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Health Department inspections: August 17-21
Cindy Corley, Garland
| August 24, 2015
Health Department inspections: August 10-14
Cindy Corley, Garland
| August 17, 2015
Avoid common car seat installation mistakes
Posted August 14, 2015
There are common mistakes that parents make when installing and using car seats for their children. Because correctly used car seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent, parents, grandparents and other caregivers must know how to properly utilize car safety seats.
Knowing the proper way to buckle up children as they grow can be confusing. The most common mistakes regarding car seat safety are:
1. Getting a used car seat without researching its history
If considering a used car seat, make sure it:
2. Placing car seat in wrong spot
The safest place for a child's car seat is the back seat. If the car seat is placed in front seat and the air bag inflates, it could hit the back of a rear-facing car seat where the childís head is and cause a serious or fatal injury. Children who ride in a forward-facing car seat could also be harmed by an air bag. If a child must travel in a vehicle with only one row of seats, deactivate front air bags or install a power switch to prevent air bag deployment during a crash.
If placing only one car seat in back seat, install it in the center of seat ó if a good fit is possible ó rather than by a door.
3. Using car seat as a replacement crib
A car seat is designed to protect your child during travel. It should not be used as a crib. Sitting upright in a car seat might compress a newborn's chest and lead to lower oxygen levels.
Sitting in a car seat for long periods can also contribute to development of a flat spot on the back of baby's head and worsen gastroesophageal reflux. Additionally, a child can be injured by falling out of an improperly used car seat or while sitting in a car seat that falls from an elevated surface, such as a table.
4. Incorrectly installing car seat or buckling up child
73 percent of car safety seats are improperly installed. Before installation, read manufacturer's instructions and the car seat section in the vehicle's ownerís manual. Make sure the seat is tightly secured ó allowing no more than 1 inch of movement from side to side or front to back when grasped at the bottom near the attachment points ó and facing the correct direction.
If you're using an infant-only seat or a convertible seat in the rear-facing position, keep these tips in mind:
5. Reclining child at incorrect angle
Recline the seat in the rear-facing position according to manufacturer's instructions so that child's head doesn't flop forward. Many seats include angle indicators or adjusters. You can also place a tightly rolled towel under the seat's front edge to achieve the right angle.
To prevent slouching, place tightly rolled baby blankets alongside your newborn. If necessary, place a rolled washcloth between the crotch strap and your baby to prevent slouching. Don't use any additional products unless they came with the car seat or from the manufacturer
6. Moving to forward-facing car seat too soon
Riding rear facing is recommended until a child reaches age two or the highest weight ó typically at least 35 pounds ó or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer. You can start with a convertible seat, which can be used rear facing or forward facing and typically has a higher rear-facing weight and height limit than an infant-only seat, or switch from an infant-only seat to the convertible variety as your baby grows.
When your child reaches age two or the rear-facing weight or height limit of the convertible seat, you can face the seat forward. When you make the switch:
7. Dressing child in bulky outerwear
Harness straps might not provide enough protection over bulky outerwear. If it's cold, dress baby in a lightweight jacket and hat. Buckle the harness snugly and tuck a blanket around your baby for warmth.
8. Moving to booster seat too soon
Older children need booster seats to help an adult safety belt fit correctly. Switch from a car seat to a booster seat when your child has topped the highest weight ó typically 40-80 pounds ó or height allowed by car seat manufacturer. Remember, however, that your child is safest remaining in a car seat with a harness for as long as possible.
9. Incorrectly using booster seat
Booster seats must be used with a lap and shoulder belt ó never a lap-only belt. Make sure the lap belt lies low and snug across child's upper thighs and that the shoulder belt crosses the middle of child's chest and shoulder.
Backless booster seats also must be used with a lap and shoulder belt ó never a lap-only belt. If vehicle has low seat backs or doesn't have a headrest to protect child's head and neck in a crash, consider using a high-back booster appropriate for child's height and weight.
10. Using vehicle safety belt too soon
Most kids can safely use an adult seat belt sometime between ages 8 and 12. Here's how you'll know that your child is ready:
Make sure the child doesn't tuck the shoulder belt under his/her arm or behind his/her back.
Remember, the back seat is the safest place for children younger than age 13.
Check with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, www.nhtsa.gov, for help finding a car seat inspection station.
Health Department confirms Chikungunya case
Posted August 11, 2015
On August 11 the Garland Health Department confirmed the first case of imported Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in Garland this year. The individual was infected with the virus during recent travel to Mexico and is no longer contagious. CHIKV is transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes. The virus causes high fever, severe joint pain, headache, muscle pain and rash. CHIKV does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling. There is no specific medication or vaccine available to treat CHIKV. Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to prevent CHIKV.
GHD also received a report of laboratory confirmed presence of West Nile Virus in mosquitos collected in the 2500 block of Wood Drive and the 4300 block of O'Banion Road. Twelve mosquito pools have tested positive for the presence of WNV this year. The presence of WNV in mosquitoes means that transmission to humans is possible, so residents are urged to take preventive measures. GHD will immediately initiate adulticide spraying in these areas (weather permitting) to minimize the risk of human infection. Citizens may view a map depicting areas where WNV virus has been detected and subsequently sprayed to reduce the adult mosquito population at WNV webpage.
GHD encourages citizens to take preventative measures to minimize the risk of exposure to mosquito-borne diseases such as CHIKV and WNV. To protect yourself from exposure to such diseases, limit outdoor activity during evening and early morning hours when mosquitoes are most active. While outdoors, wear light-colored, long-sleeved clothing, and use an insect repellent containing DEET, according to its label directions.
Most importantly, citizens should take measures to eliminate any standing water on their property, such as birdbaths (clean them twice per week), pet water dishes, clogged rain gutters, tires and buckets. Containers that can hold an inch or two of water for just a few days can breed mosquitoes. Report any standing water that you are not able to eliminate yourself to the GHD.
If you have questions or would like to report standing water, call the Garland Health Department's mosquito control hotline at 972-205-3720. Further questions on WNV should be directed to the city of Garland's website, GarlandTX.gov, the eAssist app or 972-205-3460.
Health Department inspections: August 3-7
Cindy Corley, Garland
| August 10, 2015
Donít be the victim of a heat-related illness
Kim Everett | August 10, 2015
The recent string of above normal temperatures calls for the re-posting of information on heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration, tips on how to avoid these illnesses and what to do if they strike you or someone around you.
Animals are also susceptible. Be mindful of their safety and provide them shade and cool drinking water.
Never leave a child, elderly person or pet in the car on hot days.
Symptoms of mild heat exhaustion:
Left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if symptoms are severe or if the victim has heart problems, high blood pressure or other serious medical conditions.
Cooling measures that might be effective include:
∑ Cool, non-caffeinated, nonalcoholic beverages
∑ Cool shower, bath or sponge bath
∑ An air-conditioned environment
∑ Lightweight, loose clothing
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
If any of the above signs are present, call for immediate medical help and begin cooling the victim.
∑ Get victim to a shady area.
∑ Cool him/her rapidly using whatever methods are available. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place them in a cool shower; spray them with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water.
∑ Monitor body temperature. Continue cooling efforts until temperature drops to 101-102 degrees.
∑ If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call hospital for further instructions.
∑ Do not give the victim fluids to drink.
Sometimes a victim's muscles will twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke. Keep the victim from injuring himself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his/her side.
To avoid heat illnesses:
When a feeling of thirst begins, the body is already dehydrated. Water or sports drink consumption should be increased in hot weather.
Symptoms of dehydration:
GFD shares candle safety tips
Posted August 8, 2015
The Garland Fire Department, in an effort to promote safety, shares National Fire Protection Agency tips on various subjects. Below are their suggestions for candle safety.
Back-to-school vaccination reminder
City of Garland | August 8, 2015
Help protect your childrenís health by ensuring they are up-to-date on vaccinations.
Most schools require children to be current on vaccinations before enrolling to protect the health of all students. Todayís childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough and chickenpox.
When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk of disease and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and communityóincluding babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.
School-age children need different vaccines at different ages. Kids ages 4-6 are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and polio. Older children, such as pre-teens and teens, need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), HPV (human papillomavirus) and MCV (meningococcal conjugate) vaccines. College students also need to make sure they have had a meningitis vaccination before enrolling for classes.
Many children in Garland are eligible for free or low-cost vaccinations through the Texas Vaccines for Children Program (TVFC). The program is funded with federal and state money to provide vaccines to eligible children from birth through 18 years of age. Children who do not have health insurance or who have health insurance that does not cover vaccines qualify for TVFC vaccines, as well as children who are enrolled in Medicaid or the Childrenís Health Insurance Program.
The Garland Public Health Clinic, at 206 Carver Drive, provides low-cost immunizations for infants and children through age 18, as well as immunizations for adults of all ages. Immunizations are given by registered nurses who have specialized training and experience in the safe administration of vaccines.
The Garland Public Health Clinic accepts walk-ins for immunization from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parents should bring a childís immunization records with them. Call 972-205-3370 for more information.
Health Department inspections: July 27-31
Cindy Corley, Garland
| August 4, 2015
Chimalhuacan was closed for 24 hours for low score and reopened Friday.
Health Department inspections: July 20-24
Cindy Corley, Garland
| July 28, 2015
American Heart Association,
Garland FD say ĎDonít Die of Doubtí
Posted July 27, 2015
Garland Fire Department and the American Heart Association are telling individuals ďDonít Die of Doubt.Ē
In January 2015, the American Heart Association launched ďDonít Die of DoubtĒ a community awareness media campaign in North Texas, thanks to continued support of the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at Communities Foundation of Texas.
This comprehensive initiative focuses on building trust in the 911 system and why you should not hesitate to call 911 if you think you might be having a heart attack.
So why arenít people calling 911? Letís debunk a few common myths about calling 911.
1. ďI donít know if my symptoms are serious enough to warrant a call to 911. I donít want to waste their time or worse, get in trouble for a false alarm.Ē
Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack is a great place to start: Chest discomfort (pressure, squeezing, fullness, pain), jaw, neck, back or arm pain, shortness of breath, nausea and cold sweats are all common symptoms of a heart attack. The emergency medical team is here to help you. Cardiovascular diseases are the number one killer of all Americans, so donít worry about being embarrassed, worry about staying alive. Make the call.
2. ďWhatís the point of calling an ambulance, itís not like EMTs are doctors.Ē
Donít underestimate the skills and abilities of paramedics. Paramedics are not just taxi-drivers. Did you know that a paramedic will have over 1000 hours of clinical and coursework training on Advanced Life Support including expertise in conducting CPR and using a defibrillator when needed to revive a patientís heart? They are trained medical professionals and are here to save lives. Donít be afraid to use them! Trust 911.
3. ďI live just a couple of blocks from the hospital, itís faster if I drive myself there.Ē
Calling 911 is the best and fastest way to ensure quick treatment. Care begins the moment you dial 911 and continues seamlessly when the ambulance arrives. If you are having a heart attack, EMS will transmit your data to the hospital, which means time saved upon arrival and faster treatment. EMS will also determine the closest, most appropriate hospital for your care and that may not be the hospital down the street. Your heart will thank you. Donít die of doubt.
4. ďItís way too expensive to call 911 and have an ambulance come, I could never afford it and Iím pretty sure my insurance wonít cover it.Ē
Can you really put a price tag on what your life is worth? When it comes to a heart attack, every minute matters Ė so every minute delayed is a delay in treatment time, deterioration of heart muscle and the risk for a potentially fatal outcome. The ambulance is not an expensive taxi ride. Donít let the potential costs deter you from taking action that can save your life. Minutes matter.
Itís critically important to remember that time is muscle, so every minute matters in a cardiac event. Care begins the moment you dial 911, and continues from ambulance arrival to hospital delivery and every moment in between.
Make the Call. Trust 911. Donít Die Of Doubt.
Learn more and hear from heart attack survivors at www.dontdieofdoubt.com
Health Department inspections: July 13-17
Cindy Corley, Garland
| July 21, 2015
Donít forget the sunscreen
Rebekah Grey, student intern | July 20, 2015
Just about everyone has experienced the sting of sunburn, but sunlight can cause much more damage than just red, irritated skin. The sunís ultraviolet rays come in three types: UVA rays, UVB rays, and UVC rays. These are in order from most to least harmful.
UVA rays are the most common and permeate beneath the top layer of skin, increasing a personís risk of developing skin cancer. UVB rays do not penetrate as deeply, but they still carry a risk of causing skin cancer. The Earthís atmosphere absorbs UVC rays, making them neutral. Itís important to be aware of the different kinds of ultraviolet light and to stay protected from harm. Defending oneself is simple, but very important.
As fun as it is to be out in the sun, overexposure can lead to aging of the skin and, more importantly, a higher vulnerability to skin cancer. To avoid these and other unpleasant effects of too much sunlight, wear sunscreen with SPF of at least 15. The SPF rating refers to the level of protection against UVB rays only; products with Mexoryl, Parsol 1789, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or avobenzone will block the more dangerous UVA rays. Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure and every two hours thereafter, following the directions on the bottle. Never use sunscreen that is 1-2 years old or older, as it loses its potency.
In addition, one can shield oneself from sunburn by wearing appropriate clothing. Dark clothing with a tight weave provides better coverage than light-colored, loosely woven clothing does. Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses are also a wise choice. Ensure that the sunglasses are wrap-around style with almost 100 percent UV protection. Finally, limit activity in the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as this is when exposure is highest.
Prolonged sun exposure can wreak havoc without these precautions in place. Watch for dangerous symptoms and know how to treat them if the need arises. Aloe, topical moisturizing cream, and 1 percent hydrocortisone cream can help to heal sunburns, blistering and swelling. Aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen can relieve some of the pain.
Any sunburn victim should not continue to be in the sun. To speed up the healing process, drink plenty of water and consider applying cool water to the affected skin. Cold baths, wet cloths or even misting the skin with a spray bottle can be soothing. If more severe symptoms occur, such as dehydration, signs of heat stroke, a fever above 101įF, severe sunburns covering more than 15 percent of the body or extreme pain lasting more than 48 hours, seek medical attention immediately.
These safety measures are crucial for any outdoor sunny day, especially in Texas where summer temperatures can exceed one hundred degrees! Stay aware and stay protected.
GFD shares microwave oven safety tips
Posted July 14, 2015
The Garland Fire Department, in an effort to promote safety, shares National Fire Protection Agency tips on various subjects. Below are their suggestions for microwave safety.
Health Department inspections: July 6-10
Cindy Corley, Garland
| July 14, 2015
Health Department reports additional WNV positive mosquito pool
Posted July 13, 2015
Last week, the Garland Health Department received a report of laboratory confirmed presence of West Nile Virus in mosquitos collected in the 1600 block of Dent Drive. GHD immediately initiated adulticide spraying throughout surrounding area two consecutive nights to decrease the possibility of human infections.
The presence of the disease in mosquitoes means that transmission to humans is possible. Residents are urged to take preventative measures. Citizens can view a map depicting areas where WNV virus has been detected and subsequently sprayed to reduce the adult mosquito population at WNV webpage.
WNV rarely causes severe illness or death, but citizens should remain vigilant and take common sense precautions. To protect yourself from exposure to WNV, limit outdoor activity during evening and early morning hours when mosquitoes are most active. While outdoors, wear light-colored, long sleeve clothing, and use an insect repellent containing DEET, according to its label directions.
Most importantly, eliminate any standing water on property, such as birdbaths (clean them twice per week), pet water dishes, clogged rain gutters, tires and buckets. Containers that can hold an inch or two of water for just a few days can breed mosquitoes. Report any standing water that you are not able to eliminate yourself to the GHD.
If you have questions or would like to report standing water, call the mosquito control hotline at 972-205-3720. Additional questions should be directed to GarlandTx.gov, the eAssist app, or 972-205-3460.
Health Department inspections: June 29 - July 2
Cindy Corley, Garland
| July 6, 2015
Make pool safety a top priority
Rebekah Grey, student intern | July 2, 2015
When summer rolls in, so does hot weather. While swimming pools are a great way to beat the heat, they can also be dangerous if one is not armed with the proper equipment and knowledge. Injuries and deaths are far too common in both residential and community pools. Knowing how to prevent them can mean the difference between safety and harm for swimmers of all ages.
Before setting foot in any pool, children must know how to swim. Statistics show that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among 1-4-year-olds. It is especially crucial for those with backyard pools to ensure that their children know the basics of swimming. It is estimated that about one-third of children who drown do so in and around the home. Always watch your children when they are in the pool, but also understand that drownings can happen unexpectedly, so make sure your children donít enter the water without being able to stay afloat.
Other preventive measures can be taken to enhance the safety of residential pools. Consider installing self-closing gates and barriers around the perimeter of the pool. In addition, a pool safety toolkit could prove invaluable in an emergency. This should include a first-aid kit, a flotation device, a charged cellphone, and scissors in case of entrapment by a pool drain.
Many families are unaware of the risks posed by pool draining equipment. In reality, many pool-related injuries occur because long hair, clothing, or limbs get caught in the drain mechanism. The best way to avoid this is by supervising swimmers and warning them to stay away from the drain. Additional entrapment-preventing installments include certified drain covers and blockage-detecting systems which will cease the drainís suction in the event of a stoppage.
Regardless of the equipment present, however, one should always know where the pool or spa pump is and how to turn it off if the need arises.
Despite the common belief that community pools with lifeguards are completely safe, the same risks are present in both residential and community swimming areas. Always monitor your own children, even if lifeguards are doing the same. When there are more swimmers present, it becomes more challenging to supervise everyone at once. Ensure that lifeguards are equipped with appropriate rescue devices. There should also be a charged, portable phone nearby in case of an emergency.
No matter where you or your children are swimming, know what to do if someone is injured or drowning. If a crisis arises, CPR and other life-saving services can keep a fun summer day from turning into a tragic event.
Visit www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/water-safety/home-pool-safety for more information.
Additionally, visit www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1796, or www.poolsafely.gov/ for more useful safety information.
Safe Kids offers a guide for children on how to watch out for hazards when swimming. Visit safekids.org/sites/default/files/documents/StartSafeWater/5%20Student%20Storybook_EngSpan.pdf.
Health Department inspections: June 22-26
Cindy Corley, Garland
| June 29, 2015