Local Health Department Joins State In Celebrating National Public Health Week

Huntsville, TN (2011-03-31) The Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Public Health Association and the Scott County Health Department are partnering to celebrate National Public Health Week, April 4 – 10, 2011. With the theme “Safety Is NO Accident:  Live Injury-Free”, public health workers, community partners and civic groups are reaching out to encourage Tennesseans to take measures to prevent injuries at home, at work and at play. 

“On any given day, 12-13 Tennesseans die from unintentional injury,” said Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. “There are simple steps we can all take now to reduce and prevent human suffering and life-changing disabilities. We must change the way we view injury by focusing on preventing injuries from occurring rather than reacting once accidents happen.”

According to a Cambridge University publication, death rates from infectious diseases like pneumonia and gastrointestinal disorders declined dramatically throughout the 20th century. While there has been some improvement, the decline in injury deaths has been far less substantial.

“Most people recognize that obtaining good health requires many positive behaviors, such as eating fruits and vegetables, getting vaccinations and quitting smoking. But it also includes taking injury prevention measures,” said Art Miller, Director of the Scott County Health Department. “Adults and children must have safe places to live, work and play where they can enjoy every aspect of their lives without worry about violence or injury. If everyone contributes, we can help people live safer lives, free from hurt and harm,” he added.

Tennesseans can take important steps to protect themselves, their family members and others in their community from injury. These simple steps can reduce injury, save lives and promote and proect the public’s health. They include:

  • wearing protective equipment at work and during recreational activities;
  • posting the Poison Control Hotline number, 1-800-222-1222, near the telephone;
  • installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home and testing them regularly;
  • wearing a seatbelt and ensuring that children are riding safely in child safety seats;
  • wearing a helmet when biking; and
  • wearing a life jacket when boating or swimming

Since 1995, communities around the country have celebrated National Public Health Week during the first week of April to draw attention to the need to help protect and improve the nation’s health. For more information about National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org.  The Tennessee Department of Health has more information on ways to prevent injuries to yourself, your family and your co-workers. Learn more online at http://health.state.tn.us/Downloads/PHW_Additional_Resources.pdf.