Health Matters Anoka County Public Health
Parent Breastfeeding Child with Floral Embellishments

Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding

August is National Breastfeeding Month and the WIC program is celebrating. We are hosting some special events for the public. On August 13th, WIC is hosting a breastfeeding celebration for WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors families and anyone interested in learning more about the Peer Breastfeeding Support Program.  We will be hosting the event at the Blaine Human Service Center in Room 300 from 10am – 1pm. Light refreshments will be provided. WIC is also sponsoring a lunch and learn at the Northtown Library on August 27th, from 11am – 1pm, celebrating Black Women’s Breastfeeding Week (August 25th – 31st).  We will be screening the new documentary CHOCOLATE MILK, which examines the influence of race and sex on breastfeeding rates for African American mothers through the stories of 3 women.   The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Lunch is not provided but we encourage you to bring your own lunch to the screening.For library event information click here.   

You have the power to protect against vaccine-preventable diseases. National Immunization Awareness Month

Keep everyone in your family healthy!  

Get recommended shots on time. Minnesota law requires all students enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12th  and all children enrolling in early childhood and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) programs to show they have received recommended immunizations or an exemption. For most children PreK and above who have received all their infant shots, this means receiving shots before kindergarten and 7th grade.
To keep children healthy, it is important that parents get their children immunized early in life.  Minnesota children are still getting diseases such as measles, whooping cough (pertussis), and mumps.   These diseases can cause serious health problems and may even result in death.  These diseases are contagious and can spread rapidly- especially among groups of children who haven’t received their shots.  As a parent, you can protect your children by making sure they get all their shots and at the right ages.
Visit your child’s primary medical provider for immunizations.  Anoka County also offers two public immunization clinics every month for uninsured and under-insured children and adults.   If you don’t have a provider, or are concerned about the cost of shots, or would like more information about vaccines and/or our clinics, please call us at 763-324-4240 or visit our website   .           

AnokaCoRecycle App

Recycle Smart: With Our Handy App ‘Anoka County Recycles’!

Protecting our environment starts with you. Cell phone batteries, plastic bags, electronics and yard waste cannot be put in your curbside bin but there are many recycling options available for you to properly recycle them right here in Anoka County.  But how?!  Not to worry, we’ve got you covered.  Anoka County developed a new and innovative recycling app,
Anoka County Recycles – find out how to donate, recycle or dispose over 300 common household items right from your phone.  It’s easy, convenient and simple.  Go to or find the app on iTunes or Google Play.  

Child Laying in Grass

Anoka County Family Home Visiting

Summer is here and with it comes longer days and more time to enjoy the outdoors!  It also means additional safety considerations for families and children.  Some important tips for summer safety are available at Anoka County Public Health Nurses can provide a home visit to discuss safety tips, complete a home safety checklist, and provide a home safety kit.   This service is available at no charge to you. Public Health Nurses also connect families with community resources, promote healthy pregnancy, monitor child growth and development, encourage positive parenting, and promote healthy child development and school readiness.  For more information, call 763-324-4240 or visit our website.

Back To School, Are You Ready?

Back to School Emergency Preparedness!

August is back to school month and September is National Preparedness Month, which means it is time to revisit emergency preparedness planning at schools and child care facilities. Many schools host a back to school night to get to know the teacher and new surroundings; such as classrooms, hallways and extracurricular areas. A back to school night also provides an opportunity for parents, educators and children to discuss the plans the school has in place for emergencies. It is important families and children can be prepared before, during, and after a disaster at school. Visit Ready.Gov for resources on back to school emergency preparedness. For more information visit keyword Public Health Emergency Preparedness.

Person sketching with an arm sleeve tattoo

Play it Smart with Body Art

Piercings and tattoos are everywhere.  But like anything you do in life — from driving a car to playing a sport — tattoos and piercings come with some risks. Taking a few precautions will help you get the best results from your new body art and avoid side effects, which can include allergic reactions to inks or piercing jewelry, infections caused by unsterile equipment and needles, and scarring.

Fortunately, tattoos and piercings are safer than ever, before you become a proud owner, it’s important to do your homework. In Minnesota, body artists are required to undergo strict training and licensing.  By following safety procedures, tattoo artists and body piercers protect themselves and their customers from a range of viruses and bacteria that can cause illness.
Ask whether they have had training in bloodborne pathogen and safe tattooing techniques.  And ask if they use disposable products such as disposable tubes and needles and if they have a working autoclave on the premises to sanitize their equipment.
Once you’ve received your “ink,” follow all the aftercare instructions provided by the artist. Always make sure you wash your hands before and after you touch your new tattoo until it is completely healed.
From ears to noses to navels, piercings are a popular option for self-expression. But because piercings break the skin’s protective barrier, there are some health risks, including allergic reactions to the jewelry and diseases spread through blood. Reputable piercers adhere to strict safety procedures to protect their customers and themselves.
Take time to discuss safety procedures with the piercer. Ask about their process and clarify that the facility is clean and that the person doing the piercing uses proper hand-washing techniques as well as fresh, disposable gloves and sterilized instruments — and that the needle being used is new. Be aware that certain piercings take longer to heal than others and have a longer window in which they can get infected, so follow your aftercare regimen to the letter until the piercing is completely healed.

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