Sunday, September 30, 2012

National Child Health Day

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By Nurse Diane

When I learned I was pregnant, I was thrilled.  I went to my doctor regularly, took my vitamins, and did everything I was told to do by my doctor.  I wanted to have a perfect and healthy baby.  However, as I grew older, I have learned that some expectant mothers don't always do this, some because of costs, and some because of knowledge.  I recently read an article about a woman in the military who learned she was pregnant at the time the baby was being delivered.  This occurrence actually happens more times that you think.

Below is a Presidential Proclamation recognizing the importance of the health of our children:

Presidential Proclamation--Child Health Day

The health and well-being of a child is one of our most challenging, yet important, responsibilities, and we have an obligation to ensure that all our children can live, learn, and play in safe and healthy environments. On Child Health Day, we reaffirm the critical importance of the quality health care, nutritious foods, clean air and water, and safe communities our kids need to grow into strong and active adults. Parents and other caregivers set an example of healthy living and lay the foundation for our children's success. Whether providing nourishing meals, attending regular check ups, or encouraging outside activity, they teach the habits and values for mental and physical well-being that last a lifetime. However, the charge to protect the health of our young people extends beyond the home to our classrooms, playgrounds, and hospitals around the country. Today, our children face a new public health crisis we must address as a Nation, and we all have a role to play. In the last three decades, childhood obesity rates have tripled, and this epidemic threatens many young Americans, leaving them at risk for severe and chronic health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. My Administration is committed to solving the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation, and earlier this year I created a Task Force on Childhood Obesity to examine inter-agency solutions and develop clear, concrete steps on how to address this national health crisis. Along with the Task Force, First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative empowers parents and caregivers to help their kids maintain a healthy weight and make healthy choices for their families. "Let's Move!" also encourages young people to choose wholesome foods, increase their physical activity, and develop life-long healthy habits. Child care providers and schools also have an important part in strengthening health and physical education programs and providing nutritious foods in cafeterias and vending areas.
 In America, no parent should have to agonize over finding or affording health care for their child. To address this, the Affordable Care Act guarantees that children are eligible for health coverage regardless of any pre-existing condition. This landmark law extends the Children's Health Insurance Program, and requires basic dental and vision coverage for children under all health plans offered in the new health insurance exchanges beginning in 2014. It also expands our health care workforce, including increasing the number of primary care providers who treat children; forbids insurance companies from dropping coverage if a child or family member gets sick; and helps ensure access to free preventive services. As we mark these successes and the beginning of a new chapter in American health care this year, we also celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Social Security Act including title V of this milestone legislation, which supports maternal and child health programs and services across the country. Parents also should not have to worry about whether the conditions in which their children grow and play are unsafe or unclean. Prenatal and early-life exposures to allergens and environmental contaminants may have detrimental lifelong effects. We must take action for our children's and grandchildren's sake, and we must work together to reduce risks from environmental exposure at home, school, and play areas. Through coordinated efforts like that of the President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children, my Administration will continue to empower Federal inter-agency collaboration to help ensure healthy homes and communities exist for our children.
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Children are our most precious resource. They are our joy in the present and our hope for the future. As loved ones and educators, mentors and friends, we must do everything in our power to protect the health and well-being of our Nation's children and the promise of their futures.

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Today is National Child Health Day, for ways to get involved, visit this site:  http://mchb.hrsa.gov/childhealthday/

Banned Books Week

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By Terry Orr

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September (this year September 30 through October 6), Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning’s of books across America.
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If you don’t care for a radio or television program – you simply find one you prefer to listen to or watch.  Same principle applies to books.

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Commentary by author:
My question to those who believe they should band books - Where is your outrage over mainstream media in their inability to provide unbiased and informed reporting of the news?  Print media used to have sections dedicated to ‘opinions’ so the reader knew these were in fact, just that.  Television and Radio programs used to set aside time for commentary.

Tolerance of others and their beliefs and finding common ground in which we can all live in harmony is a founding principle of America. 

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I propose finding common ground between the two extremes and adopt a rating system similar to the movies and TV programs and that bookstores and libraries find a satisfactory means to store and display books.  Many book stores that I have visited over the past year already employ such a concept.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ask a Stupid Question Day

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By Diane Forrest

I’m sure you have been in a classroom or other educational setting where the instructor will tell you to ask anything, there are no stupid questions.  Well that person has never met my family!!

When my son was small, when he was learning to talk, we called my mother grandma.  Well the name that came out of his mouth was Ama (pronounced A-maw).  That’s who she became.  Well my mother can come up with some off the wall questions, and my father started calling them Amaisms.  He told my son he should write a book of them.  One of my favorite ones happened when a friend was discussing painting a room with polka dots.  My mother then asked, "Oh, do they make polka dotted paint?"

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My aunt is another one asking stupid questions...she was talking with a friend and they were discussing the difference between almond joy and mounds candy bars.  My aunt then asked her friend, "Now which one has the nuts?"  Her friend just told her to think on that for a min.

One of my favorite one's is from a teacher who would see students when she would be shopping at a grocery store.  They would ask, "What are you doing here?"  She would always want to answer, "Oh you know...just hunting buffalos!"

Some other stupid questions include:
  • Having someone step on your foot and asking if it hurts.
  • Asking a waiter if the selection you choose is a good dish.
  • When you get a late night phone call and they ask "were you asleep?"
  • When you have obviously gotten a shorter haircut and are asked "Did you get a haircut?"
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I was talking with a friend of mine the other day.  He had just got a new cookie stove for his business.  I was talking to him on a chat page, and he often uses a short hand and I have to try to decipher that he says.  He had just had some fresh baked cookies and was telling me about them.  I asked how they were he said too many chips, and too sweet.  I assumed he was talking about chocolate chip.  Then he said he liked oatmeal better.  I asked how many different kinds did he have, when I just got some letters as a reply.  Figuring it was shorthand, I asked," so do you have any peanut butter?"  That’s when he rolled his eyes and said I was "so Blonde!!"  His letters that I thought were shorthand was actually spelling the word one, as in he only had one flavor of cookie.

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Today is Ask a Stupid Question Day.  This holiday was created in the 1980's to encourage kids to ask questions in class.  So today, go ahead and ask a stupid question.  You may get some "eye rolls" and may even learn some useful information along the way.

Confucius Say Day

Confucius
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By Terry Orr

Confucius (551–479 BCE) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history. The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin Dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known as Confucianism. (Wikipedia)
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Better known in China as “Master Kong” (Chinese: Kongzi), Confucius was a fifth-century BCE Chinese thinker whose influence upon East Asian intellectual and social history is immeasurable. As a culturally symbolic figure, he has been alternately idealized, deified, dismissed, vilified, and rehabilitated over the millennia by both Asian and non-Asian thinkers and regimes. Given his extraordinary impact on Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese thought, it is ironic that so little can be known about Confucius. (IEP)
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The Top 10 Wise Confucius Quotes:
  1. “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.”
  2. “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”
  3. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
  4. “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” 
  5. “The Superior Man is aware of Righteousness, the inferior man is aware of advantage.”
  6. “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”
  7. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”
  8. “He who learns but does not think, is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”
  9. “He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.”
  10. “If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?”


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In closing this article – it seems appropriate to include this paragraph from last year’s article in the mist of our upcoming elections.  Confucius' political thought is based upon his ethical thought. He argues that the best government is one that rules through "rites" (lǐ) and people's natural morality, rather than by using bribery and coercion. He explained that this is one of the most important analects: "If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame. If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of the shame, and moreover will become good."

The tomb of Confucius in China.
Photo by Rolf Müller
 

References and Links:

Friday, September 28, 2012

National Women's Health and Fitness Day

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By Nurse Diane

This summer much of the country tuned in to watch the summer Olympics that took place in England.  There were contests in Swimming, gymnastics, track and other events that included women.  I watched as one woman ran in a track event, and didn’t even become short of breath when the race was over.  These women are incredibly healthy and fit.   Every time I see women compete in sports, I always wish I could do that too.  Fitness is really becoming popular among women.  Even my small town has a gym just for women, and my mother is a member.  She goes and rides a stationary bike, and rows a "boat".  We also had Curves, another place just for women and I was a member there.

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Today is National Women's Health and Fitness Day.  It is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for women of all ages.  It focuses attention on the importance of regular physical activity and health awareness for women.

Today, more than 1,000 groups across the country will host women’s health and fitness events at senior centers, hospitals, health clubs, park and recreation districts, local health and service organizations, schools, retirement communities, houses of worship, and other community locations. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 women of all ages are expected to participate in these local activities. The goal of this event is to encourage women to take control of their health: to learn the facts they need to make smart health choices, and to make time for regular physical activity.

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There are many ways to improve your health and fitness, without having to train for the Olympics.  You can start by walking in your neighborhood, or inside a mall if the weather is bad, then you can try riding a bike, or taking an exercise class.  However, don’t start any exercise program without a doctor's approval.

To learn more about this day, visit this site:  http://www.fitnessday.com/women/

Native American Day

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By Terry Orr

The fourth Friday of each September is set aside to celebrate Native Americans.  Last year we focus on some of the background of Native Americans, their Tribes, and a few of the more prominent people.  This year’s article is more about some of the injustices they have had to endure over the past 500 years.

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A curious mind can be dangerous at times and yet others leading to enlightenment.  There has been one question on my mind this month – “How many Native Americans were killed by the US government?”
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Estimates:
Two studies have been conducted that attempt to number the natives killed by the United States. The first of these was sponsored by the United States government, and while official does not stand up to scrutiny and is therefore discounted (generally); this estimate shows between 1 million to 4 million killed. The second study was not sponsored by the US Government but was done from independent researchers. This study estimated populations and population reductions using later census data. Two figures are given, both low and high, at: between 10 million and 114 million Indians as a direct result of US actions. Please note that Nazi Holocaust estimates are between 6 and 11 million; thereby making the Nazi Holocaust the 2nd largest mass murder of a class of people in history.

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REF:
American Holocaust: D. Stannard (Oxford Press, 1992) - "over 100 million killed" "[Christopher] Columbus personally murdered half a million Natives"
For four hundred years--from the first Spanish assaults against the Arawak people of Hispaniola in the 1490s to the U.S. Army's massacre of Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in the 1890s--the indigenous inhabitants of North and South America endured an unending firestorm of violence. During that time the native population of the Western Hemisphere declined by as many as 100 million people. Indeed, as historian David E. Stannard argues in this stunning new book, the European and white American destruction of the native peoples of the Americas was the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world.
Stannard begins with a portrait of the enormous richness and diversity of life in the Americas prior to Columbus's fateful voyage in 1492. He then follows the path of genocide from the Indies to Mexico and Central and South America, then north to Florida, Virginia, and New England, and finally out across the Great Plains and Southwest to California and the North Pacific Coast. Stannard reveals that wherever Europeans or white Americans went, the native people were caught between imported plagues and barbarous atrocities, typically resulting in the annihilation of 95 percent of their populations. What kind of people, he asks, do such horrendous things to others? His highly provocative answer: Christians. Digging deeply into ancient European and Christian attitudes toward sex, race, and war, he finds the cultural ground well prepared by the end of the Middle Ages for the centuries-long genocide campaign that Europeans and their descendants launched--and in places continue to wage--against the New World's original inhabitants. Advancing a thesis that is sure to create much controversy, Stannard contends that the perpetrators of the American Holocaust drew on the same ideological wellspring as did the later architects of the Nazi Holocaust. It is an ideology that remains dangerously alive today, he adds, and one that in recent years has surfaced in American justifications for large-scale military intervention in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

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God, Greed and Genocide: The Holocaust Through the Centuries: Grenke (New Academia Publishing 2006)
What are the similarities between the mass extermination of idolaters in the Old Testament, the burning of witches in the Middle Ages, the extermination of native Americans, the mass killing of the Armenians at the hand of the Turks, the Holo- caust of the European Jews, and the communist eradication of the enemies of the people both in the Soviet Union and Cambodia? Are these to be seen as unique cases, or as the result of a recognizable pattern. The author provides insight into these questions, basing his argument on the latest sources. He maintains that the study of the dynamics that lead to mass destruction may provide a better understanding of the holocaust as a recurrent phenomenon.

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Holocaust: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies: Cesarani, (Routledge 2004)
Since the end of the 1980s the field of Holocaust studies has burgeoned, diversified, and experienced a series of important controversies. Drawing on the best research of the past sixty years, this collection brings together the most significant secondary literature on the Nazi persecution and mass murder of the Jews. Care is taken to set the work in a context of historical breadth and depth.

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So on this day of recognition of the Native Americans Day and in preparation of the Native American Heritage Month in November – please take some time and do a little research and get a better understanding of these great people.  Thank you! [from last year’s article]

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References and Links:

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National Courtesy Month

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By Diane Forrest

There are lots of things
We can do to be nice,
Sometimes they're hard to remember.
But there are two little things
You should never forget,
From January through December.

He's talking 'bout please and thank you,
They're called the magic words,
If you want nice things to happen,
They're the words that should be heard,
Remember please and thank you,
'Cause they're the magic words.


If you have ever watched the television show, Barney, for children, you have probably heard this song.   It is an educational show with a large purple dinosaur who teaches things to children.  I can't tell you how many times this song has popped into my head, and my son is grown, so I haven't watched this show in years.  This message is still very important.

When I was growing up every time I received a gift my mother made me sit down and write a thank you note.  I still write them now, and have instilled that in my child as well.  I told him that if someone took the time to think of you, pick something out and give it to you, the very least you can do is to thank them.  Just this week I received two thank you notes in the mail.  It brought a smile to my face to know that some people are still courteous.

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Saying please is another way of being courteous.  This is especially necessary when you are out eating, and are requesting something from your server.  I was reading an article about how you can tell if the person you are dating is a good person.  One of the tips it offered was to notice how they treat the wait staff.  If someone is there to help you with something, saying please when you make a request and thank you when that request is performed will provide you much better service.

This month is National Courtesy Month.  If you are normally courteous, then you practice all the time.  If you are not, well you only have a few days left of this month to start getting into the habit.   If you need a reminder, just think of the Barney song, or click this site and then you can let it stick in your mind too!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3CgwV3o7AM   The most important thing to remember is the Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Love Note Day – 2012

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By Terry Orr

Having one of your first and very personal love notes read aloud in class can have a significant impact on writing additional ones.  Fortunately, I was brave enough (or maybe stupid enough) to write more – and yes, there were more intercepted to my great embarrassment.
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Expressing one feeling, emotions and love for others just seems natural – and trying to find a different way to express yourself beyond ones love for another.  Writing poetry is one form Love Notes – as telling the special someone they look or smell exceptionally nice.  Perhaps they are glowing or their smile is extremely beautiful.
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You can jot a short love note to the one you love anytime and without any special reason – those often mean the most…
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Ancestor Appreciation Day

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By Diane Forrest

I was talking to my aunt the other day, and she was getting ready to decorate her home for the fall season.  Back in the old days, we only decorated for Christmas.  Now she decorates all year long.  She puts up aster trees and decorations, then spring time, summer, July 4th, when school starts, Halloween, Thanksgiving and then back to Christmas again. As she was talking about her decorating she claimed that "my ancestors didn’t do all of this."   to which I replied - "Mine did!!"  Once she started decorating her house, she supplied her sister, my mother, with decorations for the different seasons for her home.  Once I moved out on my own, I was also supplied with decorations.  Now that my son has his own home, I expect I will be supplying his wife with decorations for the seasons.   It seems funny that a small little task likes decorating your home is something that could be passed down from generation to generation.
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That reminds me about a story about cooking roast.  This woman's recipe called for cutting off both ends of a roast before cooking.  She never could understand why.  She asked her mother, who gave her the recipe why the ends were cut.  She told her, well that’s the way we have always done it.  She then asked her mother the reason for cutting the roast.  Her mother replied, well I had to, the pot wasn't big enough.

We learn so much from our ancestors, and also about our history.  In fact, genealogy studies are the second most popular hobby, behind gardening.  A friend of mine's father and grandparents came from Italy.  He has seen pictures of the ships that transported them, and also other papers from when they immigrated to this country.  He found most of his information on Ancestry.com.  His father met his mother in America.   She was born in America, but also of Italian descent.   Their marriage combined the history of Italy, as well as the customs of America.  He fondly remembers watching his mother cook the Old Italian recipes and special holiday treats, and even occasionally prepares these dishes for his family.  These have been passed down to his children and they will one day pass them down to their children.
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Learning about our ancestors not only includes decorations and recipes, but you can also learn about health issues as well.  Many of the diseases people have are genetically coded in our DNA.  This includes the color of your hair and eyes, to heart disease or diabetes, or birth defects.
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Today is Ancestor Appreciation Day.  I found a picture of my son dressed up as a Wild West gangster.  I would imagine if he had lived in that era, that is what he would have looked like.  If he keeps that picture until he has grandchildren, I’m sure they would think he was a criminal in his younger days!   I also found a picture of my husband's grandfather, made a few changes such as coloring his hair and adding glasses and the result was nearly the spitting image of his grandfather, as shown in the picture above.  So, today, pull out your photo albums, and see if you can recognize traits in yourself that are noticeable in your family tree.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Got Milk


National Chocolate Milk Day

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By Diane Forrest

I have never been a milk drinker.  Just watching someone drink that white liquid makes me nauseous.  However, chocolate milk is a different story.  Just by adding a few spoonful’s of chocolate powder, or some chocolate syrup, and I could drink it all day long. 

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Recently in the news there have been reports that Chocolate milk is no longer allowed in schools, because of the sugar content.  In my opinion it’s hard to weigh which is worse.  Not having necessary calcium and Vitamin D, or 8 grams of sugar.  According to one study I read on ABC, the extra sugar would add 5 pounds per year, but what they fail to mention is the calories these kids burn off in a day.  I’m assuming those 5 calories per year are for inactive children who can't move.  However the loss of vitamin D and Calcium would be detrimental to the formation of bones and teeth especially during the growing years.

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Then there are the people like me who cannot drink plain white milk.  I know there are others besides me.

Today is National Chocolate Milk Day.  So to keep your calcium level up and your calories down, drink a nice glass of Chocolate milk, then take a long walk around the block or a nice bike ride in this cool fall weather.

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Adult Immunization Awareness Week

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By Terry Orr
In the Navy, getting your immunizations happen all too often for most of us – and stress the importance getting them when needed.  We fortunate to have a primary care doctor who makes sure that we keep current on all our shots and recommendations for once that may not be required, but make good sense to have them.  As adults, we owe it to ourselves, our family or love ones to be proactive and get those vaccines.
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According to Adult Immunization.org, more than 50,000 US adults die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases and their complications, more than breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, or motor vehicle traffic accidents, yet overall vaccination rates remain low. Adult vaccinations can protect against illness, absenteeism from work, hospitalization, or even death; however, adult vaccination rates, on average, are far lower than the Healthy People 2020 goals for immunization and infectious diseases.
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These suboptimal rates are not only taking a toll on the country's health; they are also impacting the bottom line: the estimated direct costs of treating just two vaccine-preventable illnesses — influenza and pneumonia — in adults in the US alone are over $35 billion per year.
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10 Reasons To Be Vaccinated:
Vaccine-preventable diseases haven’t gone away;
Vaccines will help keep you healthy;
Vaccines are as important to your overall health as diet and exercise;
Vaccination can mean the difference between life and death;
Vaccines are safe;
Vaccines won’t give you the disease they are designed to prevent;
Young and healthy people can get very sick, too;
Vaccine-preventable diseases are expensive;
When you get sick, your children, grandchildren and parents are at risk, too; and
Your family and coworkers need you.

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References and Links: