The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 6/13/2017

Did You Know?

Swim safety is very important to prevent injuries, recreational water illnesses, or even drowning. Drowning is a leading cause of unintentional injury death among children 1–14 years old. In fact, drowning kills more young children aged 1-4 years than anything else except birth defects. Drowning victims who survive often experience brain damage, which can cause memory problems, learning disabilities, or permanent loss of basic functioning. Swimmers can prevent drowning by learning swimming skills like floating, by wearing life vests, and by swimming under the supervision of parents, caregivers, or lifeguards who know cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Additional swim safety tips:

  • Protect yourself from recreational water illnesses. Keep the pee, poop, sweat, blood, and dirt out of the water and make sure you shower even for just one minute prior to swimming.
  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea or an open wound.
  • Make sure a lifeguard is on duty before entering the water.
  • Protect yourself by using sunscreen with at least SPF 15.

The North Shore Health Department assures safe water conditions for wading or swimming at Atwater, Klode, and Doctor’s Park beaches by routinely testing water for harmful levels of bacteria and posting signs to communicate water safety to the public during summer swimming season.

Learn how to protect yourself and your family at



The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 6/06/2017

Did You Know?

As temperatures begin to rise, it is important to know the early signs of heat-related illness so you can protect yourself and those around you. Muscle cramping may be the first symptom of a heat-related illness. A heat-related illness such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion can cause other symptoms such as headaches, nausea, strong or rapid pulse, muscle cramps, dizziness and even death if not addressed immediately.

Heat stroke occurs when an individual’s body temperature exceeds 103°F. Infants, children, and individuals 65 or older are at a higher risk of developing heat stroke because they are less likely to notice the change in their body’s temperature.  Here are several tips you can follow to reduce heat-related illness this summer.

·         Stay cool – wear light clothing, reduce sun exposure, and stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible.

·         Stay hydrated – increase water intake and never wait until you are thirsty to drink fluids.

·         Limit dehydrating beverages – avoid alcohol and beverages containing large quantities of sugar.

·         Check on at-risk individuals twice a day.

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

·         Never leave children, disabled persons, or pets in a parked car – even briefly.

For more information on the symptoms of heat-related illness, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/warning.html

The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 5/30/2017

Did You Know?

Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month." It's a peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers, and a perfect time to learn more about these diseases. There is no cure for asthma and allergies, but many deaths are preventable with proper treatment and care. 
Regular physical activity can strengthen the lungs of people who have asthma and improve their overall level of fitness. Exercise and sports can also reduce asthma symptoms, but exercise can sometimes trigger symptoms, too. Here are some tips to keep in mind when exercising if you have asthma.

• Go easy — start exercising slowly and finish your exercise with a cool-down. 
• Take a buddy — play or exercise with a friend. 
• Know your triggers — stay away from the things that can trigger your asthma. 
• Take breaks — they will help you catch your breath. And drink plenty of water. 
• Mix it up — do different activities, like inline skating one day and taking a long walk the next day. 
• Check air quality — exercise outside only when the air is clean. Before you exercise, check the weather on TV or on a computer to see how clean the air is.

Learn more about National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month at: http://www.aafa.org/page/asthma-and-allergy-awareness-month.aspx 

The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 5/23/2017

Did You Know?

May 22-28 is the 13th annual Healthy and Safe Swimming Week.  Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this week focuses on simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone. This week we’d like to highlight swimmer hygiene and the need for swimmers to take an active role in helping to protect themselves and prevent the spread of germs.

Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs spread by contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks or play areas, lakes, or other recreational water. RWIs can also be caused by chemicals in the water or chemicals that evaporate from the water and cause indoor air quality problems. Diarrhea is the most common RWI, and it is often caused by germs like CryptosporidiumGiardia, norovirus, Shigella, and E. coli O157:H7. Other common RWIs include skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections. Children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk for RWIs. 

The CDC shares 5 simple messages to protect your health, and the health of others, every time you swim.

  • Don’t swim if you have diarrhea.
  • If you are diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis, don’t swim for an additional 2 weeks after diarrhea has resolved.
  • Don’t swallow the water.
  • Keep your ears as dry as possible, and dry your ears thoroughly after swimming.
  • Don’t swim if you have open wounds.

For more information on RWIs, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/rwi.html

The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 5/16/2017

Did You Know?

National Women's Health Week is May 14th through May 20th.  Led by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health, the goal of this week is to empower women to make their health a priority. The week also serves as a time to encourage women to take steps to improve their health. It's never too early or late to work toward being your healthiest you!

What steps can you take for better health?

  • Visit a doctor or nurse for a well-woman visit (checkup) and preventive screenings. Regular checkups are important to prevent disease, disability, and injuries.

  • Get active. Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health and has many benefits including lowering your risk for heart disease—the leading cause of death for women.

  • Eat healthy. Nutrition is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

  • Keep your mind and body healthy. Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress. There is emerging evidence that positive mental health is associated with improved physical health.

  • Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smokingtexting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.

Visit https://www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw and find out what steps you need to take for better health based on your age. 

The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 5/9/2017

Did You Know?

May 8-14 is the fourth annual United Nations Road Safety Week. The week focuses on speed and what can be done to address this key risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries. According to the World Health Organization, road traffic injuries are estimated to be the ninth-leading cause of death across all age groups globally, and are predicted to become the seventh-leading cause by 2030. Evidence shows that the key solutions for managing speed include:

·         establishing and enforcing speed limit laws

·         building or modifying roads to include features to limit speed

·         installing technologies in vehicles

·         raising awareness about the dangers of speeding as well as the actual speed limit on each road

The NSHD is engaged in efforts to reduce motor vehicle crashes on our area roadways. Specifically, a grant the department received from Safe Kids Worldwide will focus on making improvements to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety in Shorewood. These improvements will include improved signage to alert motorists of speed limits in school zones.

You can get involved, too, by taking the pledge to slow down at https://www.unroadsafetyweek.org/en/get-involved . By pledging, you state that you understand why you should slow down, you endorse the solutions, and you are promoting the message to slow down among your family and friends.

May 6-12, 2017 is also National Nurses Week. We appreciate the work our Public Health Nurses do every day to keep the North Shore healthy and safe. Nurses Week is a great opportunity to take the time to celebrate. We support all nurses in this year’s theme of becoming healthier in mind, body, and spirit. http://www.nursingworld.org/nnw.

The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 5/2/2017

Did You Know?

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.  Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted through the bite of certain species of blacklegged ticks.  The geographic distribution of Lyme disease is highly regional--approximately 95% of confirmed Lyme disease cases are reported from the upper Midwest, New England, and the mid-Atlantic states. There were 984 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Wisconsin in 2014, with the highest number of cases occurring in June and July.  Residents and travelers in areas where Lyme disease is common—including areas in Northern Wisconsin--should protect themselves. To help prevent Lyme disease, the CDC recommends avoiding areas with tall grass and brush where ticks are common; applying repellents that contain at least 20%–30% DEET; wearing clothing treated with 0.5% permethrin; showering soon after coming indoors; and seeking health care promptly if symptoms of Lyme disease develop, including fever, rash, and muscle or joint pain.

For more information on Lyme Disease, including photos of blacklegged ticks, what the characteristic Erythema migrans rash looks like, and how to safely remove a tick, visit http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/.  For information on Lyme disease incidence in Wisconsin, visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p01295.pdf.