Health Topics of the Month
August Awareness Activities
National Breastfeeding Month
Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for most infants as it can reduce the risk for certain health conditions for both infants and mothers. Most mothers want to breastfeed but stop early due to a lack of ongoing support. August is National Breastfeeding Month. This year’s theme is Many Voices United. Now, more than ever, we must come together to ensure that every family that chooses breastfeeding has the support and resources they need to succeed.
Did you know that...
- While 83 percent of U.S. infants receive breast milk at birth, only 25 percent are still exclusively breastfed at six months of age.
- Only 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed as recommended by the time they are 6 months old.
- Low rates of breastfeeding add more than $3 billion a year to medical costs for the mother and child in the United States.
- Black infants are 15% less likely to have ever been breastfed than white infants.
Throughout the month, the United States Breastfeeding Committee will host "NBCC Reimagined," a robust series of webcasts that will be available on-demand and free of charge. We encourage you to check them out!
- Week 1 (August 1-7): World Breastfeeding Week: Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet
- Week 2 (August 9-15): Native Breastfeeding Week
- Week 4 (August 25-31): Black Breastfeeding Week: Revive. Restore. Reclaim
La Leche League in Nashua is also taking action to support mothers during this time. La Leche League offers information and support for breastfeeding, chestfeeding, pumping, weaning, and responsive parenting. This support is free at online meetings, and through one-to-one help by phone, email, text and social media. Nursing parents can attend meetings at any time, from pregnancy throughout birth.
National Immunization Awareness Month
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life. You have the power to protect yourself and your family against serious diseases, such as whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV, and pneumonia, through on-time vaccination.
During NIAM, the Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services (DPHCS) encourages you talk to your healthcare provider to ensure you, your child, and your family are up to date on recommended vaccines. We also encourage you to visit CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughout your child’s life.
August is a key time to make sure you are up to date on all the vaccines you need to stay healthy. As communities continue to open up their services and as local school districts are currently working on their back to school plans, parents and caretakers should work with their healthcare provider(s) to make sure their children are able to stay up to date on routine immunizations. If your child is due for a well-child visit, call your healthcare provider's office and ask about ways they are safely offering well-child visits during this time. Many healthcare offices are taking extra steps to ensure that well-child visits can happen safely.
If you do not have a healthcare provider, are uninsured, or are unable to secure an appointment, we encourage you to attend one of our upcoming clinics. A full schedule of our free upcoming child immunization clinics is available here!
We will also be sharing information and resources on our social media pages to highlight the importance of vaccines. Help us spread the word! Follow the conversation on Facebook (@NashuaDPHCS) and Twitter (@NashuaPHealth), and use #ivax2protect to share why you choose to vaccinate.
Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
Did you know? (Source: Prevent Blindness)
- Vision disorders can negatively impact a babies’ ability to bond with their parent/caregiver, their ability to explore the world by reaching and grasping, and also impede development of fine and gross motor skills.
- One in every 4 school-age children and 1 in every 17 preschool-aged children have some form of vision problem requiring treatment.
- 24% of teens with correctable vision have the wrong prescription and this rises to about 33% for Mexican-American and African-American teens.
- 80% of all blindness and vision impairment is either preventable or treatable.
August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month! This August, make comprehensive eye exam appointments for your child. A good rule of thumb is to have your children’s eyes examined during well-child visits, beginning around age three. Your child’s eye doctor can help detect refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism as well as serval disease that affect the eyes.
There are some specific warning signs that may indicate that your child has a vision problem. These include wandering or crossed eyes, family history of childhood vision problems, disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects, or squinting or turning the head in an unusual manner while watching television.
Keeping your children’s eyes safe is another part of maintaining healthy vision. Eye injuries are the leading cause of vision loss in children. There are about 42,000 sports-related eye injuries every year in America, and children suffer most of these injuries. Help prevent your child from being one of the more than 12 million children who suffer from vision impairment.
National Health Center Week (Aug. 9–15)
August 9th through 15th is National Health Center Week! This year’s theme is ‘Community Health Centers: Lighting the Way for Healthier Communities Today and in the Future’. National Health Center Week is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades. Community Health Centers serve as the beacon of strength, service, and care in communities.
This National Health Center Week honors those front line providers, staff, and beloved patients who lost their lives during the (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic. From the very beginning of the crisis, Community Health Centers began finding innovative ways to provide preventative and primary care to their patients. As we commemorate those lives and celebrate the future of Community Health, let’s shine a light across the country that will embody the future of primary health care aces for underserved populations. Shine a light on your Community Health Center and share the value that it brings to everyone who it touches.
Thank you to the Greater Nashua Mental Health and Lamprey Health Care for their diligent work committed to providing high quality care to patients in need. They are an incredible asset to the Greater Nashua community.