It’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Month – Idaho moms set a great example

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Idaho’s breastfeeding rate is one of the highest in the nation, and that’s something we like to celebrate this month during National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Breast milk offers the most optimal form of nutrition, and we’d like to keep encouraging new moms to consider breastfeeding their babies.     Continue reading

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Back-to-school: What vaccines do your kids (and you!) need?

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so with summer winding down and kids heading back to school, be sure to check immunization requirements, especially for kindergartners and seventh graders. It’s also a good time to check records for everyone in your family, including adults. Getting immunized is a safe and important step to protecting our families and ourselves against serious and even deadly diseases throughout our lives. Continue reading

Update: 1st West Nile virus human case in Idaho this season confirmed in Canyon County

Fightthebite2WNVLogo2007The first positive human case of mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) in Idaho this season has been confirmed in Canyon County by Southwest District Health officials in a male in his 50s who resides in Canyon County but may have been exposed in Adams County. Both counties have previously reported WNV-positive pools of mosquitoes this season.

The individual reported mosquito bites before the onset of his illness in mid-July, according to public health officials. His symptoms included high fever, severe headaches, rash, body aches, vomiting and diarrhea.  Continue reading

The health threat of Idaho wildfire smoke: Tips to protect you and your family

SmokeBoise1Wildfire season has arrived, and with it, the smoky air that can make it difficult to breathe is already occurring in some parts of Idaho. Air quality is a big deal this time of year, and it changes depending on where the wildfires are and which way the wind is blowing. It often feels like there’s no escape from the smoke, which can cause irritating symptoms for healthy people and more serious health issues for people with heart and lung disease. So, it’s important to protect yourself and your family from smoky air whenever possible. Continue reading

New report analyzes financial impact of potential Medicaid expansion under Idaho ballot initiative – Link & FAQs

MillimanReportThe Department of Health and Welfare has released a new report titled “Financial Impacts from Medicaid Expansion in Idaho,” from Milliman Inc. The actuarial firm analyzed the cost impact of expanding Medicaid in the event a voter-initiated ballot measure passes.

The report indicates that Medicaid expansion in a single year (using the second-year costs because it represents the first year of full implementation) would cost the state about $45 million but will also generate about $40 million in state and local fund offsets. The single year net cost to the state will vary year over year, but the net total 10-year cost estimate from state fiscal year 2020-2030 in state funds is $105.1 million, once costs and savings are accounted for.  Continue reading

Tearjerker Alert: Idaho kids tell their stories about being raised by relatives

2018cover“I have always called my grandpa Dad because he has always raised and treated me the way a father should.” – Greyson, age 8.

“I’ve lived with my grandparents since 7 years old and I can’t describe how much they’ve changed my life. Without their support, love and kindness, I wouldn’t be doing half of what I do.” – Madysen, age 15.

“Ever since my mom passed away my family started falling apart and it didn’t feel like the same no more. I’m glad I got to live with my sister because she is always there for me no matter what.” – Lidia, age 13.

“My new family has five brothers and sisters and two parents, who are my aunt and uncle, but I call them Mom and Dad.” – Emily, age 6.

Read the rest of their stories and see artwork from other Idaho children who were recognized in the Idaho KinCare Project 2018 My Family. My Story. contest hereContinue reading

The harvest has started, so it’s time for some home-canning safety reminders

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Based on the photos that are turning up in some of our social media feeds, many Idahoans are already starting to harvest produce from gardens. Canning is a great way to preserve it and share it with family and friends, but it can be risky if it’s not done correctly. If you plan to can your harvest and share it with family and friends, it’s important to be knowledgeable about proper techniques so you can make sure your home-canned vegetables aren’t contaminated by the germ that causes botulism. Continue reading