April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Drinking too much alcohol can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use leads to close to 100,000 death in the U.S. each year. Excessive use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions and over time, excessive use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems.  This April during Alcohol Awareness Month we encourage you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much alcohol.

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During National Nutrition Month®, celebrated each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to “Go Further with Food” by preparing meals in advance to enjoy throughout the week.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated.  Planning ahead and making a grocery list before you go to the grocery store can help you save money at the grocery store and also avoid unnecessary purchases.  Try to use some of the foods you already have at home when planning your meals for the week.  Buying in bulk or family packs will allow you to prepare extra meals or freeze them for later.  For instance, roasting a whole chicken is an inexpensive way to provide protein for several meals.  Use the leftovers to make soup, add to a casserole, or top a salad.

Don’t forget to include plenty of fruits and vegetables and consider checking out the frozen foods aisle.  Frozen fruits and vegetables are often just as nutritious as fresh and usually cheaper.  Dried fruits are a nice alternative to snacking on junk foods and can be purchased in bulk to make your own trail mix.

The Forest County Health Department is participating in National Nutrition Month by offering nutrition tips and taste testing in March.  We will be hosting a taste test, along with recipes and nutrition resources at Schaefer’s Food Mart in Crandon on March 22nd from 11 am to 1 pm.  We will also be visiting Crandon and Laona Schools with a taste test for the students with assistance from other members of the Forest County Coalition for Activity and Nutrition.

For more information and tips on how to make your food go further, please visit www.eatright.org.  Find the Forest County Health Department on Facebook.


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February is American Heart Month!

In celebration of American Heart Month this February, the Forest County Health Department, in collaboration with community partners is offering activities to increase awareness of high blood pressure, which is often times referred to as the “silent killer.” Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or less. Nearly half of the American population over age 20 has high blood pressure and many do not even know it. You may not feel that anything is wrong, but high blood pressure could be quietly causing damage that could threaten your health. Certain risk factors for high blood pressure cannot be controlled, such as, family history, race/ethnicity, age and gender. The good news is that you can do some things to improve your blood pressure. Don’t smoke and avoid second hand smoke, reach and maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats and rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, reduce your daily intake of sodium, be more physically active, limit alcohol intake.

High blood pressure can lead to stroke, vision loss, heart failure, heart attack, kidney disease, and sexual dysfunction. The best prevention is knowing your numbers and making changes to prevent and manage high blood pressure. For more information please go to the American Heart Association website http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

The Forest County Health Department has created a month long challenge to help you increase your physical activity. The goal of the challenge will be to get 150 minutes of physical activity per week. This might sound like a lot if you haven’t been active this winter but you can start small with 10 or 15 minutes and work your way up. If you are looking for a place to walk, try your local school. All of them allow the public to walk inside during certain hours- you will need to sign a waiver and check into the hours. You could also try walking on your lunch break or walking in place at home. You can find the tracking calendar at our office, on our website or Facebook page.

There are several scheduled events this month to help you reach your goals and provide you with more information.

Holli from the health department will be visiting each Senior Meal Site this month to offer blood pressure screenings and information. February 6th 11 am at the Wabeno Town Hall, February 12th 11 am at the Laona Town Hall, February 13th 11am at the Crandon Community Building, February 20th 10:30 am at Armstrong Creek Community Building, and February 22nd 12 pm at the Alvin Town Hall. You can also walk in to the health department Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 5 pm to have your blood pressure checked.

February 5th – Walk with Ease class and registration at 10 am at the courthouse.

February 10th 8am to 8 pm – Raise the Bar Fitness Center in Crandon Open House.

February 21st 6 pm- The Crandon Pickleball Club will be offering a Pickleball demo at the Crandon Elementary.

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 7 pm at the Laona School there is Free Zumba class with C.J. Sorenson.

Visit our Facebook page or call us for more information at 715-478-3371

Click here for a printable version of the Activity Calendar

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Prevent and Protect Against Seasonal Influenza (the Flu): Stay Home When Sick!

The Forest County Health Department is reminding people that they can take steps now to stop the spread of influenza, and one of the biggest steps they can take is Stay Home When Sick!

Influenza activity has been increasing across the state. So far, Influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been the most common flu viruses circulating this season. H3N2 predominant flu seasons have been associated with more severe illness, especially among children and adults age 65 and older.

Symptoms of influenza are similar to cold symptoms, but come on more swiftly and are more pronounced. Symptoms can include cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, chills, feelings of extreme tiredness, and fever. It should be noted that not everyone with the flu will experience fever.

It’s not too late to get your flu vaccine.

Other effective ways to avoid getting or spreading the flu include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer
  • Cover your cough and sneeze
  • Throw tissue out after one use
  • Never share drinking cups, straws, or utensils
  • Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, phones and faucets
  • When possible, avoid being exposed to people who are sick with flu-like symptoms
  • Eat nutritious meals
  • Do NOT smoke
  • Get plenty of rest

If you have been exposed to someone with influenza, or who are experiencing symptoms of influenza, consult with your health care provider immediately to determine if antiviral drugs may be helpful. Treatment with antiviral medications can sometimes lessen the effects of influenza, if treatment is started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Antibiotics are not effective against influenza.

Click below to view a video featuring Influenza Coordinator, Tom Haupt from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for an update on the current flu season and for recommendations.



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January is National Radon Action Month

Radon comes naturally from rocks and dirt in the ground. There’s always some radon in the air around us. It can become a problem when radon gas from beneath your home leaks in through cracks or gaps in the foundation and builds up in your home. You can’t see, smell, or taste radon and breathing in high levels of radon can raise your risk of lung cancer. In the United States, radon is the #2 cause of lung cancer after smoking and it is estimated to cause over 20,000 deaths each year.

Smoking makes radon even more dangerous. Radon and tobacco smoke from cigarettes (and cigars and pipes) can damage your lungs. When they are combined, smoking and radon are more dangerous than either one on their own. Smokers who live in homes with high radon levels have a risk of lung cancer that is 10 times higher than nonsmokers who live in homes with high radon levels.

Testing your house for radon is easy. A simple test will tell you if your home has a high radon level. Most tests last between 2 and 7 days. It’s as easy as opening a package, and putting the test kit in the right place. After sending the kit back to the address in the package, the company will send your test results in about 2 weeks.

If your house has a radon problem, it can be fixed. Fixing a radon problem reduces the risk of lung cancer for you and your family.

Radon test kits can be purchased at the Forest County Health Department for $8.00.

Take action today. Encourage your friends and family members to do the same.

Please call the Forest County Health Department at 715-478-3371 with any questions.

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