Air Quality Alert

Lassen County Public Health

AIR QUALITY ALERT

Considering current fire conditions across the west coast and local air flow patterns, Lassen County is expecting diminished air quality. These conditions may persist for several days.

Points to Consider

  • Refer to the Air Quality Visibility Chart and Health Tips attached to this alert
  • If you smell smoke, or see smoke around you consider restricting outdoor activities.
  • The chance of being affected by smoke increases substantially with strenuous or prolonged activity outdoors.
  • Air quality can change rapidly at different times during the day due to wind shift.
  • It is important to monitor smoke conditions throughout the day and plan outdoor activities accordingly.

Wildfire smoke has harmful chemicals that can affect your health. It can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing and difficulty breathing. Everyone should take precautions to avoid smoke exposure.

Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise.
Stay indoors with windows and doors closed
Do not run swamp coolers or fans that bring in outdoor air

People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include those with chronic lung disease (such as asthma) and/or heart disease, young children, pregnant women, and older adults. If you have symptoms that may have been worsened by smoke exposure, contact your health care provider immediately.

These symptoms include:

Repeated Cough
Shortness of Breath
Difficulty Breathing
Wheezing
Chest Tightness or Pain

For more information call Lassen County Public Health at 530-251-8183 or visit the Lassen County Air Pollution Control District at LassenAir.org

Breastfeeding Benefits for Society

Breastfeeding decreases the risk of illness in young children and lost time from work for parents caring for sick children.

Breastmilk is available twenty-four hours a day and requires no special preparation decreasing family food budget costs.

Breastfeeding encourages the building of positive relationships with caregivers.

National Suicide Prevention Week

National Suicide Prevention Week

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week (9/10-16, 2017).

How to Talk About Suicide

Recognizing and Responding to Suicide

Suicide occurs across and within all races and cultures.

Within Indian Country, the rates are higher than in the general population. The subject of suicide carries the stigmas of depression and death, the fear that just talking about it will make it happen, and other stigmas, including:

  • Suicide is a cry for help
  • When a person decides to end his or her life, there is nothing that can be done to stop him or her
  • A person won’ commit suicide if he or she has children, just bought a new car, or is just having a “difficult time”

The reality is that suicide is preventable, and help is available.

People may not show any signs of the intent to kill themselves before they commit suicide. But there are behaviors that may indicate a person is at risk for killing themselves, and it is important to be aware of warning signs and risk factors. If you notice any warning signs for suicide, starting a conversation with the person may save their life.

Learn to recognize the warning signs:
  • Hopelessness; feeling like there is no way out
  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
  • Feeling like there is no reason to live
  • Rage or anger
  • Engaging in risky activities
  • Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
  • Withdrawing from family and friends

The presence of any of the following signs requires immediate attention:

  • Thinking about hurting or killing themselves
  • Looking for ways to die
  • Talking about death, dying, or suicide
  • Self-destructive or risk taking behavior, especially when it involves alcohol, drugs, or weapons

How to Begin the Conversation

Before talking with someone you are concerned about, have suicide crisis resources available, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), or numbers and addresses of local crisis lines or treatment centers. Mention what signs prompted you to ask about how they are feeling. Mention the warning signs that prompted you to ask the person about how they are feeling, the words used, or behavior displayed  (Indian Health Services, 2017).