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September/October 2004 Health Observances


Baby Safety Month

Supported by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), Baby Safety Month seeks to increase awareness of safety issues relating to babies, such as baby bath products, car and booster seats, crib toys and pacifiers, as well as high chairs and strollers. To learn more, visit

Children's Eye Health and Safety Month

Vision problems affect one in 20 preschoolers and one in four school-aged children, so it is crucial for them to receive preventive and proper eye care. For more information about your child's eye health, visit

Cholesterol Education Month

Through education and treatment, high cholesterol can be managed and oftentimes prevented. For more information, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at

5-A-Day Month Campaign

In an effort to adopt a healthy lifetime diet and reduce the risk of certain diseases and diet-related cancers, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) encourages us to Take the 5-A-Day Challenge! by eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day for one week. To take part in the challenge, visit

Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

More than 82,000 American women are diagnosed with one of the six reproductive cancers every year. In an effort to raise awareness for the prevention of as well as the treatment of gynecological cancers, visit

Head Lice Prevention Month

Also called The All Out Comb Out, the National Pediculosis Association® (NPA) aims to reach and teach parents before lice and nit outbreaks occur, enabling them to keep to their children healthy. To learn more, visit

Healthy Aging® Month

Healthy Aging Month focuses on the positive aspects of growing olderphysically, mentally and emotionally. For more information, visit

Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month

To increase awareness of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and Hodgkin's disease, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, along with nationwide volunteers, step up their efforts to provide information to the public. Many of the societies also hold Light the Night walks to celebrate survivors and recognize those touched by cancer. To learn more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, visit To learn about Light the Night, visit

Prostate Health Month

The American Foundation for Urologic Disease and its Prostate Health Council aim to provide information and raise awareness about prostate conditions to the public during this month-long campaign. For more information, visit

Sickle Cell Awareness Month

During September, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA) focuses on promoting national awareness of the risk, symptoms and treatment for sickle cell disease. To learn more, go to

Childhood Injury Prevention Week (1 7)

Because the worst kind of childhood injury is the one that could have been prevented.® Childhood injuries are the number-one case of death among American children. For information on strategic partnerships and sponsoring opportunities for your community, e-mail

Assisted Living Week (12 18)

This week, sponsored by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), focuses on recognizing the staff and residents of assisted living communities. Visit for more information.

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Week (13 19)

Incidences of thyroid cancer have increased the past few years. In an effort to raise awareness of the disease, ThyCa (Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc.) provides local and e-mail support groups, a free low-iodine cookbook, awareness materials, as well as an educational Web site. For information, visit

Rehabilitation Awareness Celebration (19 25)

This week celebrates the nearly 50 million Americans living with disabilities, as well as the professionals who work with those affected. For more information, visit

Reye's Syndrome Awareness Week (19 25)

The National Reye's Syndrome Foundation provides education and support to families and victims of this rare and mysterious disease. To learn more, visit


Blindness Awareness Month

180 million people worldwide suffer from some form of visual impairment. Worldwide, every five seconds a person goes blind; every minute a child goes blind. To learn more about sight-saving medical and surgical techniques, visit

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Over 50,000 people die every year from a brain injury; as many as 90,000 others are left with a lifelong disability. The Brain Injury Association provides education to the community on sports and recreation, violence, transportation and bike safety, falls and information on how to prevent injuries. For more information, visit

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This program aims to educate women about breast cancerfrom risk factors and breast self-examinations to treatment and complementary therapies. To learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones, visit Nationwide Mammography Day, celebrated on October 17, encourages women to make an appointment for or receive a mammography.

Dental Hygiene Month

Often neglected, oral hygiene is one of the most important daily measures we can take to keep ourselves healthy. Visit the American Dental Hygienists' Association's Web site at for more information.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

According to a 1996 study by the American Psychological Association, one out of every three women experiences at least one physical assault by a partner during adulthood. With 25 years of activism, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) intends to further educate women and their families against this often-deadly occurrence. To learn more, visit

Family Sexuality Education Month

Talking to your kids about sex and sexually transmitted diseases might save their life. Don't wait. Visit to find out what publications and programs are available in your community.

Halloween Safety Month

Although Halloween is one of the most delightful nights of the year for children and teens, parents should be cautious of the often-used cosmetic contact lenses certain costumes call for. For information visit

Health Literacy Month

Every October, health advocates promote the necessity and importance of consumer-friendly health information. To learn more, visit

Healthy Lung Month

Focusing on lung-health issues, such as flu, pneumonia, tuberculosis and asthma, the American Lung Association provides information on lung-related illnesses and treatments, preventive measures, indoor air pollution and the effects of secondhand smoke. For more information, visit

Liver Awareness Month

Liver, biliary or gallbladder disease affects one in every ten Americans. Supported by the American Liver Foundation, a nonprofit voluntary organization, this group aims to educate and call attention to diseases of the liver. For more information, visit

Lupus Awareness Month

This month the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) aims to draw attention to the symptoms, treatments and support available for those suffering from Lupus, as well as resources for their families. For more information, visit

National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

One in every 800 to 1,000 American babies is born with Down syndrome.... National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, celebrated in October, aims to educate and make aware to the community the risks, symptoms and treatments for Down syndrome. For more information, visit

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month

In the past twelve years, the number of United States deaths due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as crib death, has decreased by a total of 42 percent, largely due to an increase in consumer awareness and education. To learn more about how you can help reduce the risk of SIDS, visit

Talk About Prescriptions Month

Sponsored by the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), this month focuses on the importance of patient and health professional communicationunderstanding their medications, the possible side effects and safe dosages. For more information, visit

Vegetarian Awareness Month

The goal of this campaign is to urge people to eat less animal foods and more plant foods. Vegetarian diets can be nutritionally healthy and provide health benefits according to the American Dietetic Association (ADA). For more information, contact the Vegetarian Awareness Network by calling 800-VEG-LINE.

Fire Prevention Week (3 9)

This week, specific attention is given to promoting fire safety and education among our communities. To learn more about how to protect your family, visit

Mental Illness Awareness Week (3 9)

Mental illness is often undiagnosedlargely due to a lack of consumer education. Mental Illness Awareness week focuses on educating families on the myriad of mental disturbances, the treatments available and the resources available for support. For more information, visit Worldwide Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10. For more information, visit National Depression Screening day on October 14, aims to educate communities on the prevalence, symptoms and treatment for depression. For more information, visit

Adult Immunization Awareness Week (10 16)

Often overlooked, teens and adults need immunizations as much as children. For information, fact sheets or immunization schedules, visit

School Lunch Week (11 15)

Sponsored by the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA), this week promotes the necessity and importance of school nutrition programs. For information on ASFSA, visit For information on School Lunch week, visit

Health Education Week (17 23)

The National Center for Health Education (NCHE) sponsors this weeklong event, which seeks to raise awareness of the importance of community health campaigns. To learn more, visit

Red Ribbon Week (23 31)

Started in 1985, this national campaign, signified by the red ribbon, aims to raise awareness of alcohol and drug abuse. Learn more about keeping your family drug- and alcohol-free by visiting

Pastoral Care Week (24 30)

This week encourages chaplains and pastoral care counselors, educators and providers an avenue for sharing their stories and the nature of their specific ministries. For more information, visit

Last updated: August 26, 2004
Information compiled and edited by: Mary Whitmore, Healthvision, Inc.
Sources of Material: Health Observances & Recognition Days, Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development of the American Hospital Association, One North Franklin, Chicago, IL, 60606, (312) 442-3888.

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