Monthly Archives: February 2016

Improve Your Child’s Healthy Smile

By: Mary Kenyon Jones, MEd., DHEC Division of Oral Health

Tooth decay is the most common disease affecting children. It is five times more common that asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. The good news is that it is preventable! With good home care and regular visits to the dentist beginning at age 1, your child can live a life free from tooth decay.

Mouth Care For Infants – 3+
Even before teeth arrive your child’s mouth can be protected. Parents and caregivers can use a clean wet cloth or gauze to gently wipe their child’s gums, cheeks, lips and tongue.  After teeth begin to arrive, your child’s teeth should be brushed twice a day with a soft bristle, child-sized toothbrush. For children ages 1-3, use a smear of toothpaste with fluoride. After age 3, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride. Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing. It is good to avoid rinsing with water to help maximize the benefit of the fluoride in the toothpaste.

Get  a Brushing Routine
To make things easier, create a “toothbrushing routine.” The routine can include playing music, getting things set up, and using a favorite toothbrush. Try and stick to the same routine every day. Model good oral health by letting your child see you brushing your teeth.

Be a Brushing Coach
A child should be supervised while brushing their teeth until at least age 7 to ensure they are brushing properly.  Ideally you should brush teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. It is important to note that toothbrushes should be changed every three to four months, or sooner if your child chews on it or has been sick.

Healthy Mouth Nutrition
What, when and how often your child eats directly affects their oral health. Parents and caregivers should encourage children to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grain products and healthy dairy products such as milk, cottage cheese, cheese and unsweetened yogurt. Encourage your child to drink water  that contains fluoride. Discourage constant eating and drinking between meals.

Foods containing sugar should only be served at mealtimes and in limited amounts. Candy, cookies, cake and sweetened drinks increase your child’s risk of tooth decay. Sticky foods such as fruit roll-ups, caramels and chewy candies should be avoided.

A healthy lifestyle that includes good nutritional habits will help support your child’s oral health and overall health!

For more information about oral health, click here or visit  MouthHealthy

Regional Milk Depots Help Babies in Need

Pictured above: Pee Dee Region Nutritional Education Specialist Ellen Edens (left) and Nursing Site Supervisor Rhonda Windham oversee donation collection and deposits to the Mother’s Milk Bank of South Carolina. 

By Mary-Kathryn Craft

Thanks to the generosity of breastfeeding moms and the help of state health department staff statewide, more babies in need will receive nourishing ​milk for a healthy start.

The Mother’s Milk Bank of S​outh Carolina opened at the Medical University of South Carolina in 2015 to provide pasteurized human milk to hospitalized S.C. infants whose mother’s milk supply is limited. The program created a network of milk deposit sites across the state, including five DHEC locations, to make it easier for breastfeeding moms to donate their surplus milk.

The collaborative effort is off to a great start, and DHEC staff have already helped collect more than 4,000 ounces of ​milk for the Mother’s Milk Bank!

​In January, the Pee Dee Region received its first donation and has since collected a total of 793 ounces through the Sumter County Health Department. The Lowcountry has collected more than 1,100 ounces at the Beaufort and Goose Creek locations. The Midlands’ total is 2,212 ounces, and in the Upstate team is continuing to promote the Spartanburg County depot site. ​

Mother’s milk is important for newborns, especially for premature, very low birth weight babies who are at higher risk for many serious health conditions. ​The Mother’s Milk Bank of South Carolina was created by various partners including the Medical University of South Carolina, the S.C. Neonatal Consortium and the S.C. Birth Outcomes Initiative. For more information, visit​

New EMS Portal Supports Career Advancement

By Rob Wronski, Chief of DHEC’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services

For anyone looking to start or grow their EMS career in South Carolina, there is a new bookmark-worthy website that provides job listings and training information from across the state. The S.C. EMS Portal is a free online resource launched by S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and the EMS Performance Improvement Center (EMS PIC).

The EMS Portal provides  career-related curated content that is submitted by South Carolina EMS agencies and education providers. It provides a searchable database that helps connect professionals with job and training opportunities in their area. Users can search by region, county and certification level to find opportunities that  fit their needs.

The page also provides a library of job-related documents such as advisories, protocol updates and memos to help improve communication across the EMS community. In addition to better serving the EMS community, the new portal has also improved efficiency for the Bureau of EMS – reducing phone calls and emails asking for information found on the portal by more than 50 percent.

Thank you to our partners at EMS PIC who helped build this valuable new resource to serve the EMS community.

For more information about the portal, visit 




Using Social Science To Solve Coastal Resource Challenges

By Dan Burger, Director, Coastal Services Division, DHEC

Last week, several hundred natural resource managers, researchers and social scientists from across the country descended on Charleston to attend the third biennial Social Coast Forum. Below are some of the highlights from S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management staff who were selected to present on social science tools and methods that are being used to address South Carolina’s coastal issues.

Jessica Boynton, shorelines specialist, presented the Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (HVA) tool. The goal of the HVA is to provide a geospatial tool that can be used by federal, state, and local coastal managers and scientists to improve comprehensive and hazard mitigation planning, post- disaster redevelopment, as well as determine areas best suited for restoration and mitigation. The HVA is an analysis tool that evaluates coastal hazard vulnerability from four hazards: storm surge, shoreline change rate (erosion or accretion), flooding, and social/economic vulnerability.

Liz Hartje, coastal project manager, provided a hands-on demonstration of the MyCoast: South Carolina web and mobile application. MyCoast allows DHEC to crowd-source photographs and qualitative information from users and then append quantitative data related to coastal storms, king tides and abandoned vessels. This tool is used to engage the public, visualize and analyze impacts and enhance awareness of coastal hazards.

Dan Burger, director of DHEC’s Coastal Services Division, provided an overview of coastal hazards that are affecting natural resources, infrastructure and social well-being in the Charleston region and the catalyzing events that led to the establishment of the Charleston Resilience Network (CRN). CRN is a new inter-governmental and cross-sector partnership that is working to align programs and foster a unified strategy that results in regional resilience to water-related hazards. With support from the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Infrastructure Protection, the CRN will hold a symposium later this month to examine the region’s resilience through the lens of the October flood events.

For more information about DHEC’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, visit

South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program recognizes industry

By Cassie Harris

sceepRecognized for their efforts to protect and preserve South Carolina’s environment, Honeywell Aerospace of Greer, S.C. was recently welcomed by the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP) as the newest member of the state’s premier environmental performance program.

Joining Honeywell Aerospace, Sandvik, Inc. of Westminster, S.C.; Kimberly-Clark Beech Island Mill of Beech Island, S.C.; and International Paper Eastover Mill of Eastover, S.C. received a renewed membership to the program. All companies will hold memberships in the program through 2018.

“SCEEP encourages companies that do business in South Carolina to become environmental stewards of the community through taking proactive steps to promote and protect the environment,” said DHEC’s Director of Environmental Affairs Myra Reece. “Committed to environmental excellence, SCEEP members are selected for their efforts in the promotion and practice of pollution prevention, as well as resource conservation.”

 Honeywell Aerospace

A global company, Honeywell Aerospace employs approximately 485 associates at its two Greer campuses. Reportedly reducing greenhouse gases by more than 30 percent from 2004 – 2011, Honeywell Aerospace in Greer continues to work towards corporate goals to promote even further reduction.  In addition, the company has worked to decrease hazardous waste generation by reducing, reusing and reclaiming hazardous waste materials. With improvements to an engine test cell, the company has been able to shrink the amount of jet fuel being used–resulting in a decrease in energy consumption. 

Sandvik, Inc.
Sandvik, Inc. continues its efforts to reduce energy consumption, CO2 consumption and water consumption. Initiating a plastic recycling program in 2014—the company has reportedly recycled 7,900 pounds of plastic. Committed to continued energy and carbon dioxide emission reductions, Sandvik, Inc. has replaced high intensity discharge lighting with more energy efficient T8 lighting and installed motion detection sensors in areas where there is minimal traffic. In addition, the company remains active in their community through the promotion of work experience with local schools.

Kimberly-Clark Beech Island Mill
Through establishing company-based environmental programs, Kimberly-Clark Corporation Beech Island Mill continues to work towards achievement of its goals to reduce fresh water consumption by 25 percent by maximizing water conservation through machine use reduction and effluent recycling and decrease Greenhouse Gas emissions by five percent through the identification and implementation of energy conservation projects. The company is also taking steps to achieve and sustain 100 percent landfill elimination of manufacturing wastes. As of Nov. 2015, 93 percent of manufacturing wastes were reported as being diverted from the landfill.

International Paper Eastover Mill
International Paper Eastover Mill monitors water use on a monthly basis, reportedly reducing total water use by 2,200 gallons per ton of product since 2007.  Since 2010, they have also reported a significant reduction in the amount of coal used and the subsequent sulfur dioxide emissions.  While striving to be excellent corporate neighbors, IP Eastover is very active in their community.  As a participant in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI Program), they support sustainable forestry practices on land they manage as well as promote on other lands.  

Associated Fuel Pump Systems Corporation
Associated Fuel Pump System Corporation (AFCO) is a zero waste-to-landfill facility. AFCO maintains a volunteer environmental and safety team that performs audits in each department in the plant, helping the company identify any environmental and/or safety concerns and maintain regulatory compliance.

SCEEP is a voluntary program designed to recognize and reward South Carolina facilities that have demonstrated environmental performance through pollution prevention, energy and resource conservation, and the use of an environmental management system. Membership must be renewed every three years.  DHEC has supported the program since its creation in 1997. Currently, the program has 47 corporate members across the state.