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Health Bulletin Fall 2011

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.

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 a plan 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 aware of friends and neighbors in
emergencies, and plan to check in with them as you make sure your own household is ok. They might need help, and you might be the closest person who can provide it. If you take medications, keep a list handy of all your current medications and how much you take every day. Make sure that if you need to leave your house for a period of time that you take your medicines with you.

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. Check http://www.phila.gov/ health/MedResCorps.html for more info.

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. A child is considered obese if she/he has a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex.

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.
  • Serve fruits and vegetables.
  • Serve water or milk instead of sodas and other drinks with a lot of sugar.
  • 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.
As a parent or caregiver, you can help prevent childhood obesity!

Find farmer’s markets by visiting http://www.thefoodtrust.org or weekly fresh food drop-off locations by visiting http://www.philabundance.org.
Eye Health
Many children have never had their eyes checked. This can be a problem because reading and writing are a big part of the school day. The earlier an eye problem is found and treated, the more likely the treatment will work. Vision checks at school are helpful, but should not take the place of a checkup with an eye doctor if there are any problems. Make an eye doctor appointment if your child:

  • Squints
  • Sits too close to the TV
  • Loses his or her place while reading
  • Gets headaches
  • Fails a vision check at school