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City of York - Bureau of Health Newsletter
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October 2016


October is Pedestrian Safety Awareness Month


Everyone is a Pedestrian at some point in their daily lives, whether we are walking to our vehicles, to ride public transit, or to get exercise.  That is why October is marked Pedestrian Safety Awareness Month, to bring attention to the safety issues that pedestrians face and to educate everyone on tips to promote safe walking. City of York - Bureau of Health wants to bring awareness to pedestrian safety as well as promote walking as a great way to practice a healthy lifestyle.   
 
Part of Pedestrian Safety Awareness Month is International Walk to School Day.  Earlier this month in York City, Lincoln Charter School celebrated International Walk to School Day with a walk around the neighborhood and a pep rally promoting a safe and healthy lifestyle. 

Other walking events will also be taking place throughout York.  On Saturday, October 15 from 6-9 p.m., PUMPKINS will light up a section of the Heritage Rail Trail!  This will be great fun for families and an opportunity to get out, walk, and enjoy a fall evening on the Heritage Rail Trail.  Click here for more information.  In addition, Downtown Inc. will be presenting the Spooky York Downtown Dark History Tour.  This walking tour is a ticketed event so check out Downtown Inc.'s website before they sell out!

Other pedestrian safety resources:

Prevent Childhood Lead Poisoning


Lead poisoning is 100% preventable.  Still approximately 535,000 children in the United States between 1 to 5 years of age have blood lead levels high enough to damage their health.  Over 20% of children tested, each year, in York City have elevated blood lead levels.

Exposure to lead can cause damage to the brain, slow growth and development, cause learning and behavior problems, and can affect a child’s hearing and speech.

Lead can be found in a child’s environment in many forms.  It can be in the paint in homes built before 1978 and when the paint deteriorates, a child may eat the paint chips or swallow or breathe in the fine lead dust.  Lead can be found in some toys, jewelry and other consumer products that children have access to.  Lead can be found in certain imported candies, foods, spice, or traditional home remedies.  Lead can be found in drinking water because of lead pipes, lead solder or brass plumbing fixtures.  Parents or other older adults may have certain jobs and hobbies that may use lead–based products, such as making or repairing stained-glass.
 
Steps to take to make your home lead-safe.
  1. Talk to your child’s doctor about a blood lead test.  This test should be done periodically throughout your child’s fix six years of life.
  2. If you are pregnant or nursing, talk to your doctor about your exposure to sources of lead.
  3. Talk to City of York - Bureau of Health about how to have your house tested for lead if you live in a home built before 1978.
  4. When doing renovation or repairs use a contractor who is certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.  Visit www.epg/gov/lead for more information.
  5. Stay up-to-date on current recalls by visiting the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website at www.cpsc.gov.
 
You may contact the City of York - Bureau of Health at 717-849-2336, if you would like more information on lead poisoning.
 

SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month


October is SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  Every year in the United States there are 26,000 stillbirths and 4,000 infants under one year of age die unexpectedly.
 
Some tips to help prevent SIDS
  1. Stay Up-To-Date on Vaccinations.
    • Vaccinations from illnesses such as Hepatitis B, chicken pox, measles and more can reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS.
  2. No Crib Bumpers
    • Crib bumpers are strangulation risks.
  3.  Do Not Place Baby on It’s Tummy to Sleep
    • Falling asleep on it’s tummy is dangerous because it makes breathing more difficult.
  4.  No Smoking
    • Smoking during your pregnancy and after your baby is born increases the risk of SIDS.
  5.  No Stuffed Animals
    • Even though they may be cute, pieces of stuffed animals could fall off and become lodged in the baby’s throat, cutting off the airway and resulting in a choking death.
  6.  Don’t Sleep with Baby
    • Co-sleeping can be dangerous.  You cannot control your movements when you sleep.  You could roll over and smother your baby.
  7.  Let Your Baby Sleep with a Pacifier
    • If your baby falls asleep with a pacifier in their mouth, nothing else can get into their mouth and choke them.
  8.  Keep Cool
    • Don’t use too many blankets, comforters or extra layers of clothing.They may become a chew or choke risk.They may cover the baby’s nose and mouth and suffocate them.
  9.  Remove Pillows
    • Loose items, such as pillows, are not safe. Many have been responsible for suffocation deaths.
  10.  Choose a Firm Mattress
    • A firm mattress ensures a clear airway and unhampered breathing.
  11.  Use a Monitor
    • A baby monitor attached to the crib (make sure the baby can’t reach it) will alert you to any struggling if a baby stops breathing.
  12. Don’t Ignore Respiratory Issues
    • If your newborn has a cold, cough, or labored breathing, take them to a doctor or emergency clinic right away.
  13.  Keep Crib Empty
    • Remove all objects from the crib so they don’t get too close to baby’s face during sleep. High carbon-dioxide levels are linked to re-breathing air (exhaled air) and SIDS.
  14.  Swaddle Your Baby
    • Swaddling your baby has been linked to preventing SIDS because it restricts the baby’s movements and helps a baby feel and sleep more securely.

City of York - Bureau of Health In the Community


Health Bureau staff hosted a free Shingles vaccine clinic on September 9 at York City Hall.
Mayor Bracey was thrilled to receive her Shingles vaccine at the clinic event!
In honor of Child Passenger Safety Week, Health Bureau staff provided free car seat installations to York City residents on September 23.

Community Events and Resources



City Hall for a Day - East End Neighborhood
October 26 from 4-6 pm


Let's Walk with Mayor Bracey - Penn Park
October 20 at 12 pm


York County Food Alliance Public Meeting
October 24 from 9-11 am


Nutrition Links - Caring Company at First Presbyterian Church

Notes from the Doc:
Dr. Matthew Howie


Hope the newsletter finds you getting outside and enjoying the cooler weather. With many of our children back in school, the new routine can be a welcome change of pace.

Earlier this week, I was spending some time reviewing information regarding the Healthy People 2020. This is an ambitious national effort designed to identify key indicators of health for our country, with the intent of guiding the medical community to set goals for how to improve them in the next ten years. There are a broad range of measures, covering familiar issues such as heart disease and stroke, but also including food safety and violence prevention.

While the content of the Healthy People 2020 web-site can be overwhelming, it is a great place for someone in public health to get their bearings and begin to dig into not only what are the health needs of our country, but also see how these needs are or are not being addressed in our local community. As I reviewed different sections with an eye toward the needs of our community, one objective under Maternal, Infant and Child Health (MICH) caught my attention:

MICH-1.9: Reduce the rate of infant deaths from sudden unexpected infant deaths (includes SIDS, Unknown Cause, Accidental Suffocation, and Strangulation in Bed)

October is SIDS Awareness Month and there will be upcoming press coverage of this important issue as the month progresses. As a physician caring for newborns with serious medical needs, York’s own Dr. Michael Goodstein is a nationally recognized expert on SIDS and has made addressing this important issue a professional mission.  His steadfast efforts protecting some of the most vulnerable in our community, our infant children, sets a high standard for those trying to impact the health of our community.

Fortunately, we have made strides in reducing the incidence of SIDS in our country through the Back to Sleep initiative, the Cribs for Kids program, and other focused efforts teaching caregivers about safe sleep practices. However, there is much work left to do. It is critical that our message of promoting safe sleep environments for our children continue to be spread in our community to all who care for our children. Together, we can make York even safer for our littlest citizens.

Yours in health,
Dr. Matt
 
For more information about Cribs for Kids, please click the link below.  
http://www.cribsforkids.org/

For more information about other programs working to make York safer for our children, please check out the Safe Kids York County web-site for more local information.
http://www.safekidsyorkcounty.org/programs.html
 
Dr. Matthew Howie, MD, Medical Director

Barbara Kovacs, MPA, Director
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