Health Department - Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Skokie Health Department offer recycling opportunities?  Yes, the Skokie Health Department has a variety of recycling/disposal programs available to residents.  These include:  expired/unused medicine disposal, used syringe disposal, compact fluorescent light bulb recycling and household battery recycling.  Call the Health Department at 847/933-8252 for more information about these programs.

What is the Skokie Medical Reserve Corps?  This is a new organization in the Village of Skokie. It is a volunteer organization that can enhance emergency preparedness and response capabilities in order to support the Community during a disaster. The unit will have periodic training sessions and be able to assist the Village during a local disaster by working in mass community clinics to dispense medications or vaccinations, providing support for emergency shelters or assisting with other major public health needs. Call the Health Department at 847/933-8252 for more information.

How do I get a certified copy of a birth or death certificate? The Skokie Health Department maintains records of all births and deaths occurring in Skokie from 1969 to the present. Certified copies of these records are available for purchase.  For birth records, the charge is $10 for the first certified copy and $5 for each additional copy of the same record ordered at the same time.  For death records, the charge is $12 for the first certified copy and $7 for each additional copy. If the birth or death did not occur in Skokie, information can be provided to help you obtain certified copies of those records.

Is smoking regulated in the work place and public places in Skokie? The smoke-free Illinois Act went into effect on January 1, 2008 which prohibits smoking inside public places, workplaces and outdoors within 15 feet of entrances, exits, windows and ventilation intakes.

Where can I rent a car safety seat when my grandchildren come to visit? The Skokie Health Department offers a short-term car seat loaner program for Skokie residents. The "TOTS" (Travel seats Offer Travel Safety) program loans seats at no cost. A $10 deposit is required and will be returned less a $5 cleaning fee when the seat is brought back in good condition.  Borrowers are instructed on the proper installation and usage of the seats. They must also view a short safety video. Seats can be reserved by calling the Health Department at 847/933-8252.

Can someone present a health related educational program to our group? Staff in the Skokie Health Department are available to give programs on a wide variety of health related topics. Some examples of program topics include nutrition, diabetes, hypertension, Health Department services, environmental issues and wildlife control. Call the Health Department at 847/933-8252 to schedule a presentation for your group.

Where can I go to get my child's shots for school? The Skokie Health Department provides all vaccinations currently required for school attendance. These vaccinations are available for a $5 clinic fee for children living in Skokie or attending Skokie schools. Clinics are available with morning, afternoon or evening hours. Call the Health Department at 847/933-8252 to make an appointment.

Does the Village of Skokie provide health screenings for its residents? A wide variety of health screening services are available from the Skokie Health Department. These screenings include blood pressure, body composition analysis, cholesterol, diabetes, hearing, hemoccult, lead, lipid profile and tuberculosis. Screenings are either free of charge or have a small fee. Some screenings require that an appointment be made in advance. Call the Health Department at 847/933-8283 for clinic dates and times.

If I have a communicable disease, where can I get more information about it? The Skokie Health Department investigates all cases of reportable communicable diseases occurring in Skokie. A public health nurse works to make sure that the infected individual has received adequate treatment and that contacts are notified of their exposure. Information is also available for individuals who have questions regarding non-reportable communicable diseases.

Do I need any vaccinations when I travel outside the United States? Depending on your travel itinerary, vaccinations are required to enter certain countries. The Skokie Health Department can provide information on vaccinations that will be needed. Other helpful health information for international travelers is also available from the Health Department.

Can a nurse visit my homebound mother? The Health Department nurses will make health assessment and teaching visits in the home upon request. These visits are generally "one time" or infrequent in nature. "Hands On" nursing visits to give injections, change dressings, etc. are not generally provided by the Health Department. These types of nursing services are available through a home health agency.

My power went off for several hours.  Is the food in my refrigerator and freezer safe to eat? This depends greatly on two factors: How long the power was interrupted and whether you opened the refrigerator or freezer doors after your power was lost. Most refrigerators and freezers not opened after a loss of power will maintain temperature for quite some time. Refrigeration units can usually maintain a safe temperature for 8 to 12 hours; while freezers, if kept closed, can maintain a safe temperature for 24 to 48 hours. If the refrigeration or freezer units have been opened, much of the temperature holding capacity has been lost. If your power is interrupted for more than four hours, the rule of "When in doubt, throw it out" applies to foods in your refrigerator. The foods in the freezer may be used if not completely thawed for more than four hours.

I've found a baby animal (bird, squirrel, rabbit, etc.). What should I do? The young of wild animals are not cared for by their parents like humans care for their young. Young, wild animals are not constantly watched by their parents and are frequently left unattended for long periods of time while their parents forage for food or hide themselves. For the majority of young animals, it is best to leave them alone. Do not handle the animal or disturb the nesting material.

I lost my pet. What should I do to help get it back? Keeping a current rabies tag, and license tag or personal identification tag on your pet's collar will help assure the return of your pet. If your pet escapes, first contact the Animal Control Division of the Skokie Health Department at 847/933-8484 to report your animal lost. Give a detailed description since this will help identify your pet if it has no other identification or is spotted from a distance. Also, contact surrounding communities with the same information, since a pet can travel a long distance when lost. Next, receive permission to post fliers on bulletin boards in pet stores, animal shelters, animal hospitals and grocery stores. Include a description and photograph of your pet and the area where it was lost. Lastly, consider placing a lost and found ad in the local newspapers.

I hear noises in my attic. What's up there and what can I do? The time of day you are hearing the noises may indicate what type of animal has made a home in your attic. Fireplace chimneys and soffit areas above garages and attached structures can also be living quarters for animals. Noises heard during the late evening hours between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. could indicate a raccoon. Noises heard in the morning or daytime would be more indicative of squirrels. The solution is to make the animal's living quarters as uncomfortable as possible. This can be accomplished by placing a few household items (i.e. trouble light, radio set to a talk station, ammonia soaked rags) in the area where the animal lives. The combination of light, noise, and odor in the animal's "home" will typically help to drive it away. You must also locate the opening(s) that allowed the animal's entry. These openings should be temporarily covered with plastic to see if the animals have left. Once you establish that the animals are gone, the openings should be permanently repaired.

What is digging up my lawn? Lawn damage that resembles golf divots in your lawn is an indication that your lawn is infested with grub worms. "Grubs" are the larval form of several species of beetles. Animals dig up your lawn in order to find these grubs to eat. The solution to this problem is to treat your lawn in order to kill the grubs. If left untreated, the grubs will feed on the root system of your grass and may eventually kill the lawn completely.