Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: May 5, 2009

Fairfax County Podcasts 



Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for May 5, 2009. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about Lyme disease, gasoline safety and keeping kids safe during the prom and graduation season. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at


May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Spring is here and that means spending more time outdoors. It also means that ticks are out and 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 transmit –especially Lyme disease.

Lyme disease, which is caused by bacteria transmitted by the black-legged or deer tick, is a serious health threat to residents of Fairfax County. These ticks can be found everywhere in the county; they are in your yard as well as in forested areas. In the spring, the nymph of the black-legged tick is responsible for transmitting the bacteria to people and dogs. This stage of the tick is difficult to see and is often overlooked due to its small size. However, there are a few ways you can protect yourself from this tick and the bacterium that cause Lyme disease. 

  • Dress properly. Wearing long, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and tucking your pant legs into your socks will make it easier to see ticks before they get onto your skin. 

  • Wear repellent. Repellents containing DEET are safe and effective at repelling ticks. Read and follow label directions when applying repellent. Make sure you re-apply as necessary. And a reminder to parents – don’t let your children apply repellent themselves – do it for them.

  • Do a tick check. Make sure to check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks periodically and at the end of the day. 

  • If you find an attached tick, promptly remove it by using a fine-tipped tweezers and grabbing it as close to the skin as possible, pulling with steady, gentle pressure.

  • Bring your tick to the Health Department for identification.

  • Get prompt treatment. If you become sick after a tick bite or see a bull’s-eye shaped rash, see your physician.

For more information on ticks and how you can protect yourself and your family from them, visit the Disease Carrying Insects Program online at


Gasoline is an important part of our everyday lives. However, gasoline can be dangerous if not handled or stored properly. Gasoline should only be used for its intended purpose – as a motor fuel – and stored only when absolutely necessary.

Please use the following safety guidelines when using, storing and disposing of gasoline:

  • Never use gasoline indoors.

  • Keep out of reach of children.

  • Use only approved portable containers for transporting or storing gasoline.

  • Never siphon gasoline by mouth.

  • Don’t store it in the house.

  • Store and use in well-ventilated area.

  • Don't smoke, light matches or use lighters while refueling.

  • If swallowed, do not induce vomiting.

  • Vapors can be ignited by a spark or flame source many feet away.

  • Never dispose of gasoline by pouring it onto the ground or into a sewer, street drain, stream or other water body, or putting it into the trash.

For more information about proper use, storing, and disposing of gasoline or other flammable materials and other safety information, visit the National Fire Protection Association at,  the National Safety Council at, or the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department at


May and June are prom and graduation season and the Fairfax County Police Department hopes you will take the time to talk to help keep your teen safe.

  • Talk to your teen and their friends about the severe consequences of underage alcohol use.

  • Get a schedule of events for prom and graduation events in your area.

  • Know where you child is; call ahead to make sure adult supervision is present at parties and celebrations.

  • Talk to other parents.

  • Consider drafting a written contract with your teen that pledges he/she will not drink alcohol and will discourage others from doing so.

  • Schedule phone calls with your child at specific times.

And finally, if you know of an event where underage drinking is taking place, call the county’s non-emergency number, 703-691-2131.


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 And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.

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