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Governor Terry Branstad is declaring January as “Radon Action Month” in Iowa

Radon III images (3)The state of Iowa is believed to have the largest percentage of homes in the U.S. with radon levels above “acceptable” range. That’s why experts are encouraging Iowans to test their homes.
Radon test kits are inexpensive and available at the Shelby County Environmental Health Office. The cost is $8.00. Please contact Terri Daringer, Director of Environmental Health to purchase a radon test kit at 712-755-2609.

Update Your Emergency Preparedness Plan

New ImageAs you make your New Year’s resolutions, now is the perfect time to also think about updating your preparedness plans.

  • If you do not have an emergency plan, develop one. If you do, review and update it. Is all of your emergency contacts information current? Do your evacuation routes still work?
  • Think about your go-kit. Do you need to replace old batteries? Have the kids outgrown clothes that you had packed in it? Does your flashlight work?
  • Is there anyone new with whom you need to share your plans? Do you have a new neighbor, or babysitter?
  • Practice your plan. This will help you to remember the plan, as well as find areas for improvement.
  • Remember to stay informed. Be aware of approaching weather and pay attention to warnings that are issued. Register for Alert Iowa at http://entry.inspironlogistics.com/shelby_ia/wens.cfm to receive notifications.
  • Remember your neighbors. Will they need help evacuating or preparing for inclement weather?
  • Resolve to volunteer. Register at I-SERV at https://iaserv.org/ to join Iowa’s list of volunteers willing to pitch in when needed.

Here are some helpful resources: http://www.beready.iowa.gov/ and http://ready.gov

Holiday Safety Tips for Families

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The holidays are an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure children have a safe holiday season, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) brought to you by Shelby County Public Health and Learning for Life.

  1. Take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Children and adolescents are affected by the emotional well-being of their parent or caregivers. Coping with stress successfully can help children learn how to handle stress better, too.
  2. Make a plan to focus on one thing at a time. Try a few ideas from “mindfulness” as a strategy to balance the hustle and bustle of things like shopping, cooking, and family get-togethers during the holiday season.
  3. Remember that many children and adults experience a sense of loss, sadness or isolation during the holidays. It is important to be sensitive to these feelings and ask for help for you, your children, family members or friends if needed.
  4. Try to keep household routines the same. Stick to your child’s usual sleep and mealtime schedules when you can, which may reduce stress and help your family enjoy the holidays.
  5. Most important of all, enjoy the holidays for what they are — time to enjoy with your family. So, be a family, do things together like sledding or playing board games, and spend time visiting with relatives, neighbors, and friends.

The Learning for Life program offers a home visitation program for families with children from prenatal through age 5. The curriculum used is the Parents as Teachers model, which helps parents, prepare their children for learning and school entry. Major funding for this program is provided by Harrison/Monona/Shelby Early Childhood Iowa.

Live Healthy Iowa – 10 Week Wellness Challenge

The New Year is just around the corner, which means we are gearing up for the 2016 – 10 Week Wellness Challenge!  The Challenge will take place January 25 – April 1. Over the course of 10 weeks, teams (2-10 people) track activity minutes and/or weight loss through the LHI website. This simple and affordable challenge provides Iowans an opportunity to improve their health while engaging in a fun, friendly competition. Registration opens December 15.
 
*Please Note: There are two codes to register, one for Shelby County residents, and the other for Myrtue Medical & PFWC employees. Please be sure use the correct code when registering.  This helps us track how many are signed up as a whole for Shelby county and for our staff at MMC. Let’s get together with your co-workers and create a team. You can add your spouse and or children to your team.
 
Shelby County Residents:
Please register under the Shelby County Group ID – LHIShelbyco.
 
Myrtue Medical Center/PFWC Employees:
Please register under Group ID – LHIPFW (Live Healthy Iowa Petersen Family Wellness).
 

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Bring in the New Year with a Fresh Start

PEPPERMINT_CAKE_BEAUTY_205.tifTake a fresh approach to quitting tobacco with the Quitline Iowa Program. You don’t have to wait until the New Year to get started. Planning ahead and enrolling now can help you successfully prepare for your quit date.

When you enroll, a trained Quit Coach® will help you create a plan that’s tailored to your specific needs and lifestyle. Together, you’ll identify the personal triggers and barriers that keep you from quitting. One-on-one phone sessions with your coach will give you the tools and encouragement to overcome the physical and emotional barriers that make it so hard to walk away from tobacco. Plus, you’ll receive smart tips and replacement strategies (suck on a mint instead of a cigarette) to cope with the cravings that keep you addicted to nicotine.

You’ll also get access to:

• Web Coach®, an online community where you can track your progress and connect with other participants and coaches for even more support
• An easy-to-use Quit Guide to help you stick with your plan
• Texting services that send you personalized text message reminders, tips and encouragement tailored to your quit.
Participating in the Quitline Iowa Program will give you the tools, knowledge and confidence you need to quit tobacco — of any kind — and make a fresh new start. You may even qualify for free nicotine replacement like patches, gum, or lozenges.

Don’t wait! Enroll today to set your quit date and start the New Year tobacco-free!
1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
www.quitlineiowa.org

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Give Yourself the Gift of Health this Holiday Season

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The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration but it can also leave you feeling like a candle burning at both ends. It is easy to overextend yourself between work and home with year-end deadlines, family commitments, and shopping. Here are some tips from Shelby County Public Health to support your health this holiday season.

Holiday Health Tips:

1. Wash your hands to avoid getting sick and spreading germs.
2. Stay dry and dress warmly in layers, especially the young and old.
3. Manage stress. Get support from family and friends.
4. Travel safely. Don’t drink and drive. Always buckle up!
5. Avoid smoking and being around second-hand smoke.
6. Get vaccinated. Even healthy people can get sick and spread the flu. When more
people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.
7. Watch children closely. Children are at high risk for injuries when they’re eating and
playing.
8. Prevent Injuries. Use step stools when hanging ornaments and lights.
9. Avoid fires. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, candles, or generators unattended. Install a
smoke detector inside your home.
10. Eat with balance and moderation. Choose fresh fruit and vegetables, while limiting fats,
salt, and sugary foods.
11. Find fun ways to stay active, such as walking to view holiday lights. Be active for 150
minutes per week.
12. Get a good night’s sleep. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can
benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

Winter Sports Safety

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Winter Sports Safety Tips

The arrival of winter weather does not mean you have to stay inside.
Just remember to stay safe when you are out in the cold.  There are
many sports you can enjoy in the winter, including snowmobiling, ice skating, and hiking.

 

  • Dress appropriately when you are outside, in several layers of clothing so that you can take off a layer as the day warms up and add a layer as the day cools off.  Wear hats to keep heat in and sunscreen on sunny days just as you would in the summer.
  •  Many sports recommend that you wear safety equipment, such as helmets.  Be sure that you have the correct equipment for the sport and that it fits properly and is in good condition.
  • If you are new to skiing or snowboarding, take lessons prior to going out on your own.  Stay in a designated area and do not go out alone.
  • If you are sledding, choose a hill free of obstacles or ice, and go down feet first.
  • Children under that age of 16 should never operate a snowmobile and children under five should never ride a snowmobile.
  • When ice skating, do so in an area which has been approved for ice skating.  Know what to do if you fall through the ice.

Remember to be a good role model for kids; they learn their safety habits from their parents!

Here are some websites with more information:

http://www.childrenscolorado.org/about/news/2011/winter-sports-tips

http://www.usoutdoor.com/ski-snowboard-saftey-guide-a24.htm

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