However, several causes are celebrated in August as well. On the health front, August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the goal of National Immunization Awareness Month is to increase awareness about immunizations across the life span — from infants to the elderly. The CDC described immunizations as being important because they are one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th century.
Vaccines have eradicated smallpox, eliminated wild poliovirus in the United States, and significantly reduced the number of cases of measles, diphtheria rubella, pertussis and other diseases. According to the CDC, however, despite these efforts people in the United States still die from these and other vaccine-preventable diseases. The CDC’s Web site, www.cdc.gov, described vaccines as offering safe and effective protection from infectious diseases.
The CDC’s Web site also emphasized the fact that getting immunized is a lifelong, life-protecting community effort regardless of age, sex, race, ethnic background or country of origin. Recommended vaccinations begin soon after birth and continue throughout life.
Locally, the Mason County Health Department offers several immunization clinics throughout the year. Clinics are 8 a.m.-2 p.m. every Thursday with the exception of the second Thursday at the health department. After hours immunization clinics are held every month on the first Monday evening. In addition, adult tetanus and pneumonia shots are offered year round.
The health department also hosted a Back to School Immunization Fair earlier this month. For more information on immunizations, call the health department at 304-675-3050.
August also is celebrated as National Children’s Vision and Learning Month. According to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), the goal of the national observance is to help educate parents and educators about the critical link between vision and learning. The COVD’s Web site notes that people need more than 20 visual skills to succeed in reading, learning, sports and in life.
According to the COVD, many parents and educators often incorrectly assume that if a child passes a school vision screening, then there is no vision problem. However, school vision screenings usually only test for visual activity. The vision skills needed for successful reading and learning are much more complex, and a child with 20/20 vision can still have a problem. The COVD recommends that all children have a comprehensive vision exam, which is the first step in helping a child’s vision and learning.
Since this month is still considered a time for travel and vacations, August also is American Adventures Month. According to the American Adventures Month Web site, www.kulkkula.com/AmericanAdventures/index.htm, American Adventures Awareness Month celebrates vacationing in the Americas, and encourages tourists to explore South, Central and North America.
The summer season often gives people time to explore their creative sides. Inventors are known to be creative, and August also is celebrated as National Inventors Month, which celebrates invention and creativity. National Inventors Month was started in 1998 by the United Inventors Association of the USA (UIA-USA), the Academy of Applied Science and Inventors’ Digest magazine. In addition, National Inventors Month is utilized to promote a positive image of inventors and the real contributions that they give to the world.
Other causes celebrated this month include Cataract Awareness Month, Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month, Psoriasis Awareness Month, American Indian Heritage Month, Get Ready for Kindergarten Month, National Golf Month, Happiness Happens Month, Motorsports Awareness Month, National Panini Month and National Water Quality Month.