Archive for April, 2011

Packing Safe School Lunches

April 29th, 2011

Martin County WIC now using EBT cards

April 27th, 2011


April 27, 2011, Martin County, KY – The Martin County Health Department will begin using a new upgraded web-based system to issue benefits for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program beginning on April 27, 2011. The web-based system uses information gathered at WIC participant visits to issue Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to be used for WIC purchases. Offering the “eWIC” cards gives families the needed access to benefits without the delay and stigma of paper food instruments (checks) which most counties in Kentucky still use.

Under the current system, WIC participants are issued multiple paper food instruments to purchase WIC approved items in authorized stores. All items listed on a food instrument must be purchased at one time or the benefits are lost. With the EBT card a WIC participant has the flexibility of purchasing WIC approved items at any time during the valid period of their benefits. This enhances the shopping experience of all WIC customers by ensuring confidentiality during transactions, allowing the participant to shop for a gallon of milk or loaf of bread without having to make other purchases, and results in a faster and smoother checkout at the retailer.

Many of the retailer’s systems will be integrated, meaning participants can swipe their eWIC cards through the same device that accepts credit and debit cards. The retailers will no longer have to manually complete paper food instruments. At checkout the eWIC card will ensure the participant purchases only WIC authorized foods in correct quantities, and removes the margin of cashier error during WIC transactions. There are a few retailers in the area who will accept the new eWIC cards using a separate device at checkout.

WIC is a short-term intervention program designed to influence lifetime nutrition and health behavior in low income women who are pregnant or gave birth and children 5 years old and younger who need nutritional help. Funded by the USDA, WIC offers nutrition education and services; breastfeeding promotion and education; monthly food prescription of nutritious foods; and access to other maternal, prenatal and pediatric health-care services.

Myth: I don’t need to wash my produce if I am going to peel it.

April 27th, 2011

Myth:  I don’t need to wash my produce if I am going to peel it.

Fact:  You should wash fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water just before eating, cutting or cooking.  Harmful bacteria could be on the outside of the produce.  If you peel or cut it without first washing it the bacteria could be transferred to the part you eat.  Wash delicate produce such as grapes or lettuce under cool running water.  Blot dry with a clean cloth towel or paper towel.  Rub firm-skin fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean produce brush.  Never use detergent or bleach to wash fresh fruits or vegetables.  These products are not intended for consumption.

Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

April 26th, 2011

You want to do what is best for your children. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep them safe. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations?

Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. One example of the great impact that vaccines can have is the elimination of polio in the United States. Polio was once America’s most-feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country, but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the United States.

Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S. still get still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. In 2010 the U.S. had over 21,000 cases of whooping cough reported and 26 deaths, most in children younger than 6 months. Unfortunately, some babies are too young to be completely vaccinated and some people may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia, or other reasons. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.

Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or daycare facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. To find out more about the VFC program, visit or ask your child’s health care professional.

Immunization protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Your children don’t have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists. By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn has been dramatically decreased, and birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in the United States. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future.

For more information about the importance of infant immunization, visit

National Infant Immunization Week

April 25th, 2011

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States. This year, NIIW is scheduled to be held April 23-30.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.

Preschoolers spend 32 hours a week

April 22nd, 2011

On average, preschoolers spend 32 hours a week in front of screens. Celebrate @ScreenFreeWeek April 18-24!

Fight BAC! PSA

April 22nd, 2011

Kids spend more time watching TV than sleeping

April 21st, 2011

Kids 8-18 spend more time in front of screens than in any activity but sleeping. Celebrate @ScreenFreeWeek April 18-24!

How to get extra hours with your kids

April 20th, 2011

@ScreenFreeWeek What would your kids do w/ an extra 20, 30 or even 50 hours a week?  Celebrate #ScreenFreeWeek April 18-24!

Commercial Free Childhood

April 19th, 2011

We’re going screen-free w/ Campaign for a CommercialFree Childhood April 18-24. You can too! Here’s how: @ScreenFreeWeek