Join us May 11 to raise awareness and erase mental health stigma

StigmaFreeIdaho150

When it comes to mental health, many people confuse feeling bad with being bad. Mental illness is not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing.

Many factors out of one’s control influence whether someone develops a mental health condition: genetics, environment and lifestyle. Being a victim of a crime or having a stressful work or home life can make some people more susceptible.

Yet even though most people with mental illness can be successfully treated and live productive lives, less than half of the adults in the U.S. who need services or treatment get the help that can make a difference.

One reason: Stigma. The isolation, blame, fear and secrecy that is often associated with mental illness can discourage people from reaching out, getting the needed support and getting healthy. Continue reading “Join us May 11 to raise awareness and erase mental health stigma”

Best way to stay safe around canals? Stay away

Canal4

Across the state, Idaho is experiencing record spring run-off from a historic winter season snowpack, causing rivers and streams to run fast and full. To help water managers reduce the risk of flooding, many irrigation canals have opened early. So, it’s a good time to talk about canal safety and drowning prevention.

What’s the best way to stay safe around irrigation canals?

That’s simple: Stay away. Never, ever swim or play in a canal. And that message is not just for children, it’s for adults too. Both children and adults drown each year in Idaho canals, and records from the Idaho Care Line show that more children drown in canals than any other body of water in Idaho annually. In fact, Idaho has the nation’s second highest unintentional drowning rate for children aged 1-to-5. Continue reading “Best way to stay safe around canals? Stay away”

Please help Idaho’s children by reporting suspected abuse or neglect (It’s the law!)

041117ChildAbuseKeeping children safe is one of our primary goals at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. This month is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, so it’s a good time talk about what you should do if you think a child might be neglected or abused.

If you suspect a child is abused or neglected, what should you do?

We hope you’ll care enough to call 1-855-552-KIDS. If you even suspect that a child is being mistreated, you are required by law to call and report it. Your call is confidential, and you don’t have to prove neglect or abuse. That’s the job of law enforcement and social workers. You just need to let us know you think there might be an issue, so our child protection staff can start looking into it. Continue reading “Please help Idaho’s children by reporting suspected abuse or neglect (It’s the law!)”

Children act fast, but so do poisons

Most poisoning emergencies are unexpected and happen quickly in our homes. A majority of non-fatal poisonings involve children younger than six. And for adults, poisoning is the No. 1 cause of injury death in the United States. This week is National Poison Prevention Week, so it’s a good time to think about what you would do in a poisoning emergency.

Are young children most at risk for a poisoning accident?

In 2016, poisoning was the third leading cause of unintentional injury deaths among all Idahoans, with children younger than 6 being most at risk. It is extremely important for parents of small children to keep medications, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, cosmetics and other potentially poisonous items out of their reach. The Nebraska Regional Poison Center, which receives all of Idaho’s poison emergency calls, had more than 13,000 calls in 2016 from Idaho residents. And the majority of those calls were from parents of children ages 6 and younger.  Continue reading “Children act fast, but so do poisons”

Rotavirus disease can be serious for babies and young children

As if we don’t have enough to worry about with cold and flu viruses, we also have something called rotavirus disease to consider. It is easily spread among babies and young children, especially now, and it can be quite serious and even result in hospitalization. Western states, including Idaho, are seeing more cases of rotavirus disease right now, so it’s a good time to learn the symptoms and what can be done about it.

What are the symptoms?

It generally takes about two days for symptoms to develop. They include watery diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. The vomiting and diarrhea can last from three to eight days. Other symptoms can include a loss of appetite and dehydration. And even though now is a common time to become infected, it can be spread at any time of the year. Continue reading “Rotavirus disease can be serious for babies and young children”

‘It’s About Me!’ highlights children in the developmental disabilities program

 

hallie-art

A love of all animals, Star Wars, Boise State University, being an artist, a winking rainbow, doing gymnastics, reading “millions of books,” dancing — these are the things children in the Developmental Disabilities Program think of when they  describe themselves and their interests.

This is the first year for the Idaho Children’s art contest highlighting children who receive developmental disability services throughout the state.

“We want to highlight the children in our program, because they are the reason we come to work each day,” said Sarah Allen, a supervisor in the Children’s Developmental Disabilities Program in the Department of Health and Welfare. “This contest showcased the kids in our program — their interests, strengths, talents, and future aspirations. It was really fun learning more about the kids we serve.”  Continue reading “‘It’s About Me!’ highlights children in the developmental disabilities program”

Your child broke a glow stick? Call the Idaho Poison Center

Most parents recognize the fact that fireworks and small children just don’t mix.  Glow sticks and glow jewelry are a safer alternative to bottle rockets and sparklers that can cause serious burns.  But these brightly colored glow products are soft and pliable and easily broken open, especially by children.

A child with a glowing mouth can cause some anxious moments for parents, but it’s typically not worth a trip to the emergency room. Even so, parents should call the Idaho Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 to be sure. Continue reading “Your child broke a glow stick? Call the Idaho Poison Center”

Safety first for the Fourth!

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, so it’sFireworks high time to refresh our knowledge of the precautions we should take if we’re lighting off fireworks. We’d really like for all Idahoans to make it through the weekend without causing any fires, injuries, or burning your neighborhood down.

Aren’t many fireworks illegal?

Yes, they are… Before you buy any fireworks, you should check with your city for a list of those that are legal. Generally, any firework that leaves the ground or explodes is probably going to be illegal because they are dangerous. If you’re lighting fireworks, point them away from homes, and keep them away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.  Continue reading “Safety first for the Fourth!”

Idaho WIC makes annual adjustment to income guidelines

Idaho’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) will implement new income guidelines effective July 1, 2016, that raise household income eligibility limits to help offset cost of living increases. This is an annual adjustment.

To be eligible for the WIC program, an individual must be a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, a woman who has recently been pregnant, or an infant or child younger than 5 years old. In addition, the individual must live in Idaho, have a special need that can be helped by WIC foods and nutrition counseling, and have a low-to-moderate income.  Continue reading “Idaho WIC makes annual adjustment to income guidelines”

Are your children current on their immunizations?

ImmunizeGirl

(Note: A Closer Look At Your Health airs at 6:50 a.m. most Tuesdays on KBOI News Radio 670. This is an edited transcript of the segment from April 19.)

This week is a good time to ponder that question because it’s National Infant Immunization Week, and World Immunization Week is next week. It’s a good time to talk about making sure you and your family are fully protected against infectious diseases.

This week, the focus is on infants. Why infants specifically instead of all children?

While it’s important that all children have received the recommended vaccinations, giving babies the recommended immunizations by the time they are 2 is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, including whooping cough and measles. Parents are encouraged to talk to their child’s doctor to make sure their babies’ immunizations are up-to-date. Continue reading “Are your children current on their immunizations?”