Archive for the ‘Health Information’ category

Packing Safe School Lunches

April 29th, 2011

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

Fight BAC! PSA

April 22nd, 2011

Turn off Screens

April 18th, 2011

We are proud to endorse @ScreenFreeWeek. On April 18-24, turn off screens and turn on life!

Food Handling Myths

April 15th, 2011

Alcohol Use: Conversation starters

April 11th, 2011

It takes courage to talk to a family member or friend about her drinking. Use these tips to help you get started.

Be honest about how you feel.

“I worry about your health. Drinking too much puts you at risk for heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, and liver problems.”

“Your drinking is affecting our relationship.”

Offer tips on how to cut back or quit.

Here are some ideas that you can suggest:

“Set a drinking limit. Stick to your limit by writing down every drink.”

“Let’s take a night or two off from drinking each week.”

“Stay away from bars or other places that make you want to drink.”

“If you are having trouble sticking to your limits, consider joining a support group or talking to a doctor.”

Support a change.

“Tell me when you are upset and want a drink. We can go for a walk and talk instead.”

“Let’s enjoy activities that don’t involve drinking – like seeing a movie or working in the garden.”

“How else can I support you?”

For more information about cutting back on alcohol, visit:

Myth: The stand time recommended for microwaveable foods is optional, it’s just so you don’t burn yourself.

April 8th, 2011

Myth:  The stand time recommended for microwaveable foods is optional, it’s just so you don’t burn yourself.

Fact:  Stand time is not about cooling the microwaved food, but rather is an important part of the cooking process.  Stand times are usually just a few minutes and the time is necessary to bring the food to a safe internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer. To ensure safety with microwave cooking, always read and follow package instructions, know your microwave’s wattage, and use a food thermometer to ensure food has reached a safe internal temperature.

Current Cigarette Use Continues to Decrease Among U.S. 12thGraders

April 6th, 2011

Current Cigarette Use Continues to Decrease Among U.S. 12thGraders;

Decrease in Use Among 8thand 10thGrade Students May Have Stalled

Current cigarette use among high school seniors continues to decrease, according to data from the 2010 Monitoring the Future study. In 2010, 19% of 12thgrade students reported smoking cigarettes in the past 30 days, down from the most recent peak of 37% in 1997. Current prevalence rates of cigarette use among 8th(7%) and 10th(14%) graders are also far below their peak rates. However, smoking rates among these younger students appear to have leveled off in recent years, suggesting that the decrease that began in 1997 may have stalled (see figure below). The authors note that while these long-term decreases in smoking are encouraging, “there are still significant proportions of teens putting themselves at risk for a host of serious diseases and premature death because they are taking up cigarette smoking” (p. 2).


CESAR FAX 20-06 (Cigarette Use Among 8th 10th and 12th Graders)


SOURCE: Adapted by CESAR from University of Michigan, “Smoking Stops Declining and Shows Signs of Increasing Among Younger Teens,” Press Release, 12/14/2010. Available online at

Food Safety: Fight BAC

April 4th, 2011