Tuesday, December 01, 2009

July is the best month for new health observances

Earlier this year I was making a monthly post about the various health observances of note that were occurring in the coming month.  Some months were overwhelmingly packed with a variety of specific "days" or "weeks" to observe good health-related causes. 

Tonight I've been reviewing some entries that I never actually posted, and it occurred to me that it might be worthwhile to mention that July is a very "slow" month for health observances.  Perhaps because it's a traditional vacation month, school is out, and people are enjoying nicer weather instead of paying attention to media messages.  However, if you have a cause to publicize and a great campaign to lauch your message, July just might be the month you want to consider. 

Better 5-months-late than never, here are links to the major health observances for July 2009:

Hemochromatosis Awareness Month.  Too much iron in the body is a bad thing.  Hemochromotosis results when the body absorbs excess iron from the food and stores it in vital organs.  Get free downloads from the hemocromatosis center--including an 8-page-informational handout for your physician to help manage the disease with the best possible results. Learn about all kinds of iron disorders at the Iron Disorders Institute page and sign up at the bottom of this page: to receive an email with their monthly newsletter "id insight" (or read them here online.)

International Group B Strep Awareness Month.  Group Strep B is a bacteria that can be deadly to a newborn baby.  It can cause a bloodstream infection called sepsis, pneumonia, or menigitis.  A woman may be a carrier of this bacteria without being ill.  If it is present in the birth canal, the baby is exposed to the bacteria during the vaginal birth process.  The good news is that treatment of the mother in advance is available and testing mothers-to-be for Group B Strep in advance of delivery is becoming the norm in the U.S.  Learn more about "GBS" and why it is a big deal.  Check out the Group B Strep International website for an abundance of information (available in 10 languages).

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month.  Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) is the most common type of arthritis occurring in kids under the age of 16.  It's one of the auto-immune illnesses in which immune cells within the body start to attack healthy tissues--in this case the joint tissues.  This is a painful and debilitating condition that may be short-term or lifelong.  Read more about Juvenile Arthritis in this Mayo Clinc article and at  Kidshealth.org.

UV Safety Month sponsored by the American Academy of Opthalmology.  Ultraviolet light can damage visions as wel as skin.  Too much UV light is a known risk factor for developing sking cancer.  Learn more from http://www.skincancer.org/

July 20 - 24, National Youth Sports Week.  July is usually a month in which kids are enjoying some beautiful weather and have the opportunity to be playing outside a lot.  The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) are a major promotor of this observance week.  Their slogan:  "Healthy Lifestyles . . . It Starts in Parks."  Link to their calendar page to discover other events they endorse all year long.

July 27 - August 2, Phelan-McDermid Syndrome This syndrome describes a chromosomal abnormality that is not well publicized.  In this condition genes, at the tip of the 22nd chromosome important in the development of the nervous system, are absent.  It's sometimes difficult to discern the syndrome as some of the features may seem subtle or be dismissed as variations of "the norm."  Learn more about the characteristics of Phelan-McDermid Syndrome  at the website of their national foundation.

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