Marcia Schroeder, Horizon Public Health
Mealtime can be a messy, but fun, learning experience for 6- to 24-month-olds. Children may have three meals and two to three snacks every day. Having a routine helps them know what to expect when it is time for meals or snacks. Here are some routines and tips for parents and grandparents. Wash your child's hands before eating. Tip: Put newspaper or a plastic mat on the floor under your child's high chair or booster seat to help with cleanup. Expect some spills.
It takes two different types of vaccines to help protect against the five vaccine-preventable groups of meningitis. Meningitis is a life-threatening bacterial infection that can affect the lining of the brain and spinal cord, or it can cause an infection in the bloodstream — or both. It is mainly caused by five types of meningococcal bacteria — A, B, C, W and Y. Meningitis is unpredictable and attacks without warning. Early symptoms can often be mistaken for the flu; high fever, stiff neck, vomiting, headache, exhaustion or purplish rash.
To maintain good health, getting enough sleep is important for people of all ages. People often cut back on their sleep for work, for family demands, or even to watch a good show on TV. If not getting enough sleep is a regular part of your routine, you may be at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke, poor mental health and even early death.
Radon, a colorless and odorless gas that comes from the soil, can accumulate in the air we breathe. Radon gas decays into fine particles that are radioactive. When inhaled, these fine particles can damage our lungs. Exposure to radon over a long period of time can lead to lung cancer. It is estimated that 21,000 people die each year in the United States from lung cancer due to radon exposure. A radon test is the only way to know how much radon is in your home. Radon can be reduced with a mitigation system.
More than 70 years of scientific research has consistently shown that fluoride in community water is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay by at least 25 percent in both children and adults. Simply by drinking tap water, Americans can benefit from fluoride's cavity protection whether they are at home, work or school. The American Dental Association supports community water fluoridation as the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Even healthy people can become ill and pass diseases on to others. Vaccination is important because it protects the person getting the vaccine and helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those who are most vulnerable such as infants, young children and the elderly. Being properly immunized spans a lifetime.