Category Archives: Prevention

3 Fast Facts About ATVs in South Carolina

This week is ATV Safety Week.  All-terrain vehicles, also known as ATVs, are motorized off-highway vehicles designed to travel on four low-pressure or non-pneumatic tires.  There are two types of ATVs.  Type 1 ATVs are to be used by a single operator and no passenger.  Type 2 ATVs are intended to be used by an operator and a passenger.  ATVs are now “one size fits all.”  The ATV industry recommends that all riders operate the size and type of ATV designed for their age group.  Youth model ATVs are designed for smaller hands and feet, and travel at slower speeds appropriate for younger riders.  Because ATVs require skill and quick thinking, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under 16 who are too young to have a driver’s license should not be allowed to operate or ride off-road vehicles.

  1. On average, 6 children die from ATV-related injuries in South Carolina each year.
  2. From 1999-2009, 63 children died from ATV accidents in South Carolina. Nearly 40 percent of those children were age 9 and under.
  3. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 450 children are injured each year in South Carolina on ATVs.

In South Carolina, Chandler’s ATV Safety Requirements Law became effective July 1, 2011. Information from the law includes:

  • Minimum age to operate an ATV is six years old
  • Children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult if riding on public land
  • New requirements for children under age 16:
  • Must complete a hands-on ATV rider safety training course approved by the ATV Safety Institute before operating an ATV
  • Must wear a safety helmet and eye protection
  • May not ride an ATV in violation of the manufacturer Age Restriction Warning Label required by Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA)
  • May not carry a passenger on an ATV without a valid driver’s license
  • The above requirements, although recommended, do not apply for ATVs in use for farming, ranching, hunting or trapping
  • On private property, law enforcement officers must have probable cause based on plain view observation or when investigating an ATV accident to enter upon private land to charge a parent with a violation of law.
  • ATVs can be registered with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles for purposes of receiving a title. A title makes it easier to prove you own an ATV if it is ever stolen.
  • Additional information about the “Chandler’s Law,” hands-on ATV rider safety training courses, and Q & A for parents and children, visit ChandlersATVlaw.com.

 

Nationally, 95 percent of children killed on ATVs were riding adult-sized ATVs despite industry recommendations.  Get informed about ATV safety and visit our website:  https://www.scdhec.gov/health/prevent-accidents/all-terrain-vehicle-atv-safety.

DHEC In the News:  Earthquake emergency preparedness, High Cancer Rates in Anderson County, & Swim Advisories

Here’s a look at health and environmental news around South Carolina.

Training keeps first responders up to date with emergency response

KINGSTREE, S.C. (The Kingstree News) On May 16, the Williamsburg County Emergency Management/E-911 Division (EMD) held an Earthquake Tabletop Exercise for Williamsburg County agencies who continually update preparedness in case such an event occurs. There is not a completely reliable method for predicting the time, place and size of an earthquake, especially since the majority of earthquakes occur in the Coastal Plain. Experts do agree that where earthquakes have occurred before, they can again. Therefore it is always important to be prepared.

 

Anderson County cancer rates among the highest in South Carolina and nationally

ANDERSON, S.C. (Anderson Independent Mail) Over the past decade, Anderson County has consistently had more people getting cancer for the first time than the state and national average.

Anderson County is ranked eighth-highest out of the state’s 46 counties for incidences of all types of cancers, according to information provided by the State Department of Health and Environmental Control. Cancer was the leading cause of death in Anderson County, and the second in South Carolina, as of 2017.

 

Carolina This Week with DHEC’s Bryan Rabon

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE-ABC) Bryan Rabon, DHEC’s manager of aquatic science programs, sat down with “Carolina This Week” host Trey Paul to talk about beach monitoring season and the purpose of swim advisories.

Understanding Date Labels on Packaged Foods to Reduce Food Waste

What does the label “Best If Used By” when purchasing foods and beverages actually mean?  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) want you to know the facts before you throw your items away.

  • “Best if Used By” labeling is standardized to provide a date that is related to optimal quality – not safety. This tells consumers that certain products do not have to be discarded after the date if they are stored properly.
  • An “expiration date” is only used for baby formula. This is the only date label that is federally required.
  • Date labels are created by manufacturers at their own discretion. The main reason for this is to notify consumers and retailers of the date where they can expect the food to retain its desired quality and flavor.
  • The FDA advises consumers to routinely examine foods in their kitchen cabinets or pantry that are past the “Best if Used By” date to determine if the quality is sufficient for use. If the products have changed noticeably in color, consistency or texture, or smell, consumers may want to avoid eating them.
  • Reduce food waste by refrigerating peeled or cut vegetables for freshness, quality or safety. Store foods in the freezer to retain quality.  Avoid bulk and impulse purchases, especially of produce and dairy products that have a limited shelf life.  Request smaller portions when eating out.  Bring your leftovers home, and refrigerate/freeze them within two hours.

Between the food industry and consumers, Americans throw out about a third of our food – approximately $161 billion worth each year.  For more tips to reduce food waste, visit:  https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/tips-reduce-food-waste.

Don't Waste Food SC_0

Don’t Waste Food SC is a collaborative outreach campaign that focuses on bringing together every individual and organization in South Carolina to prevent, donate or compost extra food rather than wasting it. Initially a partnership of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and S.C. Department of Commerce, ambassadors now include K-12 schools, businesses, food retailers and manufacturers, non-profit organizations, municipalities and local governments, colleges/universities, residents, restaurants and hospitality establishments as well as many others. For more information or to get involved, please visit Don’t Waste Food SC or email dontwastefoodsc@dhec.sc.gov.

Download the rack card specifically addressing product labeling as an easy reference tool.

Traveling? Worried About Bed Bugs? Here are 3 Fast Facts to Protect Your Family and Home

This time of year is perfect traveling weather in our great state.  However, travel often brings the increased fear of bed bugs.  Causing property damage, skin irritation, and increased expenses, bed bugs are a nuisance worldwide. The good news is that these creepy crawlers are not considered carriers of disease and are, therefore, not a public health threat. Commonly treated by insecticide spraying, there are several steps you can take to help protect your family from bed bugs:

  1. Know how to identify bed bugs and understand where they’re found.
  2. Conduct regular inspections for signs of an infestation.
  3. If you believe you have an infestation, contact your landlord or professional pest control company to have your home or business properly treated.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) does not have regulatory authority to intervene or respond to bed bug-related issues at hotels, homes, apartments, thrift stores, etc.

Bed bugs at state-licensed healthcare facilities, however, should be reported via online complaint form. For more information about filing a complaint about bed bugs at a regulated healthcare facility, please click here.

Even though DHEC does not inspect, treat or conduct site visits in response to bed bug complaints in homes or hotels, we want to make sure that everyone has access to the information needed to help prevent a bed bug infestation in their home.

Like mosquito bites, bed bug bites typically result in a minor skin irritation. Some people might experience a more severe allergic reaction. If you believe that you are experiencing an adverse reaction to a bed bug bite, please seek medical attention from your healthcare provider.

For more information about bed bugs, click on the following: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

From Other Blogs: American Food Dollars, Stroke Risk Factors for Women, Prepare Your Health for Hurricane Season

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Where Do Americans’ Food Dollars Go?

In 2017, consumers in the United States spent $1.2 trillion on U.S.-produced food. Nearly all food starts out on a farm, but did you ever wonder how the value added from processing, packaging, transporting, and marketing agricultural food products factors into the costs? – From U.S. Department of Agriculture’s blog

 

Risk factors for stroke every woman should know

More women die from stroke than breast cancer every year. Shocked? It’s true. In fact, stroke is the third leading cause of death in women, while it is the fifth for men, and women are more likely to have another stroke within five years of their first stroke. So what is it that makes strokes affect women differently than men? Anil Yallapragada, MD, Palmetto Health-USC Neurology, explained. – From Flourish, Prisma Health’s blog

 

Prepare Your Health for Hurricane Season

In all, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), of which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a member, has a list of 21 names that they will use this year to identify hurricanes during the Atlantic hurricane season.  What’s in a name? A major hurricane by any name is hazardous to public health and safety, potentially life threatening, and important to prepare for.

– From Public Health Matters, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Blog