The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 4/18/2017

Did You Know?

With warm weather approaching quickly, it is the perfect time to go out for a bike ride. Bike riding is a great form of physical activity and a healthy way to get around. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and it is important when biking to be aware of your surroundings. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 900 bicyclists were killed in the U.S. in 2013. Bike riders share the road with other motorists and need to take precautions to stay safe while on the road.  Follow these tips to ensure bike safety:

  •        Wear a helmet. Regardless of age, a helmet will provide protection in case of injury. 
  •        Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible.
  •        Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights.
  •        Make eye contact with drivers. Bikers should make sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop before they cross the street.
  •        Young children should be supervised until you're comfortable that they are responsible to ride on their own.

Additionally, when riding at night, be bright and use lights and reflectors. It's also smart to wear clothes and accessories that have retroreflective materials to improve biker visibility to motorists.

To learn more visit: http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/bicycle/

The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 4/11/2017

Did You Know?

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States and kills 88,000 people annually. The effects of alcohol have been linked to physical health complications such as liver disease and cardiovascular problems, and psychological and social problems as well. In Wisconsin, binge drinking is among the highest in the United States and a serious public health concern. Based on the North Shore Community Health Survey, 24% of residents identified as binge drinkers in 2015.

The NIAAA encourages everyone to help prevent the misuse of alcohol and participate in Alcohol Awareness Month. Many people have felt the impacts of alcohol in some form. You may have suffered with addiction yourself, had a loved one hurt by a drunk driver, or helped someone through the recovery process. Here are some tips to help yourself and those around you. 

  •         Keeping track of how much alcohol you consume
  •         Do not drink when upset
  •         Avoid triggers- if certain people or places make you drink even when you don't want to, try to avoid them.
  •         Find alternatives- if drinking has occupied a lot of your time, then fill free time by developing new, healthy activities, hobbies, and relationships, or renewing ones you've missed. 
  •         If you do drink, NEVER drive while under the influence
  •         Help educate others by talking to your kids about alcohol, talking about the effects of alcohol during pregnancy and encouraging those who have a problem to get help 

For more information/resources on alcohol, treatment and prevention you can visit

The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 4/4/2017

Did You Know?

The first full week of April each year is National Public Health Week (NPHW). This is a time to recognize the contribution that public health makes in developing healthier communities and a healthier nation. The American Public Health Association develops a campaign each year to address the public health concerns of the current year. This year’s theme is Healthiest Nation 2030. To learn how you can be a part of the movement and initiate change visit: http://www.nphw.org

The mission of the North Shore Health Department is to work in partnership with the communities we serve to assure, promote and protect the health and safety of the people in the North Shore. We accomplish this by serving the public through our many programs and services.

How do residents of the North Shore use the Health Department?


  • Immunizations and blood pressure clinics
  • Cholesterol/glucose screenings
  • Car seat checks
  • Lead exposure follow up
  • Newborn home visits


  • Human health hazard investigations
  • Animal bite control
  • Radon outreach and education
  • Controlling communicable disease outbreaks


    • Mosquito surveillance for certain diseases
    • Food safety and recreational licensing
    • Mental health and resiliency/suicide prevention
    • Beach testing from harmful bacteria
    These are just a few examples of how the health department is utilized. To learn about other services visit us at www.nshealthdept.org and sign up for our monthly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/caUzc1.

    The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 3/28/2017

    Did You Know?

    Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. But many of these deaths can be prevented. Buckling children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half. Seventy-three percent of car seats are not being used correctly so it’s important for every parent to make sure their car seats and booster seats are used and installed properly.  Car seat safety is very important but also required by law.  Wisconsin law requires the following:

    •         Rear-facing infant seat-until the child is both 1 year and 20lbs
    •         Forward-facing seat- must stay in harness until 4 years and 40lbs
    •         Booster seat-can move into booster at 4 years and 40lbs and can move out when they have reached 8 years or 80lbs or 4’9”

    SafeKids Worldwide reminds parents to keep their kids in their current car seat for as long as they can—until their child reaches the maximum weight or height listed on the car seat label.  That includes leaving infants rear-facing beyond one year. Every step forward reduces safety just a bit! To learn about best practice for car seats visit the following link: https://www.safekids.org/ultimate-car-seat-guide/basic-tips/when-to-change/

    Have questions or feeling unsure about whether you have the seat installed correctly? Schedule a car seat/booster seat installation check at: www.NSFire.org.

    You can also visit us at our monthly car seat clinic at the North Shore Fire Department (NSFD) Brown Deer station, done in partnership with NSFD and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The clinics are held from 9:00 - 11:30 am the second Wednesday of each month.   Walk-ins are welcome; however, an appointment can also be made with Children’s Hospital Central Scheduling at 414-607-5280.  

    The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 3/21/2017

    Did You Know?

    March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people age 50 and older. Typically, colon cancer begins as a small growth in the colon. Over time, these pre-cancerous growths, called polyps, can turn into cancer. By following the current screening guidelines, your doctor can remove these growths or find cancer in its earliest stages. A common screening method is a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy views the entire colon and polyps can be removed during the procedure if found. This procedure is usually performed every 5-10 years depending on the findings. Though it is usually recommended to start getting screened at age 50, you may need to be screened earlier depending on your family’s health history and risk factors. Check out who should be screened and when at:https://www.ccalliance.org/get-screened/who-should-be-screened-and-when/

    Take steps to reduce your risk of colon cancer:

    •         Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, which may play a role in cancer prevention.
    •         Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.
    •         Stop smoking. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit that may work for you.
    •         Exercise most days of the week. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days. If you've been inactive, start slowly and build up gradually to 30 minutes. Also, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.
    •         Maintain a healthy weight. If you are at a healthy weight, work to maintain your weight by combining a healthy diet with daily exercise. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy ways to achieve your goal.

    Learn more at:



    The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 3/14/2017

    Did You Know?

    During Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 12-18), it is important to discuss antibiotic resistance. At least 30 percent of antibiotics used in the United States are unnecessarily prescribed. Colds, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections are caused by viruses. While antibiotics have saved many lives from bacterial infection, they do not help fight viruses and when misused can cause antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The drugs may only work on the original bacteria, so the newly-changed bacteria survive, despite treatment, and continue to multiply and cause illness. It may be tempting to stop taking an antibiotic as soon as you feel better. However, failure to complete the full treatment as prescribed by your physician can result in the need to resume treatment later or require stronger antibiotics, and may promote antibiotic resistance. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics has become a growing problem in the United States and across the world.

    What can you do?

    •         Ask your healthcare professional about what you can do stop or slow antibiotic resistance.
    •         Ask your healthcare professional if there are steps you can take to feel better and get relief from your symptoms without using antibiotics.
    •         Take prescribed antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
    •         Safely discard any leftover medication. All police departments in the North Shore accept unneeded medications for disposal.
    •         Do not take antibiotics for viral infections such as colds, flu, most sore throats, most coughs and bronchitis, most sinus infections, and most ear infections. It is best to discuss an illness with your physician to determine what treatment you need.

    Learn more at:



    The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 3/07/2017

    Did You Know?

    Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. A recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the total combined cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported in 2015 reached the highest number ever. There were nearly 400,000 cases of gonorrhea reported. There is a growing concern about gonorrhea becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics normally used to treat it. The CDC currently recommends a combination gonorrhea treatment with two antibiotics – an oral dose of azithromycin and single shot of ceftriaxone. The CDC also mentions that STI programs have experienced budget cuts resulting in reduced access to care. Gonorrhea that goes untreated can cause complications such as chronic pelvic pain, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, and even infertility.

    How can STIs be prevented?

    Providers: Make STI screening a standard part of medical care, especially in pregnant women. Integrate STI prevention and treatment into prenatal care and other routine visits. If treatment is needed, use the CDC recommended treatment guidelines.

    Community: Talk openly about STIs, get tested regularly, provide education to your children as well as the community.


    •         Vaccinate- Vaccines are safe, effective, and recommended ways to prevent hepatitis B and HPV. 
    •         Reducing number of sex partners- Reducing your number of sex partners can decrease your risk for STIs. It is still important that you and your partner get tested, and that you share your test results with one another.
    •        Condoms-Correct and consistent use of the male latex condom is highly effective in reducing STI transmission.
    •         Mutual Monogamy- Mutual monogamy means that you agree to be sexually active with only one person, who has agreed to be sexually active only with you. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STIs. 
    •         Abstinence: The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have sex.

    Visit the links below to get information on STI’s and clinics




    The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 3/01/2017

    Did You Know?

    March is National Nutrition Month. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines provide recommendations based on current scientific and medical knowledge. Chronic diseases have risen due to poor eating and physical activity patterns. Eating more fruits and vegetables may lower a person's risk for chronic diseases such as certain cancers and cardiovascular disease The key recommendations of a healthy eating pattern include:

    • A variety of vegetables from all subgroups. (dark green, red and orange, legumes, starchy, and other)

    • Fruits, especially whole fruits.

    • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains.

    • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy.

    • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy products.

    • Limiting saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.

    Another important aspect in having a healthy lifestyle is increasing physical activity. Exercise does not have to be a chore. Choose something that you enjoy such as taking your dog for a brisk 10-minute walk, join an exercise class, or care for a vegetable/flower garden. Visit https://www.choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity-tips for more tips on physical activity.

    For tips, recipes, or more information please visit:

    http://www.choosemyplate.gov/dietary-guidelines  http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/