POLICY PULSE
August 2015 
Health Observances 
 
National Immunization Awareness Month provides an opportunity to bring attention to the importance of immunizations, a cornerstone of public health. Vaccinations prevent infectious diseases in infants, children and adults. Some common vaccines that many may take for granted are the flu vaccine, shots for measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox. Some ways to raise awareness about vaccinations are to encourage your loved ones to receive a flu vaccine or have a doctor or nurse explain the importance of a child getting vaccinated. Speaking to the community about the importance of getting flu shots every year is another great way to spread awareness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) develops materials for community outreach programs and educational endeavors. Visit CDC's website to share educational immunization posters, and video PSA's  via social media.

Each year during the month of August, the National Psoriasis Foundation  promotes Psoriasis Awareness Month to bring attention to this particular disease, educating the community about having Psoriasis and eliminating the myths associated with it. As the most common autoimmune disease in the country, Psoriasis affects approximately 7.5 million Americans. The causes of this disease can be genetics and immuno-deficiencies. Psoriasis develops due to a combination of the genes that cause Psoriasis and exposure to an external "trigger". Triggers include stress; injury to the skin, such as a tattoo or a scrape; smoking; and certain infections. To help spread the word in your local community or  further your understanding  about Psoriasis, visit  psoriasis.org .
Children's Eye Health  and  Sa fety Month 

August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month. Almost all children have healthy eyes, however there are conditions that can compromise a child's vision. According to Prevent Blindness, a child's eyes should be examined during regular pediatric appointments and vision testing should be conducted routinely. Signs for parents to be aware of in cases where their child may have vision problems are: Amblyopia (lazy eye), Strabismus (Crossed eyes), and color  deficiency, better known as color blindness. When it comes to eye safety, children have vision impairment and eye injuries as much as adults do, however, there are a few ways to prevent this from happening. When playing sports, wear protective goggles, play with age appropriate toys and avoid toys with sharp or projecting parts. For more information about children's eye safety, visit preventblindness.org.  
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HPRC is supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health under award number #1U54MD008608-01. This content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.