Independence Day is the start of the “Dog Days of Summer,” a period the Farmer’s Almanac marked from early July to mid-August characterized by low rain and high heat. Weather watchers predict that the summer ahead may bring historic heat waves. Ready.gov offers many resources on extreme heat that you may want to share with your employees. It covers how to prepare for extreme heat, how to stay safe during a heat wave, and how to recognize signs of heat-related illnesses. It includes a good hand-out that you could distribute if your area is subject to an extreme heat warning over the summer. OSHA also has information for employers about keeping workers safe in extreme heat, particularly those who work outdoors.
We’ve compiled a list of July events with links to helpful resources from event sponsors or topical experts for your use if you are planning employee newsletters, intranets, or other communications, Some links include tool kits and social media messages related to the event; others offer valuable information on the topic. Here’s our pick of July dates & events that you may want to check out and promote to your employees.
Independence Day – At the start of the month, we celebrate the nation’s founding. The link from the Library of Congress includes important historical documents. Because it’s our nation’s birthday, we often celebrate with lavish fireworks displays, public concerts, family outings and barbecues. However you choose to celebrate, be sure to stay safe. 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.
National Parks and Recreation Month – Right after Independence Day, there’s no better way to feel patriotic than to get outside and explore the bountiful beauty of the nation’s park systems. People in the U.S. have celebrated Parks and Recreation Month since 1985. The National Park System encompasses 424 national park sites in the U.S., spanning more than 84 million acres, with parks in each state and extending into the territories. Within the system, there are 63 sites that include the “National Park” designation in their names, such as Acadia, Everglades, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone. Though world-renowned for their grandeur and beauty, our national treasures encompass far more than these 63 sites. They include landscapes and historical narratives within areas that interpret our nation’s past, and cultural and recreation areas that stretch our minds and bodies to learn and do more. Learn more at the National Park Foundation. You can also use the Find Your Park site to locate the right park for you by location or by activity.
But wait – don’t forget the many state parks, forests, landmarks, wildlife refuges, monuments, and more. Explore the wide range of parks using a map locator at StateParks.com.
Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month – There are approximately 300,000 children in the U.S. battling pediatric rheumatic diseases. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common type of chronic, or long-lasting, arthritis that affects children. It happens when the immune system attacks healthy joint tissues. JIA may last a few months or years, or it may be a lifelong disease.
JIA broadly refers to several different chronic disorders involving inflammation of joints (arthritis), which can cause: Joint pain, swelling, warmth, stiffness, and loss of motion.
JIA begins in children and adolescents before they turn 16. Most types of the disease are more frequent in girls, but others affect boys more frequently or affect boys and girls equally. Children of all races and ethnic backgrounds can get the disease. Though JIA does not tend to run in families, children with a family member who has long-lasting arthritis, including JIA, are at a slightly increased risk of developing it.At the link above, you can learn more about the various types of JIA symptoms that you should be alert for, and how to get help.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month – National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was created in 2008 to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face regarding mental illness in the US. Today, the month is known as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, named in honor of American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate Bebe Moore Campbell, who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities. The 2023 theme for the month is Culture, Community, and Connection. Learn more at Mental health America, where you can download the 2023 BIPOC Mental Health Month toolkit.
UV Safety Month – The American Academy of Dermatology Association says, “In July, we raise awareness that UV is the root cause of most skin cancers and encourage the public to take precautions.” The AAD recommends that the public Practice Safe Sun the year-round by following three simple steps while outdoors:1. Seek shade when appropriate. 2. Wear sun-protective clothing, 3. Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. They offer links to additional resources to stay safe, including their campaign: SPOT Skin Cancer™ seeks a world without skin cancer. The CDC also offers excellent resources on Sun Safety, the UV Index, and more. They also offer tips and resources for employers and for schools.
ESI EAP Member Website theme for the month of July
In July, the member website theme is Retirement Planning. Resources include a webinar and relevant content. EAP members can log in to the home page: www.theEAP.com.
Other noteworthy July events:
July 28 – World Hepatitis Day