May 31, 2017 – Celebrating Community Leaders in Commercial Tobacco Use Prevention for Better Public Health

Today is World No Tobacco Day, and to celebrate Peterborough Public Health recognized several local residents and organizations for their leadership creating a tobacco-wise community here at home.

“It really is a David and Goliath story.  Our 2017 Tobacco-Wise Champions are the ‘Davids’ who are making a dent against the gargantuan tobacco industry with its deceptive marketing tactics, strong lobbying efforts and deep pockets,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health for Peterborough Public Health.  “They are shining examples of Peterborough’s leadership in commercial tobacco use prevention, and remind us that while we’ve made great headway over the years to denormalize it, we must remain vigilant if we truly want Ontario to have the lowest smoking rates in the country so our next generation can grow up smoke-free and tobacco-wise.”

There were a total of 10 awards recipients from municipalities, schools and school boards, healthcare services, housing providers, and community organizations.  The awards were handed out in three categories. First, the “Exceeding the Standards Act Award” recognized organizations and municipalities who have introduced policies that go beyond the Smoke Free Ontario Act. Next, the “Cessation or Prevention Award” honoured schools and organizations that prevent people from starting to use tobacco products, as well as helping them quit smoking and remaining tobacco free. Finally, the “Community Leader Award” celebrated individuals and organizations who contribute to smoking prevention and cessation in our community.

Dr. Salvaterra noted that tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Ontario. Each year, smoking and exposure to second-hand-smoke results in 13,000 deaths provincially.  Locally, the use of commercial tobacco products kills approximately 130 Peterborough residents each year. For more information on smoke-free policies, tobacco-wise living or supports for quitting smoking, please contact Peterborough Public Health, or visit the Smoke Free Places page on www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.


For further information, please contact:

Keith Beecroft

Health Promoter, Tobacco Use Prevention Program

705-743-1000, ext. 238

May 30, 2017 -Peterborough Public Health Activates Heat Warning System

With summer quickly approaching and warmer temperatures imminent, Peterborough Public Health has activated its Heat Warning and Information System (HWIS) to advise residents of the best way to protect their health when temperatures soar.

Environment and Climate Change Canada will issue Heat Warnings 18 to 24 hours in advance of the heat event. Forecasters will assess if two or more consecutive days of weather that meet either the humidex or temperature criteria (daytime highs or nighttime lows) are expected in the region. If so, a Heat Warning will be issued.  Information about these warning levels is available on the Extreme Weather – Heat webpage on www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca and outlined below.

The Ontario Heat Warning Protocol includes two warning levels:

Level 1: Heat Warning

Heat Warning 2 DaysA  Heat Warning is issued when two consecutive days are forecasted to have a daytime high temperature greater than or equal to 31C AND a nighttime temperature greater than or equal to 20C or a humidex greater than 40.  This level of reminds residents of the following core messages: to keep their home cool, stay out of the heat, keep the body cool and hydrated, assist others, and recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion.


Level 2: Extended Heat Warning

An Extended Heat Warning will be issued for a heat event lasting three or more days.  This level of warning reminds residents of the core messages above, in addition to providing details on how and where to stay cool, advising suspension of strenuous outdoor activitieExtended Heat Warning 3+ Dayss, reminders to assist vulnerable groups, and to watch for further information through the media and the Public Health website.


Extreme heat events are a potentially significant health risk and can have a severe impact on the health of vulnerable populations including infants, the elderly, shut-ins, persons with chronic diseases, the morbidly obese and the marginally housed.  Heat related illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are preventable.  Most healthy people can tolerate a short period of hot and humid weather as long as they stay cool and drink plenty of fluids. It is important to be aware that some medications may increase the health risks from extreme heat events.


Peterborough Public Health encourages all stakeholders to advise vulnerable clients of the heat advisory system and precautions they can take to prevent and manage heat related illness.


How to Protect Yourself During Hot Weather:


  • Drink lots of water and natural fruit juices even if you don’t feel very thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and cola.
  • Avoid going out in the direct sun or heat when possible. If you must go outside, stay in the shade as much as possible and plan to go out early in the morning or evening when it is cooler.
  • Go to air conditioned or cool places such as shopping malls, libraries, community centres or a friend’s place.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, keep shades or drapes drawn and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home, but keep windows slightly open.
  • Wear loose fitting, light clothing and a wide brimmed hat.
  • Keep lights off or turned down low.
  • Take a cool bath or shower periodically or cool down with cool, wet towels.
  • Avoid heavy meals and using your oven.
  • Avoid intense or moderately intense physical activity.
  • If you are taking medication or have a health condition, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it increases your health risk in the heat and follow their recommendations.


Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • heavy sweating
  • muscle cramps
  • weakness
  • headache
  • fainting
  • paleness, tiredness
  • dizziness, nausea


During heat warnings The City of Peterborough will be opening up extended hours, from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the One Roof Community Centre, located at 99 Brock Street.  Air conditioned public facilities are also available to city and county residents seeking a place to cool off, such as shopping malls, community centres, arenas and libraries.  Residents are advised to phone the cooling centres in advance to determine hours of operation.



For further information, please contact:

Wanda Tonus

Public Health Inspector

705-743-1000 ext. 285



May 17, 2017 – To view the meeting summary for the May 10 Board of Health Meeting click image below:

170510 Board of Health Meeting summary May 10

BOH May meeting summary


May 11, 2017 – Healthy Kids Community Challenge Wraps Up “Water Does Wonders” Campaign at Apsley Public School

Today, every student at Apsley Public School took home a complimentary reusable water bottle to celebrate the “Water Does Wonders” campaign, thanks to the support of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (HKCC), Peterborough.

“The County is so proud to be a part of the amazing and important work of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge team,” said Joe Taylor, Warden of Peterborough County who attended today’s school assembly. “Our most precious resource is our children! We need to help to educate and empower them to make smart, healthy and active lifestyle choices – with simple things like drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables and getting outside to play! We have such an amazing region full of active lifestyle choices and farmers markets and stores selling locally grown fruits and vegetables. I encourage everyone, young and old to participate in this important initiative and get out and enjoy Peterborough County.”

The “Water Does Wonders” campaign started in July 2016 and ended in March 2017 with the goal to promote water as the healthiest drink for kids.

This campaign involved making water more available in key settings such as recreation facilities. The Township of North Kawartha partnered with the HKCC to install water filling stations at the North Kawartha Community Centre and the Wilson Park Community Centre. The Township of North Kawartha also requested water bottles for the children in their community and decided to distribute the bottles to the entire public school student body.

In February, 17 local elementary schools took part in different water month activities. Most elementary schools in the region have received water resource packs to assist in the support of student health and wellbeing. Both Apsley Public School and St. Alphonsus Catholic Elementary School will receive a school set of water bottles.

HKCC encourages all families and organizations to visit www.waterdoeswonders.ca for more information and to consider “Taking the Pledge”.  Stay connected with HKCC to learn about upcoming opportunities that are part of the third theme: “Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit” which runs from April 2017 to December 2017. The goal of this theme is to promote and support kids in our region to eat more vegetables and fruit, and try to include one in every meal and snack.

Find HKCC on Facebook (HKCC Peterborough), Twitter (@HKCCPtbo), or on the web (www.sustainablepeterborough.ca).

The Healthy Kids Community Challenge is a community program where partners from different sectors work together to organize activities that promote and support healthy behaviours for children, including healthy eating and physical activity.


For further information, please contact:

Deanna Moher, MPH

Healthy Kids Community Challenge Project Coordinator

705-743-1000, ext. 355



May 6, 2017 – Peterborough Public Health is reminding the public about drinking water safety following the recent notification from the City of Peterborough that the Peterborough Wastewater Treatment Plant is in by-pass mode.

“The good news is that wastewater entering the Otonabee River is still 99% treated so with the current volumes and rate of flow there  should be no significant risk to those downstream and there is no serious risk to public health,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “However, this is still a good reminder to all residents who draw water from wells to take the necessary precautions when flooding occurs to prevent illness.”

People who live south of the sewage treatment plant and draw their water from the river should check that their water treatment systems are functioning properly. Residents are advised to ensure their wells are safe by testing regularly and using a method of disinfection prior to drinking, especially during flooding periods. Water from flooded wells can be treated and made safe for drinking by rapidly boiling the water for at least one minute or by adding two drops of household bleach per one liter of water, stirring, and allowing the water to sit for 30 minutes before use.

Residents who live on the municipal water system are not impacted.

Further information about well water safety, well testing, and how to stay safe during a flood can be found online at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.



For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

705-743-1000, ext. 391

May 5, 2016 –  Location: J.K. Edwards Board Room, Peterborough Public Health,

Jackson Square, 185 King St., Third Floor

Media and the community are advised that the next Board of Health meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.

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


This meeting is open to the community and members of the media.  Guests are asked to use the buzzer located on the wall to the right of the main front doors to alert Peterborough Public Health staff when they arrive.  The board room is located on the third floor of Jackson Square, 185 King St. Free parking is available after 6 p.m. on the street or across the road at the King St. Parkade.



For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391

May 1, 2017 – ‘Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late’ to Identify Problems with Child’s Speech Skills

When it comes to your child’s speech, hearing and language skills, time is of the essence.

The early identification of delays or problems with a child’s communication abilities is essential to getting the help that he or she will require for future success in school and life.  “Simply put, don’t wait until it’s too late,” says Leisa Baker, a Public Health Nurse with Peterborough Public Health (PPH).

May is Speech and Hearing Month, and PPH is promoting the importance of a child’s speech, hearing and language skills.  Approximately one in 10 Ontario preschool children has a communication delay, which if not identified early on, can pose problems in the future.

“A child needs well-developed communication skills to make friends, learn new things and to start reading and writing,” Baker notes.  “That makes it important for parents to not only look for potential problems or delays, but to also nurture and support good communication skills in children.”

The local Preschool Speech and Language Program is a valuable service for local families in Peterborough County and City.  It includes a network of community agencies – including PPH – that can provide speech and language services for children six years of age and younger.  The Speech and Language Program’s KidTalk website (www.kidtalk.on.ca) is a good starting point for families who want to learn about local resources and supports available in their community.

“The KidTalk portal is great for learning more about enhancing your child’s speech skills, getting tips for communicating with your child, and the importance of hearing and vision in the development of language,” Baker notes.


For further information, please contact:
Leisa Baker, Public Health Nurse
705-743-1000, ext. 312