Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: May 5, 2010
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for May 5, 2010. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn how to stay safe while cooking, details about Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday at the end of May and Lyme disease. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department offers these cooking safety tips.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire such as potholders, towels or curtains away from your stovetop.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
- If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.
More information is online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.
Hurricane and flash flood season is coming. You can get ready – and save money too. Stock up on supplies during Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday May 25-31. Stock up on emergency supplies such as batteries and flashlights; bottled water and coolers; tarps, plastic sheeting and duct tape; smoke alarms and fire extinguishers; portable radios; cell phone chargers; first-aid kits; portable generators and more. For details, go to ReadyVirginia.gov.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. With warmer weather, many of us will be spending more time outdoors, but it also means that ticks are out and active. The Disease Carrying Insects Program of the Fairfax County Health Department wants you to be aware of these pests and how you can protect yourself and your family from the diseases they can transmit—especially Lyme disease.
Caused by bacteria transmitted by the black-legged or deer tick, Lyme disease is a serious health threat to everyone in Fairfax County. These ticks can be found almost everywhere in the county, including parks, forested areas and even your well-kept lawn and yard. Whenever the temperature rises above 50 degrees, ticks will be active.
Here are a few ways to protect yourself from ticks and Lyme disease.
- Dress properly. Wear long, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and tuck your pant legs into your socks. The light color makes it easier to see the ticks before they get onto your skin. Long sleeves and long pants minimize the amount of flesh exposed to the ticks, and by tucking your pants into your socks you close off access for ticks getting onto your legs.
- Wear a repellent. Repellents containing up to 30% DEET are safe and effective at repelling ticks. Read the label instructions and apply accordingly. Parents, don’t let your children apply repellent themselves—do it for them.
- Wear specially treated clothing. You can purchase clothing that is tick repellent treated and remains protective for up to 70 washings.
- Do tick checks. Make sure to check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks on a daily basis as the ticks may have found you without you noticing them.
- Promptly remove ticks. If you find an attached tick, carefully remove it using fine-tipped tweezers, grabbing it as close to the skin as possible, and pulling with steady, gentle pressure. Save an attached tick in a plastic, zip-top bag, place it in the freezer and have the tick identified at the Health Department, 10777 Main Street, Fairfax.
- Feeling sick? Get prompt treatment. If you become sick after a tick bite or see a bull’s-eye shaped rash on your body, see your physician.
- Protect your yard. Protect your yard by building a fence around it or by spraying it with an insecticide such as permethrin. Remember to always follow label instructions when you use insecticides.
For more information on ticks, the diseases they transmit and how you can protect yourself and your family, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fightthebite.
That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia government. Thanks for listening. Additional information about health and safety topics and emergency preparedness may be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov. And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.