Parental Consent Now Required for Body Piercing of Minors

Parental Consent Now Required for Body Piercing of Minors

The potential risks linked to body piercing have prompted New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) officials to change public health law.

All body piercing of minors (under 18 years of age), with the exception of ear piercing, now requires written consent (NYSDOH Form 5072) from a parent or legal guardian, signed in the presence of the body piercing studio owner or body piercing specialist.

For further information:


Emergency Plan Checklist

Emergency Plan Checklist

Disasters, natural or man-made, often come without warning. Have these supplies and details organized ahead of time, and you’ll weather the storm with less stress.

  • Know your area and what disasters are possible.
    If you live in a flood plain or your town is on an active fault line, you need to plan accordingly. Check for what to expect in your area.
  • Create a basic emergency supply kit.
    Be sure that it includes the following: Water (have one gallon per person, per day, for three days—for drinking and sanitation); food (have a three-day supply of nonperishable items); can opener; battery-powered radio; flashlight; extra batteries; moist towelettes and garbage bags (for sanitation needs); local maps (if your preplanned evacuation route isn’t passable, you can navigate back roads, if necessary); first-aid kit; whistle (to signal for help); wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities); dust mask
  • Consider a few extra items, depending on your family’s needs.
    These might be: Food, medication, and toys for pets; infant formula and diapers; extra eyeglasses; an extra prescription slip or refill of important medications (talk to your doctor); comfortable shoes and a change of clothing for each family member; blankets or sleeping bags
  • Make a to-go bag.
    Create a small version of an emergency kit with essentials like nonperishable food, water, a small first-aid kit, and a change of clothes that you can grab in a hurry or keep in the car.
  • Know your evacuation routes.
    Have more than one option for getting out of town quickly.
  • Designate three family meeting spots.
    Pick an area near the home to meet in the event of a fire. Choose another that is in the region, in case everyone is scattered and can’t get home. Have a third that is out-of-town, should your family have to evacuate separately.
  • Select an out-of-town contact.
    Name one family member or friend who can serve as a point person if your immediate family is separated.
  • Make a list of phone numbers.
    Everyone in the family should have a list of important contacts they carry with them. Make sure you include numbers for your office, your partner’s office, your children’s schools, day care, doctors, and close family members. Include the numbers of your health and home owner’s insurance companies, as well as your policy numbers.
  • Write down important personal information.
    On the same emergency phone list, note any medical conditions you have. For your young children, record date of birth, address, and medical conditions. You can print out a template listing all of this info at
  • Know the emergency plan of your children’s schools.
    If your kids are evacuated from school or day care, where do they go? Where can you pick them up?
  • Have a family meeting.
    Make sure everyone knows and understands your emergency plan. Talk about meeting points, discuss fire safety, and have kids get involved in making the emergency supply kit. They may alert you to something you forgot—like the necessity of a spare security blanket.

Live Healthy Putnam online Health Survey


The Putnam County Department of Health is pleased to announce the launch of the second Live Healthy Putnam online Health Survey.  This survey will now more broadly focus on the health trends of Putnam County and the information gathered will be used to direct public health priorities for the County.  The Health Department is looking for residents who are 18 years or older to complete this survey.  These residents can access the Live Healthy Putnam website by visiting  Residents who complete the survey will be eligible to receive a free high quality pedometer.

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Child Passenger Car Seat Safety

Contact:  Michelle Martine, 845-808-1400 x 44122

Description of each restraint type:

A REAR-FACING CAR SEAT is the best seat for your young child to use. It has a harness and in a crash, cradles and moves with your child to reduce the stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord.

A BOOSTER SEAT positions the seat belt so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body.

A FORWARD-FACING CAR SEAT has a harness and tether that limits your child’s forward movement during a crash.

A SEAT BELT should lie across the upper thighs and be snug across the shoulder and chest to restrain the child safely in a crash. It should not rest on the stomach area or across the neck.

Source: (The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Proper Car Seat Use Improves Auto Safety

Putnam County Department of Health

1 Geneva Road, Brewster, New York 10509


Contact:  Michelle Martine, 845-808-1400 x 44122

Proper Car Seat Use Improves Auto Safety

BREWSTER, NY—Every September, National Child Passenger Safety Week is observed and it is a good time to review motor vehicle safety issues. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children, from 1 through 12 years of age. Improper use of car restraints is part of the problem. The group estimates that 3 out of 4 children are not as secure as they should be, because their car seats are being incorrectly used.

The age, height and weight of the child all play a role in knowing when to transition to the next level. Children should start out in a rear-facing car seat, and then move to a forward-facing one, a booster seat, and finally a regular seat belt.

Recommendations from the NHTSA include:

  • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size. Choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
  • Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions. Read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.
  • To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

Proper Car Seat Use Improves Auto Safety, page 2

Luckily, there are a couple local of police stations that will provide car seat checks to make sure the car or booster seat is properly installed and fits the child. Both the Carmel (628-1300) and Kent Police (225-4600) Departments along with the Sherriff’s Department conduct once a month car seat clinics. Call for date, time and location. Car seat checks are also conducted at the Annual Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day, held in the spring.

Keep in mind that New York has child passenger safety laws and fines for a first offense range up to $100, three plus points on a driver’s license, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association and NY DMV website.

For more information, visit the “Parents Central” section of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website at

For more information on the CAC please visit the Putnam County website at  and under “Departments” select Child Advocacy Center. Or visit our social media site on Facebook at


Contact:  Michelle Martine, 845-808-1400 x 44122

Free STD Testing Now Offered in Putnam County

Date: September 14, 2012
Contact: Barbara Ilardi, Public Information Officer, (845) 808-1390

Free STD Testing Now Offered in Putnam County

Brewster, NY— Nearly 19 million new sexually transmitted disease (STD) infections occur each year, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These include diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Many of these cases go undetected and untreated because less than half of those, who should be screened, actually get tested. Men and women of all ages, backgrounds and economic levels get STDs, but almost half of new cases are among young people, ages 15 to 24. Now Putnam residents have a new place to get tested— and without a fee. Beginning September 20, the Putnam County Department of Health will be offering a free STD testing program.

Testing will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays at two Putnam County Department of Health locations—121 Main Street in the Village of Brewster and at the main office at One Geneva Road, near the intersection of Route 312 and Interstate 84. Free anonymous and confidential HIV testing is also available at the same time for residents’ convenience. Appointments are preferred and those interested should call 845-808-1390, x43114. Tuberculosis (TB) testing is also available for at-risk individuals.

STDs are one of the most critical health challenges facing the nation today. Many types initially cause no symptoms, especially in females. When symptoms do develop, they may be confused with those of other diseases not transmitted through sexual contact. Without treatment, STDs can lead to major
health problems such as sterility, permanent brain damage, cancers, and even death. Having an STD can also increase a person’s susceptibility to HIV infection. These facts and statistics highlight the importance of testing for and treating STDs.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of Putnam County residents through prevention of illness and injury. For more information, please visit our website at; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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Recall of Ricotta Salata Frescolina Brand for Possible Health Risk

Recall of Ricotta Salata Frescolina Brand for Possible Health Risk

Frescolina ricotta salata cheese has been tied to an outbreak of listeria that has hospitalized 14 people and killed 3 across the country.
Deaths were reported in Minnesota, Nebraska and New York.

Forever Cheese Inc. is recalling all Ricotta Salata Frescolina brand, Forever Cheese lot # T9425 and/or production code 441202,  from one specific production date due to possible Listeria Monocytogenes contamination, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.  Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Ricotta salata is a salty white cheese made from pasteurized sheep’s milk. It is often served crumbed or grated as an ingredient in salads, pastas and other dishes. It is not the same as ricotta cheese, a very soft cheese sold in plastic tubs and used for dishes such as lasagna.

If you believe that you have purchased any of this cheese please contact your distributor or retailer for a full refund and do not consume it.


For more details, click here [ ]

September is National Preparedness Month: Putnam County Supports Ninth Annual Observance

September is National Preparedness Month: Putnam County Supports Ninth Annual Observance

 Brewster, NY- National Preparedness Month (NPM) is held each September to encourage Americans to prepare for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. Supported by County Executive MaryEllen Odell and her office, the Bureau of Emergency Services (BES) and the Department of Health (DOH), this year’s month-long effort marks the ninth edition of the annual observance, established in response to the events of September 11. The event is sponsored by FEMA’s Ready Campaign in partnership with the Citizens Corps Council, a national network of volunteers dedicated to ensuring hometown safety. Putnam County’s Medical Reserve Corps is a part of this national organization. With its more than 250 members, it is a crucial addition to the county’s emergency response plan.

The key messages for individuals during NPM are preparation and self-reliance. Residents should be prepared to manage three days without utilities including electricity and water, and access to supermarkets or other local services. Residents should also be prepared for the possibility of limited response from police, fire, and emergency medical services or rescue, as they may need to focus first on large, widespread problems.

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The Putnam County BES, in collaboration with the county DOH, stress the importance of being prepared for any type of emergency—be it a weather-related natural disaster, like the

October 2011 snow storm, or a man-made catastrophe like September 11. The following suggestions are offered as a start for individuals and families to plan their preparedness:

  • Stock a first aid kit and emergency supplies to meet your family’s needs for three days at minimum. Make sure every family member knows where these supplies are stored.
  • Have a battery-operated radio, with back-up batteries. Listen to media reports for up-to-date information. WHUD (100.7 FM Radio) and WFAS (103.9 FM, 1230AM Radio) provide local information. On television, News Channel 12 Hudson Valley provides the local view.
  • Make sure at least one phone will operate without electricity. If you use a cordless phone, have a spare, hard-wired phone to plug directly into the phone jack, typically on the wall. With cell phones, have a car charger available for recharging purposes.
  • Keep important phone numbers written down and available by each phone in the house.
  • Know the best escape route from each room in the house.
  • Plan locations where family members will meet in case they cannot get home. One spot should be near your home, another should be outside your neighborhood.
  • Review and be familiar with your child’s school emergency plan.


Specialized services: NY-Alert, Medical Reserve Corp, and 2-1-1

In times of emergency, specialized services can make all the difference in individual and family safety. New York Alert, the Putnam County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and the 2-1-1 Call Center are some examples of free available resources.

NY-Alert is the New York State All-Hazards Alert and Notification system committed to providing current information about risks, threats and appropriate responses. With a free sign-up,

residents can receive warnings and information via their cell phone, email, web or other technologies. Personal information is completely protected and never shared. The selected alerts

can be modified or cancelled at any time by the subscriber. For more information, visit:

The Medical Reserve Corps supports the health and well-being of county residents during a time of public health emergency, or in the event of a disaster. The organization recruits

and trains volunteers year-round and those who serve in the group come from all walks of life. MRC volunteers are not first responders during a disaster. While some may have strong medical qualifications, others contribute by serving as interpreters or with data entry or patient registration. Each volunteer is an asset to the program and new recruits are always needed and welcomed. For more information, call 845-808-1390 and ask for Keiren Farquhar, MRC Coordinator.

The United Way’s 2-1-1 Call Center is available year-round, seven days a week from 8 am to 8 pm, and can be expanded to 24/7 coverage during times of disaster. This helpline can be reached by simply pressing 2-1-1 on the phone and call specialists provide “one-stop” access to information and referrals to health and human services organizations most appropriate for each caller. Specialists are available to communicate in more than 200 languages.

Numerous other resources exist to assist individuals and families plan their preparedness. Emergency preparedness has vastly improved during the last decade. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of these resources. Please visit FEMA’, or BES website at Another helpful resource is the website of the Centers for Disease Control at

08-16-12 PCDOH Reminds Families to Make Sure That Children Get Required Vaccinations

Parents are preparing for the start of school, students are leaving for college and flu season
is approaching. The Putnam County Department of Health is reminding parents that all children
must receive certain vaccinations before they begin or return to school or day care this fall, depending
on their age and school year. “Vaccinations are the safest and most effective way to prevent
childhood disease,” said Allen Beals, M.D., J.D., Commissioner of Health.

To see this Full Press Realease, Click Here.

News 12 Tappan Zee Story Featuring County Executive MaryEllen Odell

Our County Executive MaryEllen Odell was recently interviewed by News 12 of Westchester County about the Tappan Zee Bridge. Take a look at the video from News 12 to find out more about this story.

Click here to view the footage