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Health Awareness Observations

Each month, and sometimes every week, different health observances are publicized. Organizations focused on eradicating specific diseases or conditions want us to know what we can do to prevent or minimize the impact of illness, especially chronic medical conditions.

Many observances occur in the month of April; some might be of interest to you or your family. It is National Alcohol Awareness Month, Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, and National Distracted Driving Month.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (www.cdc.gov) want us to know that we need to strive to protect our lungs from air pollutants. Immunizations for children and adults, alike, are a very important part of staying healthy. Did you know that besides a flu shot, adults should have a tetanus shot every 10 years, or when a severe puncture wound occurs? There are pneumonia and shingles vaccines available for those whose medical provider recommends them. Our students going off to college should be sure they are current with boosters to protect them from measles, German measles, whooping cough, and other communicable diseases that are easily transmitted in the college environment.

Northeast Delta Dental promotes health and wellness all year long, but the month of April is special for the Professional Relations department since it is National Child Abuse Prevention month (www.childwelfare.gov). Eleanor Vien, Manager, Quality Assurance, promotes the P.A.N.D.A. (Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness) program to dental hygiene and dental assisting students and at all dental meetings in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, no matter what month of the year. All healthcare providers are required to report any suspected abuse or neglect to their states' Department of Health and Human Services.

Jean McPheters, RDH

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