The Barry County Health Department will be celebrating Public Health Month in April by offering several free services for area residents and conducting a public campaign that emphasizes injury prevention.
From Monday, April 4 through Thursday, April 7, the health department will offer free testing of private well water using a department-provided water test kit.
During the entire month of April the health department's nursing staff will conduct heart disease and stroke risk calculation with blood pressure checks. Nutritional classes on dietary guidelines will be conducted on Tuesdays at the health department's Monett office and on Wednesdays at Cassville office. Breast feeding education will also be available.
For more information on these services and specific times, call the Monett office at 354-8686 or the Cassville office at 417-847-2114.
Local health officials have also launched an informational campaign on injury prevention to improve the wellness of all citizens living in communities served by the Barry County Health Department.
Preventable injuries rank among the top 10 causes of death for people of all ages. In 2008, a total of 4,427 Barry County residents sought treatment at area emergency rooms for injuries due to accidents. Of these, 1,319 were for falls and another 79 visits were for burns. Twenty-nine of the injuries were caused by accidents involving machinery, seven were from firearms, 397 were related to motor vehicle traffic accidents and 157 were related to non-traffic motor vehicle accidents.
In 2009, there were 17 Barry County deaths attributed to accidents. Of those, 12 were motor vehicle deaths, one was a result of a fall, one was an accidental drowning, one was accidental exposure to smoke/fire and two were accidental poisonings.
In an effort to help local residents lead injury-free lives, the Barry County Health Department has released this list of safety tips in advance of Public Health Month.
* Assess for potential hazards such as poor lighting and uneven surfaces to prevent falls.
* Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
* Supervise young children whenever they are near cooking surfaces.
* Store cleaning supplies and medicines in locked cabinets out of reach of children.
* Adjust the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees or lower to avoid burns.
* Use proper body form and accept your body's limits.
* Get a physical before starting a new sport and warm-up each time before beginning.
* Wear a helmet and other properly fitted protective gear while playing sports.
* Enforce and follow sports rules that prevent injury.
* Monitor children while they are at play.
* Drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
ON THE MOVE:
* Wear a seat belt on every trip, no matter how short.
* Make sure children are buckled up in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt.
* Be cautious when crossing the road. Use sidewalks.
* Walk facing traffic and make yourself visible when walking at night.
* Avoid texting, eating, using the phone or grooming while driving.
* Be a designated driver. Don't drink and drive, let others drink and drive, or get into a vehicle with someone who has been drinking.
For more information about injury prevention, visit www.nphw.org or call the Barry County Health Department office in Monett at 354-8686 or in Cassville at 417-847-2114.