An Apple a Day

Drowning is preventable – let’s work together to keep our kids water safe
June 30, 2015  

If you’ve been reading the news lately, then you know that there has been a string of drowning and near drowning incidents throughout Riverside County.

Emergency responders in Riverside County reported 19 near drownings and two deaths between Jan. 1 and June 15 of 2014. So far this year, 21 non-fatal and five fatal incidents were reported – including the deaths of two children under age five.

With the warm weather, it’s understandable that residents will want to beat the heat with a dip in the pool. Our sandy beaches and water sports are part of what make Southern California one of the most desirable places in the country to live, work and play year round.

But, all that water fun comes with the potential for danger. That’s because drownings are not often the dramatic, arm-waving events we’ve seen portrayed on television.

The reality is that children, and even adults, can slip under the water silently and without much commotion. Even more frightening, drownings can occur even with a house and pool-full of adults and kids in attendance.

We all think that someone else is watching, right?

On Tuesday, June 30, the Riverside County Department of Public Health is set to partner with Riverside County Board of Supervisors, CALFire officials and several other agencies to kick off a joint drowning prevention campaign.

We all need to work together to avoid these tragedies, after all. Someone surviving a drowning is a miracle – but it’s also a warning. Even if a child survives, the future can be torturous for the victim and the family. Near drowning can cause devastating neurological damage and long-term health impacts.

We can all prevent drownings with just a few simple precautions!

Stay tuned for more information on this very important message that will keep our kids and loved ones safe this summer and throughout the year.

The County of Riverside Department of Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.


You’re invited to SHAPE Riverside County July 22

June 23, 2015

For those of you who have wondered about the results of our SHAPE survey, I have good news – the results are in!

You may recall that over the course of these past few months we met with hundreds of folks and asked them to tell us about their health concerns at a series of community forums held throughout Riverside County.

Additionally, we heard from even more residents –nearly 3,500 -- who took part in the SHAPE -- Strategic Health Alliance Pursuing Equity -- health survey and shared with us their community’s top health issues.

After wrapping up the community forums in April, we went to work compiling the results. We promised we would share them with you and you’ll find them here.

But we’re not done yet! Now you are invited to help SHAPE the future of health and wellness in Riverside County.

Yes, you! All residents, agencies, community groups and civic leaders are urged to be part of a countywide effort to make Riverside County a better place to live, learn, work and play.

The Health Improvement Plan workshop will allow residents and representatives to set goals and draft a plan to improve the health and safety of neighborhoods across the County.

The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to noon July 22 in the Grand Ballroom at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center, located at 14075 Frederick St. in Moreno Valley.

Light refreshments will be provided.

This is an exciting opportunity to SHAPE health in Riverside County, so put on your thinking cap and bring ideas – big and small.

Good stuff, right? Register here and we will send materials to prepare you for this important meeting.

The County of Riverside Department of Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.



Feeling the heat? Cool centers are open today, Riverside County
June 15, 2015

Here we are, folks. The mercury is rising and many in the County are, well, wilting. For all those young and hearty types, you may relish the warm temperatures.

But for many, the heat can present some dangers, especially for the elderly and those with medical conditions.

Read: Tips for Keeping Cool

Actually, it doesn’t matter who you are – care should be taken during the hot summer months to stay cool, hydrated and protected.

Heat-related injuries such as heatstroke, an illness that occurs when the body can no longer regulate its temperature, can strike fast and pose life-threatening consequences.

To find a cool center near you, click
here.

The good news is there is relief. Cooling centers have officially opened their doors throughout the County.

Hosted by the Community Action Partnership of Riverside County, in partnership with the Riverside County Department of Public Health, residents and visitors are invited to step inside and enjoy cooler, air-conditioned temperatures during the hot summer months in locations across the region.

These places will be familiar to you – they are your local libraries, senior and community centers. Light refreshments and water will be available at some locations.

It’s that simple! If you have time today, swing by, say hello and survey the scene.

And, as always, be healthy and well.

The County of Riverside Department of Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.


Tips for cooling down as temperatures rise
June 8, 2015

It’s hot out there, Riverside County and we want you to stay cool. Read on for some tips to beat the heat:

--Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

--Turn on your air conditioner.

--Stay in air-conditioned space at home, or someplace cool like the mall, a library, senior center or Cool Center.

--Schedule outside activities before noon or in the evening. 

--Avoid or minimize physical exertion.

--Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing.

--Wear a wide-brimmed hat, or use an umbrella for shade.

--Slow down—rest in the shade or a cool place every chance you get.

--If you do not have an air conditioner, use a fan. Make sure your windows are open.

--Do not eat heavy meals.  Avoid cooking with your oven.

--Take a cool shower or bath.

--Do not sit in a hot car, even for a short time. Never leave a person or animal alone in a vehicle during high temperatures.

 --Check on your friends and neighbors who are elderly or have medical conditions.

Older people are at higher risk for problems when it’s very hot.  You are also at high risk if you:

--Have certain medical conditions

--Take medicine for high blood pressure

--Have mental health conditions

--Have been drinking alcohol

--Use IV drugs

--Have had a previous heat-related illness

Save Energy Costs:

--Set thermostat at 78 degrees or higher.  You save 3-5 percent on your air conditioning cost for each degree you raise the thermostat.

--Replace filters often, even in the summer.

--Keep your air conditioning duct vents clean and clear.  Make sure furniture or drapes are not blocking air vents or keeping cool air from circulating freely.

--Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’S) CFLs use about ¼ as much electricity and last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs.

--Turn off air and open windows for a cross breeze on cooler evenings.

--Keep lights off or turned down.

--Get your home weatherized

Other Resources:

Utility companies have a number of programs and services to assist you during hot weather months. For more information, on a cool center close to you or for other information call toll free:

Community Action Partnership of Riverside County

Summer Crisis Hotline 1-888- 636-8676 TTY (951) 955-5126

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Make your safety a priority:  Just how protected are you?

June 8, 2015

Sometimes it takes a tragic reminder like a horrific car crash, house fire or gun violence to remind us just how vulnerable we are to death or injury. Whatever the catalyst and no matter the activity you find yourself engaged in today, it’s important to always keep safety in mind.

June is National Safety Month and the public is urged to be aware of potential dangers in everyday life. Be alerted to leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes, such as prescription painkiller abuse, transportation safety, ergonomics, emergency preparedness and slips, trips and falls.

What can you do to create a safer environment for you and your family? Well, it’s a good idea to stay informed of all the most recent statistics and what kinds of hazards to watch out for.

According to the National Safety Council, people worry far too much about the wrong things. For example, while guns and the threat they present can be frightening, Americans are more likely to be killed by some unintentional act such as poisoning due to mistakenly ingesting some household toxins. And fatal falls are much more common than deaths resulting from a severe thunderstorm.

What are your odds of dying? Read more here.

Often, the best way to stay safe is by engaging in everyday protections, such a wearing a seatbelt, driving at a reasonable and legal speed and preventing falls with the use of bath mats or even hand rails.

Ultimately, it’s when we ask ourselves what (or who) we live for that we are reminded of our passion for living and for the people we love. And that’s a pretty good reason to brush up on these safety reminders.

Learn more about what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe at NationalSafetyCouncil.org.

The County of Riverside Department of Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.


It's time to 'man' up and get a checkup
June 1, 2015


June has arrived, my friends. Yes, May flew by. But freshly mowed lawns and BBQs tell the story -- step outside and you’ll smell summer just around the corner.

We all start this time of year with the hope of meeting new goals, right? Goals for time spent with family and for slowing life down enough to enjoy those long, lazy days of sun and fun.

Since June celebrates Men’s Health Month, this is the perfect time to pursue some goals for fitness and health. June is the month that we celebrate Father’s day, after all.

According the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), “men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death and are the victims of over 92 percent of workplace deaths.  In 1920, women lived, on average, one year longer than men. Now, men, on average, die almost five years earlier than women.”

Men’s Health Network spokesman Dr. David Gremillion says this about the sobering statistics: “There is a silent health crisis in America...it’s that fact that, on average, American men live sicker and die younger than American women.”

How can this be? Well, according to the CDC, “women are 100 percent more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men.”

So what can you do to ensure your health or the health of a father, brother or son you love?

Awareness, prevention and education are the answer. This means taking part in regular health screenings and embracing a lifestyle that includes daily exercise, balanced nutrition and stress reduction.

Guess what? All of that adds up to a chance at a long and healthy life.

Learn more about Men’s Health Month and how to achieve your best health at the MensHealthResourceCenter.com.

The County of Riverside Department of Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.