National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, recognized October 20-26, 2019, was created to increase awareness about lead poisoning prevention and decreasing potential exposure to lead. This year’s theme is “Get the Facts, Get Your Home Tested, Get Your Child Tested.” According to the 2018 South Carolina State Health Assessment, 36,083 children were tested for childhood lead poisoning, representing a 15.6% increase from 2013. The main sources of lead in South Carolina are related to contaminated soil or dust and chipping lead-based paint in older homes.
Lead, a naturally occurring metal, can be found in homes built before 1978 (when lead-based paints were banned). When the paint peels and cracks, lead dust is created. Children can be poisoned if they swallow or breathe that dust.
Lead can also be found in certain water pipes, toys, jewelry, and imported candies.
Occupations and hobbies that involve working with lead-based products, like stained glass work, may cause adults to bring lead into their homes.
Lead poisoning is 100% preventable. Blood lead tests determine if you or your child have been exposed to lead.
There is no cure for lead poisoning. That is why preventing exposure to lead, especially among children, is important. Finding and removing sources of lead from the child’s environment is needed to prevent further exposure. While there is no cure, parents can help reduce the effects of lead by talking to their doctor and getting connected to learning, nutritional, and behavioral programs as soon as possible. Finding and removing the sources of lead from your environment is necessary to prevent further exposure.
Long term effects of lead poisoning may include: brain damage, loss of IQ points, learning disabilities, developmental delay, and behavioral and attention problems.
Lead poisoning along with other toxic substances within our homes and communities impact our health and safety. For more information about where to find lead and ways to prevent exposure, visit www.scdhec.gov/lead.
IRMO, S.C. (goupstate.com) There are honeybees in the library, trout in the classrooms and vegetables in the yard at Dutch Fork Elementary. The school’s focus on the environment, sustainable practices, and conservation education recently earned it the first Green Ribbon in South Carolina.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (postandcourier.com) The Medical University of South Carolina is hoping to build three new health facilities, as well as upgrades and renovations to other centers across the state. And they need five separate approvals from the state to do it.
Celebrated each year on October 15, Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to create awareness about how proper handwashing affects your health. Proper handwashing can prevent infectious diseases like norovirus and the flu.
Here are 3 fast facts about handwashing:
Key times to always wash your hands with soap and clean water are: after using the bathroom, preparing food, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available.
Hand sanitizers do NOT get rid of all types of germs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), follow these steps to wash your hands the correct way:
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, apply soap.
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from the beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Each October, families from all over South Carolina visit the South Carolina State Fair. Celebrating 150 years, the fair has food, rides, exhibits, and entertainment. The animal exhibits have always been some of the more popular attractions.
Some animals and livestock may carry germs and diseases that can be harmful. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some tips to help prevent the spread of disease while visiting the livestock exhibits.
Wash Your Hands.
Find a handwashing station and wash your hands right after touching animals or anything in the areas where they live, roam, or eat.
Wash your hands after leaving animal areas, even if you didn’t touch the animals.
Running soap and water is best, but if not available, make sure that the sanitizer contains at least 60 percent alcohol and wash your hands with soap and running water as soon as you can.
Keep food and animals separate.
Do not eat or drink around animals.
Keep food and drinks away from animal areas.
Do not share your food with them, even if you think the food is part of their diet.
Do not consume raw products. Raw (unpasteurized) products made or sold at animal exhibits may include: milk, cheese, cider, or juice.
Always keep a watchful eye on children around animals.
Children 5 years or younger should not have contact with reptiles, amphibians, or live poultry because these animals are more likely to make them sick.
Do not let children sit or play on the ground in animal areas.
Leave items such as strollers, pacifiers, cups, and toys outside animal areas.
Even healthy animals can carry germs that might make visitors sick. Every year, many people get sick after visiting an animal exhibit. People have reported E.coli, cryptosporidium, and salmonella infections. Those at greatest risk of becoming ill are children 5 years and younger, people with weakened immune systems, and adults over 65 years.
CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) This week the City of Conway announced a grant from Horry County Solid Waste and DHEC allowing them to give 500 recycling carts to residents. This is now the first grant for the City’s recycling program; the last time Conway gave 500 carts to residents, it increased recycling in the City by 8%.
GREENWOOD, S.C. (Index-Journal) On a portion of Springfield Elementary’s 32-acre campus is an old playground. Students in Anne Glawe’s fifth-grade Gifted and Talented class, who are working with Greenwood County Litter Prevention Coordinator Maggie McMahon, want to recycle it.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) While flu season is often unpredictable, October typically marks the start which means it’s time to get that flu shot. Flu activity in South Carolina was listed as minimal on Tuesday, according to DHEC. But, health officials are bracing for a bad flu season.