January 9, 2022, is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, a day dedicated to showing our support for the law enforcement agents that work tirelessly to protect our state’s environment and stop the diversion and abuse of controlled substances.
DHEC thanks these men and women for the dedication, service, and commitment to the rule of law they display every day.
If your family opted for a live tree this year, DHEC’s Environmental Affairs team wants to encourage you to recycle that tree once you are done with the holiday festivities.
“Recycling natural Christmas trees is a great way to reduce materials going into landfills and also puts nutrients back into our soil through mulching and composting,” said Marty Lindler, Division Director for Land and Waste Management. “Just make sure to remove all of the lights and decorations before participating in ‘Grinding of the Greens’ to mulch your tree!”
December 5-11 is National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). NIVW is a national awareness week focused on highlighting the importance of influenza vaccination. It is a call to all Americans 6 months and older to get their annual flu vaccine if they have not already.
Flu remains a significant public health concern, and this week will serve to remind people that there is still time to get a flu vaccine — the only vaccine that protects against flu — to prevent flu illness and potentially serious complications.
The flu vaccine is available from many providers, including DHEC health departments, doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, schools, and workplaces. For those who have not had either of the two, it is safe to receive the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time.
Flu vaccines offered at DHEC health department clinics are available by appointment. Call 1-855-472-3432 to make an appointment or go to scdhec.gov/fluclinics to find the nearest location.
National Brush Day is November 1, and it is the perfect time to remember and reinforce good brushing habits. The day comes after the biggest candy day of the year…Halloween! No need to fear because two minutes of tooth time, two times a day, can go a long way in preventing tooth decay and keeping mouths healthy.
“Results from the most recent Oral Health Needs Assessment show that there continues to be a need to focus on prevention that includes brushing teeth two times a day, cleaning between the teeth daily, drinking fluoridated water, limiting sugary foods and drinks and getting dental sealants,” said Dr. Ray Lala, the Division of Oral Health Director.
Who doesn’t like to indulge a little on Halloween candy? If you or your young ones trick or treated this year, there are a few helpful tips from the American Dental Association (ADA) that will help you have a mouth safe Halloween.
Helpful Halloween tips to protect your teeth:
Try to eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. You produce more saliva during mealtime, and this helps rinse away food particles and works against the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth.
Limit snacking. Frequent snacking can increase your risk of cavities, especially if those snacks are sweet.
Be choosy about the candy you eat. Try to avoid sticky candy, hard candy, and other sweets that stick to your teeth and stay in your mouth for a long time. The longer a candy stays in the mouth the greater the risk of tooth decay. Chocolate washes off the teeth more easily, so it is a better candy choice but should still be limited.
Consider donating your extra candy. There are organizations that help you donate to the military and some dentists have candy take-back programs.
Make water your drink of choice and limit sugary beverages as much as possible. Drinking water with fluoride can help prevent tooth decay.
Observe National Brush Day by spreading the brushing message, buying a new toothbrush, and posting a pic of yourself brushing your teeth. Use #NationalBrushDay when posting on social media.
Nationally, October 24-30 marks Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, and locally, SC Gov. Henry McMaster proclaimed this week Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.
About 3.6 million American households have children under 6 years of age who live in homes with lead exposure hazards, according to HUD, and each year, more than 300 children are diagnosed with lead poisoning in the South Carolina. Lead exposure is especially dangerous to developing children and can lead to brain damage, learning disabilities, developmental delay, and behavioral and attention problems.
To learn more about Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, click here.
To learn more about the dangers of lead, click hereor call the toll-free number 1-866-466-5323.