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health

  • Healthy and Safe Swimming Importance Info

    The week before Memorial Day (May 20–26, 2019) is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. The goal of this awareness week is to maximize the health benefits of swimming by minimizing the risk of illness and injury. Just 2.5 hours of physical activity every week, including water-based physical activity, can benefit everyone’s health. Each of us plays a role in preventing illnesses and injuries linked to the water we swim, play, relax in, and share. Swimming is a fun, healthy way to stay physically active and spend quality time with family and friends. Healthy and Safe Swimming Week highlights the roles that swimmers, parents of young swimmers, aquatics and beach staff, residential pool owners, and public health officials play in preventing disease outbreaks, drowning, and pool chemical injuries.

    Why Is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week Important?

    Injuries caused by mishandling pool chemicals:
    Pool chemicals are added to maintain water quality (for example, to kill germs). Each year, however, mishandling pool chemicals when treating public or residential/backyard pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds leads to 3,000–5,000 visits to U.S. emergency departments.
    For more info, visit CDCs Pool Chemical Info.

    Illnesses caused by the germs in pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds:
    During 2000–2014, nearly 500 outbreaks were linked to pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds. Most of the outbreaks were caused by germs Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto”), Legionella, or Pseudomonas. Healthy swimming is not just about the steps pool operators and pool inspectors take—so let’s all do our part to help keep ourselves, our families, and our friends healthy.
    For more info, visit CDCs Healthy Swimming Info.

    Drowning:
    Each day, two children younger than 14 years old die from drowning. Drowning is a leading cause of death for children 1–4 years old. we want to remind you about drowning prevention. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental injury or death in children under the age of 5. Drowning can be quick and silent. It's a fallacy that the act of drowning is accompanies by screams or splashing, making proactive prevention crucial. To help prevent drownings, please remember to have active adult supervision, never swim alone, make sure your pool is fenced with self-closing/latching gates, and most of all keep a Pool / Lifeguard First Aid Kit on hand.
    For more info, visit CDCs Water Injuries Info.

    Harmful algal blooms:
    Algae can grow in warm, nutrient-rich fresh- and marine water. An abundant growth of algae that harms people or animals is referred to as a harmful algal bloom (HAB). HABs in fresh- and marine water can produce toxins that cause a variety of symptoms including skin irritation, coughing, sneezing, diarrhea, stomach pain, numbness, and dizziness. Symptoms vary depending on the type of HAB toxin and the type of exposure, such as skin contact, ingestion by eating food or drinking water contaminated with HAB toxins, or breathing in tiny droplets or mist contaminated with HAB toxins.
    For more info, visit CDCs HAB Toxin Info

    Naegleria fowleri “the brain-eating ameba”:
    Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic ameba (a singlecelled living organism) that is commonly found in warm freshwater such as in lakes, rivers, and hot springs. If water containing the ameba goes up the nose forcefully, the ameba can invade and cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
    For more info, visit CDCs Naegleria Info

  • How Healthy is Your Home Town?

    Where you live affects your health in many ways - the climate, the air quality, even the lifestyles of those around you can influence your own habits and health...

    500-cities-logoThe CDC and its partners released a website that provides first-of-its-kind, neighborhood-level health data for the 500 largest US cities. The 500 Cities project provides data on 5 risk behaviors, 13 health outcomes, and 9 prevention practices for the most common, costly, and preventable chronic diseases.  Health professionals can view data by city or census tract, explore the interactive map, get map books for individual cities, and compare cities to identify emerging health problems and plan effective interventions. Learn more about the 500 Cities Project.

  • National Public Health Week

    Did you know this is National Public Health Week?

    Public Health: Start Here brochure cover

    Today’s public health professionals are helping individuals and communities navigate the changing world of public health.

    The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and communities. APHA strives to strengthen the profession of public health; foster understanding, engagement and support for key public health issues; and directly influence public policy to improve global health.

    During the first full week of April each year, APHA brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. For nearly 20 years, APHA has served as the organizer of NPHW. Every year, the Association develops a national campaign to educate the public, policymakers and practitioners about issues related to each year's theme. Learn more about National Public Health Week 2016

  • 8 Steps to Reduce Your Risk Of Deadly Healthcare-Associated Infections

    SurgeryHealthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a serious risk to patient safety. One in 25 U.S. patients will contract an infection during their hospital stay, according to the CDC’s first national and state HAI progress report; perhaps shockingly, this is an improvement from years prior. The report’s goal, analyzing data from 2013 but not published until this year, is to help aid in eliminating HAIs through surveillance and prevention programs- a reasonable target considering these infections are preventable.

    “Research shows that when healthcare facilities, care teams, and individual doctors and nurses are aware of infection problems and take specific steps to prevent them, rates of some targeted HAIs can decrease by more than 70 percent,” the report reads.

    There are five HAIs most often contracted by patients after their admission to the hospital: central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), Clostridium difficile infections commonly referred to as C.Diff, MRSA, and the most prevalent, surgical site infections (SSI).

    While most safety measures must come from doctors, nurses and health facilities, there are steps patients can take to help reduce their risk of contracting HAIs, according to the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths.

    1. Research the hospital’s HAI rate. This may take some diligence; start with the CDC’s progress report and ask hospital staff or your possible surgeons directly.

    2. Ask your doctor about the devices used to keep you warm during surgery. Currently 80 percent of hospitals use the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket System; However, the device is also fighting multiple lawsuits for aiding in patients developing life-threatening SSIs.

    3. Do not personally shave the surgical site prior to the operation. The blade may knick your skin, creating an opening - no matter how small- for bacteria to enter.

    4. Keep your hands away from your mouth. This sounds easy but most people don’t realize how much they touch their face until their consciously trying not to. C.Diff can survive on various surfaces for days and is not killed by alcohol sanitizers. You should also be wary of where you place utensils while eating.

    5. Keep track of time on the day of your surgery. Many surgeries require a pre-surgical antibiotic one hour before going under, remind a nurse if you don’t receive yours on time.

    6. Pay attention to your IV. They should always be inserted and removed under clean conditions and changed regularly every three to four days, but ask your doctor for a specific timeline regarding your IVs. Let your nurses know if too much time goes by without a change or redness occurs.

    7. Ask your doctor to test you for MRSA prior to the operation. One in three people have staph infections in their nose or on skin usually without ever becoming ill and two in every 100 people carry MRSA. If you test positive there are extra precautions the hospital staff can take to prevent the staph from developing into a life-threatening infection. The test is non-invasive, usually completed with a nasal swab.

    8. Don’t be afraid to ask your caretakers to wash their hands in front of you. Many healthcare sites, including the CDC, advise patients to ask their doctors if it’s not done in front of them.

    By: JMurell of Safer America

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