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Baltimore County Now - News You Can Use

Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Keyword: department of health

photo of child with dentistCindy Kaiser, Administrator Dental Services
Baltimore County Department of Health

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and the perfect time to remind parents and caregivers that it’s never too soon to start your child on their way to healthy teeth and gums. Not only can poor oral health cause mouth pain, your child’s baby teeth play an important role until their adult teeth emerge.

Did you know you can start caring for your infant’s mouth as soon as he or she is born? Following each feeding, gently wipe his or her gums with a clean, damp washcloth. Once a month, lift your baby’s lip to check out his or her gums. If you see brown or white spots along their gum line, it could be a sign of tooth decay and you should contact your baby’s dentist or health care provider.

Below are some additional tips for infants, toddlers, youths and their parents.

Tips for Infant Caregivers:

·        Don’t share. Sharing spoons, cups, toothbrushes and utensils among family members spreads germs that cause cavities.

·        Wash it. Parents should wash pacifiers with warm soap and water - not your mouth!

Tips for Toddlers:

·        Get a dentist. Take your child to the dentist by his or her first birthday.

·        Brush. Between one to two years of age, begin brushing with a soft child’s toothbrush two times a day for two minutes each.

·        Less is best. Use fluoride toothpaste. Under age two, a smear is best; between two to six years, a pea-size drop will suffice.

·        Floss. As soon as two teeth come in next to one another, start flossing.

·        Eat and drink right. Prevent tooth decay by avoiding sugary snacks and drinks. Provide your children with fruits, vegetables and plenty of water to drink.

·        Twice is nice. Children and adults should visit a dentist twice a year.

If you haven’t already scheduled your child’s next dental appointment, be sure and do so now. Get your child off to a shining smile.

photo of a turkey dinner plateWilliam A. Bridges, Environmental Health Specialist
Baltimore County Department of Health
Environmental Health Services

Parties, family dinners, and other gatherings where food is served are all part of the holiday cheer. But the merriment can change to misery if food makes you or others ill. Use the following seven tips to make your holiday a safe one.

1.     Are you thawing correctly?
Thawing the turkey or any meat product on the counter might seem easier, but it’s not safe. Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, in cold running water or in the microwave continuing with the cooking process.

2.     Got a thermometer?

No matter how good it looks, you can only tell if a whole turkey is safely cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Always use a food thermometer. Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria.

3.     Should you dress it?
Whether it is cooked inside or outside the bird, all stuffing and dressing must be cooked to a minimum temperature of 165ºF. For optimum safety, cooking your stuffing in a casserole dish outside of the bird is recommended. To avoid harmful bacteria growth, never stuff your turkey the night before.

4.     Can you leave it out?

As tempting as it is to leave out for all to admire, your pumpkin pie contains milk and eggs, so first bake it to the safe minimum temperature of 160 degrees F., then refrigerate after baking.

5.     Wanna taste?

Using the same spoon for stirring and tasting is bad manners and oh yeah, it can spread bacteria and viruses.

6.     Did you use soap and water?

Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets.

7.     More leftovers than usual?

·        Refrigerate leftovers in shallow containers within 2 hours of cooking.

·        Use leftover foods within 3-4 days or freeze.

·        Reheat leftovers thoroughly to 165 degrees F. 

Here’s hoping you and yours have a happy, healthy and delicious holiday meal. For more information on holiday food, travel and pet safety, visit

photo of a dog and cat

Tom Scollins
Assistant Chief of Animal Services
Baltimore County Department of Health

Spring is here and so are the Baltimore County Department of Health’s rabies vaccination clinics for dogs, cats and ferrets. The community-based, outdoor clinics are scheduled through June 14.

Rabies is a viral infection of the central nervous system. People usually get rabies from the bite, scratch or lick of an infected animal. The rabies virus is uncontrolled in the wild; however, the easiest way to protect your pet and your family is to keep your pet’s rabies vaccination up to date. 

Baltimore County has made it even easier for you to protect your pet by offering nine low-cost rabies vaccination clinics across the County. The vaccine cost is only $8 per animal. When attending a clinic with your pet, please note the following:

·         Bring exact change, if possible, as cash and checks will be the only forms of payment accepted.

·         Clinics are held rain or shine; however, the Baltimore County Department of Health reserves the right to cancel or limit the time frame of a clinic in the event of severe weather.

·         Only dogs, cats, and ferrets will be vaccinated at these clinics.

·         Animals must be at least 12-weeks old.

·         Uncontrollable animals will not be vaccinated. Dogs and cats must be on a leash or in a properly sized, escape-proof carrier; muzzles are required for aggressive dogs.

·         If available, bring your animal’s last rabies vaccination certificate (copy or original) to the clinic. 

All vaccinations will be administered by licensed veterinarians who will be assisted by experienced caring technicians. Take advantage of this great, opportunity to protect your pet and family from a deadly, but very preventable disease. We look forward to serving you and your pet!

Rabies clinics are held weekly at the Animal Shelter. Call 410-887-PAWS (7297) to schedule an appointment. The cost for rabies vaccinations is $8.

Also, we have a very special deal for Memorial Day weekend - half-off animal adoptions May 21 to 25! Give a new cat or dog a home for just $25 and $32.50 respectively during this limited time.

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