March is National Nutrition Month

Practical Ways to Enjoy Food While Eating Less

Food is meant to be enjoyed, but eating less is the key to weight management and disease prevention, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. During National Nutrition Month®, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) encourages everyone to "Get Your Plate in Shape."

One way to accomplish this is by eating the foods you enjoy while being mindful of portion sizes and total calories. Eating should be pleasurable, but it is important to be aware of how much food you eat every day. A key step to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is putting less food on your plate.

Here are some simple and practical ways to eat fewer calories while savoring and enjoying your food:

As part of this public education campaign, the Academy's National Nutrition Month website includes helpful tips, fun games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition around the "Get Your Plate in Shape" theme.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at  For more information on a healthy diet contact the Monroe County Health Department WIC office at 740-472-1833.












January -Oil and Gas Drilling

Drilling for Natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica Shales

Over the next several  years  Monroe County will likely see a significant increase in natural gas drilling, specifically in the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations. Both geologic formations lie under Monroe County between 7000 and 12,000 feet beneath the ground.  As the drilling activity increases, citizens are becoming more aware and concerned about the potential impacts on them, the environment and their communities.

When a well is drilled there is a short term but significant level of activity at the well site. This may include transporting equipment , production water, sand, flowback water, and possibly drill cuttings to and from the site. The volume of truck traffic is not covered under health department, Ohio EPA’s or ODNR’s regulations.  Local officials may have agreements with the drilling company to restrict access or to fix any damage to roads, bridges or other infrastructure.

Natural gas is extracted form the shale through a two step process of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing or “fracing”.  Fracing of a Marcellus or Utica Shale gas well involves the high pressure injection of up to 4 million gallons of water, sand and chemical additives down the borehole of the well. This process maximizes the gas production of the well.  The Ohio EPA, ODNR and other experts familiar with hydraulic fracturing do not have data showing a risk of water well contamination from brine migrating from the shale layers into aquifers thousands of feet above the shale layers. Gas and oil can migrate from a production gas well into an aquifer or water well if the gas well’s casing is damaged, leaking or poorly constructed.  Water wells can also become contaminated from old, abandoned gas wells that are unplugged or from natural oil and gas bearing formations that lie close to the ground surface.

Groundwater testing done prior to the fracing of a Marcellus or Utica Shale gas well is called baseline water testing.  This establishes the quality of the groundwater prior to fracing so that if future contamination of the well occurs a cause can be determined. These tests should be done by a professional familiar with sampling protocols. The samples should be submitted to an Ohio EPA certified drinking water laboratory.  The Monroe County Health Department is now offering baseline water testing. Information about the price, scheduling a test, or what tests are available can be obtained by calling the Monroe County Health Department at (740) 472-1677 extension 206.

For additional information about Marcellus and Utica gas wells :


Ohio EPA



December Article

Children don’t always need expensive toys to learn.  A child will often have more fun with wrapping paper and a box than they do with the toy.  Exploring objects around your home can provide an adequate amount of stimulation for your child to grow and develop.

Homemade activities and toys offer many advantages over those that are purchased in stores.  They are free or inexpensive to make.  They make use of things that are readily available to you and your child.  Many toys and activities make use of materials you would have probably thrown away, such as boxes, paper scraps, newspapers, and magazines.

Think Safety

Keep in mind that homemade toys and activities are not tested for safety the way that commercial products are.  You don’t want to expose your child to things that are unsafe. 


Young children are very curious and they explore with all of their senses, including taste and touch.  They put almost everything in their mouths, and sometimes even in their noses and ears.  Always supervise young children when they are exploring or playing.


The following items are often found around the house and may be potential safety hazards.

·        Balloons- Deflated or broken balloons can cause suffocation if swallowed or inhaled.  Keep deflated balloons out of reach.  Immediately throw away broken ones.

·        Strings or yarn- Keep string or yarn on homemade toys less than 12 inches long.  Never hang toys with a string longer than 6 inches. 

·        Small objects- Test small objects with a safety choke tube or use an empty toilet paper tube.  If the object can entirely fit inside of the tube, your child could choke on the object.

·        Water- Children should always be supervised during any water play.  A child can drown in just a few inches of water.

·        Stuffed animals or puppets- Check puppets and stuffed animals for any small pieces, including eyes that could be pulled off and placed in the child’s mouth.  Do not place stuffed animals in an infant’s crib.  The animal could fall on the child and cause suffocation.


Allow children to explore and have fun.  This is how they learn.  Please keep these safety precautions in mind when making homemade toys and activities:

·        Children should be supervised at all times.

·        Keep objects smaller than 2 inches in diameter away from young children.

·        Use super-strength glue when gluing lids on containers and also cover the lid with tape.


For questions or information about Help Me Grow, call 740-472-0852 or visit the Monroe County Health Department website at


Are you thinking about quitting smoking but not sure you’re ready to take the plunge?  Maybe the Great American Smokeout is for you.  It’s an opportunity to join with literally millions of other smokers in saying “no thanks” to cigarettes for 24 hours.  This could be the first day of your life without tobacco.

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.  One in two long-term smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.  For every person who dies from smoking, another 20 people are living with serious smoking-related chronic diseases.  Smoking costs the United States $96 billion in medical expenses and $97 billion in lost productivity annually.  Quitting smoking is the single most important action that smokers can take to protect their own health and their families’ health.

Smoking cessation has major and immediate health benefits for men and women of all ages. And those health benefits apply to people with or without smoking-related disease. 


10 MINUTES – Blood pressure and pulse rate decreases

1 DAY – Chance of heart attack decreases

2 WEEKS TO 3 MONTHS – Circulation improves and lung function increases

1 – 9 MONTHS – Coughing, sinus, congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decreases

1 YEAR – Risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack is reduced to half that of a smoker


 Millions of former smokers have successfully quit.  In fact, today there are more former smokers than smokers. Why not give it a try. Quit for one day and take it one day at a time. 

If you need help, the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line is a telephone service that helps Ohioans quit smoking and using tobacco.  If you are on Medicaid, uninsured or pregnant, you qualify for free cessation services.  If you have insurance, check to see if your insurance covers the Quit Line.  The toll free number is 1-800-784-8669.  For more information or information on quitting,  call the Monroe County Health Department at 740-472-1677, extension 203.  Click to see the flyer!





October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). Since the program began in 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined.

This is exciting progress, but there are still women who do not take advantage of early detection at all and others who do not get screening mammograms and clinical breast exams at regular intervals. Women age 65 and older are less likely to get mammograms than younger women, even though breast cancer risk increases with age.  Women below poverty level are less likely than women at higher incomes to have had a mammogram within the past two years.

 If all women age 40 and older took advantage of early detection methods – mammography plus clinical breast exam – breast cancer death rates would drop much further, up to 30 percent. The key to mammography screening is that it be done routinely – once is not enough.

 There are many ways to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.  Limit alcohol, the more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.  Control your weight, being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.  Get plenty of physical activity. Being physically active can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer.  Breast-feeding may also play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.

 For more information about NBCAM, please visit  For additional information, please call one of the following toll-free numbers: American Cancer Society, (800) 227-2345, National Cancer Institute (NCI), (800) 4-CANCER, Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, (800) 221-2141.

 The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month program is dedicated to increasing public knowledge about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Fifteen national public service organizations, professional associations, and government agencies comprise the Board of Sponsors, who work together to ensure that the NBCAM message is heard by thousands of women and their families.


September 18-24 is Child Passenger Safety Week

The goal of Child Passenger Safety Week, held September 18-24, is to make sure all children are secured properly in appropriate car seats and that the car seats are installed properly – every trip, every time. During CPS Week, parents and caregivers are urged to make sure their car seats and booster seats are properly installed and used in their vehicles according to updated best practice recommendations released earlier this year. Many communities will have certified technicians available to provide free, hands-on car seat inspections. The week concludes with National Seat Check Saturday, on September 24, when certified child passenger safety technicians will hold car seat events across the country and offer advice and instruction. 


v     Car seats and booster seats save lives – offering the best protection for children in the event of a crash.

         Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children 1 through 12 years old (based on 2007 figures from the National Center for Health Statistics).

         According to NHTSA, approximately 9,310 lives have been saved from 1975 to 2009 by the proper use of car seats. 

v     Car seats work best when used correctly.

         Roughly 3 out of 4 child safety seats are not used correctly.

         Failure to read and carefully follow the installation instructions included with the car seat as well as those in the vehicle owner's manual can lead to incorrect installation, exposing child passengers to grave risk of serious injury or death in a crash.


v     For maximum child passenger safety, refer to the following guidelines for determining which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on their age and size:

Birth – 12 months: For the best possible protection, your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

1 – 3 years: Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. This may result in many children riding rear-facing to age 2 or older. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
4 – 7 years: Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
8 – 12 years:
Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.


If you have questions about Child Passenger Safety, call Monroe County Help Me Grow at 740-472-0852. Be sure to visit the Monroe County Health Department website at for additional information located under the OH Buckles Buckeyes tab.


August is World Breastfeeding Awareness Month
Click here for the press release!




July - Protect Yourself From the Sun!

Sun protection

Skin cancer is the most-commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States; it accounts for about half of all cancers in the United States., About 53,600 new cases of skin cancer were diagnosed in 2007, according to the American Cancer Society. Follow these easy tips to protect yourself and your family from the sun’s harmful rays:

·         Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

·         Wear a wide-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck and ears.

·         Seek shade whenever possible.

·         Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher as well as UVA and UVB protection.

·         Re-apply sunscreen regularly, especially after swimming, perspiring heavily or drying skin with a towel.

·         Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.

·         Avoid direct sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest.

Heat-related illness

People suffer heat-related illness when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs. Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions that can limit the ability to regulate temperature include old age, youth (age 0-4), obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug use and alcohol use.  You can help prevent heat related illness by following these tips:

·         Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol and caffeine; they can add to dehydration and increase the effects of heat illness.

·         Avoid outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day.

·         Get to a shady area.

·         Try and cool yourself using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse yourself in a tub of cool water; take a cool shower or spray yourself cool water from a garden hose.


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