Early care and education providers play a critical role in maintaining a child’s health and safety. Many children are in early care and education settings for several hours during the day, which means this can be the primary environment for children to eat, play, and grow. By modeling healthy eating and physically active lifestyles, early care and education providers can set our children on the road to a lifetime of good habits. During National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, learn tips from the Office of Child Care within the Administration for Children and Families for early care and education providers to promote healthy eating and physical activity.

Each month, we release an infographic with the latest data related to a Leading Health Indicator (LHI) topic on HealthyPeople.gov. These infographics show progress toward Healthy People 2020 LHI targets — and show where there’s still work to be done.

This month’s featured LHI is Oral Health. Check out the infographic below, then head over to the Healthy People 2020 LHI Infographic Gallery to see infographics for other LHI topic areas.…

Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) happens when a person is infected with TB bacteria, but doesn’t get active TB disease. Since people with LTBI don’t feel sick, they may not know they’re infected. But if they don’t get treatment, they can develop TB disease — and pass it to others. That’s why it’s so important for people who are at increased risk for LTBI to get tested.…

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting children in the United States. When it’s not treated, tooth decay can cause pain and infections — and may interfere with a child’s ability to eat, talk, learn, and play. One evidence-based strategy for preventing tooth decay in children is the use of dental sealants — thin coatings that are painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Studies in children show that sealants can reduce tooth decay in permanent molars by 80% for 2 years after placement, and they keep protecting against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years.
September marks Go4Life Month, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This year's campaign challenges older adults to “Move More with Go4Life®!” by stepping up physical activity, working out a bit more frequently, and trying all four types of recommended exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.

Eating fruits and vegetables has many health benefits. People who eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help lower their risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Fruits & Veggies — More Matters Month in September is a great time to raise awareness about the importance of eating enough fruits and vegetables.…

One in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

The good news? Childhood obesity can be prevented. You can help by promoting strategies to prevent childhood obesity during National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September.…

The importance of seasonal influenza vaccine for health care workers and high risk groups has been well documented, yet health care worker (HCW) influenza vaccination rates have risen only minimally over the past 20 years and are far short of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020 goals whose target is a 90 percent vaccination rate. One of the fundamental tenets of health care is to care for patients while protecting ourselves from harm. Because HCWs work in an environment where frequent contact with infectious patients is routine, we are at risk for exposure to influenza with possible transmission to other patients, their families, and other HCWs. The situation calls for a review of attitudes and beliefs toward influenza vaccination with a focus on the successful strategies associated with increased HCW vaccination rates.
SHAPE America’s 50 Million Strong initiative is a commitment to put all children on the path to health and physical literacy through effective health and physical education programs so they have the ability, confidence, and desire to be physically active and make healthy choices by 2029. Celebrate back to school with this post on physical literacy.
August is National Breastfeeding Month, and this year’s theme is Charting the Course Together. The focus is on using data to connect breastfeeding to a range of other health topics. An important health topic is the role that breastfeeding plays in infant and child health outcomes. Systematic reviews that highlight some of these key outcomes will be available in 2018.