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, 2017, 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.

To be eligible on the basis of income, an applicant’s gross income (e.g., before taxes are withheld) must fall at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines. For example, under the new guidelines a family of three can earn up to $37,777 annually; under the old guidelines a family of three could have earned up to $37,296 annually. Continue reading

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

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

LiveBetterIdaho.org offers a ‘holistic web approach’ for Idahoans

Live better, Idaho.

A new website focused on empowering Idahoans to do just that is now available.

LiveBetterIdaho.org is a new and unique way for consumers to discover and connect to supports that can help them live healthier lives. By linking them to appropriate services, they can be empowered to make better choices and – we hope — move themselves and their families to independent, healthier lives.

“It is a very ambitious goal and helps the public quickly take action to access local, state and national resources available to help Idahoans,” said Dick Armstrong, director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW). “LiveBetterIdaho.org is more of a holistic web approach for people who want to improve their lives. It can help them put food on their tables, enroll in a nutrition education class, find jobs and mentors, make child support payments, quit smoking, and get access to healthcare, among other things.”

LiveBetterIdaho.org is a new and unique way for consumers to discover and connect to supports that can help them live healthier lives.

The site was created by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to fulfill an initiative in its strategic plan, but the department is only the facilitator for a strategy of connecting people in need to a larger framework that includes community partnerships and services in addition to public assistance programs. Continue reading

Please help Idaho’s children by reporting suspected child abuse or neglect

Keeping children safe is one of our primary goals at the 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

Children act fast, and so do poisons. Would you know what to do in an emergency?

Most poisoning emergencies are unexpected and happen quickly in our homes. The majority of non-fatal poisonings involve children younger than 6. 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 2014, poisoning was the second 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 calls, had more than 15,000 calls in 2014 from Idaho residents. The majority of those were from parents of children ages 6 and younger. Continue reading

They’re cute, but Easter chicks, ducklings, and even adult chickens can carry Salmonella

Chicks and ducklings in local farm supply stores are a sure sign of spring. It’s time to establish or replenish backyard flocks. It’s also just before Easter, when some people may be thinking about giving baby birds to children as gifts.

This cute little chick could harbor Salmonella bacteria. Make sure you wash your hands after touching it.

This cute little chick could harbor Salmonella bacteria. Make sure you wash your hands after touching it.

But it’s important to be aware that all poultry can transmit potentially harmful bacteria to people who touch them. Public health and agriculture officials encourage people to be aware of the risks of Salmonella infection before purchasing poultry, particularly for the very young, the old, and those with compromised immune systems.

“Owning chicks and ducklings can be fun, but we want to discourage impulse buying of these animals for Easter,” said Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, state public health veterinarian. “They grow into adults fairly quickly, and a long-term commitment to raising them needs to be in place. Those who raise backyard poultry should be knowledgeable about animal care and disease risks before venturing into that activity. Chickens and ducks can transfer potentially harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, to anyone who handles them if precautions aren’t taken.”  Continue reading