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Public health touches every aspect of our lives, from carbon monoxide and smoke detectors affixed to the ceiling in our homes, to the child-proof latches that keep dangerous chemicals out of little hands, and the water we drink and air we breathe when we’re at home. It impacts our children, our families, and our communities.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is joining with organizations and communities across the nation to recognize the 2013 National Public Health Week (April 1‐7) and promote this year’s theme, “Public Health is Return on Investment: Save Lives, Save Money.”
Public health saves lives and money
In 2013, Public Health Week is about raising awareness of the value of public health and prevention in our lives, our health and our pocketbooks.
Here are some real-life examples from the American Public Health Association of the public health return on investment:
- If every state without a comprehensive smoke-free policy adopted one, we could reduce smoking-related deaths by 624,000, saving more than $316 million in lung cancer treatment and more than $875 million in heart attack and stroke treatment over five years.
- Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among people ages 65 and older. Each year, one out of every three adults ages 65 and older experiences a fall. In 2010, falls resulted in $30 billion in direct medical costs.
- The majority of fire-related deaths happen at home. In 2010 in the United States, someone died in a fire every 169 minutes and someone was injured every 30 minutes. About two-thirds of home fire deaths happened in homes without working smoke alarms.
Choose healthy, safer living
Start with these small but helpful actions:
- Install Smoke alarms and test monthly that they are working. Install a carbon monoxide alarm on every floor of your home as well.
- Making your home tobacco- and smoke-free.
- Keep potentially dangerous household products locked up and out of children’s reach.
- Put the National Poison Control Center number 1-800-222-1222 within reach.
- Keep homes safe – Fix poor lighting, uneven flooring and clear away clutter.
- Make an emergency plans.
National Public Health Week is also a great time to read, discuss and share publications from the HUD.
- Seven Tips for Keeping a Healthy Home (pdf)
- Making Homes Healthier for Families
- Get a CO (Carbon Monoxide) Detector, Save a Life
- Smoke-Free Multifamily Housing