Baltimore County Now
Linda Grossman, M.D., Chief, Bureau of Clinical Services
Baltimore County Department of Health
As the lazy days of summer come to an end, many parents with school-age children are beginning their “back to school” preparations. If you’re among them, be sure to include your child’s pediatric check-up and/or annual immunizations on your list.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a list of recommended vaccinations (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html) your child should receive— as well as when they should receive them. New this year in the State of Maryland is a law requiring specific vaccinations for children who are entering kindergarten and seventh grade for the 2014-2015 school year. The law requires that students entering kindergarten this fall must have two varicella vaccinations. Meanwhile, students who are entering seventh grade must have one Tdap (Tetanus-diphtheria-attenuated pertussis) and one meningococcal (MCV4) vaccination.
Immunization is a key part of protecting your child’s health. Millions of lives have been saved and untold cases of diseases have been prevented because of people getting vaccines to help them develop immunity to serious infections. Diseases that used to affect many people, such as polio, measles, pertussis (whooping cough), and meningitis, now are rare thanks to vaccines. It’s important to note that the germs that cause these illnesses continue to exist, so continued immunization is critical to the health of your child.
Additionally, immunization isn’t just good for your child’s health; it’s also good for those around him or her. When you immunize your child, you help protect the health of others including those who are too young to be vaccinated, those who are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons, and those for whom a vaccine may not be effective.
As you enjoy your final days of summer and begin your back-to-school shopping, please include your child’s health among your plans. Here’s wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and safe school year!
The Baltimore County Health Department will be offering free, recommended vaccinations for eligible children ages five through 18. Find a date and location: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/healthservices/children/immunizations.html
Dr. Linda Grossman is a pediatrician in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her medical degree from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and has been in practice for almost 40 years.
Teri Rising, Historic Preservation Planner
Department of Planning
Did you know that several of the restaurants participating in Baltimore County’s Summer Restaurant Week are also serving up a helping of Baltimore area history? From Reisterstown’s historic Main Street to the country splendor of My Lady’s Manor, these historic restaurants provide a unique dining experience to go along with their special summer menus:
Located within the National Register Historic District of Reisterstown, The Grill at the Harryman House has been a longtime favorite. Situated among the many historic structures that line Main Street, The Grill at the Harryman House is one of the oldest structures in Reisterstown. Built by Samuel Harryman ca. 1800 on land originally owned by John Reister, the Harryman family lived and worked on the property while operating a saddlery, harness shop, and grocery. The building’s many historic details provide a cozy and inviting setting to all that visit.
The scenic countryside of My Lady’s Manor provides a beautiful setting for visitors traveling to the historic Manor Tavern. Now a designated National Register Historic District, My Lady’s Manor was established in 1713 by the third Lord Baltimore as a gift for his bride. The district is home to many historic sites and farms that represent multiple centuries of Baltimore County history. The Manor Tavern, which is located at the prominent crossroads of Monkton Road and Old York Road, had humble beginnings as a stable and has survived to become a well known dining and special event destination.
The Milton Inn - 14833 York Rd, Sparks, MD
Inside this restored stone building, you will find one of Baltimore County’s most unique landmarks. Originally known as the Milton Academy, boys, and later girls, traveled from all over the United States to attend this prestigious school. First appearing on the Baltimore County Tax List in 1823, the building started as a tavern and became a well known boy’s boarding school operated by John Emerson Lamb. One of its most well known former students is John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. After serving as a school for many years, the building housed several businesses until it finally became a restaurant in 1946.
The Oregon Grille- 1201 Shawan Rd, Cockeysville, MD
Once home to the Oregon Furnace Store, this well known Baltimore County restaurant and landmark sits at the edge of the former Oregon Iron Furnace and company town that is now Oregon Ridge Park. After the furnace operation ended at the close of the 19th century, Thomas Kurtz, the last Oregon Ore foreman, purchased the building and continued to operate a store and post office out of the location. A careful restoration in the 1980s preserved the historic stone and frame building while retaining the wonderful historic architectural details which provide a lovely setting for a special meal.
Captain Leonard Ledford, Baltimore County Fire Department
Summer in the mid-Atlantic means hot, humid days and cooler nights, and there is always a possibility of thunderstorms. Meteorologists use modern Doppler radar and computer models to track and predict the path of weather events that affect our area. However, without individuals reacting properly to these warnings, many structures are damaged, and individuals are put at unnecessary risk.
How can you prepare for and minimize the potential damages caused by these common weather events? To begin, we have to understand the terminology used by the National Weather Service when they issue notices. The term watch when used in conjunction with a weather event is the less immediately threatening. A watch indicates that the potential for a weather event exists in our area, and preparations should be made; however, the event may not actually occur or it may go around certain areas. Daily activities may continue with a watchful eye on the sky and ear to a radio. A weather event warning, on the other hand, means that conditions are being observed and a weather event is currently happening in the area or is deemed to be imminent within one-half to one hour. Precautions should be taken immediately to secure property and protect yourself and your family. Outdoor activities should be postponed or ceased.
Another term that needs to be understood is the National Weather Service’s use of the word severe. A thunderstorm is classified as severe when it has the potential for wind gusts of 58 mph or when it produces hail one inch in diameter. (A good visual gauge to use is that a US quarter ($0.25) is approximately one inch in diameter.) Hail can damage glass, such as skylights or windows, and it can damage vehicles and hurt or possibly kill animals that are left outside. Bring animals indoors, and place vehicles in garages.
While all severe thunderstorms have the potential for triggering tornados, hail size is good indicator of the potential of formation of tornados. Stronger cyclonic updrafts create larger hail sizes, and this can be indicative of the increased danger of a potential tornado. Lightening, while dangerous, is not included in the National Weather Service’s definition of severe because even less damaging thunderstorms can still produce significant amounts of lightening and lightning strikes.
The United States faces approximately 100,000 thunderstorms per year, and only about ten percent of those are classified as “severe thunderstorms” by the National Weather Service. Severe thunderstorm warnings should be taken seriously, and protective measures should be put into place as soon as possible.
There are several things you can do to prepare for a severe thunderstorm. The first consideration should be finding adequate shelter. Second, there are several life threatening situations that many people do not consider during a severe thunderstorm. The most obvious, and dramatic, is the potential for lightening strikes. Lightning strikes happen in four different ways.
1. Direct strike – the lightening leader comes down and hits the object or person directly. The person or object becomes part of the discharge pathway to the ground. While this type of pathway is not very common, it usually occurs in large open space areas. If caught outside in one of these areas, make yourself as small as possible by crouching down as low as possible, placing your hands on your knees, ducking your head and raising your heels off of the ground. The only parts of your body that should be in contact with the ground are the balls of your feet and your toes. This position offers the best protection when shelter is not immediately available.
2. Side flash or side splash strike – lightning strikes a taller object and jumps to an individual or object nearby, essentially creating a shorter pathway to the ground. Care should be taken to avoid being close to taller objects during a storm. Trees and other tall objects may provide some protection from the rain, but they also are prime targets for lightning strikes, so avoid using them as shelter during a storm.
3. Ground current – lightning strikes a tree or other object and the lightning’s energy is transferred to the ground, where it moves out laterally. If a person or animal is in the area of the lightning strike, they could potentially become a victim of ground current. This type of strike is the most common in the fatalities of livestock and other animals.
4. Conduction – metal objects such as pipes, landline telephone wires and fences are good conductors of electricity. While the metal does not attract the lightning, it provides a superior pathway for its conduction to ground. Try to avoid contact with any metal objects during a storm. Avoid taking showers and using sinks and other plumbing fixtures during a storm, due to its potential to conduct the current if the structure is struck by lightning.
In Let’s Talk About the Weather Part Two, I’ll offer several more storm preparation tips to help keep you and your family safe this storm season.