Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

March is here, and that means it’s time for Kindergarten Round Ups! Families who will be enrolling their children for school in the fall are encouraged to attend. An important part of preparing for kindergarten is making sure kids are up to date on their immunizations. The Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) wants to make sure that every child is protected before entering school in the fall.

“Immunization is the single most important way parents can protect their children from serious disease,” said Jackie Anderson, RN, BEDHD’s Immunization Coordinator. If your child has not yet received all of the immunizations required for school entry, don’t wait! Take action now to get them protected before school begins. Make an appointment with your child’s doctor, or call the health department’s immunization clinic at 517-541-2630 in Eaton County or 269-798-4133 in Barry County. If you are not sure if your child is up to date, please contact their doctor or the BEDHD immunization clinic to review their records.

A child who is fully immunized and ready to start Kindergarten in the fall will have had these vaccinations:

  • 4 doses of DTap (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
  • 3 doses of Hepatitis B
  • 2 doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
  • 4 doses of Polio
  • 2 doses of Chickenpox (Varicella)

The following immunizations are highly recommended, though not required, for a child ready to start Kindergarten in the fall:

  • Influenza (flu)
  • 2 doses of Hepatitis A

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on March 14th, 2018. - Article Permalink

Prevent Accidental Poisoning with These Tips

National Poison Prevention Week is March 18–24. This week brings focus to the dangers of poisonings for people of all ages. It is a chance to raise awareness, reduce unintentional (accidental) poisonings, and promote poison prevention.

A poison is anything, including medication, that is harmful to someone’s body if too much is eaten, breathed in, injected, or absorbed through the skin. Accidental poisoning occurs when a person taking or giving too much of a substance did not mean to cause harm.

In Barry and Eaton counties between 2009 and 2014, there were 91 deaths from accidental poisoning. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), half of all calls to poison control centers about contact with potentially harmful substances involve children under the age of 6. Adults aged 20–59 make up the next biggest group, with about a quarter of the calls.

Residents can help prevent poisonings by following the below tips. Additional important poisoning prevention safety tips can be found at

  • Lock them up and away. Keep medicine, household cleaners, chemicals (e.g., laundry pods), and other toxic products in their original containers and in a place where children can’t see or get them.
  • Read the label. Make sure to read all the warning labels on medicines, household cleaners, chemicals, and other toxic products. Some medicine isn’t safe to mix with others or with alcohol. Never mix chemicals or household products (e.g., ammonia, bleach) together.
  • Don’t keep it if you don’t need it. Safely dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medicine, vitamins, and supplements that aren’t used or needed or that are expired. To dispose of medicines, mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter and throw them away. You can also turn them in at a take-back event. Visit to see when there are take-back events in Barry and Eaton counties.
  • Know what to do. Call 911 if there is a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. If the victim is awake and alert, dial 1-800-222-1222 (the nationwide poison control center phone number). Try to have the victim’s age and weight, the container of the poison, and the time and address where the poisoning occurred.

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on March 14th, 2018. - Article Permalink

Barry-Eaton Health Dept. Encourages Residents to "Butt Out" for National Kick Butts Day

The 22nd annual Kick Butts Day, a day of national activism, will be held this year on March 21st. Organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Kick Butts Day encourages and empowers youth to stand up, speak out, and seize control against tobacco companies.

Tobacco kills 1,300 Americans every single day. Tobacco companies have been increasingly targeting teenagers with national marketing campaigns. Every day, more than 2,800 kids under the age of 18 try smoking for the first time, and another 700 kids become regular smokers.

In response to this, the Eaton County Tobacco Reduction Coalition, as part of the Eaton County Substance Abuse Advisory Group (ECSAAG) has teamed up with local coffee shops to promote Kick Butts Day with stickers on coffee cups. If coffee shops or other businesses are interested in partnering for this initiative next year, please contact Lauren Cibor, Community Health Promotion Specialist at BEDHD at (517)541-2624.

For help with quitting tobacco of all forms, talk with your healthcare provider or contact the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-784-8669. For information on the national initiative and campaigns, visit the Kick Butts Day website at

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on March 7th, 2018. - Article Permalink

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