Tag Archives: holiday

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:

Quenching Your Taste Buds: Healthier Thanksgiving Meal Options

By Adrianna Bradley

It’s that time of the year again when we gather with family and friends around dinner tables covered with a spread of foods to quench every taste bud possible. And while you’re sharing all the things you’re thankful for, we want you to also be thankful for the gift of good health this holiday.

Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for those who are trying to reach their feel great weight. With so many delicious foods tempting you, it’s hard to stick to your healthy habits. No need to worry. We have you covered with these healthy alternatives for your dinner table. Click here to view a few healthier, lighter, and nutritious meals.

Also, here are some tips on how you can make your Thanksgiving Day more active.

How to stay active this Thanksgiving:

  1. Walk after your meal: A brisk walk will help you burn some calories while also putting you in the right mind to turn down that second piece of the pie. Invite some family and friends to join you.
  2. Walk around and talk to people: Instead of obsessing over the food, walk around and catch up with family and friends. Take full advantage of the once-a-year sightings of some family members.
  3. Volunteer to help clean up: Instead of picking at leftovers or contemplating on getting seconds, offer to help clean up. Cleaning can help you burn some calories.
  4. Don’t overeat; stop when you’re full: Instead of seeing how much you can eat, serve yourself a small golf-ball size serving of everything you want. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays when people overindulge themselves with food.

The 12 Days of Reducing, Reusing and Recycling

As wonderful as the holidays can be, they also are a time when we tend to generate tons of waste, including uneaten food, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, boxes — and much more.

Here are 12 recycling and waste reduction tips we hope you put 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 recyclablesrecycle 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 6 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 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.

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

Healthy Tips for Thanksgiving

By Sandra H. Spann, MS, RDN, LD, DHEC Office of Professional and Community Nutrition Services

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Thanksgiving is a time to express our thanks with friends and family, but it is also a time when many Americans over-indulge in a bounty of meats, casseroles and sweets. This holiday season, follow these simple tips to help you feel as light on your feet as you do in your heart with loved ones around you.

Start the day with a small but healthy breakfast to keep you energized and your metabolism moving. Trying to “save yourself” for a big meal at the end of the day can leave you feeling sluggish and extra hungry – leaving you more likely to overeat at Thanksgiving Dinner.

Take a walk early in the day and then again after dinner. It’s a wonderful way for families to get some physical activity and enjoy the holiday together.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day and with your meal. Drinking at least eight glasses of water throughout the day will keep your whole body hydrated and help your digestion.

Skip the salt! Use herbs and spices instead of salt to enjoy the flavor of your food. Too much sodium can increase your blood pressure.

Build a Healthy Plate

Fill ½ half of your plate with vegetables such as carrots and green beans, broccoli, salad and asparagus.

Fill ¼ of your plate with starches such as sweet potatoes and dressing. Other choices for this section may include corn, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Fill ¼ of your plate with lean turkey slices. Remove the skin from the turkey before eating.

Avoid casseroles or dishes that have heavy creams, sauces, butter or crusts. Skip the bread or rolls.

For more information, please visit the DHEC website.