Monday, July 30, 2018

Celebrate with Us this World Breastfeeding Week

Bottle or breast? If you are a parent you have probably been asked this a hundred times…during your prenatal appointments, after your child’s delivery and at those countless well child checks. It seems rather personal though…why is everyone so interested in how you choose to feed your baby? After working in Public Health for a few years I have learned why so many health professionals care. 

The many health benefits associated with breastfeeding (for both mom and baby) won me over. But, if warding off infections and diseases isn’t reason enough, this report found that if 90% of mothers in the United States breastfed their children exclusively (breastmilk only) for 6 months, there would be a savings of $13 billion per year – that’s right, $13 billion! Breastmilk is a very low to no cost way to nourish children that improves health while reducing health care costs. That’s a win-win-win, if you ask me. 

To this end, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) coordinates the World Breastfeeding Week campaign each year during the first week in August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. Partners of The Clinton County Breastfeeding Coalition are joining in on the fun by hosting family friendly events. I am looking forward to bringing my little one and hope to see some of you too!

  • Friday, August 3rd Stop by the Breastfeeding Block Party at the US Oval in Plattsburgh between 5:00pm and 7:00pm. The whole family is invited to attend. There will be outdoor play, snacks and giveaways. If it’s raining you are welcome to do a rain dance or join the party indoors at Family Connections on the Oval. This event is hosted by the Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country and WIC. For more information call 518-561-4999.

  • Saturday, August 4th Be a part of the 2018 Big Latch On! Registration begins at 10:00am on The University of Vermont Health Network Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital (CVPH) front lawn with the ‘latch’ taking place at 10:30am, sharp! There will be light refreshments, information, prizes, and a free 5x7 family photo! If it’s raining the latch will take place in the lobby. This event is hosted by the University of Vermont Health Network CVPH. For more information call 518-562-7142.

  • Tuesday, August 7th - Tune into WIRY 1340 AM or 100.7 FM at 11:00am to hear what is happening around breastfeeding in our community.

Can’t make it to either of these events but really want to connect with other moms and families? Drop by Nature’s Way Baby Café® located at the Plattsburgh House of Prayer at 63 Broad Street. It’s a relaxed environment for families to share, support and learn. Lactation professionals are on site to answer any breastfeeding-related questions that come up, at no cost to you! I almost forgot to mention…there are free snacks 😀 The café is open:

  • Second Tuesday of each month from 9:30am to 11:30am and

  • Fourth Thursday of each month from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

There is a TON happening around breastfeeding in Clinton County (and surrounding counties) from coalitions to Baby Cafés® to data collection and Breastfeeding Friendly worksites, childcare sites, health care providers, and restaurants. Need breastfeeding support? Check out the Clinton County Breastfeeding Resource Guide. 

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
KayLeigh Raville, RD, CDN, CLC
Public Health Nutritionist

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Recipe for a Delicious (and Safe!) Summer

“Summertime and the livin’ is easy…” Ahhh words to live by. Time for leisurely outdoor picnics, grilling and boat rides. What could be better?  Certainly not spending your quickly fleeting summer days and nights sick. Unfortunately, our best laid plans are no match for foodborne illnesses. An estimated 48 million people get sick, 128,000 people are hospitalized and 3,000 people die each year in the United States from foodborne illnesses. But good news – foodborne illnesses are completely preventable! Keeping your friends and family safe during the hot months (and any time of year) is easier than you might think. Just follow these Six Safety Tips for a memorable and delicious summer!

  1. Know where your food is coming from. Just last month several people in NYC went to the hospital after eating a potato salad. Turns out they got botulism from improperly home-canned potatoes.
  2. Be aware of cold food storage times. Plan ahead, but don’t purchase perishable foods too early. They may spoil before you use them. 
  3.  Wash your hands and surfaces often! Don’t forget to also wash your fruits and veggies before preparing and enjoying. 
  4.  Don’t cross contaminate. Use different plates for raw meats and cooked foods to prevent the spread of bacteria. 
  5. Take the guess work out of cooking. Use a food thermometer to ensure you are cooking foods to a safe internal temperature. This is the only way to destroy harmful bacteria. 
  6.  Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use chafing dishes, your oven or slow cookers to keep hot foods at or above 140°F. Place cold foods in containers on ice and keep temperatures at or below 40°F. Don’t leave perishable foods out for more than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature is above 90°F).
As you are enjoying the dog days of summer remember that food safety should never take a vacation! By following these Six Safety Tips you can make sure that your next cook out isn’t a breeding-ground for foodborne illness. Wishing you and your family a healthy, fun-filled summer.

Judy Ross,
Principal Sanitarian

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hot Dog! (Beating the Heat this Summer)

After what seemed to be an endless, frigid winter it now seems silly to complain about being too hot. But here we are, just barely into the official dog days of summer and I am already sick of being a stuffy, sweaty, hot mess with hair that has a mind of its own! As hot days become more frequent stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed!

Safety First

Heat safety is important no matter who you are, but the following groups should be extra cautious when the temperature rises: older adults (65+), infants & children, those with chronic conditions, those in low income areas, athletes, those who work outdoors, and our pets! Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and check your local news for extreme heat alerts.

  • Drink plenty of fluids before you are thirsty, no matter how active you are. As you sweat you will need to replenish the fluids your body has lost.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages or those high in sugar as they will cause you to lose more body fluid.
  • Don’t forget about your pets! Make sure they have plenty of water, and leave it in a shady area to encourage them to take a break from the sun.

Beat the Heat

  • Stay in air-conditioned areas as much as possible. Going stir crazy? Check out what’s happening at your public library or do some window shopping at the mall.
  • Avoid hot and heavy meals. They add unnecessary heat to our bodies - not to mention the heat ovens and stoves give off!
  • Limit outdoor activities to the times of the day that are typically cooler (i.e. early morning or evening).
  • Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher before heading outside. Sunburns affect the body’s ability to cool itself down. “Broad Spectrum” sunscreens or those marked “UVA/UVB” work best.
  • Choose lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.


NEVER leave infants, children or pets inside a parked car! Even with the windows cracked a car will quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures. Remember to #checkforbaby!

  • Leave one of your shoes in the back seat with baby. When you get out of the car you won’t get far before you realize you are missing a shoe!

  • Leave a stuffed animal in the car seat. When you put baby in move it to the front seat where it is visible.

  • Leave an item you won’t forget, such as your purse, wallet or cell phone in the back seat.

Wishing you and your family (both the two and four legged variety) a fun, memorable and safe summer!

Molly Flynn, Senior Public Health Educator
Division of Health Planning and Promotion