A program for all families– whether a first time mother, an experienced parent, or guardian of an infant or child, we are here to provide education, support, and resources for the best possible outcomes!
Best Care for Better Babies & Children serves pregnant women and their families with infants 0-1 year of age, and children 1 to 5 years of age. The Best Care for Better Babies nurses are specially trained in the areas of prenatal and postpartum care, physical and developmental milestones for babies and toddlers, breastfeeding support and nutritional guidance, and resource networking. Developmental screenings assess overall health, development, language, hearing, and vision with the goal of preventing difficulties later in life. Best Care for Better Babies staff are familiar with area resources and help coordinate efforts to locate appropriate services for each family’s unique needs.
- Home visits provide one-on-one time with parents and help increase parents’ knowledge of their children’s health and development. We keep in close contact with your family medical provider for questions and to report concerns.
- You MAY self-refer to our program by calling 712-957-0105 and ask to speak to a nurse regarding Best Care! (Click for BCBB Community Referral Form)
- Services are voluntary, confidential, and FREE.
O’Brien County Public Health in coordination with Cherokee County Public Health provides I-Smile dental @ School provides dental screenings, dental sealants, fluoride varnish, and oral health education for elementary and middle school students. For school aged children, 80-90 percent of tooth decay, or cavities, occur on the chewing surfaces of the molar (back) teeth. Placing dental sealants on these teeth greatly lowers the chance that those teeth will get tooth decay. O’Brien County Public Health is one of 19 organizations in Iowa that administer I-Smile @ School locally through contracts with the Iowa Department of Public Health. This dental program takes place during the school day, but students miss very little class time. By providing dental services in a school setting, we are better able to reach children with important preventive care. In the end, they will experience fewer cavities, which helps them concentrate on learning instead of mouth pain. The I-Smile website with more information is here: https://ismile.idph.iowa.gov/
Fluoride Varnish - Fluoride varnish, a highly concentrated form of fluoride, is applied to teeth to reduce sensitivity to hot and cold, make the teeth stronger, and prevent cavities. Due to its sticky form and the small amount used per application very little is swallowed. It is safe to use fluoride varnish as early as when a baby’s first tooth erupts and throughout a person’s lifetime. Fluoride varnish is used a lot in public health measures. It can be applied at WIC clinics, school-based programs, or even from your child’s physician through a program called Cavity Free Iowa.
Silver Diamine Fluoride - Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a liquid medicine applied to a cavity (tooth decay) to stop it from growing. The silver kills the germs and the fluoride makes the teeth stronger. Because it can stop cavities from growing bigger, there may not be a need for a filling. This material can only be used by a dental hygienist or dentisteither at the dental office or in public health settings, like WIC clinics. Please ask your dental care provider for more information.
Having a healthy smile helps kids grow, speak, and learn!
- Tooth Decay brochure - English
- Tooth Decay brochure - Spanish
- I-Smile and Pregnancy brochure - English
- I-Smile and Pregnancy brochure - Spanish
- I-Smile Pacifier-Thumb use brochure - English
- I-Smile Pacifier-Thumb use brochure - Spanish
The Caring for Kindergarten program is a wonderful way to educate children on the importance of eating nutritious foods. We provide kindergarten classes with interactive presentations where we introduce various fruits and vegetables and teach on their nutritious value. Children are encouraged to try new types of fruits and vegetables by providing them with samples. Each month, we provide the schools with a new fruit and vegetable and a small presentation to go along with it!
The 5-2-1-0 stands for (5) servings of fruits and vegetables per day, (2) hours or less of recreational screen time activities, (1) hour or more of active play every day, and (0) No sugar sweetened beverages and drink more water every day. O’Brien County Public Health staff provides education in county schools to help combat childhood obesity in our community.
We’re here to HELP – If you’re concerned about your child’s development or nutrition, please see our Best Care for Better Babies & Children Program for home visit assistance.
If you have concerns about your child’s weight, development, nutrition, or other safety concerns, please contact their pediatrician or family care provider. Do not place your child on a weight reduction diet without first consulting with a medical provider.
Learn more here: https://5210.psu.edu/about/research/
The goal of the immunization program is to reduce or eliminate the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases by working in conjunction with the public and private health care providers throughout our area.
O’Brien County Public Health offers FREE vaccines to children (0-18 years) who meet the qualifications of the VFC program (Vaccine for Children). We accept private pay for vaccinations to the public.
How Vaccines Work
- Immunity from Disease: When a child gets sick with one of these diseases, her immune system produces immunity, which keeps her from getting the same disease again. But getting sick is unpleasant, and can be dangerous.
- Immunity from Vaccines: Vaccines are made with the same bacteria or viruses that cause a disease, but they have been weakened or killed to make them safe. A child’s immune system responds to a vaccine the same way it would if the child had the disease. This means he will develop immunity without having to get sick first.
Diseases Prevented by Childhood Vaccines
- DIPHTHERIA-Bacteria You can get it from contact with an infected person. Signs and symptoms include a thick covering in the back of the throat that can make it hard to breathe. It can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, and death.
- TETANUS (Lockjaw)- Bacteria You can get it from a cut or wound. It does not spread from person to person. Signs and symptoms include painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body, It can lead to stiffness of the jaw, so the victim can’t open his mouth or swallow. It leads to death in about 1 case out of 5.
- PERTUSSIS (Whooping cough)-Bacteria You can get it from contact with an infected person. Signs and symptoms include violent coughing spells that can make it hard for an infant to eat, drink, or breathe. These spells can last for weeks. It can lead to pneumonia, seizures, (jerking and staring spells), brain damage, and death.
- POLIO-Virus You can get it from close contact with an infected person. It enters the body through the mouth. Signs and symptoms can include a cold-like illness, or there may be no signs or symptoms at all. It can lead to paralysis (can’t move arm or leg), or death (by paralyzing breathing muscles).
- HIB (Haemophilus influenzae type b)-Bacteria You can get it from contact with an infected person. Signs and symptoms, There may be no signs or symptoms in mild cases. It can lead to meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering); pneumonia; infections of the blood, joints, bones, and covering of the heart; brain damage; deafness; and death.
- HEPATITIS B-Virus You can get it from contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person. Babies can get it at birth if the mother is infected, or through a cut or wound. Adults can get it from unprotected sex. sharing needles, or other exposures to blood. Signs and symptoms include tiredness, diarrhea and vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), and pain in muscles, joints and stomach. It can lead to liver damage, liver cancer, and death.
- MEASLES- Measles is a highly contagious disease with symptoms that include fever, runny nose, white spots in the back of the mouth and a rash. Serious cases can cause blindness, brain swelling and death.
- MUMPS- Mumps can cause headache, malaise, fever, and swollen salivary glands. Complications can include meningitis, swollen testicles and deafness.
- RUBELLA- Rubella infection in children and adults is usually mild, but in pregnant women it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death or birth defects.
- PNEUMOCOCCAL-Bacteria You can get it from contact with an infected person. Signs and symptoms include fever, chills, cough, and chest pain. It can lead to meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings), blood infections, ear infections, pneumonia, deafness, brain damage, and death.
- ROTAVIRUS-Virus you can get it from contact with other children who are infected. Signs and symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting and fever. It can lead to dehydration, hospitalization, and death.
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus)- HPV usually has no symptoms, but some strains can cause cervical cancer – the fourth most common cancer in women. Almost all cases of cervical cancer (99 per cent) are caused by HPV. HPV can also cause genital warts in both men and women, as well as cancer on other parts of the body. HPV is recommended for the male population as well.
O’Brien County Public Health services all school districts and registered daycare centers in O’Brien County to ensure all immunizations are up to date. Provisional certificates of immunizations are sent home to parents whose children are not up to date and they have 60 days to show proof of immunizations. O’Brien County Public Health offers immunization clinics at each school in O’Brien County at least two times per school year for parent/guardian convenience. O’Brien County Public Health offers immunizations by appointment at our office: 155 South Hayes Ave. Primghar Iowa, 51245. We are open 8:00am-4:30pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Please call anytime during business hours to inquire about the vaccinations we offer!
O’Brien County Public Health offers foot care and blood pressure screening to members of the community. We are at the Willoway Complex - 409 Ash St #15, Sutherland, IA 51058 (1st Monday of every month). We are at the O’Brien County Public Health office - 155 S Hayes Ave, Primghar, IA 51245 (3rd Monday of every month) Education on proper nail and foot care is provided and blood pressure screenings are offered. Please call 712-957-0105 to make an appointment.
O’Brien County Public Health, in collaboration with Community Health Partners, provides educational material and support for smoking/vaping cessation. Vaping is becoming prevalent junior high and high school children. We do offer to present at schools on the topic of tobacco/nicotine prevention. We do provide policies for a tobacco and nicotine free facility. With this new trend, policies need to be updated from tobacco free to tobacco/nicotine free to include no vaping.
The following information is from Quit Line Iowa.
TOBACCO’S HEALTH EFFECTS:
- Cigarette smoking causes 1 in every 5 deaths each year. Tobacco harms every organ in the body and is the #1 cause of preventable death in the United States. On average, tobacco use takes away 10 years of life by raising the risk of these serious health conditions:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
- Several types of cancer including cancer of the lung, throat, mouth, esophagus, pancreas, bladder, and cervix and leukemia
- Respiratory diseases
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Chronic bronchitis
- Tobacco smoke also affects and worsens many other diseases such as diabetes, vascular disease, and osteoporosis. It can contribute to these other problems:
- Gum and tooth disease
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Reduced ability to taste food and drinks
- Yellow teeth
Tobacco’s Effects on Others
- Tobacco doesn’t just affect the person who chooses to use it. Smoking can be dangerous to the people and pets around you. People who live in or around your cigarette smoke, even just occasionally, could suffer in these ways:
- They have an increased risk of lung cancer.
- Children near you are more likely to have sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), asthma, lung problems, and ear infections.
- Unborn babies are more likely to be born early and at a low birth weight. They are more likely to have birth defects including cleft palate and other health problems.
- Pets have increased risks of cancers when they breathe in secondhand smoke, or when they lick smoke particles that stick to their fur.
- For more information on tobacco/nicotine cessation efforts, visit https://www.quitlineiowa.org/en-US/
- For help in quitting tobacco/nicotine use CALL: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669)
- Smoking calculator: https://quitlineiowa.org/en-US/About-Quitting/Interactive-Tools/Smoking-Calculator to see cost of smoking
- Tips for quitting brochure
- 48 hours after your last cigarette
- What happens to your body when you quit
O’Brien County Public health, in collaboration with Community Health Partners, works to reduce childhood lead poisoning by encouraging routine lead testing in children. If high lead levels are detected, we work with CHP to providing home visits to children with high lead levels and work to help inspect and remediate the residences of lead-poisoned children. Please call 712-957-0105 for more information.
Symptoms – Per Mayo Clinic
- Initially, lead poisoning can be hard to detect — even people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead. Signs and symptoms usually don't appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated.
Lead poisoning symptoms in children
- Signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in children include:
- Developmental delay
- Learning difficulties
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Sluggishness and fatigue
- Abdominal pain
- Hearing loss
- Eating things, such as paint chips, that aren't food (pica)
Lead poisoning symptoms in newborns
- Babies exposed to lead before birth might:
- Be born prematurely
- Have lower birth weight
- Have slowed growth
Lead poisoning symptoms in adults
- Although children are primarily at risk, lead poisoning is also dangerous for adults. Signs and symptoms in adults might include:
- High blood pressure
- Joint and muscle pain
- Difficulties with memory or concentration
- Abdominal pain
- Mood disorders
- Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm
- Miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in pregnant women
O’Brien County Public Health collaborates with County EMS, local hospitals, and other community partners to establish our emergency response plan. A vital role of public health in emergency planning and preparedness is to provide education to the public in order to promote individual preparedness, have the ability to assist in response to a public health emergency as well as assist in the recovery of an emergency.
Public Health follows up on reportable diseases through IDSS (Iowa Disease Surveillance System) in order to collect, monitor, and analyze the data relevant for control and prevention of diseases. Infectious diseases are a continuing threat to all groups of people, regardless of age, gender, lifestyle, ethnic background, or socioeconomic status. Collection of data provides information on trends and unusual occurrence of disease to effectively control and prevent further outbreaks.
Our trained nursing staff provides TB skin testing in our office with appointment Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm. Call O’Brien County Public Health at 712-957-0105 to schedule an appointment.
How is the TB skin test administered?
The TST is performed by injecting 0.1 ml of tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD) into the inner surface of the forearm.
How is the TST read?
The skin test reaction should be read between 48 and 72 hours after administration by the public health nurse or other health care worker trained to read TST results. A patient who does not return within 72 hours will need to be rescheduled for another skin test.
We also provide TB testing for inmates at the request of the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office. Nurses provide exams for minor complaints such as sore mouth, removal of stitches, inspection of skin, and other requests, to insure safety for all involved.
Each year an O’Brien County employee wellness fair is provided for all employees and their spouses. Some of the booths have included: screenings for skin damage, blood panels, insurance information, simulation of driving while texting, radon detections, blood pressures, and nutrition advice. Employees were also provided with flu and T-dap vaccines as needed. A breakfast will be provided for those who attend.
Korrie Ewoldt BSN, RN
O’Brien County Public Health Nurse Administrator
Carla S, RN Public Health Nurse
Carisa T, LPN Public Health Nurse
Alma R, Public Health Office Manager
Emiliee M, Public Health Administrative Assistant
Mission: The O’Brien County Public Health staff members provide professional, respectful, caring, and compassionate services to the community, promoting optimal health and safety through prevention, protection and intervention.
Vision: To advocate for Public Health through promotion of healthy living, disease prevention, and education. Essential services for O’Brien County Public Health are provided to protect and promote the health and well-being of our community. We focus on the following: Prevention of injuries, promotion of healthy behaviors for all ages, prevention of the spread of disease; and we prepare for, respond to and recover from Public Health emergencies.
- Childhood Illness Guide
- Food Resources
- Mental Health Resource
- COVID-19 Governor's Newsroom
- Iowa Department Of Public Health
- O'Brien County Child Care Resource Map
- Iowa Small Business Relief Fund
- Reopening Religious Gatherings
- IDPH Reopening Guidelines
- Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship - Avian Influenza
- Reportable Animal Diseases - Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship