark complexions.

6. The sun’s strongest rays occur between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

TRUE: Stay inside and keep young children out the sun as much as possible during these times.

7. If you are in good health and your doctor has not restricted how much fluid you should have, you should drink at least 16 to 32 ounces of water an hour to adequately replace fluids when working in a hot environment.

TRUE: Your body sweats to cool itself. The only way to replace those lost fluids is to drink more water.

8. Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications can make you more sensitive to the sun.

TRUE: Even short exposure to the sun can result in burning if combined with certain medications. These include some antibiotics, such as tetracycline; certain diuretics; and some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen.

Healthy and Safe Swimming

Share the Fun…not the Germs, and Make a Healthy Splash!

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Swimming and other water-related activities are excellent ways to get the physical activity and health benefits needed for a healthy life. However, they are not risk-free. CDC’s Healthy Swimming website provides information for all groups of individuals involved in a healthy and safe swimming experience about how to maximize the health benefits of swimming while minimizing the risk of illness and injury. Each of us plays a role in preventing illnesses and injuries linked to the water we share and swim in, this summer and year-round.

Why Is This Important?

Illnesses caused by the germs – In 2011–2012 (the last years for which national data are available), 90 outbreaks were linked to swimming; almost half of these outbreaks were caused by Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto” for short). Chlorine can kill most germs within minutes at concentrations recommended by CDC and typically required by state and local health departments. But Crypto can survive more than 1 week at these chlorine concentrations. Diarrheal incidents in the water we share and swim in can easily spread germs and potentially cause outbreaks. Because chlorine and other disinfectants don’t kill germs instantly, it’s important to keep these germs, particularly Crypto, out of the water in the first place and not drink the water.

Prevention steps we can all take –

Every swimmer should stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.

Shower before you get in the water.

Don’t pee or poop in the water.

Don’t swallow the water.

Every hour – everyone out!

Take kids on bathroom breaks.

Check diapers and change them in a bathroom or diaper changing area to keep germs away from the pool.

 

CDC’s Healthy Swimming website

CDC’s Summer Safety website

Watersafety USA

National Safety Month

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Keep each other safe - CTA

 

 

 

 

National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.

National Safety Council provides downloadable resources highlighting a different safety topic for each week in June:

  • Week 1: Stand Up to Falls
  • Week 2: Recharge to Be In Charge (Focusing on Fatigue)
  • Week 3: Prepare for Active Shooters
  • Week 4: Don’t Just Sit There (Focusing on Ergonomics)
  • Member-exclusive Bonus Week: Road Safety for Workers

Visit their site for safety information at home, at work, and on the road. Let’s keep each other safe!

National Infant Immunization Week

          April 22 – 29, 2017

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children two years old or younger. Since 1994, local and state health departments, national immunization partners, healthcare professionals, community leaders from across the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have worked together through NIIW to highlight the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children, and to call attention to immunization achievements.

Milestones Reached

Several important milestones already have been reached in controlling vaccine-preventable diseases among infants worldwide. Vaccines have drastically reduced infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases in the United States. In addition:

  • Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two.
  • In the 1950’s, nearly every child developed measles, and unfortunately, some even died from this serious disease. Today, many practicing physicians have never seen a case of measles.
  • Routine childhood immunization in one birth cohort prevents about 20 million cases of disease and about 42,000 deaths. It also saves about $13.5 billion in direct costs.
  • The National Immunization Survey has consistently shown that childhood immunization rates for vaccines routinely recommended for children remain at or near record levels.

It’s easy to think of these as diseases of the past. But the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States can—and do—still get some of these diseases.

One example of the seriousness of vaccine preventable diseases is an increase in measles cases or outbreaks that were reported in 2014. The United States experienced a record number of measles cases, with 667 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s NCIRD. This was the greatest number of cases in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000.

Click here for more…

Langlade County Health Department promotes vaccinations for infants, children and adults. We offer an immunization clinic on the fourth Wednesday every month from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. No appointment necessary. Stop in or call us at 715-627-6250 to ask if you are up-to-date with recommended vaccines.

 

 

Understand Dangers from Rabies

Article also appeared in Antigo Daily Journal, April 8, 2017

By Stephanie Thiede, Public Health Nurse

The arrival of spring gives the Health Department the perfect opportunity to remind everyone of the dangers of rabies.

Fortunately, for Wisconsinites, there have not been any active human cases of rabies since 2010, but the rabies virus remains somewhat common in wild animals. The skunk, bat, fox and raccoon are all known to transmit rabies and, in our region of the state, pose the most significant exposure risk. In 2014, there were 26 bat specimens and one fox specimen that tested positive in Wisconsin.

Rabies can be transmitted from a rabid animal to another animal or human by a bite or lick over a break in the skin. The virus is present in the animal’s saliva and travels along the nerve’s pathways to the brain, where it causes inflammation that results in delirium, painful muscle spasms in the throat, and other severe symptoms.

Once symptoms develop, human rabies is almost always fatal. The single most important and successful action is the vaccination of domestic dogs and other pets.

The most common sign to watch for is unusual behavior for that particular animal, such as unprovoked aggression. When a person is exposed through a bite or scratch where saliva could enter the body, he/she should immediately wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical care.

Every attempt should be made to capture and confine the animal, if it is possible to do so in a safe manner. If the animal appears rabid, it is euthanized, and its brain is examined for the presence of rabies.

In the attempt to keep the members of our community safe from this disease, the Langlade County Board of Health approved an Animal Bite Surveillance System and Rabies Control Plan in August, 1999. The responsibilities and consequences of animal ownership are clearly detailed in the plan. Animal owners are reminded that they carry a responsibility to care for their pet by keeping them up to date on the rabies vaccine and other immunizations.

Any and every animal should be respected at all times. The physical, emotional, and financial pain of an animal bite/exposure from an unvaccinated animal should not be something that any of us has to experience.

If you have any questions, call your veterinary clinic or the Langlade County Health Department at 715-627-6250.

As Public Health Week nears, it’s good time to consider the services

Article also appeared in Antigo Daily Journal, April 1, 2017

In recognition of National Public Health week, the staff at Langlade County Health Department would like to take this opportunity to share what the department does to help support the community in becoming healthier and stronger.

“We all have a role in making our communities healthier places to live, and the Langlade County Health Department is excited to lead the way,” Ron Barger, director of Health and Social Services Department, said. “Even small steps can make a big difference in the health and safety of our county.”

Toward that effort, the following are just a few examples of how your local health department is here to help:

Public health staff is ready to respond to any health emergency. This was highlighted during 2009, with the emergence of the H1N1 influenza virus. The department’s role was to educate and prepare the community for the unknown effects of H1N1.

The health department offers preventive care needed to help maintain health. Late last year and early into this year, surrounding counties suffered from a Pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak. The nursing staff monitored all test results for our county’s residents and encouraged the public to come in for vaccine protection. For 2016, the department provided a total of 2,029 immunizations to children and adults of Langlade County.

Public health staff provides information that allows people to make healthy decisions. Last year, the department put out a total of 122 articles and interviews through local media outlets and set up 60 educational displays that an estimated 4,200 community members engaged in.

The Langlade County Health Department provides services to children and families through the WIC program, Prenatal Care Coordination program and Langlade County Diaper Bank. It’s newly established diaper bank collected over 5,870 diapers last year, which allowed our department to serve over 200 children.

The health department collaborates with other community partners to improve wellness and prevent illness in Langlade County. The department works closely with the area school districts by providing support and education to students (i.e. health fairs, SADD teen peers, class presentations).

Public health staff also coordinate with Aspirus Langlade Hospital to conduct a widespread assessment of our community’s health needs and develop a Community Health Improvement Plan to address the key issues identified in the assessment.

National Public Health Week is designed to showcase the role that public health agencies play in making illness prevention possible for this generation and generations to come.

Be One in a Million – February is American Heart Month

Heartbeat

Protect yourself and your loved ones from heart disease and stroke by understanding the risks.

Learn more about the Million Hearts Challenge by clicking on the link below.

Take the Million Hearts Challenge

Successful Resolutions in Four Easy Steps

Article also appeared in Antigo Daily Journal/Journal Express Health and Fitness, January 23, 2017

by Karen Hegranes, BSN, MSN, Health Officer

We have arrived in 2017 and have high hopes that this year the resolutions talked about in December will become a reality in the next few months. According to Dr. J.C. Norcross, PhD, clinical professor at the Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton, PA, 40% of Americans will actually declare a resolution to make a change in the New Year. A Harris interactive poll of more than 3,000 adults found that the top five resolutions were: weight loss, improved finances, exercise, getting a new job, and healthier eating.

How can we be sure we are starting off on the right foot with our resolution? Dr. Norcross has written the book on successful resolutions called, “Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions.” His research tracking people who are successful resolvers starts at the beginning of the year with their plan.

  1. First, develop a specific action plan. Example: I am going to increase my physical activity in 2017. Then look at what you are planning to do differently to actually incorporate more physical activity in your day. I will walk five times a week for 30 minutes, either outside or on the treadmill. Have an alternative healthy choice. I can substitute water aerobics or shorter 10-minute walks throughout the day.
  2. Secondly, those who are successful establish their confidence level that they can keep the resolution, even if they have an occasional slip up. On a scale of 1 to 10 their confidence should be at least 8 or 9 to be truly committed to their goal. High confidence is a strong predictor, according to Dr. Norcross, of who’s going to succeed with their resolution.
  3. The third secret ingredient of success is to publicly declare your resolution. People who use Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram are constantly seeing others declare their plan to lose weight and even will show before and after photos. By telling other people in your circle of friends or family, you can be held accountable for your success. Public commitments are typically more effective than private declarations.
  4. The fourth step is to reflect if you have selected a realistic, attainable goal. If you know that you already walk 30 minutes three times a week and you know that the dog would really like a nice walk five times a week, then you probably are being realistic with this goal. However, if you barely get a walk in once a week now, you might want to reconsider the quantity to a more realistic three times a week. You will be more satisfied if you can obtain and go beyond your goal than if you select an activity level that is not realistic.

So if you have been enjoying the holiday treats and are already dreading what shorts and swimsuits might look like in a few months, take this opportunity to put these four easy steps into motion toward a successful, healthy resolution. Whether you exercise inside or out, get moving and enjoy our community and Mother Nature offers.

For more information on health, check our webpage – langladecountyhealth.org – or call the health department at 715-627-6250.

Radon Test Kits Available – Every Home Should Be Tested

January is National Radon Action month.

You can’t see or smell radon.The only way to know if your home has radon is to test.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Learn more about the importance of testing your home with this short video.

Do-it-yourself radon testing is easy. Langlade County Health Department is available to provide test kits and answer questions. Come in and purchase a kit today!

www.lowradon.org

Well water test kits available to parents who have children and live in the country

Attention parents of children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years of age. Do you live in the Country? Have you had your well-water tested? If not, please stop by the Langlade County Health Department and pick up your well water test today. Based on your water test results, fluoride supplements are available at no charge. Call 715-627-6250 if you have further questions.

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