Health Division celebrating National Public Health Week

Oakland County Health Division (OCHD), under the leadership of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, celebrates the 18th annual National Public Health Week (NPHW) this first week in April by focusing on ways families can ensure safe and healthy homes. OCHD encourages all residents to take life-saving steps such as installing smoke alarms and creating emergency preparedness plans to protect their home and family.

"Good prevention starts in the home," said OCHD Manager/Health Officer Kathy Forzley. "Practice food safety, place dangerous chemicals out of children's reach, and purchase and install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Home is also the first place where children should learn to practice healthy eating and exercise habits."

Teaching your children how to eat healthy and exercise can be as simple as serving healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables and taking a walk together as a family after dinner. When parents are active, kids are more likely to join in. Kids are more likely to model their behaviors after what their parents do, not say.

Here are a few other ways to create a healthier home:

Start small...

* Learn about proper food handling and cooking techniques to avoid food-borne illness at www.fightbac.org.

* Install carbon monoxide and smoke alarms on every floor of your home and test that they're working properly monthly.

* Make your home tobacco and smoke free to prevent serious health problems, chronic diseases and the possibility of fire.

* Choose safe cleaning products for use in your home. Learn more at www.cdc.gov/niosh.

* Lock prescription medications and cosmetics to prevent accidental poisoning. Learn how to properly dispose of unused medications with Operation Medicine Cabinet at www.oakgov.com/sheriff.

* Prepare a home emergency preparedness kit. Learn how at www.oakgov.com/health.

Think big...

* Address the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse by promoting drug take-back events at your community center, church or worksite.

* Help organize a Yoga class for older adults to help improve balance and prevent falls.

* Volunteer to help your children's school prepare emergency preparedness readiness plans and teach students about staying safe.

For additional information on Health Division services or health related resources, find the division on Facebook at Public Health Oakland or follow it at twitter.com/publichealthOC. Residents can also call Nurse on Call at 1-800-888-5533 or visit www.oakgov.com/health.

Published: Mon, Apr 1, 2013

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