April 23,

How to Stay Safe After a House Flood

April 23, 2014 - Indoor Air Quality and Mould Concerns Are Your Top Priority

With the increased risk of local flooding in the area, the Peterborough County-City Health Unit is offering the following cleanup tips to ensure you and your family stay safe and healthy following a house flood.

“Immediate action is important.  Your house and furnishings are less likely to grow mould if they are dried within 48 hours,” said Wanda Tonus, Public Health Inspector. “You should clean up any mould that may be present to make sure your indoor air quality stays safe.  However before you get started it is most important to ensure that you stay safe.”

Immediately after a flood:

  • Avoid electrical shock
    • Wear rubber boots at all times while standing in water
    • Keep extension cords out of the water
    • Shut the power off to the flooded area at the breaker box
    • Ask your local electrical utility for help if needed
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
    • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector
    • Do not use combustion equipment designed for outdoor use inside your home

If the flood involves sewage-contaminated water from a sewer backflow or other source you must take special precautions. There is a very real and significant danger of infection from breathing the air in an area contaminated by sewage and from handling water and materials contaminated by sewage. Children, pregnant women and people with respiratory problems should never handle water and materials contaminated by sewage. Household items that have been contaminated by sewage, or that have been wet for a long time, may have to be bagged, tagged and discarded according to local regulations. Contact the Health Unit if you suspect sewage contamination.  A more thorough disinfection procedure will be needed, as well as greater precaution to avoid exposure of family members and pets. 

A new fact sheet from Health Canada entitled “Flood Cleanup: Keep in Mind Indoor Air Quality” provides a step-by-step action plan to:

  • prepare for the cleanup
  • remove water, mud and other debris
  • dispose of contaminated household goods
  • clean and dry out your house and salvageable possessions.

To address ongoing dampness at home and indoor air quality concerns, Health Canada has also created another fact sheet entitled “Addressing Moisture and Mould in Your Home”.

Both fact sheets are available on www.pcchu.ca in the section for My Home & Environment under “Air Quality – Indoor”.




For further information, please contact:

Wanda Tonus
Public Health Inspector
(705) 743-1000, ext. 285


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Board of Health Meeting Summary

April 14, 2014 – Click to view a copy of the April 9 – Board of Health Meeting Summary

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Board of Health Meets April 9

April 9, 2014 - Location: Peterborough City Hall, General Committee Room

The community is advised that the next meeting of the Board of Health will take place on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 4:45 p.m. in the General Committee Room at Peterborough City Hall, 500 George St. North.

To download the agenda and the online board package, please visit:


The meeting is open to the community and members of the media.

For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
Peterborough County-City Health Unit
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391

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Connecting Language and Mental Health in the Early Years

April  9, 2014

Fri., May 9, 2014 8:00– 3:30
Registration and coffee 8:00 – 8:30
Calvary Pentecostal Church 1421 Lansdowne St W., Peterborough

(no food and drink in the auditorium)
$65 professional (early bird)
$35 parent/student

Dr. Chaya Kulkarni is Director of Infant Mental Health Promotion (IMHP), a professional coalition dedicated to promoting optimal mental health outcomes or infants, based out of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Dr Kulkarni will discuss the importance of building strong, positive parent-child attachment relationships and increasing parent skills in promoting early communication and pre-literacy development in infants and young children. Additionally, this workshop will explore the profound impact of the early caregiver-infant/child relationship on the child’s development.We will look at current research linking healthy parent-child attachment, early communication and self-regulation skills. Strategies for building a foundation of positive mental health to support communication development in the early years will be provided.

Course Objectives / Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of how mental health begins from preconception and continues on into a child’s first few years of life, and beyond.
  • Gain insight into what happens when mental health is compromised by factors such as trauma in the early years.
  • Recognize the impact early mental health has on later language development
  • Gain an understanding of the early pre-verbal groundwork for future communication, language, learning and mental health
  • Learn to use observations to link the caregiver relationship to speech and language, and leverage these relationships to support speech and language development from infancy and beyond

Click here for event poster and registration form.

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Expanded Public Dental Program Gives More Kids Something to Smile About

April 1, 2014 - New Eligibility Criteria for Healthy Smiles Ontario Take Effect Today

The Peterborough County-City Health Unit hopes more local children and youth will get the dental care they need thanks to expanded eligibility criteria for the Healthy Smiles Ontario program that take effect today.

“We know that there are many people locally who can’t afford dental services, and this is a real problem,” said Sarah Tanner, Oral Health Supervisor at the Health Unit.  “The expansion of Healthy Smiles Ontario for children and youth is a start to address this issue.  Many more people require financial assistance and we will continue to work to increase access to oral health care for all.  Ms. Tanner noted that having dental insurance is an important factor that can influence whether or not an individual visits a dentist.  In 2009/10, only 64.8% of Peterborough residents and 63.6% of Ontarians reported having insurance for dental expenses.

In December 2013, Health Minister Deb Matthews announced that the Ontario Government would increase access to oral health services by expanding eligibility for the Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) program, starting April 1, 2014. Healthy Smiles Ontario is delivered through public health clinics and private dental offices to eligible low-income children and youth aged 17 and under in need of preventive and treatment dental services including check-ups, cleanings, fillings and X-rays. In 2013, there were 527 children and youth signed up to the program across Peterborough City and the County.  “We hope that this number of participants will grow as we continue to promote Healthy Smiles Ontario to eligible children and youth,” said Ms. Tanner.

Today’s change will expand eligibility for free dental care for eligible children and youth in low-income families.  To qualify for the program, families now need to have an Adjusted Family Net Income (AFNI) of $21,513 or less for one child, increasing by approximately $1,500 for each additional child. Previously there was no adjustment for additional children in the same family.  The other eligibility criteria for children remain the same:

  • They must be 17 years old or younger;
  • They must be residents of Ontario;
  • They do not have access to any form of dental coverage (including other government-funded programs).


The changes in eligibility will only impact new enrolment.  Existing clients will not have to be re-enrolled.

Families are encouraged to contact the Health Unit if they want to know more or find out if they are eligible via email at dental@pcchu.ca or by phone at 705-743-1003, ext. 265.

Based on the data in the Oral Health in Peterborough Report published in December 2013, the Health Unit has identified the following priority populations in need of oral health programs and services:

  • low-income families and individuals;
  • those without dental insurance;
  • older adults, young children and young adults.

Oral diseases are mostly preventable.  However, once such conditions develop, they impose significant direct and indirect costs on individuals as well as the society.  For instance, it has been estimated that in 2009 approximately 40 million hours of school and work were lost due to dental conditions in Canada.




For further information, please contact:
Sarah Tanner
Oral Health Supervisor
(705) 743-1000, ext. 207


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