Tag Archives: christmas

DHEC in the News: Toy safety, flu, type 2 diabetes

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

Select safe, age-appropriate toys for a Merry Christmas

‘Tis the season for giving.

While Santa is preparing to bring tots the trendiest toys for Christmas, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control wants to remind parents that safety should be a top priority this holiday.

In 2016, there were more than 174,100 toy-related injuries – treated in the emergency room – associated with children younger than 15, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Physicians stress flu shots after two influenza deaths

Columbia, S.C. (WACH) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is urging South Carolinians to get their flu shot.

We are now in the thick of what officials call the “peak flu season”, between the months of December and February. It is the time frame where a good portion of influenza cases manifest.

Officials in the state are particularly concerned, after two deaths thus far this South Carolina flu season, according to DHEC stats. One of those deaths was in the Midlands, the other in the Upstate.

14 tips for preventing type 2 diabetes in children

Thirty years ago, type 2 diabetes was rare in children. Now, unfortunately, it is commonplace.

This is partially due to lifestyle choices where convenience has become the norm. Fast food is available on every corner, we don’t walk far for anything, and active outdoor playtime has given way to cellphones and tablets, video-game systems and TV screen time.

These unhealthy choices have led to endemic sedentary routines and a rise in weight gain, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Many parents are aware of these issues but might find it difficult to figure out lasting solutions.

The 12 Days of Reducing, Reusing and Recycling

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and as wonderful as the holidays are, it’s also the time of year when people tend to generate tons of waste. While reducing, reusing, and recycling should be practiced year-round, it is even more important during the holidays when our waste is plenteous.

DHEC is challenging you to put these 12 recycling and waste reduction tips to use this holiday season.

  1. Keep a waste-free kitchen by taking a look around to determine what you already have on hand before going shopping. Make a list of things you need before heading to the store. Compost or donate your unwanted food and recycle your cooking oil. Find other helpful tips at dhec.sc.gov/dontwastefoodsc.
  2. Have hard-to-recycle items? Consider only buying materials packaged in what can be recycled in your area. Find where and what you can recycle at www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Recycling.
  3. Give waste-less gifts like your time to clean someone’s house, piano or guitar lessons, gym memberships or certificates for pampering.newspaperwrap
  4. Most wrapping paper cannot be recycled, BUT you can reuse something to wrap with instead like paper bags, newspaper, maps or use reusable grocery bags, scarves or flower pots. Also reuse greeting cards to make gift tags.
  5. Stop the unwanted mail! Check out ecocycle.org/junkmail for six easy steps. Make sure to recycle mail with your paper as well.
  6. Prevent food waste this holiday by providing reusable containers or asking your guests to bring their own for leftovers.ledlights
  7. Use LED lights, which last 10 times longer and use 80 percent less energy. Recycle your old strings of lights. Find more information on hard-to-recycle items at scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Recycling/WhatCanIRecycle/.
  8. Go with an eco-deco theme by decorating with natural materials like greenery, gourds, fresh fruit and pine cones — all which can be composted after the holidays.
  9. Set up a collection corner at your party by providing an area where guests can bring unwanted items to swap or donate.
  10. Always let your guests know what can be recycled and composted. Clearly mark your bins and let guests know where they’re located.
  11. Provide a green dining experience by using dishes and silverware instead of disposables. If you need more dishes for guests, shop thrift stores to find festive ones.christmastree
  12. Grind those greens. If you decorated a real tree and are ready for it to go, remember to find out where your county will be accepting them for grinding.

It is important to keep in mind the importance of conserving your waste before, during, and after the holidays.

For more tips and information on recycling and waste reduction, visit the DHEC website.

DHEC in the News: National Influenza Vaccination Week, Christmas toy safety tips, carpet recycling

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

National Influenza Vaccination Week highlights importance of continuing flu vaccination

Haven’t protected against the flu by getting vaccinated? It’s not too late.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is highlighting the importance of the flu vaccine this week, which has been designated National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 3 to 9).

The CDC established the week in 2005 “to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond,” a time that recent flu season statistics show few people get vaccinated, according to its website.

DHEC of South Carolina offers Christmas toy safety tips

(WFXG) – Tis the season for giving and while Santa is preparing to bring the hottest and trendiest toys to children for Christmas, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) wants to remind parents that safety should be a top priority this holiday.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016 there were more than 174,100 toy-related ER-treated injuries associated with toys to children younger than 15 years of age.

General Interest

Carpet Recycling Increases Much Needed Landfill Space

Within the construction and demolition industry, carpet recycling remains top of mind for industry players. As such, states such as California, and organizations such as the Carpet American Recovery Effort (CARE), are leading the charge in establishing carpet recycling programs that will lessen the affect carpeting discards have on the environment.

According to the most recent annual report from CARE, the organization’s members diverted more than more than 488 million pounds of carpet from U.S. landfills in 2016, down nearly 6 percent from 2015. Of the carpet diverted to recycling, 167 million pounds were recycled into carpet and other consumer products, 174 million pounds were sent back to the landfill, and 144 million pounds were sent to waste-to-energy and cement kilns.

Give the Gift of Safety this Christmas

By Adrianna Bradley

Tis the season for giving and while Santa is preparing to bring the hottest and trendiest toys to children for Christmas, DHEC wants to remind parents that safety should be a top priority this holiday.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016 there were more than 174,100 toy-related ER-treated injuries associated with toys to children younger than 15 years of age.

DHEC wants parents to choose holiday toys with care. Check out these toy safety tips to keep your children safe this holiday season.

10 Toy Safety Tips

  • Always pay close attention to the age recommendations on toys and choose one according to a child’s age, interest, and skill level. Also, be aware of other safety labels such as “Flame retardant/flame resistant” or “Washable/Hygienic materials” on dolls and other stuffed toys.
  • Discard the plastic wrappings from toys immediately; they become deadly playthings to small children.
  • For children 1 and under, choose toys that are colorful, lightweight, have various textures and are made of non-toxic materials. Children, this age learn through sight, touch, sound and taste and often put things into their mouths to explore them.
  • Don’t give young children any toys with small parts, such as removable eyes, noses, etc.; they are choking hazards.
  • Inspect all toys for sharp points or edges made from such materials as metal or glass. These toys should not be given to children under 8 years of age. This includes stuffed animals with wires that could stab, cut or shock if exposed.
  • Toys with strings, cords or ribbons of any kind should not be hung in cribs or playpens. Young children can become entangled, which can cause injury or death.
  • Teach older children to keep their toys that might have removable small parts, sharp points or toys run on electricity out of reach of younger siblings. Young children are very curious and may investigate toys that aren’t appropriate for them.
  • Keep toys and play equipment in good condition, make sure protective gear fits appropriately and discard any toys that are broken to prevent injuries.
  • Supervision is essential; provide safe hazard-free play environments both indoors and outdoors. Toys get used and abused by children; regularly conduct a toy maintenance check for safety and durability.
  • Teach children early to put toys away when they are finished playing with them. This will prevent accidental falls.

For more information on toy safety, you can visit our website at http://www.scdhec.gov/Health/ChildTeenHealth/EarlyChildhood/PreventInjuries/.

Watch the video below for a quick review of the 10 toy safety tips:

Reduce Holiday Waste

By Richard Chesley, DHEC Recycling Program manager

The holidays. We do more, buy more, eat more. And,  we throw away more.

Think about it. The food waste, shopping bags, packaging, ribbons and bows, wrapping paper and boxes – it all adds up. In fact, it’s estimated that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans throw away about 25 percent more trash than any other time of the year.

In South Carolina, it is estimated that we dispose of nearly 960,000 tons of waste between November and the end of January – comprising 31 percent of the total waste disposed of in a year!

But it doesn’t have to be the most wasteful time of the year. The holidays are a perfect time to reduce, reuse and recycle.

 

Give more, waste less gift

Think about gifts that make memories, not waste. For example, you could give tickets to a game or concert, a membership to a gym or fitness classes, gift certificates for a massage or manicure, classes to learn a new hobby or even give some homemade cookies in a reusable tin.If something more tangible is on your list – Keep it simple. One thoughtful gift is better than too many that may become unwanted.

Let’s wrap it up (or not)

Who needs wrapping paper? Use a simple ribbon or bow for large gifts and try reusing old maps, blueprints, or pages from the Sunday comics for a unique and eco-friendly gift presentation they will love. Be sure to save reusable bows, boxes and bags for next year!

It’s in the cards

Consider sending e-cards rather than paper ones this year or look for recycled-content holiday postcards that will save you on postage and envelopes.

Tree-cycle

When the holidays are over, remember to recycle your Christmas tree. Call your local recycling coordinator or click here to learn where you can take your tree to be mulched or composted.

Make a grocery list, and check it twice
Did you know that food waste is the biggest contributor to landfills? Help reduce wasted food by buying only what you need, donating what you don’t and safely storing leftovers so you can get the most out of your meals. For the food waste you do generate, try composting – it’s a gift to your garden.

Recycle more

If we had just one thing on our holiday wish list, it would be to  recycle during the holidays and throughout the year. It’s easy, it supports jobs and it helps keep South Carolina clean and beautiful. From empty green bean cans to drink bottles to tires and trees – click here to find what and where to recycle near you.

For more information about recycling and other solid waste management topics, please call the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling at 1-800-768-7348 or visit www.scdhec.gov/recycle.