July only has few dedicated national health & wellness observances, which we’ve listed below. But even if national organizations are a bit quiet, that doesn’t mean your wellness communications should be.  July is a perfect time to focus on such topics as:

Healthy eating. Communicate the benefits of eating local, eating fresh.  Promote farmer’s markets and fresh fruits and vegetables. Find Pick Your Own Farms or local farmer’s markets, roadside stands, or farm stands. The Centers for Disease Control suggests you get 5 fruits and vegetables a day, but why limit yourself in the season while availability is fresh and local? July is National Blueberry Month. At about 8- calories a cup, these little berries pack a nutritional wallop. Learn more about the benefits of adding blueberries to your diet.

Fitness & exercise in the great outdoors. July is Parks & Recreation Month. Learn more about ways to enjoy outdoor activities in our nation’s parks. But with the summer, don’t let seasonal hazards put a damper on your fitness activities. Heat can be a killer – everyone should be aware of signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and the importance of hydration.  It’s also a good idea to check your UV Index in your area – see the UV Alert Map. In addition to protection against heat, taking precautions against sun exposure is also important in the summer months when sun rays are at their strongest. See information about protecting yourself from UV rays from the American Cancer Society and protecting your eyes from solar radiation from  the American Optometric Association.

National Health & Wellness Observances

Fireworks Safety. Both before and after the July 4 festivities, fireworks pose a serious health and safety risk, particularly to kids.  Promote the facts about Fireworks Safety

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month – Arthritis is a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or conditions that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues, hampering or halting physical movement. Juvenile arthritis (JA) is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 and younger. Visit the Arthritis Association for an informational overview  and for valuable JA information and tips.

Group B Strep (GBS) – Approximately 1 in 4 pregnant women carry GBS, the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns. GBS can also infect babies during pregnancy and the first few months of life. Not all babies exposed to GBS become infected, but, for those who do, the results can be devastating. Fortunately, there are many ways to help protect babies from Group B Strep.

National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month – Cleft and craniofacial conditions affect thousands of infants, children, teens and adults in the US each year. Some are born with congenital anomalies like cleft lip and palate or complex, life-threatening craniofacial conditions. Others are injured in accidents and animal attacks, or diagnosed with diseases. Learn more about these conditions, including treatment options and support networks in your area.

July 28 – World Hepatitis Day – Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. There are five different hepatitis viruses, hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. All these viruses cause short term, or acute infection, but hepatitis B, C and D can also cause long-term infection, which can lead to life-threatening complications such as cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer. Viral hepatitis kills 1.5 million people every year. Learn more.

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