Making Health Happen
Weekly, the Public Health Unit submits
articles to numerous newspapers in Grey and Bruce Counties under the banner
Making Health Happen. Public health nurses and public health inspectors
write the articles, covering public health issues of interest to the general
When You Are Sick!
December 30, 2008
It is more than bad manners, when only “just coming down with
something”, not to stay home, keep our germs to ourselves and rest.
Family New Year’s Resolution
December 23, 2008
Most people will make a New Year’s resolution with many of those
resolving to improve their health in 2009. Resolutions to lose weight or
get more exercise are not surprising when half of Ontario adults are
overweight or obese.
Take Care of
December 18, 2008
It is important to look after your baby’s teeth. Children have their
first set of teeth until age ten or older. They need these teeth to help
eat, to learn to speak clearly, and to ensure their adult teeth grow in
Sleeping Like a
Baby - Safe and Sound
December 11, 2008
One of the first things parents of a new baby will purchase is a crib,
bassinette or cradle. Cribs are the recommended choice as cribs must
meet rigorous safety standards. The same is not true for cradles and
Failure & Food Safety
December 4, 2008
Winter storms create potential for power failures, especially in rural
areas. If power goes out an immediate concern should be the safety of
refrigerated or frozen foods.
Stop the Stigma!
November 27, 2008
What do you think of when you hear that someone has HIV or AIDS? Do you
wonder if they are gay? Assume they had unprotected sex or injected
What’s in Your
November 20, 2008
Are there dangers lurking in your medicine cabinet? Old medications?
Half-used medications? Can’t remember what you needed them for? Can’t
read the label anymore?
November 13, 2008
Influenza, also called the flu, is a serious and common illness that is
easily spread from person to person through direct contact, coughing and
sneezing. Flu can include headaches, chills, cough, fever, loss of
appetite and fatigue. Flu can leave you bedridden for up to 10 days.
Although most healthy people will recover from the flu without problems,
the very young, elderly and those with medical problems are at greater
risk. Serious complications to those at risk can include pneumonia,
hospitalization and even death.
Assets – Building Blocks for Youth
November 6, 2008
Developmental assets are the positive experiences, opportunities and
personal qualities all young people need to develop into responsible,
successful and caring individuals. A family that provides high levels of
love and care is one example of an asset. It is everyone’s
responsibility to support developmental assets to nurture and strengthen
youth. Everyone has a role to play, irrespective of a community’s size,
location, culture or income.
October 30, 2008
It’s after work; it’s been a hectic day with more evening
responsibilities facing you at home. Tired and not wanting to cook, you
suggest, “Let’s go out tonight for a family dinner. Where should we go?”
There are many restaurants and you expect great tasting food whenever
you dine out, but how about a new idea for choosing the restaurant?
Consider one of the Eat Smart! restaurants; there are several in Grey
Healthy Is In Your Hands!
October 23, 2008
In a world where the spread of infectious diseases can seem
overwhelming, reducing risk of disease does not need to be complicated.
Hands spread approximately 80 percent of common infectious diseases.
Proper and frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent many
October 9, 2008
This is World Breastfeeding Week, celebrating with the theme Mother
Support: Reclaiming our Breastfeeding Culture. Babies, mothers and
families all benefit from a strong breastfeeding culture.
Water in an Emergency
October 2, 2008
If a disaster strikes locally, you might not have access to food, water
or electricity for an extended period. Taking time now to prepare
emergency water and food supplies will provide for your entire family
and visitors, should a problem arise.
Understand What Your Child is Saying?
September 25, 2008
The ability to communicate is one of the most fundamental of all human
skills. Our ability to speak, listen and relate to others affects the
quality of our lives. In Ontario, about 10% of children struggle with
basic speech and language skills. They are at risk for social,
emotional, behavioural and educational problems.
Making it Easier to
Make That Local Food Connection
September 18, 2008
Many people in Canada are thinking more these days about where their
food comes from. The idea of a global food supply is losing some of its
popularity. The public is now looking for locally produced foods. A
recent initiative makes it easier for the citizens of Grey Bruce to link
with local food sources. Launched at Keady Market, the Grey Bruce
Agriculture and Culinary Map helps you make that connection with local
The HPV Vaccine: What You
Need To Know
September 12, 2008
In August 2007, the Ontario government announced funding for all grade 8
females in Ontario to receive free of charge the Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
vaccine. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in
Canada. Approximately 75% of Canadians, both male and female, will have
at least one HPV infection in their lifetime.
September 4, 2008
While most people get their drinking water from provincially regulated
municipal water systems, about 90% of residents across rural Ontario get
their drinking water from private wells or springs. There are
regulations governing the construction, maintenance and abandonment of
wells. Ultimately though, the homeowner is legally responsible for their
water supply and needs to pay close attention to the safety of their
Protect Yourself from West
August 26, 2008
Late summer is a critical period for West Nile virus (WNv)! Prevention
is your best defence. Since mosquitoes are the source for transmitting
the virus, avoiding mosquito bites will protect you from getting WNv.
The chance of infection from a single mosquito bite remains quite low
but you can reduce that risk by taking a few simple steps.
Baby Teeth Are
August 19, 2008
Should you be worried about keeping your children’s baby teeth healthy
when they’re just going to lose them anyway? The answer is yes. Baby
teeth, also called primary teeth, are extremely important to a child’s
growth and development.
August 14, 2008
International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12. The day serves as an
opportunity for people worldwide to acknowledge the important
contributions young people make in their communities. Concerts,
workshops, art shows and special events that draw attention to youth are
various ways to recognize the day.
August 7, 2008
More than just mature muscle control is needed for a child to be ready
for potty training. Just as there are cues your infant lets you
know they are hungry, there are cues to alert you to a child’s readiness
for potty training.
Outdoor Air Quality
July 31, 2008
Smog causes of thousands of premature deaths across Ontario every year.
When we hear the word smog, many of us picture the brownish-yellow haze
over cities but smog isn’t always visible. Smog often begins in big
cities but is carried by winds and air currents; levels can be just as
high or higher in rural areas.
Babies Healthy Children
July 22, 2008
Children do not come with instructions. And not all answers can be found
in books or from helpful relatives. The Healthy Babies Healthy Children
Program at the Grey Bruce Health Unit can help.
When is a Cigar Not a
July 17, 2008
It is for a very good reason the Canadian Cancer Society wants a ban on
Cigarillos are predominantly a youth phenomenon. Youth are as likely to
experiment or try cigarillos as cigarettes and youth have three times
the rate of cigarillo use compared to adults. No surprise there as
cigarillos only come in kid-friendly flavours and are available in
single-packs for about the price of a chocolate bar.
Tetanus - Beyond Rusty Nails
July 10, 2008
Tetanus is preventable with a vaccine every 10 years. Can’t remember
when you last had your booster? Likely you’re due.
July 3, 2008
Despite our enthusiasm to visit the beaches, playgrounds and trails this
summer the warmer weather needs to be approached with caution. The risks
of prolonged exposure to the sun are well documented. More than 90 % of
skin cancer cases are linked to the Ultra Violet (UV) rays of the sun.
Piercing - Be a Smart Consumer!
June 24, 2008
More and more people are donning some form of body art with tattoos and
piercing. However, even today, getting a tattoo or a piercing is not
risk-free. There are things to consider before getting that tattoo or
piercing. Public Health wants you to be a smart consumer!
Vehicle Crashes and Youth!
June 17, 2008
Motor Vehicle Collisions are the leading cause of death for youth aged
15-19 in Grey Bruce. From 2000 to 2003, 26 of the 33 fatalities
involving youth (79%) took place on area roads. This is significantly
higher than the Ontario average of 31% and the national average of 35%.
Oral Health: A
Window to Your Overall Health
June 10, 2008
You may be eating a heart healthy diet and exercising regularly, but
have you seen your dentist lately? This is an important question as,
apart from of any healthy habits, the state of your teeth and gums can
impact your overall health. d
Folic Acid Decreases
Risk of Birth Defects
June 3, 2008
If you are planning a baby, it is important you speak to your primary
care provider about the need to take the B-vitamin, Folic Acid. The
Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) states
increased intake of Folic Acid by women in the child-bearing years can
prevent as many as half of certain birth defects.
Rear-Facing Car Seat Safety
May 20, 2008
Babies need special care while in a vehicle to protect their fragile
head and necks. Rear-facing infant car seats provide that protection.
How Will You PLAY
May 13, 2008
The weather is warmer. The days are longer. The great outdoors is
calling your name. Rather than just sending the kids outside to play,
why not join them? Better yet, gather your neighbours to join in the
Rabies - It's No Way For
a Friend to Die!
May 6, 2008
Rabies is an infectious disease caused by a virus that affects the
nervous system of all warm blooded animals, including livestock and man.
Here are ways to protect you and your family.
Hepatitis C: Doug’s
April 22, 2008
Doug, a Grey Bruce resident in his 40s, told his doctor during a routine
physical he had recently been experiencing abdominal discomfort and was
often feeling tired. On further questioning, Doug shared that in his
youth he and friends tried intravenous drugs on a few occasions. He was
tested for hepatitis C and the results came back positive. Having had no
other noticeable symptoms, Doug was shocked to learn he likely had
hepatitis C for about 20 years.
Do You Know What Your Teen Is Doing After Midnight?
April 15, 2008
You are sitting on your porch enjoying the peace and quiet of a
beautiful summer night. Your teenager is down the street where the
neighbour’s teens have a small get-together while their parents are out
of town. Before your teen left, you discussed a curfew and you have a
phone number where they could be reached. Everything seems under
control. Suddenly you hear sirens and emergency vehicles flash past
stopping outside your neighbour’s house…
Prevent Septic System Malfunctions
April 8, 2008
Rural residents rely on private sewage and septic systems to remove
pollutants from waste water. Household sewage contains bacteria,
viruses, organic compounds and other nutrients that can impact ground
and surface water and, left unchecked, can threaten public health. When
operating properly, sewage systems protect the environment and our
Bruce Car Seat Check Schedule
April 1, 2008
Every year in Canada 70 children are killed and 4,000 are seriously
injured in motor vehicle crashes. The correct use of child car seats
reduce the risk of injury by up to 75%. Car Seat Checks across Grey
Bruce last year found more than 80% of car seats were installed
the Screens Week
March 25, 2008
It’s the time again for students to take the challenge and participate
in the sixth annual Turn Off the Screens Week, April 14-18. Students
across Grey Bruce will be going without television, video games and
computers (except for homework).
March 18, 2008
Winter offers exciting opportunities for outdoor family activities like
snowboarding and skating. However, cold temperatures, ice and snow can
present potential hazards. Following basic winter safety tips will help
keep your family safe.
March 11, 2008
Canning is a safe and economical
way to preserve quality food at home. The canning of favourite products to be
enjoyed later by family and friends is a fulfilling experience and a source of
pride. However, incorrect home canning can cause food poisoning.
Pneumococcal Vaccine Makes Life Easier
March 6, 2008
“The pneumococcal vaccine has made my family life easier.” says Fiona
Fryer of Owen Sound. Before receiving the pneumococcal vaccination in
2005, Fiona’s son Andrew developed pneumonia at least once every winter.
Since receiving the pneumococcal vaccination, he has not had a single
bout of pneumonia. Fiona says she does not miss the resulting trips to
the hospital. Andrew’s bouts with pneumonia greatly disrupted the
family, including the parents’ work schedules.
Driven to Quit Challenge… Be a Winner!
February 26, 2008
The 2008 Driven to Quit Challenge is on! Tobacco users who go smoke-free
for March have a chance to win a new 2008 Toyota Prius or one of seven
$3,000 gift cards from Future Shop. There’s never been a better time to
quit, so butt out for the month of March!
Pandemic - Preparing for the Unpredictable
February 19, 2008
A flu pandemic is a global outbreak of a new influenza virus no one has
been exposed to before. Pandemic flu spreads easily causing serious
illness since there is no immunity to this new virus. Unlike the flu
each winter, a pandemic may strike anytime of the year causing much more
sickness and death.
It’s a Guy
February 12, 2008
In Grey Bruce, young men are less likely than young women to access
sexual health services. The theme for Sexual Health Week, February 11 to
15, It’s a Guy Thing! aims to raise awareness and stress the importance
of young men’s sexual health issues.
Heart into It!
February 5, 2008
February is “Heart Month”. Heart disease remains the leading cause of
death and disability in Canada. One in three deaths is the result of
heart disease or stroke. Baby boomers represent a group that can expect
to see a substantial increase in death and disability due to heart
disease. The good news is that with personal lifestyle changes many of
the risk factors for these silent killers and other chronic debilitating
diseases can be significantly reduced. Steps, taken now, can
dramatically decrease your risks.
Workshop in Chesley
January 29, 2008
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the term for a number of birth
defects that can occur in a baby when a woman drinks alcohol during
pregnancy. Babies with FASD may have brain damage, low birth weight,
birth defects and developmental delays. Children or adults with FASD may
have high activity levels, problems with learning, hearing and vision
problems, poor memory, poor coordination, social difficulties and
problems with the law.
Safety During Power Outages
January 22, 2008
If your power goes off for any length of time, how do you know if
refrigerated or frozen food is safe to eat? Here is some information to
help you decide whether to keep or throw out food in the refrigerator
January 15, 2008
Preterm birth is an important health concern as premature babies are at
greater risk for health problems throughout their life. One in 12 babies
in Ontario is born prematurely.
Tips for a
January 8, 2008
A smile can brighten a room. A healthy smile is always in style.