Category Archives: Prevention

WIC Implements Program to Identify Developmental Milestones in Children

DHEC’s WIC program is going a little farther this winter to encourage parents to learn the signs of healthy development with its implementation of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Learn the Signs. Act Early. Program.

According to the CDC, the “Learn the Signs. Act Early” program aims to improve the early identification of children with autism and other developmental disabilities so children and families can get the services and support they need.  

It is important to identify developmental delays and disabilities. The CDC reports that 1 in 6 children aged 3-17 years have developmental disabilities. The S.C. WIC program will aid parents in identifying these disabilities or delays sooner than later.  

As of Jan. 4, 2022, WIC began implementing this new program to its participants. As part of the program, parents will complete a milestone checklist. The list can be completed by paper or through the milestone tracker app.  

By monitoring their children’s milestones using the simple checklist, parents can identify what skills are typical at certain ages. It also aids parents to recognize when to act if they have concerns or if there are signs of possible developmental delay or disability.  

WIC providers recognize how a child plays, learn, speak, act, and move for their age are important signs of a child’s healthy growth and development. When a child’s development is delayed, WIC providers also know the value of a timely referral to support both the child and family. 

From June 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021, the Moncks Corner Health Department, and the Bluffton Health Department of the Lowcountry region piloted the program.    

During that time: 

  • 514 participants were educated on the developmental milestones 
  • 35 participants were referred for developmental screening 
  • 858 Milestone Matter lessons were completed on WICs’ online education platform, WIChealth.org. 

It is the success of the Lowcountry that has led the WIC program to implement a statewide rollout this month!

DHEC Marks National Radon Action Month By Raising Awareness of Radon and Free Test Kits

January is National Radon Action Month, and DHEC is encouraging all South Carolinians to test their homes for radon. You can request a free home test kit by clicking here.  

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell or taste. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that it is the second leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.  

Any home can have a radon problem. The only way to determine if your home is trapping radon gas is to test. 

Quick Facts about Radon: 

  • Breathing in radon can change the cells in your lungs, which increases your chances for lung cancer. 
  • Radon is responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. 
  • Smokers who are exposed to radon have a much higher risk of lung cancer. 
  • Elevated radon concentrations have been found across South Carolina. 
  • Homes can be modified to reduce radon levels. 
  • New homes can be built with radon-resistant features. 
  • South Carolina has nationally-certified professionals who can fix homes with elevated radon levels. 

The South Carolina Radon Program provides a radon test kit to homeowners free of charge. To learn more about radon or request your free home test kit, please click here. 

Registered Dietitian provides tips for healthy holiday eating

The holiday season is upon us, which for many means holiday parties, overcrowded schedules, and extra indulgent meals and treats.

Farrah Wigand, a Registered Dietitian with DHEC and a Certified Specialist in Obesity Weight Management, has provided a few healthy eating and lifestyle gifts to help you lighten up your holidays.

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Don’t Waste Food SC Provides Thanksgiving Tips 

Thanksgiving is typically a holiday of overabundance, but that doesn’t mean you have to waste food.  Here are some tips from your friends at Don’t Waste Food SC to make sure you don’t throw away any of your feast this year.  

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DHEC Marks National Minority Mental Health Month

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and brings the opportunity to raise awareness and understanding of the mental health needs and experiences within BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and other underrepresented communities. 

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