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Tips for Staying Safe and Healthy This Summer

Hooray, it’s summer! As we revel in our longer, warmer, more carefree days, let us also take responsibility for keeping ourselves and our loved ones out of harm’s way.

  • Pool Safety
  • Sun Safety
  • Tick-borne disease protection
  • Mosquito-borne disease protection
  • Rabies protection
  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Food Safety
  • Extreme heat protection

Be Pool Smart

To learn about the signs of drowning, tips to prevent drowning, where to go to learn CPR and more, check out our “Be Pool Smart” brochures. Help us prevent drowning injuries and deaths by printing and sharing these tips with your community.

Practice Sun Safety

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common of all types of cancer; it outnumbers all other cancers combined. On any day, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Protect yourself and your family from the sun’s harmful rays. Remember, tanned skin is damaged skin. Share our information on preventing skin cancer.

Prevent Tick-Borne Illnesses

Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis and other illnesses. Did you know that a tick must stay on the body for 36 hours to transmit disease? Check yourself and your children and pets for ticks every day, especially if you have been spending time in grassy or wooded areas. Help us spread the word about personal protection by sharing this brochure with your community.

Prevent Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

As the birds and bees start to come out again, so do mosquitoes. Some varieties of mosquito (such as the Culex pipiens-restuans or Northern House Mosquito) can cause West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Take practical precautions to reduce the numbers of mosquitoes breeding around your home. Let’s work together to protect our communities; share information with your neighbors by printing and distributing:

To learn more about the Suffolk County health department’s mosquito surveillance program, check out these videos:

Protect Your Family and Pets from Rabies

Rabies is most often seen among wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes, but any mammal can be infected with rabies virus, which is invariably fatal. Pets and livestock can get rabies if they are not vaccinated to protect them against infection.

  • Residents of all towns are asked to call the Information Line number -- 631-787-2200 -- to report raccoons that come into contact with humans or pets.
  • Suffolk County has increased surveillance of raccoons in the Towns of Huntington and Babylon and the Sound Beach area in the Town of Brookhaven. Residents of those towns are asked to report:
    • raccoons that come into contact with humans or pets
    • raccoons that are acting abnormally
    • raccoons that are dead for reasons other than motor-vehicle crash
  • If you have been exposed to a bat, follow CDC guidelines to have the bat captured and tested. Call the Information Line -- 631-787-2200 -- and visit the CDC website for more information.
  • Residents with general questions about rabies may visit:

See! Be Seen! Pedestrian Safety

Did you know? According to New York State Department of Transportation, Suffolk County ranked third among New York counties with a reported 2,340 pedestrian crashes. To be safe when walking, know the meaning of pedestrian signals, make yourself visible to drivers, avoid dangerous behaviors, and look before you step. Drivers should watch for pedestrians at all times, yield to pedestrians at crossings, observe speed limits and avoid aggressive maneuvers. To learn more, visit New York State Pedestrian Safety.

Be Food Safe

Did you know that it is not safe to eat a hamburger unless it is cooked to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit? The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds consumers to avoid foodborne illness by following four easy steps. Learn more here.

Plan Ahead for Extreme Heat

During a heat wave, try to stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed.

  • Keep your body temperature cool to avoid heat-related illness.
  • Drink more water than usual.
  • Stay updated on local weather forecasts so you can plan activities safely when it’s hot outside.
  • Check on those most at-risk, such as elderly family members, twice a day.
  • For more information, visit the CDC Extreme Heat.

Health Observances JULY 2017

July 28th   is World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day takes place every year on July 28, and brings the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. Viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year. Currently, 90 percent of people living with hepatitis B and 80 percent living with hepatitis C are not aware of their status. This can result in the real possibility of developing fatal liver disease at some point in their lives and in some cases, unknowingly transmitting the infection to others. But there is good news. With the availability of effective vaccines and treatments for hepatitis B and a cure for hepatitis C, the elimination of viral hepatitis is achievable. Learn more; visit:


National Cord Blood Awareness Month

The term “cord blood” is used to describe the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and the placenta after the birth of a baby. The cord blood can be donated to a public bank for free, where it may help patients seeking a transplant. Alternatively, parents can save cord blood in a family bank for a fee, where it may be used for sibling transplants for disorders such as thalassemia, or returned to the baby to help with developmental conditions such as cerebral palsy or autism. To learn more about cord blood banking, visit:


International Group B Strep Awareness Month

Group B strep (GBS) is a type of bacteria that is naturally found in the digestive and reproductive tracts of both men and women. About 1 in 4 pregnant women carry or are “colonized” with GBS. Carrying GBS does not mean that you are unclean. Anyone can carry GBS. Unfortunately, babies can be infected by GBS before birth through several months of age due to their underdeveloped immune systems. Only a few babies who are exposed to GBS become infected, but GBS can cause babies to be miscarriedstillborn, or become very sick and sometimes even die after birth. ​Fortunately, most GBS infections that develop at birth can be prevented if women who have tested positive receive at least four hours of IV (through the vein) antibiotics just prior to delivery. Learn more:


Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

The month of July has been dedicated to spreading the awareness of an uncommon disease that strikes children — juvenile arthritis (JA). When you think of arthritis, you probably think about older people who develop aches and pains in their joints, but that isn't the only kind of arthritis there is. JA is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children under the age of 16. Juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children in the United States. There are nine kinds of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, each with their own particular symptoms, treatments and prognosis. To learn more, visit:


National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month

July is the month to raise awareness and improve understanding of birth defects of the head and face. Cleft and craniofacial conditions affect thousands of infants, children, teens and adults in the United States each year.  Some are born with congenital anomalies like cleft lip and palate, others with more complex, life-threatening craniofacial conditions.  Some are burned; others are injured in accidents and animal attacks, or diagnosed with various oral/head/neck and skin diseases. For more information on the National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month, visit: