Monthly Archives: March 2015

Buckle Up for Safety

By Betsy Crick

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and national reports show that approximately 90% of all child safety seats are installed incorrectly.

DHEC’s Child Passenger Safety Program works to prevent injuries and fatalities.  The program provides more than 50 child passenger safety events statewide each year.  Additionally, they facilitate more than 50 presentations annually to college education majors, doctors’ offices, faith-based organizations and school improvement councils to educate individuals about child safety seat usage and to promote the primary seatbelt law.

How you can install your child’s car seat safely:

  • Use rear facing child seats for children from birth to 20 pounds AND one year of age. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends leaving children facing the rear until they reach the maximum rear facing weight of their convertible car seat.
  • Use forward facing child seats for children over 20 pounds and one year of age to 40 pounds.
  • Use belt positioning booster seats for children from 40 pounds to 80-100 pounds.
  • Use seat belts for children when they are able to utilize the seat belt correctly when the shoulder belt crosses the collarbone and the lap belt fits low on the hips. Approximately 4′ 9” tall and 80-100 pounds.

For more information, please visit DHEC’s Child Passenger Safety Program page.

Working together to stay prepared for a medical emergency

By Cassandra Harris
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We were recently joined by numerous community partners throughout the Midlands Region for a two-day public health preparedness exercise at the SC Fire Academy. Led by the Midlands Region Healthcare Coalition, participants received joint mobile field hospital and communications training. During the event, our Midlands Region Office of Public Health Preparedness team managed logistics for both the training and exercise.

Preparation, communication, and teamwork are key components to responding to a large-scale medical emergency. As part of DHEC’s effort to keep our state prepared for medical emergencies that exceed the normal capacity of the medical care community, our Office of Public Health Preparedness team provides statewide training and access to Blue Med Units, also known as mobile medical units.

Currently, we have 6 Blue Med Units located around the state. The mobile units are made available for use by medical facilities in anticipation of the need for rapid expansion due to a public health event such as a pandemic. In case of a public health emergency, these units are able to be quickly deployed anywhere in the state.

Thanks to the efforts of the our Office of Public Health Preparedness team, hospitals across the state now have access to mobile medical units and are better prepared to handle a potential health crisis. We appreciate all the hard work being done by our Public Health Preparedness team and the medical community to help keep SC educated and ready. Together, we can make a difference.

DHEC Celebrates National Nutrition Month

By Betsy Crick

March is National Nutrition Month and here at DHEC, we are celebrating healthy eating with food demonstrations and fresh local produce.  In Central Office, members of our WIC and SNAP teams recently provided three separate 30-minute engaging food demonstrations using fresh produce from our new mobile Farmers Market service, provided by Jumper Farm.

In addition, the Pee Dee Region recently hosted a Lunch and Learn at the Florence Health Department, with 31 people in attendance.  Two registered dietitian staff from the region provided recipes for multiple meals, and also discussed ways to reduce sodium, fat and calories with just a few small changes.

Eating healthy not only feeds your body, it feeds your mind.  To find healthy options near you, check out

Mobile Farmers Market Schedule for Central Office:

Sims/Aycock Building
Begins at 1:30 p.m. on Mondays

Mills/Jarrett Building
Begins at 2:30 p.m. on Mondays

Columbia Mills Building
Begins at 1:30 p.m. on Fridays