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September is National Preparedness Month

Observed annually each September, National Preparedness Month reminds Americans that disasters and emergencies can happen at any time in our homes, businesses, or communities. This year’s theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” Each week of the month, the campaign focuses on a different aspect of preparedness for individuals, families, and communities. This year’s weekly themes are:

  • September 1 – 4 Make a Plan
  • September 5 – 11 Build a Kit
  • September 12 – 18 Prepare for Disasters
  • September 19 – 24 Teach Youth about Preparedness

Visit ready.gov for a variety of great resources on each of these topics.

While disasters can be devastating for families and communities, planning for them can help minimize the impacts and provide a basis for moving forward afterwards.


Food Safety Education Month

September is National Food Safety Education Month. This is the perfect opportunity to make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from foodborne illnesses (food poisoning).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 48 million Americans get sick, 128,00 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses each year. While anyone can get sick from foodborne illnesses, the CDC identifies these groups as more likely to get sick and to have more a serious illness:

  • People 65 years of age or older
  • Children younger than five
  • People with weakened immune systems (for example, people with diabetes, liver or kidney disease, alcoholism, or HIV, or people who receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy)
  • Pregnant women

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes safe food handling into these four simple steps.

  • Clean – Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • Separate – Separate raw meats from other foods.
  • Cook – Cook to the right temperature.
  • Chill – Refrigerate foods promptly.

For more information on these steps and other great food safety resources from the FDA, click here. Then, visit foodsafety.gov for information on the latest food recalls and more tips for how to keep your food safe.


Child Passenger Safety Week

Busy parents may feel like they’re always on the go. Whether shuttling newborns to doctor’s appointments, toddlers to daycare, preschoolers to birthday parties, or school-aged children to sports or other activities, the proper use of car seats is critical to protecting children.

September 19 – 25 is Child Passenger Safety Week, a week dedicated to educating parents and caregivers on the importance of properly using the correct type of car seat for their child’s age, height, and weight. It’s an important message, as too many of our children are injured or killed in automobile accidents each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019 608 child passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes. Thirty-eight percent of them were unrestrained at the time of the accident. Additionally, an estimated 374 passengers under the age of 13 were injured as the result of a crash every day in 2019.

In a market that’s constantly evolving and may seem oversaturated with options, choosing the right type and style of car seats for your children can be confusing and overwhelming. Luckily, healthychildren.org has some great resources to help you select and install the best options for you.

Click here for a comprehensive article that includes detailed information on types of seats, installation tips, commonly-asked questions, and more. Then, click here for an extensive list of car seats currently on the market, including weight and height limits, as well as manufacturer-suggested retail prices. Near the bottom of the article, you’ll also find links to all the manufacturers’ websites.

The NHTSA also provides many great resources for finding and installing the right car seat, including a car seat finder tool and ease-of-use ratings.

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