Officials celebrate public health weekNurses with the St. Croix County Public Health Department support the nationwide movement toward “a healthier America” during their commemoration of National Public Health week, April 2-8.
Nurses with the St. Croix County Public Health Department support the nationwide movement toward “a healthier America” during their commemoration of National Public Health week, April 2-8.
SCC Public Health Nurse Jaye Ann Hay invites residents to join the challenge “10 weeks to a healthier lifestyle,” online at the county’s web site: www.sccwi.us/publichealth.
The site includes videos and links to make the challenge fun.
Hay cites several efforts across America like First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative and the NFL’s “Play 60” movement in which it encourages kids to get 60 minutes of play each day. She says during the week of April 30-May 6, families are encouraged to go ‘screen free’ -- to get outside and play away from technology.
She also points out efforts at a more local level like businesses creating wellness programs and community-wide programs like New Richmond’s “Vitality Initiative” that have prompted new walking groups to form. Other efforts include classes for kids who aren’t in organized sports and the planting of several community gardens.
Hay wants county residents to know about many free or low-cost health-improvement options such as classes on exercise and nutrition offered through the local hospitals and community education programs. St. Croix County’s web site also offers links to area parks, trails and recreational opportunities.
St. Croix County Public Health Nurse Jennifer Hansen points out that the life expectancy of Americans increased significantly during the 20th century by 30 years. All but a few of those additional years can be attributed to the top public health advancements of the 20th century.
- Vaccination: Eliminated smallpox and polio plus controls measles, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, influenza type b and other infectious diseases.
- Vehicle safety: Seat belts, child safety seats, motorcycle helmets and less drunk driving have reduced the number of motor-vehicle-related deaths.
- Safer workplaces: Better practices have reduced on-the-job deaths 40% by decreasing serious incidents related to mining, manufacturing, construction and transportation.
- Disease control: Clean water and good sanitation have enabled the control and/or elimination of many illnesses.
- Heart health: Modifying risk factors has led to a 51% reduction in coronary heart disease.
- Food: Less bacterial contamination and more nutritional content have resulted in safer, healthier foods.
- Fluoride: Fluoridation of drinking water began in 1945, leading to a reduction in children’s tooth decay and adult tooth loss. Health officials liken the fluoridation of water to the way milk is fortified with vitamin D or table salt with iodine.
- Babies: Mothers and their kids have greater access to health care and better information with advances in maternal and neonatal medicine, including better hygiene and nutrition and the availability of antibiotics. Hansen’s list says since 1900, infant mortality rates have decreased by 90% and maternal mortality has decreased by 99%.
- Planning: Family planning and access to contraceptives have contributed to health benefits such as smaller family size, longer intervals between births and use of barrier contraceptives to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
- Tobacco: Hazards associated with tobacco use are more widely recognized since the mid-1960s, leading to more people quitting and a reduction in the amount of exposure to secondhand smoke.