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Virginia Department of Health

Free CME and CE Training Opportunities Available for Health Care Professionals

Free CME and CE courses on public health for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals discuss topics such as nutrition, child health, prevention and health promotion. Visit the training opportunities page to learn more.

Grilling Safety Month

food on grillOutdoor grilling is one of the most popular ways to cook food during the summer. As you and your family cook outdoors, its' important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent foodborne illnesses. For more information and tips for safe grilling:

Virginia Health Information
'Virginia Health Information' is a resource for patients and consumers looking to learn about and compare options on everything from obstetrical services, to heart care, to pricing information on commonly performed medical procedures. Virginians can use VHI information to make informed health care purchasing decisions and as the basis for an informed conversation with their health care providers. Learn more>>

Fireworks Injuries

Fireworks Safety

Fireworks are one of many ways people celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.  However, improper use of fireworks can cause serious burns and eye injuries.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission 240 people on average go to emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.
To reduce the risk of injury, VDH encourages you to follow these important fireworks safety tips:

  • Children should not play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks; douse and soak them with water and discard them safely.
  • Keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy in case of fire.
  • Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials.
  • After fireworks stop burning, douse the device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a fire.
  • Many types of fireworks (including firecrackers, sparklers, bottle rockets, skyrockets, torpedoes and other fireworks that explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles into the air) are illegal in Virginia unless you are a licensed contractor.  Contact your local county/city administration to be advised if fireworks have been banned or restricted, and a list of public displays available to attend.
  • Purchase only legal fireworks available at approved stands. Never make your own fireworks.

Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission for more firework safety tips.

Extreme Heat Chart

Stay Safe and Healthy This Summer

The temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer. Extreme heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. Heat stress ranges from milder conditions like heat rash and heat cramps to the most common, heat exhaustion. The most serious heat-related illness is heat stroke. Your best defense against heat-related illness is prevention. Staying cool and making simple changes in your fluid intake, activities, and clothing during hot weather can help you remain safe and healthy. Here are some tips to help make your summer the best and healthiest one yet.

Home with damaged roof

Image courtesy of VDEM, Damage from Hurricane Irene in 2011

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricanes are destructive and dangerous. Not only do strong winds cause severe damage but after a storm there may be flooding, downed power lines, damage from mold and other health risks. Even if there is no risk of a hurricane, right now it is the perfect time to prepare. Don’t delay.

Learn more about hurricanes and other tropical storms so you can be prepared to keep your family safe.

child swimming

Healthy & Safe Swimming

Warm weather and sunny days are here! Public pools, spas, and beaches around Virginia are opening for swimming fun this summer. This is an ideal time to maximize the health benefits of recreational water activities by promoting healthy and safe swimming. VDH urges those using and maintaining swimming pools, spas, water parks, and beachgoers to focus on simple steps that can be taken to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone. Learn how to prevent waterborne illnesses and swimming-related injuries.

Well-BeingVDH Would Like Your Help

VDH is working collaboratively with public and private partners to develop a population health plan – better referred to as a plan for well-being - for Virginia. This plan will provide the organizational framework to work towards improving the health of all Virginians. If you would like to give input, please complete this survey.


Last Updated: 06-29-2015

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