52 Weeks to Health: Week 29, World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day World Hepatitis Day is recognized annually on July 28th, the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg (1925-2011), who discovered the hepatitis B virus in 1967 and two years later developed the first hepatitis B vaccine. Worldwide, viral hepatitis is among the top 10 infectious disease killers with more than one million people dying each year. These deaths are primarily from cirrhosis or liver cancer caused by hepatitis B and hepatitis C. In fact, chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C cause approximately 80% of the world’s liver cancer. Many of those who are chronically infected are unaware of their […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 28, Family Disaster Supply Kit

Build a Kit  Disasters and emergencies can happen at any time to anyone.  It is important to think about how you will respond BEFORE something happens.  With your family or household members, discuss how to prepare and respond to the types of emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play. A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 27, Family Disaster Plan

Have A Family Disaster Plan Disasters and emergencies can happen at any time to anyone.  It is important to think about how you will respond BEFORE something happens.  With your family or household members, discuss how to prepare and respond to the types of emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play. Here are a few easy steps to start your emergency communication plan: Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings.  Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials. Check with your local emergency management […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 26, Tips for Firework Safety

Firework Safety Tips Below are fireworks safety tips: Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away. Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles. Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 25, Scoliosis Awareness

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal disorder in which there is a sideways curvature of the spine, or back.  People of all ages can have scoliosis, but adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (scoliosis of unknown cause) is the most common type and typically occurs after the age of 10. Girls are more likely than boys to have this type of scoliosis. Because scoliosis can run in families, a child who has a parent, brother, or sister with idiopathic scoliosis should be checked regularly for scoliosis by the family doctor.   An x ray of the spine can confirm the diagnosis of […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 24, Lightning Safety

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors! Sources: National Weather Service (www.weather.gov) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov) Lightning kills over 50 people in the U.S. each year. But deaths are only part of the lightning story. Only about 10% of those struck are killed; 90% survive. However, many of the survivors suffer devastating life-long injuries. These injuries are primarily neurological, with a wide range of symptoms, and are very difficult to diagnose. Lightning also causes over $5 billion of economic loss each year in the U.S. from fires and other property destruction. Lightning strike frequencies are highest in the Southeast, […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 23, Men’s Health Month

Celebrate National Men’s Health Month Take action to be healthy and safe and encourage men and boys in your life to make their health a priority. Get Good Sleep Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep. Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Also, poor sleep is responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents. Toss out the Tobacco It’s never too late to quit. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. It improves your health and lowers your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 22, Teen Pregnancy

May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month The teen birth rate has been steadily falling for years, but it still remains the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized countries. About eighty-five percent of these pregnancies are unplanned, which in any population can increase the risk for problems. The biggest risk for teen mothers is delaying prenatal care or worse, about seven percent received no care at all. The Rates of Teen Pregnancy There were just under a quarter million pregnancies in women ages fifteen to nineteen in 2014, the most recent year for which we have data. This is a […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 21, Tobacco

Tobacco: A Winnable Battle Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and around the world.   Tobacco killed one hundred million people worldwide in the 20th century — and if current trends continue, it will kill one billion people in the 21st century.  Every year, tobacco kills more than 480,000 Americans and six million people worldwide. A Winnable Battle  We know how to win the fight against tobacco. Science and experience have identified proven, cost-effective strategies that prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke. These strategies include: Higher […]

52 Weeks to Health: Week 20, Hepatitis Awareness Month

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19th is Designated Hepatitis Testing Day Are you at risk? Take the Hepatitis Risk Assessment. Hepatitis or inflammation of the liver can be caused by viruses, medication, toxins, excessive alcohol intake but most commonly by viruses named Hepatitis A, B or C. Hepatitis A and B can be prevented by vaccination but there is no vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease which results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus.  It is transmitted through contaminated blood, as when sharing needles or through blood transfusion prior to  1992 (since […]