National Public Health Week being celebrated April 1-7

In 1995, President William Jefferson Clinton proclaimed the first full week of April as National Public Health Week.
Each year since then, communities across the nation have observed National Public Health week, celebrating the work of public health and better health for all. Each year a different topic is selected.
This year’s theme is “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money.”
According to Carver County, the value of a strong public health system is all around us. It’s in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the places where we live, learn, work, and play. It’s in the thousands of people whose lives are saved by seat belts, the young people who say “No!” to tobacco, and the children given a healthy start, thanks to vaccines. We are all living examples of the public health return on investment.
This year, Carver County invites members of the community to join it for National Public Health Week by taking small, easy steps to protect their health.
• Ensure a Safe, Healthy Home for Your Family. Health and safety begin at home. Test your smoke alarms each month to make sure they are working. While you’re at it, install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor. Post this number on your fridge and by your phone: 1-800-222-1222; it will automatically connect you to your regional poison control center. Properly dispose of unused medications; visit www.co.carver.mn.us/medicine to learn how.
• Provide a Safe Environment for Children at School. Schools are the perfect setting for improving child health. Support your school’s smoke- and tobacco-free policies. Learn about school-wide policies and action against bullying, and create a safe space for kids experiencing bullying to get help. Every student deserves to feel safe and respected at school.
• Create a Healthy Workplace. Wellness and safety in the workplace are good for health and for business. Understand and follow all workplace safety regulations and best practices, and practice fire safety drills. Take simple steps to create workplace wellness, such as posting hand-washing reminders, catering meetings with healthy foods, or organizing workplace walking groups on lunch breaks.
• Protect Yourself and Your Family While You’re on the Move. Safety on the go is often in our own hands, but it’s also tied to community design. Together, we can turn our streets into roads to better health. Always buckle your seat belt – no matter how short the trip – and never text while driving. If possible, choose to walk or bike to daily destinations, such as work or school. Choosing biking or walking over driving is an easy way to get more physical activity into your life.
• Empower a Healthy Community. Support public health efforts that create healthy opportunities for all. Good health is a community affair. Stay up-to-date on recommended vaccinations for yourself and your loved ones. Support your local famer’s market, neighborhood garden, and other access points to fresh fruits and vegetables. Inquire about volunteer opportunities at community health centers.
“National Public Health Week helps educate and engage community members in the movement to create a healthier Carver County for ourselves and the generations to come,” said Randy Wolf, Director of the Public Health & Environment Division. “We all have a role to play in making Carver County a healthy and safe place to live, work, learn, and play. It starts with each of us taking simple preventive steps that lead to better health.”
For more information about National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org.
To learn more about public health efforts in Carver County, visit www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/PH.

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