Health briefs: New K-12 varicella vaccine requirement | SteamboatToday.com

Health briefs: New K-12 varicella vaccine requirement

New K-12 varicella vaccine requirement

The Colorado school required immunization schedule requires students in kindergarten through 12th grade to have two varicella (chicken pox) immunizations at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year. Children typically have the first varicella immunization at age one. They should have the second at four to six years old. It is especially important that students in eighth through 12th grades be vaccinated twice; the disease tends to be more severe in adolescents and adults. Students do not need to get the varicella vaccine if they have evidence of having had chicken pox.

Low cost varicella and other recommended vaccinations for all ages are available at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association's drop-in immunization clinics, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Steamboat Springs VNA, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101. Immunizations also are available by appointment, call 970-879-1632. For more information about immunizations in Colorado, go to coloradoimmunizations.com.

VNA seeking volunteers

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is seeking volunteers interested in helping with events and other needs throughout the nonprofit health organization. Opportunities include assisting with the upcoming Rubber Ducky Race on Sept. 12 among other fundraisers, sharing crafts and activities with seniors at Haven Assisted Living Center and helping with administrative duties or landscaping/maintenance at Haven and Rollingtone Respite House. Volunteers also are needed to assist the hospice program. They may provide support to hospice patients (training required) or assist hospice families by making meals or running errands. Positions can be tailored to volunteers' unique skills and experience. For more information, visit nwcovna.org/volunteer or call VNA volunteer coordinator Mindy Marriott at 970-871-7609.

Be aware during tick season

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The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association advises residents be aware of ticks and tick-borne diseases during spring and summer months when ticks are most active. Tick bites in Colorado can result in Colorado Tick Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tick-borne Relapsing Fever. Ticks should be removed from skin as soon as possible. People who remove ticks from a person or a pet need to wash their hands immediately. If you become ill after a tick bite or exposure to ticks, seek prompt medical attention. Ticks are commonly found in wooded or brushy areas with tall grass. They may also inhabit rustic mountain cabins where chipmunks and other rodents may have visited. Wear protective clothing — long-sleeved shirts and long pants — and do thorough tick checks after being in areas where ticks may be present. For information on how to safely remove a tick that has settled into the skin, go to cdc.gov/ticks.

Take precautions on ATVs

Ninety-two percent of ATV-related deaths are the result of warned-against risks, such as youth riding adult-sized ATVs. The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and the ATV Safety Institute remind residents to follow the Golden Rules for ATV Safety:

· Always wear a helmet and protective gear.

· Never ride on public roads.

· Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle.

· Ride an ATV appropriate for your age and readiness.

· Supervise riders younger than 16.

· Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.

For a young rider readiness checklist and other safety tips, visit atvsafety.org/youngriders.aspx.

Support groups meeting this week:

• A bereavement support group meets from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday at Rollingstone Respite House. The group is open to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one. Call 970-871-7628 before attending your first meeting.

• A Christian support group for parents of children who have been called home by God is at 6:30 p.m. Monday at 27441 Brandon Circle. For more information, call 970-870-7879.

• A domestic violence support group for women is from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday at Advocates Building Peaceful Communities. Call Diane at 970-879-2034 before attending.

• A depression, anxiety and bipolar support group meets from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in Conference Room 2 at Yampa Valley Medical Center, 1024 Central Park Drive. The group provides support, education and tools to help with everyday life. Family and friends are welcome. Call 970-819-6751 for more information.

• The Steamboat Meditation Recovery Group meets Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs, 2250 Copper Frontage Road, No. 202. The group also has a recovery-based yoga beforehand at 4:30 p.m. The group will explore recovery through meditation, book study and all open discussion. Meetings are open to all faiths and addictions. For more information, call 720-670-8642.

• The Heartbeat of Steamboat support group meets Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rollingstone Respite House, 480 Rollingstone Drive. The group is for those who have lost a loved one or friend.