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WCPC BLOG PAGE
WestCoast Admin

WestCoast Admin

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 19:02

NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION AWARENESS MONTH

Immunization helps prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. To stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and tuberculosis, adults need to get their shots – just like kids do.

National Immunization Awareness Month is a great time to promote vaccines and remind family, friends, and coworkers to stay up to date on their shots.

How can National Immunization Awareness Month make a difference?

We can all use this month to raise awareness about vaccines and share strategies to increase immunization rates with our community.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Talk to friends and family members about how vaccines aren’t just for kids. People of all ages can get shots to protect them from serious diseases.
  • Encourage people in your community to get the flu shot every year.
  • Invite a doctor or nurse to speak to parents about why it’s important for all kids to get vaccinated.

How can I help spread the word?

We’ve made it easier for you to make a difference! This toolkit is full of ideas to help you take action today. For example:

  • Add information about immunizations to your newsletter.
  • Tweet about National Immunization Awareness Month.
  • Host a community event where families can get together and learn about immunizations.
  • Add this Web badge to your Web site, blog, or social networking profile.

This article was found on HealthFinder.gov.

Friday, 20 June 2014 11:58

JULY IS UV SAFETY MONTH!

Sun Safety Tips for Your Skin

Many people love the warm sun. The sun's rays make us feel good, and in the short term, make us look good. But our love affair isn't a two way street:

Exposure to sun causes many of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces and is the number one cause of skin cancer.

In fact, sun exposure causes many of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun's ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place. The skin also bruises and tears more easily -- taking longer to heal. So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you're young, it will definitely show later in life.

How Does the Sun Change Skin?

Exposure to the sun causes:

  • Pre-cancerous (actinic keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma) skin lesions
  • Benign tumors
  • Fine and coarse wrinkles
  • Freckles
  • Discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation
  • A yellow discoloration of the skin
  • The dilation of small blood vessels under the skin

How Can I Protect Skin From the Sun?

Nothing can completely undo sun damage, although the skin can sometimes repair itself. So, it's never too late to begin protecting yourself from the sun.

Follow these tips to help prevent sun-related skin problems:

  • Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and then at least every 2 hours thereafter, more if you are sweating or swimming
  • Select cosmetic products and contact lenses that offer UV protection
  • Wear sunglasses with total UV protection
  • Wear wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved shirts, and pants
  • Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Perform skin self-exams regularly to become familiar with existing growths and to notice any changes or new growths
  • Eighty percent of a person's lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. As a parent, be a good role model and foster skin cancer prevention habits in your child
  • Avoid tanning beds
Friday, 20 June 2014 11:58

HEALTH CORNER

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, affects one in three adults in the United States, while only half are treated for this condition. An additional 25% of adults have blood pressure readings that are considered pre-hypertensive, placing them at risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Hypertension can occur at any age, and the risk rises as one continues to age.

Blood pressure is the force exerted on artery walls from blood flowing through the body. A blood pressure reading provides two measures, systolic pressure and diastolic pressure, which are expressed as millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Systolic pressure is measured as the heart pumps. Diastolic pressure is measured between beats, as blood flows back into the heart.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, has no symptoms, and is often called the “silent killer” because it can go undetected for years until a fatal heart attack or stroke occurs. Untreated hypertension causes damage to blood vessels over time. This can lead to other health complications such as stroke, kidney failure, impaired vision, heart attack, or heart failure. Blood pressure levels should be closely monitored and checked regularly.

Quick Facts...

  1. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is called the “silent killer” because it can go undetected for years.
  2. Hypertension is associated with a high sodium intake and excess body fat.
  3. Maintaining a healthy diet can prevent or manage hypertension in many individuals.
  4. For healthy individuals, the Dietary Recommendations suggest consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, while those with certain risk factors should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
  5. Healthy potassium, magnesium, and calcium intakes have important, protective roles in the risk for high blood pressure.
  6. The DASH dietary pattern (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is highly recommended for hypertension prevention and management.