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Health Bulletin Fall 2010

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. Know what to do during an emergency or a disaster (such as a flood or fire)!

September is a great time to take steps to get ready for emergencies. Put together emergency supply kits and make a family emergency plan. Find out which emergencies and disasters you
should prepare for. Plan ahead to be ready!

Are you prepared?
Focus on being ready – at home, at work, and in your community. Prepare for emergencies by following these steps:

  • Make two Emergency Kits. One for evacuating, and one for sheltering in place. Your shelter-in-place kit should include enough supplies for at least three days for each person in your house.
  • Make an Emergency Plan. Make plans with your household members, and practice it. Know how you will contact each other, where you will meet, and what to do in different emergencies.
  • Be Informed. Being prepared means staying informed. Check Web sites, newspapers, radio, and TV for information.
  • Get Involved. Take first aid training, and sign up for other emergency volunteer trainings. Click here to find out more.

Your Emergency Kit should include:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Kitchen items
  • Items for babies, seniors, disabled persons
  • Small radio
  • First aid kit
  • Clothing
  • Blankets
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Money
  • Other everyday items

Childhood Obesity
Being overweight or obese can lead to serious health problems. Obesity is measured using a number called the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a number based on a child’s weight and height.

Obesity can lead to many health problems:

  • Heart disease- leading cause of death in the US.
  • Type 2 diabetes- can cause blindness and kidney failure.
  • Asthma- causes wheezing, chest tightness and coughing.
  • Sleep apnea- interrupts breathing during sleep.

As a parent or caregiver, you can help prevent childhood obesity:

  • Serve fruits and vegetables.
  • Include low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
  • Serve smaller portions.
  • Help your family drink lots of water.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened drinks.
  • Limit food and snacks with sugar and fat.
  • Try to make your favorite meals healthier.
  • Include 60 minutes of exercise each day. You can walk, play tag, jump rope, play soccer, swim and dance.

Back-to-School Health Tips

Parents should tell the school nurse about:

  • Your child’s emergency contact information. Keep this up-to-date.
  • Medication your child takes. Even if your child only takes his/her medication at home, let the nurse know.
  • Any health problems. Allergies are a good example.
  • Any physical problems. Examples are asthma or a heart murmur.

Syphilis is on the Rise in Philadelphia

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is spread from person-to-person through direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Symptoms of infection include skin
rashes and sores on the genital region, but some people can be infected with syphilis and have no symptoms at all. The best way to diagnose syphilis by having a blood test.

Syphilis is a big public health problem in Philadelphia because the number of cases is increasing at a fast rate, especially in women 15-40 years of age. Pregnant women can unknowingly pass the infection to their babies. Babies infected with syphilis can have mental retardation, physical deformities, or might die at birth.

You can prevent syphilis by always using condoms during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. If you have more than one different sexual partner, you should be checked by your healthcare provider for syphilis.

Click here to find out where you can get tested for syphilis.