Tobacco-Free Week planning kits offered by county
Planning kits for Anne Arundel County's Tobacco-Free Kids Week 2001 may be ordered by calling the Department of Health's Learn to Live line at 410-222-7979 or by logging on to the Smoking Stinks Web site at www.smokingstinks-aa co.org.
The free kits contain ideas for anti-smoking activities, tips for publicizing events and an order form for free TFK Week supplies. The kits include information on how children's groups can win passes to a Bowie Baysox baseball game.
The week, from March 19-25, will be the sixth countywide event rallying children and adults against tobacco use by minors. Last year, more than 100 schools and children's groups participated.
Oral health sessions available for first-graders
February is National Children's Dental Health Month, and the county Department of Health will give oral health demonstrations to first-grade pupils in Anne Arundel elementary schools.
The department's dental hygienists will discuss brushing and flossing, eating healthy snacks and the importance of taking care of teeth.
The department's dental program operates clinics in Annapolis and Glen Burnie that provide care for children and young adults to age 21, and maternity patients, with fees based on income.
Information or to make an appointment: 410-222-7138 in Annapolis and 410-222-6861 in Glen Burnie. The department's Web site at www.aahealth.org also has information on dental programs and childhood health.
Health, vision screenings conducted at schools
The county Health Department is continuing mandatory health and vision screenings of children entering county public and nonpublic schools, and third-and eighth-graders.
Testing, which is also being conducted at nurseries and day care centers, is available to home-schooled children through the public schools they would have attended.
Schools scheduled for screenings this week include Fort Smallwood Elementary tomorrow, Point Pleasant Elementary tomorrow and Thursday, and Creative Gardens-Glen Burnie on Friday.
Jessup, Rolling Knolls and Severn elementaries are scheduled Feb. 12-13, Crofton and Harman elementaries Feb. 14-15, and Creative Gardens-Glen Burnie on Feb. 16.
Children are screened for vision or hearing problems that could impair performance in school. Parents are notified by mail if a possible deficiency is detected and are advised to contact the child's doctor.
Information: Anna M. Edwards or Kathy Haskell, 410-222-6838.
Bipolar disorder seminar set for Laurel hospital
Laurel Regional Hospital will present a seminar, "Education for Families with Bipolar Disorder," from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 13.
Scheduled speakers include Jeanne Scammon, president of the Mental Health Association of Prince George's County, who will give an update on brain research relating to bipolar disorder; Dr. Jemima Kankam, on management of bipolar disorder; and Roscoe Swann, president of the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill, Prince George's County, who will address the disorder's impact on families.
The hospital, at 7300 Van Dusen Road, also offers two continuing programs for people with bipolar disorder and mental illness: a bipolar support group for all ages from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays; and family education programs on mental illness from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturdays.
Information on the seminar or continuing programs: 800-435- 5550.
Drop-in center to serve those with mental illness
On Our Own, a self-help support group for people with mental illness, recently opened a drop-in center at 162 West St., Annapolis.
The center, staffed by present and former recipients of mental health services, provides a place for socialization, participation in educational workshops, peer support groups, videos and crafts.
Peer counselors are available to assist on housing issues, and paperwork for Social Security or medical assistance. The center plans to hold a potluck supper the first Friday of the month.
Membership is free and open to present and former recipients of mental health services. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Information: 410-295-1224.