Tag Archives: healthy

Great American Smokeout: Commit To A Healthy, Smoke-free Life

Catherine Warner
Outreach Coordinator
Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control

Public health advocates will observe the 43rd annual Great American Smokeout (GASO) on Thursday, Nov. 15. GASO is an opportunity for everyone to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives — not just for a day — but year-round.

Quitting is difficult. It takes commitment and a plan; and it often takes more than one try.  This is why GASO shouldn’t necessarily be considered the day to quit smoking for good, but rather the day to start the journey toward a smoke-free life. Support from friends and family is helpful, as is getting advice from your healthcare provider.

Free support is also available from the certified quit coaches at the SC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW). Personalized for each registered caller, the tips and support offered through the SC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) can help smokers succeed when they are ready to quit. Most callers are eligible to receive free over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine gum, patch, or lozenge — regardless of insurance coverage.

GASO gives us all a great opportunity to promote tobacco-free lifestyles to co-workers, clients, friends, and family. It’s important to our work at DHEC because tobacco prevention touches on nearly every public health program area. From flu prevention to family planning, diabetes to heart disease and stroke, tobacco users are more likely to experience negative health consequences impacting nearly every organ in the body.  Lower rates of tobacco use can decrease incidence of respiratory infections, infertility, pre-term births and low birth weight babies, Type II diabetes, periodontal disease, many cancers, heart attacks, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and tobacco-related health disparities.

If you would like to encourage smokers to participate in GASO, materials from the American Cancer Society are also available on their website. Free posters, brochures, and other print items are also available through the DHEC Educational Materials Library. You can also call 898-2287 to place an order over the phone.  Getting the word out about GASO is not only a solid investment in public health, it could truly save the life of someone you love. Support, encourage, and promote smoke-free lives.  And if you smoke, call the SC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) for free help. Para recibir ayuda de la línea estatal para dejar de fumar: 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569).

Have A Healthy, Enjoyable Trip To The SC State Fair

scstatefair - fair gate 2

Photo courtesy of the SC State Fair.

The 149th annual S.C. State Fair will soon be open (October 10-21) and attendees of all ages will once again enjoy funnel cakes, live music, and amusement rides. To help ensure you enjoy your time at the fair, listed below are a few health tips to keep in mind while strolling beneath the neon lights of the Midway.

Always Wash Your Hands

When

  • Before eating and drinking
  • Before and after visiting animal exhibits
  • After using the restroom
  • After playing a carnival game
  • After going on a ride

How

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and running water.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if running water is not available.

“Keeping hands clean is one of the most important things we can do to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy.” (CDC, 2017)

Things to Avoid

  • Don’t take food or drinks into animal exhibits.
  • Don’t eat, drink, or place anything in your mouth while visiting animal exhibits.
  • Don’t take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, or strollers into animal exhibits.
  • Don’t enter animal exhibits if you are experiencing any type of illness, particularly flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat).
  • Avoid close contact with any animals who appear ill.

Things to Remember

  • Eat ‘hot’ foods while they are still hot and eat ‘cold’ foods while they are still cold.
  • Take extra care to observe these health tips when visiting animal exhibits to prevent diarrheal illness and other infections that animals may carry. This is particularly important for certain groups, including:
  • Children younger than 5 years of age
  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with long-term health conditions such as, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions
  • Seek medical attention if you develop a fever accompanied with cough and/or sore throat, diarrhea, and/or vomiting within several days after visiting the fair.

Following these tips will help prevent infections.  Have fun!

 Resources

Center for Disease Control Food Safety at Fairs and Festivals

KNOW How to be Safe Around Animals

Take Action to Prevent the Spread of Flu Between Pigs and People

Wash Your Hands

From Other Blogs: Men’s health, carbon monoxide poisoning, the truth about juice & more

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

Tips for men to protect their health

Men, you and your health go hand in hand. As a reminder to make sure you are living a healthy life, here are tips to help you protect your health and well-being.

Cecelia M. Baskett, MD, family medicine physician at Lakeview Family Medicine, said, “Unfortunately, I see men who have neglected their health and now have advanced stage of disease because they did not come in to be screened. It is beneficial to everyone’s health to see a family medicine or internist every few years at a minimum. Many times we can help you prevent long-term negative effects on your lifestyle if you come in.” — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Prevention

When power outages occur after severe weather, using alternative sources of power can cause carbon monoxide (CO) to build up in a home and poison the people and animals inside.

Every year, at least 430 people die in the U. S. from accidental CO poisoning. Approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency department each year due to accidental CO poisoning. There are steps you can take to help protect yourself and your household from CO poisoning. — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health — Your Environment blog

Squeezing the truth out of juice

Juice. We all have our favorite, whether it’s grape, apple, orange, pineapple, tropical punch. . .the list goes on and on. Everywhere we go, we’re reminded of its evil sweetness. Just walk into any grocery store and you will find an entire side of an aisle devoted to juices of infinite variety, all of it boxed, bottled and canned in the most colorful, eye-popping and kid-appealing ways.

Thanks to industry marketing tactics, many people continue to think juice is actually a healthy drink option for their kids. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline Keeps You “Food Safe” in the Summer!

Whether it’s a family BBQ, camping, hiking or going to the beach, summer activities can get hot! When food is a part of those activities, keep in mind the old saying: Safety first!

USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline is here to help you with food safety for all your summer plans. It has been assisting Americans with all types of food safety questions and concerns since 1985. Here are just a few… — From the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) blog

5 Common Flood Insurance Myths

The National Flood Insurance Program has worked to protect the life you’ve built for the past 50 years and will continue to do so into the future.  Don’t let rumors and myths drive your decisions.

Here are the five most common myths about flood insurance. — From the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) blog

DHEC in the News: ‘Stop the Bleed,’public housing going smoke-free, students attend health summit

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

SC School Nurses Learn How to ‘Stop-the-Bleed’ in Columbia

Columbia, SC (WLTX) – School nurses from all over South Carolina come to Columbia to educate others when it comes to “stopping the bleed” in an emergency situation.

“Bleeding is the number one cause of death in trauma patients, the number one cause of preventable death,” says Rich Wisniewski with DHEC.

In this two-hour class called “Stop-the-Bleed,” school nurses are learning how to train others in emergency procedures.

Charleston public housing braces for challenges as it goes smoke-free

When the nation’s public housing goes smoke-free next week, the Charleston Housing Authority admits it will be struggling with how to enforce the ban even after adopting its own no-smoking policy last fall.

Don Cameron, executive director of the Charleston Housing Authority, said his agency that serves some, families is still trying to find the right balance between creating a healthier environment for residents and making sure the shift isn’t a jarring one.

“This is probably the biggest change we’ve had in the last decade that affects the entire public housing industry across the country,” Cameron said.

General Interest

Florence One students attend health summit in Atlanta

FLORENCE, S.C. – Five students from Florence One Schools went to Atlanta last week to attend the National Fuel Up to Play 60 Summit, the nation’s largest in-school health and wellness program.

From Other Blogs: Staying hydrated, healthy summer cookouts, handwashing & more

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

Five tips to stay hydrated and healthy this summer

In South Carolina, you can always count on a hot summer. While your family enjoys fun activities like summer camps for children, summer training for athletes and days by the beach or lake, increased temperatures will make your body produce more sweat to keep you cool. This makes adults, children and athletes struggle with staying hydrated. Just 2 to 3 pounds of sweat loss during physical activity can lead to dehydration. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Five tips for a healthy and safe summer cookout

The summer season brings outdoor activities including family reunions, cookouts and picnics. Lisa Akly, Palmetto Health Heart Hospital dietitian, shares five tips to ensure that your outdoor meals are not only healthy but safe as well. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Millions of Americans with Dirty Hands Are Spreading Dangerous Bacteria

Have you ever seen someone handling food in a way that you would never do yourself? Maybe they were preparing raw poultry and then immediately handled lettuce without washing their hands. Or maybe they did wash their hands, but they dried them by wiping them on their pants. You would never do that, right? Then again, maybe there are things we all do that might increase our risk for foodborne illness. — From the US Department of Agriculture blog

Protect Your Hearing This Summer and Year Round!

The National Center for Environmental Health at CDC encourages you to show off your noisecancelling headphones while participating in noisy activities this summer. Snap a photo of yourself, your family, and your friends, and share on social media. Be certain to tag your photo to #SafeHearingSelfie.

Below are some suggestions of noisy activities… From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Your Health — Your Environment blog