April 7, 2003
It seems as though each month, week, or day has been claimed to bring
awareness to a different cause. Prior to the Question of the Week
are some topics to think about this April.
"As always, the American
Public Health Association (APHA) is honored to take the lead in partnering
with other public health organizations, agencies and associations
to prepare and disseminate materials in order to
make this week a success....The year's theme is overweight and obesity.
The goal during this week is to educate American adults and children
about the health risks associated with this fast-growing epidemic
and to present communities and individuals with ways to 'shape up
"Autism Awareness Month,
celebrated every year in April, provides an opportunity for families,
friends, and local communities to raise public awareness about autism....Autism
is a complex developmental disability that affects an individual's social interaction and communication.
It is known as a spectrum disorder, because it affects each individual
in different ways and to varying degrees."
"The month of April
has been proclaimed National Youth Sports Safety Month....Each year
the campaign focuses on a different aspect of injury prevention. Past
campaigns have addressed: the emergency plan, preparticipation physicals,
individual risk factors, coaching education, eating disorders, the
recognition of sports injuries, safety equipment, and emotional injuries.
This year the focus will be on keeping informed about the most current
youth sports safety resources."
DESIGNATES APRIL AS 'NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH'
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced that the month of
April will be observed as National Donate Life Month to help raise
public awareness of the critical need for organ, tissue, marrow and
blood donation. 'Each year the month of April brings springtime and
nature's renewal,' said Secretary Thompson. 'Now, each April will
remind all Americans of their own ability to renew and enhance life
through the gift
"17th Annual Alcohol
Awareness Month 2003 Theme: GIVE CHILDREN A CHANCE - END UNDERAGE
DRINKING...Alcohol Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Council
on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence since 1987, encourages local communities
to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues...."
"This year, National
Sleep Awareness Week® takes place March 31 - April 6, 2003. The
theme for NSAW 2003 is 'Let Sleep Work For You!' What is National
Sleep Awareness Week? It's a major public awareness campaign sponsored
by the National Sleep Foundation to promote the importance of quality
sleep to health, productivity and safety. The campaign coincides with
the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, when we turn our clocks forward
one hour and therefore risk losing an hour of sleep. NSF's annual
Sleep in America polls show that it is an hour of sleep that most
Americans can't afford to lose."
"National Work Zone
Awareness Week is April 6 - 12, 2003....Federal Highway Administrator
Mary E. Peters will speak at the event. The message for this years
campaign is: In 2001, over 1,000 people lost their life in a highway
work zone crash. Four out of five were motorists. Dont add to
the numbers - Stay Alert and Obey the Speed Limit!"
Animal Swings is the Focus of National Playground Safety Week, 2003
April 21-25, 2003
More than 10,000 animal figure swings were installed in parks, schools,
child care centers, and public playgrounds between 1951 and 1991.
These animal swings have caused serious head injuries and deaths to
children. An undetermined number can still be found on many public
playgrounds. In recognition of National Playground Safety Week, the
National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) and the International
Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) and its members are
announcing a voluntary initiative to find and remove the old animal
"In the past year, answers
have come fast and furious about the causesÜand possible solutionsÜfor
high minority cancer rates. So as we observe the 17th annual Minority
Cancer Awareness Week, April 20-26, the nation is challenged to make
progress against cancer reach every American, regardless of race,
ethnicity, or income."
Questions of the Week:
How well does an "Awareness Week" really work to raise interest
and help others learn about specific topics? Are there too many groups
trying to use this method to raise awareness? In what ways is this
a good method to help educate the public? What other ways can you
think of to help increase public interest in important health issues?
Please email me with any ideas or suggestions.
Note: Due to increasing amounts of SPAM sent to this account, please include "QOW" in the subject line when sending me email.
I look forward to reading
what you have to say.
Health Community Coordinator
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum