According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 46% of all car seats are misused. To help combat this issue, NHTSA and DHEC are recognizing Child Passenger Safety Week from September 20-26, 2020, a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible — every trip, every time.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children, according to NHTSA, and while fatalities declined from 2017 to 2018 (the most recent data available), there is still work to be done to completely eliminate these preventable tragedies. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can make all the difference in saving lives.
Children are often moved to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death, even if that child is buckled up. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat. NHTSA reported that, in 2015, about 25.8% of children 4 to 7 who should have been riding in booster seats were prematurely moved to seat belts, and 11.6% were unbuckled altogether.
National Assisted Living Week is September 13-19 . This year’s theme is “Caring is Essential,” DHEC recognizes the amount of hard work, care and love that it takes to keep South Carolina’s assisted living facilities operational and its residents happy and healthy.
Assisted Living Facilities,also known as Community Residential Care Facilities (CRCFs) in SC, are designed to accommodate residents’ independence, changing needs and preferences and come in a wide range of sizes
CRCFs are not the same as nursing homes, and offer different healthcare. CRCFs are not designed to offer round the clock care for their residents and are not required to have any licensed personnel on staff.. CRCFs offer assistance with items such as medication management, meals, and supportive services such as laundry or transportation.
“Many CRCFs have been impacted and faced challenges with COVID-19. Various areas of DHEC remain in constant communication with the facilities to provide guidance and assistance. Maintaining relationships with facilities is crucial to the DHEC’s mission, said JoMonica Taylor, Interim Section Manager for Residential Facilities Oversight.
During the pandemic, Healthcare Quality has conducted a total of 84 Infection Control Focused inspections at CRCFs. Due to the high risk of COVID-19 to the vulnerable population in congregate settings and the spread of COVID-19 throughout SC, Governor McMaster ordered DHEC to restrict visitation at CRCFs in March 2020. The facilities have shown resiliency during these trying times and great creativity in problem solving. In lieu of visitations, facilities have incorporated closed-window visits, virtual visitation through tablets, and phone calls. During holidays, some facilities coordinated drive-by parades for residents to enjoy.
On September 1, 2020, in coordination with the Governor’s Office, DHEC partially lifted the visitation restrictions by issuing guidelines for limited outdoor visitation, with the intent to issue more guidelines that further lift visitation restrictions in coming weeks.
More facts about CRCFs
There are 497 licensed CRCFs in South Carolina.
There are over 150 CRCFs with Memory Care Units for residents suffering from dementia.
CRCFs are inspected annually
3 new CRCFs have opened in SC during the pandemic
DHEC agrees that Caring is Essential, and thanks CRCFs for all that they do. These essential facilities and their staff provide a service to their communities that directly contributes to DHEC’s vision, healthy people living in healthy communities.
”We are incredibly grateful for the cooperation and patience of families and staff at these facilities, both of whom continue do to the best that they can to keep residents connected with loved ones as our state continues to respond to the pandemic,” Taylor said.
For more information on assisted living facilities, please explore the links below:
September is recognized every year by the health community as Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a genetic disease that impacts families across the globe. Keeping individuals and communities informed about the struggles that come with the daily management of SCD can help raise awareness, as well as debunk stereotypes and stigmas associated with persons who have SCD.
SCD affects millions of people throughout the world. Although SCD is most common among African Americans in the United States, it can also affect Hispanics and people whose ancestors come from countries in South Asia (such as India), southern Europe (such as Greece and Italy), and the Middle East (such as Saudi Arabia and Lebanon).
Quick Facts About SCD and SCT
SCD is a blood disorder that causes sickling of the red blood cells.
Sickle-shaped red blood cells become stuck in blood vessels and cause disruption of blood flow – this results in crises.
SCD affects 100,000 people in the United States.
SCD is an inherited blood disorder from the person’s parent, like any other genetic trait, such, as hair color and texture and eye color
SCT is where a person inherits one sickle cell gene and one normal gene.
SCT is not a disease, and the individual is generally asymptomatic.
SCT affects 1 million to 3 million Americans and 8 to 10 percent of African Americans.
Persons with SCT can pass the trait on to their children.
SCD and COVID-19 Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there is significant concern for individuals with underlying medical conditions. The CDC has indicated that persons with SCD and other blood disorders are among groups of individuals at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Discuss with your healthcare provider about converting all routine in-person appointments to virtual or telephonic.
Ask your healthcare provider for information about COVID-19 signs and symptoms and the importance of physical distancing to limit chances of exposure and infection. Discuss enhanced emotional connection through virtual or cellular-based modes.
Continue to seek medical help from your doctor, nurse, or hospital for fever and other signs of infection. Be sure to call first for advice on where to go safely for an evaluation.
Make certain you have an ample supply of all prescribed medications at home (including analgesics) to manage both acute and chronic pain.
Adhere closely to the correct use of your medications.
DHEC’s Sickle Cell Program & Partnerships
DHEC is committed to educating the community and public about the availability of resources and services for individuals and families living with sickle cell disease. DHEC’s Division of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN), provides assistance to persons with sickle cell disease by covering services, such as: medical expenses, physician visits, durable medical equipment, medical supplies, and prescription drugs. Assistance is offered to both children and adults who meet eligibility requirements. Additionally, CYSHCN partners with the Newborn Screening Follow-Up program to ensure infants who are newly diagnosed with sickle cell disease have a medical home to address treatment and care for their disease.
In addition to financial assistance and care coordination services, CYSHCN engages with the four Sickle Community Based Organizations in the state — the James R. Clark Memorial Sickle Cell Foundation, – Louvenia D. Barksdale Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, – Orangeburg Area Sickle Cell Foundation and – COBRA Human Services Agency Sickle Cell Program – to ensure persons living with SCD have access to community resources and support services. Each of these organizations provide genetic screening, counseling, education, case management, and support groups to address the needs of families and individuals living with SCD. If you have questions about testing for you or your family, you can visit one of the four sickle cell community-based organizations.
Sickle Cell Has Many Faces
Sickle Cell Has Many Faces as illustrated through this video by the Center for Disease and Prevention Control. This video highlights how people of different races and ancestry could have SCD.
Did you know that cigarette litter is the most common type of marine debris found on South Carolina beaches? Cigarette butts are a toxic form of marine debris. Most cigarette filters are made of thin plastic fibers called cellulose acetate, a material that degrades very slowly. Plastics exposed to sunlight and waves break down into smaller and more numerous microplastics, which may never fully degrade in the marine environment. Birds, fish, and sea turtles may ingest cigarette butts or other plastic debris along the coast, which can lead to choking, poisoning, or blockage of the gut. Leaching of toxic materials from cigarette butts can also degrade water quality. Various metals, including lead and nickel, have been found to leach from smoked cigarettes within 24 hours, which may increase the risk of acute harm to local marine life. In a laboratory study, a concentration of one cigarette butt in one liter of water killed half of all fish exposed, within 96 hours!
In 2015, DHEC OCRM conducted a Cigarette Litter Reduction Pilot Study on Folly Beach in Charleston County. The project was funded by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and included partners from the Surfrider Foundation and Folly Green. The goal of the project was to reduce cigarette litter on Folly Beach by educating residents and visitors about the negative effects cigarette litter can have on the marine environment. Foldable paper ashtrays and flyers printed with educational information were distributed, and new cigarette receptacles were installed at several beach walkovers on Folly Beach. Small-scale monitoring events were designed to look at the amount of cigarette litter on the beach before and after project implementation. Results of the monitoring efforts found fewer cigarette butts in the study area after project implementation, suggesting this pilot project may have influenced human behavior.
Last year, DHEC’s project was replicated in the Grand Strand by the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium (CWSEC). CWSEC and its partners took a watershed-based approach to enhance public awareness and promote proper disposal of cigarette butt litter at beach and river accesses in Horry and Georgetown Counties. Similar to the Folly Beach study, the Grand Strand Cigarette Litter Reduction project focused on public education, installation of new cigarette receptacles, and cigarette litter monitoring. Results of the project can found on the project website.
As the population and the number of businesses grow, so does the volume of vehicles on the road in a single day. This can be challenging for keeping the air in South Carolina clean and safe.
The good news is South Carolina does have clean air and is currently attaining all of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. These standards were established to protect public health. Maintaining favorable air quality by keeping emissions at a minimum will help keep South Carolina within the air quality standards and protect public health.
Your business can be a leader in your community by implementing air pollution reduction strategies to maintain good air quality in South Carolina:
Register to be a Breathe Better (B2) business. You will receive anti-idling signs that can go in your loading areas and parking lots.