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Prescription Opioids Can Be Addictive and Dangerous It only takes a Little to Lose A Lot

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the straff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Ridgewood Health Department warns you that he misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. According to the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), more than 130 people in the United States died every day from opioid-related drug overdoses in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, more Americans died due to opioid overdoses than car crashes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. From cities and suburbs to rural America, opioid addiction and overdose is “the crisis next door”. The United States is in the throes of an opioid epidemic, as more than two million Americans have become dependent on or abused prescription pain pills and street drugs. In October 2017, the President of the United States declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.

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THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD ANNOUNCES JANUARY AS NATIONAL RADON ACTION MONTH

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Health Department Director, Dawn Cetrulo announced that January has been designated as National Radon Action Month in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Radon Program. During Radon Action Month, the Village of Ridgewood will provide radon information and test kits free of charge at the Ridgewood Health Department, 131 N. Maple Ave., 5th level from 8:30 am until 4 pm.
Radon is a serious health risk. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer — and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. But because radon is invisible and odorless it is easy to ignore this potential hazard in our own homes.
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when uranium and radium break down in the soil and in rock formations. Radon gas moves up through the soil and finds its way into homes through cracks in the foundation and openings around pumps, pipes and drains.
Radon is measured in picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. The average U.S. indoor level is 1.3 pCi/L. At 4 pCi/L, the risk of lung cancer from radon is greater than the risk from fire or other home accidents. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the DEP recommend that action be taken to reduce radon levels if the level in the home is greater than or equal to 4 pCi/L.
If the test indicates a radon problem, radon mitigation systems can be installed at a cost similar to that of other home repairs. A list of certified mitigation companies is also available from the Radon Program.
For more information on radon, contact Dawn Cetrulo at 201-670-5500 ext. 245 or the DEP Radon Program at (800) 648-0394 or visit www.njradon.org.

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November is National Diabetes Month

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Ridgewood Health Department asks: Did you know that 1 in 11 Americans today suffer from Diabetes? Despite its prevalence, diabetes is an invisible disease. It affects men and women, people young and old, and people of all races, shapes and sizes. Often there are no outward signs from the 29 million Americans who fight this chronic illness every day. That’s why there is a critical need to foster awareness and education while breaking down stereotypes, myths and misunderstandings about this growing public health crisis that affects so many of us.

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Village of Ridgewood to provide radon information and test kits free of charge at the Ridgewood Health Department

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Health Department Director, Dawn Cetrulo announced that THE Village’s Radon Action Project is ongoing. During the Radon Action Project, the Village of Ridgewood will provide radon information and test kits free of charge at the Ridgewood Health Department, 131 N. Maple Ave., 5th level from 8:30 am until 4 pm.

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Ridgewood Health Department : Be Aware of Standing Water and Mosquitoes that Carry Disease

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the Ridgewood Health Department

Ridgewood NJ, The Ridgewood Health Department reminds you that warm weather with all this rain  you need to be aware of standing water and the mosquitoes that breed there. Reducing mosquito populations, and the diseases they sometimes carry can be as simple as dumping standing water on private property. However, not everyone is aware that standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes — and some residents are unmotivated to dump the water even if they are aware.

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KIDS AND HOT CARS TURN INTO TRAGEDY : “Look Before You Lock”

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June 1,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Ridgewood Health Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration want you to know that a child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s. Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches around 104 degrees; death can follow in a child when that temperature reaches 107 degrees.
Even with moderate temperatures outside, the inside of a car can heat up to well above 110 degrees in minutes. But with summer upon us, and daytime temperatures in many areas across the country shooting well above 90 degrees, vehicles will heat up even faster.
That makes it vitally important to be aware of the dangers that vehicles—especially hot ones—pose to children, because tragedies can, and do, happen.
In fact, from 1998-2017, 718 children across the nation died due to heatstroke in a hot vehicle. In 2017, 18 children have died due to vehicular heatstroke, and that number continues to climb. On average, a child dies every 10 days from vehicular heatstroke, with an average of 37 children per year. Such deaths are the leading cause of non-crash-related fatalities for children 14 and younger. Just as tragic, between 1998-2016, over half (54%) of the child heatstroke deaths were because the child was forgotten in the vehicle by a distracted parent or caregiver.
No parent ever thinks that it can happen to them, but a quietly sleeping child in the back seat can be forgotten, even by a great parent. And part-time caregivers who are unaccustomed to regularly transporting children can be especially prone to forgetting.
That’s why all adults should always remember to “Look Before You Lock” to make sure there are no children left in the vehicle. Some other simple reminders include:
• Write a reminder note about the child and put it on the car door or dashboard to see it when you leave the vehicle.
• Set a reminder on your cell phone to alert you to check that you dropped your child off at daycare.
• Place a shoe, purse, briefcase, or cell phone next to the child’s car seat to remind yourself that your child is in the car.
• Keep a familiar object, like a stuffed toy, in your child’s car seat. When you remove it to buckle up your child, place the object in the front seat. It will serve as a reminder to always check the back seat for your child.
• Never let kids play in an unattended vehicle or leave a child alone in a car, even if you leave the windows partly open or the air conditioning on—even for just a few minutes. Also, keep car keys away from where children can reach them.
If you are not a parent or caregiver, you still have an important role to play. If you happen to see a child alone in a hot vehicle, make sure the child is okay and responsive. If the child appears to be okay, quickly do everything you can to locate the parents.
If the child is not responsive or appears to be in distress, call 911 immediately and follow their directions. When the child is out of the vehicle, cool the child rapidly (not with an ice bath, but by spraying with cool water).
Sometimes bystanders are reluctant to get involved; surveys suggest that 63 percent of adults just assume the parents will be right back. But what if they aren’t?
Bystanders should know that states have “Good Samaritan” laws that protect them from lawsuits for helping a person in an emergency. So if you happen to see a child alone in a hot car, do not hesitate— please act!
We need parents, caregivers and bystanders all working together to help end these tragic heatstroke deaths—because hot cars kill children.
Visit www.safercar.gov/heatstroke for more information. #heatstrokekills #checkforbaby

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May is Asthma Awareness Month

May 27,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Ridgewood Health Department would like you to know that May is Asthma Awareness Month. Supported by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), this awareness event is held throughout the month of May to coincide with the peak season for asthma & allergy sufferers.

People who suffer from asthma and allergies often experience noticeable physical symptoms during this month. An awareness campaign in May is an appropriate time to educate friends, family, co-workers and members of the public about asthma and allergies.

Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. Symptoms of allergies can vary in severity. Mild allergy symptoms include congestion, skin rash, and itchy water eyes. Moderate symptoms include difficulty in breathing, and itchiness.

Severe asthma symptoms can begin with itching of the eyes and face, but soon progress to swelling, causing breathing difficulties, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Confusion and dizziness are further symptoms of asthma.
It is hoped that this awareness event will educate more people about asthma triggers which bring on symptoms of asthma, and how asthma can be controlled. Environmental triggers of asthma attacks include passive smoking, molds, cockroaches, pet hair, and dust mites. Combined with adequate medical treatment, these environment triggers can be controlled enabling people with asthma to live active and healthy lives.

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In honor of Air Quality Awareness Week, The Department of Environmental Protection and the Ridgewood Health Department would like to share some tips to reduce air pollutants

May 7,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, In honor of Air Quality Awareness Week, The Department of Environmental Protection and the Ridgewood Health Department would like to share some tips to reduce air pollutants:
• Turn off vehicle engines while waiting in line to save money, fuel, and benefit public health. Do not idle your car.
• Develop good driving habits. Combine automobile trips to reduce “cold starts.” Choose a cleaner commute by carpooling, using public transportation, bicycling or walking.
• Have your vehicle’s emission codes read if the check engine light comes on, to determine what maintenance issues need to be addressed. Ensure personal or fleet vehicles are properly maintained and inspected at licensed inspection facilities when required. For more information, visit: www.njinspections.com/
• Refuel vehicles during cooler evening hours to reduce evaporation of gasoline, a volatile organic compound capable of forming ozone. Ask the gas station attendant to stop refueling your car when the nozzle clicks off, and to avoid overfilling or dripping fuel. Any additional gasoline after the first click may not reach your vehicle’s gas tank, although you will pay for it. Tighten gas caps securely.
• Maintain an energy-efficient vehicle. Keep vehicle tires properly inflated to increase gas mileage and reduce emissions.
• Turn off lights when leaving a room. Turn off the air conditioning and turn up the thermostat while away from home. These actions can save money, as well as reduce pollution.
• Check the local forecast using the Air Quality Index (AQI) at www.njaqinow.net/ before painting, mowing the lawn or doing other activities that cause air pollution. If it’s an orange or red day, which typically means the temperature is hot or uncomfortable, postpone projects that use solvents or engines.
• Get a low-cost air quality sensor and monitor local air quality.
• Consider an electric vehicle when it’s time to buy your next car. Visit www.drivegreen.nj.gov to assess affordability, find state and federal incentives, and learn about charging options.
• Plant trees and support programs that help maintain a healthy tree canopy.

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Ridgewood Health Department and the CDC : Be Careful in the Sun

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file photo by Boyd Loving

May 2,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, With warm weather here and spending more time outdoors, the Ridgewood Health Department and the CDC would like you to be careful when you step outside. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV damage can also cause wrinkles and blotches or spots on your skin. The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented, and it can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early.
Take simple steps today to protect your skin:
• Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Put on sunscreen every 2 hours and after you swim or sweat.
• Cover up with long sleeves and a hat.
• Check your skin regularly for changes.

Skin cancer risk factors
Certain factors may increase your skin cancer risks. By reducing those factors under your control, you may be able to decrease your risk of developing melanoma. For those that can’t be controlled, regular skin examination can increase the chance of catching a developing skin cancer early, when it is most curable.
The primary risk factor for skin cancer, including melanoma and non-melanoma cancers, is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, including sunlight and tanning beds. The risk of developing skin cancers increases with greater exposure to these sources of UV radiation. People who live in areas with year-round bright sunlight, or those who spend a lot of time outdoors without protective clothing or sunscreen, are at greater risk. Early exposure, particularly frequent sunburns as a child, can also increase your skin cancer risks.
Children and teenagers who get a bad sunburn (blistering) double their chances of getting melanoma later in life Over the past 15 years, the number of teenagers who get serious sunburns has NOT decreased.

Skin cancer prevention
Avoiding a serious sunburn is as simple as remembering to Apply Cover Enjoy. Practice healthy sun protective behavior: Apply sunscreen, Cover Up, and then once protected, Enjoy yourself!
Decreasing your exposure to UV light by avoiding direct sunlight and tanning beds is the most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. When you do go out in the sun, make sure to wear protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Regular, thorough skin examinations are also important, especially if you have a large number of moles or other risk factors. While this will not prevent skin cancer from developing, it may help to catch it early, when it can be treated more easily. Tell your doctor if you see any new, unusual or changing moles or growths on your skin.

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As the weather gets warmer, the Ridgewood Health Department and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center want you to be safe when you and your family ride bicycles

Bike Lane Traffic Easing Ridgewood

April 8,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, on April 5th it was Injury Prevention Day for National Public Health Week. Here’s important information from the Ridgewood Health Department.

Bicycle Safety
As the weather gets warmer, the Ridgewood Health Department and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center want you to be safe when you and your family ride bicycles. Bicycle trips account for only 1% of all trips in the United States. However, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash related injury and deaths than occupants in motor vehicles.
Always Ride with Traffic and Follow the Rules of the Road
You are better off riding with the flow of traffic, not against it. Crash data tells us that getting hit from behind is extremely unlikely.
You are more predictable and visible to motorists, especially at intersections and driveways.
Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars, and use hand signals when turning and stopping.
Obey traffic signs, signals, and lane markings and yield to traffic when appropriate, including pedestrians.
Don’t Ride on the Sidewalk
Although you might think it’s a safer option, motorists are simply not looking for bicyclists on the sidewalk, especially those riding against the direction of traffic.
At every driveway and intersection, you are at greater risk of being hit by a motorist than if you were riding on the road with traffic.
Pedestrians will thank you for riding on the road as well.
Ride on the trail, paved shoulder, bike lane, or bike route. You still need to follow the rules of the road and watch out for your fellow travelers. Ride to the right, signal your turns, obey traffic signs and signals.

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Be Predictable and Visible:
Try not to be hesitant or do things that motorists and other travelers may not be expecting.
Make sure everyone can see you and knows where you are and where you are going.
If riding in the dark, use headlights, taillights, and reflectors and wear reflective materials and brightly colored clothing.
Do not wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while bicycling.
Watch for Stuff on the Road or Trail that Might Make you Fall or Swerve:
Rocks, trash, storm grates, wet leaves, potholes, gravel, railroad tracks, and even wet pavement markings can all send you flying.
Also watch for parked cars, doors opening, and cars pulling in and out of driveways.
Watch for Turning Traffic
Most car/bike collisions happen at intersections and driveways when motorists or bicyclists are turning.
At every intersection and driveway; keep a careful eye out for motorists turning right in front of you, you may be going faster than they think. Also, look for motorists turning left across your path, drivers are looking for gaps in traffic and may not be paying attention to anything other than other motor vehicles.
Wear a Helmet
“Use your head, wear a helmet.” It is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes.
Find the Right Helmet Fit
Make sure your child has the right size helmet and wears it every time when riding, skating or scooting. Your children’s helmet should meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) standards. When it’s time to buy a new helmet, let your children pick out their own; they’ll be more likely to wear them for every ride.
Make sure the helmet fits and your child knows how to put it on correctly. A helmet should sit on top of the head in a level position, and should not rock forward, backward or side to side. The helmet straps must always be buckled, but not too tightly.
EYES check: Position the helmet on your head. Look up and you should see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
EARS check: Make sure the straps of the helmet form a “V” under your ears when buckled. The strap should be snug but comfortable.
MOUTH check: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Do you feel the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten those straps and make sure the buckle is flat against your skin.
Use Appropriate Helmets for Different Activities
Children should always wear a helmet for all wheeled sports activities.
A properly-fitted bike helmet is just as effective when riding a scooter, roller skating or in-line skating.
When skateboarding and long boarding, make sure your child wears a CPSC certified skateboarding helmet.
Proper Equipment and Maintenance Are Important
Ensure proper bike fit by bringing the child along when shopping for a bike. Select one that is the right size for the child, not one he or she will grow into.
When children are sitting on the seat of the bicycle, their feet should be able to touch the ground.
Before the ride, make sure the reflectors are secure, brakes work properly, gears shift smoothly, and tires are tightly secured and properly inflated.
Long or loose clothing can get caught in bike chains or wheel spokes. Dress young kids appropriately to ensure a safe ride.
Keep an Eye Out
Actively supervise children until you’re comfortable that they are responsible to ride on their own.
Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10, so limit riding to sidewalks (although be careful for vehicles in driveways), parks or bike paths until age 10. No matter where you ride, teach your child to stay alert and watch for cars and trucks.
Children should be able to demonstrate riding competence and knowledge of the rules of the road before cycling with traffic.
Model and Teach Good Behavior
You’d be surprised how much kids learn from watching you, so it’s important for parents to model proper behavior. Wear a helmet, even if you didn’t when you were a kid.
Teach your kids to make eye contact with drivers. Bikers should make sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop before they cross the street.
Tell your kids to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights. Be predictable when riding.
Stop and look left, right and left again before entering a street or crossing an intersection. Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left.
Be Bright, Use Lights
When riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening, be bright and use lights – and make sure your bike has reflectors as well. It’s also smart to wear clothes and accessories that have retro-reflective materials to improve biker visibility to motorists.
Most states require a front light but allow the use of a rear reflector. Headlights aren’t so much for bicyclists to see where they are going but for others to see them. Riding without a headlight means drivers won’t see you, and surprising motorists is never a good idea.

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