Posts Tagged ‘Arizona Department of Economic Security’

Stop the Silent Killer

August 15th, 2013

Drowning happens quickly and quietly in a matter of minutes.   It happens in all kinds of places – bathtubs, swimming pools, buckets – anything with water.  So far this year in Arizona, 27 people have died including 6 children.  Last year that number was sixty – 20 were children. 

August is Drowning Impact Awareness Month.  For the rest of the country and part of Arizona, pool time is over for the summer, but not in the hot parts of our state.  Nor is it over for small children who see the shimmery water as an invitation no matter what the temperature is.  Drowning is often called a silent killer – because it happens quietly as a person slips under the water and stops breathing.

Fortunately, drowning is preventable by following a few simple safety tips:  actively supervise children whenever they are around any body of water, including pools, spas, bathtubs or open water; assign a designated water watcher who actively supervises the children and is not distracted by texting, reading, drinking alcohol, or socializing; enroll your children in swim lessons; learn CPR; and keep a phone near the water at all times to call 9-1-1 if something happens.

The state’s Drowning Prevention Coalition put together a video so you can hear it from the kids themselves.

The Departments of Economic Security and Health Services are working together to raise awareness of drowning prevention.  I invite you to view a similar blog piece by my agency counterpart, Director Clarence Carter.

September: Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September 5th, 2012

Protecting the health and wellbeing of our children is critical to the future of Arizona. September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Arizona ranks 15th in the nation in childhood obesity with almost 18% of Arizona children (10 to 17) being obese. Obesity puts our children at early risk for conditions we normally associate with adulthood – Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke.

Obesity has other consequences that can hinder these kids academically and socially. This September we have an opportunity to build awareness about the issue across several Arizona cities, communities and organizations.  Our strategic plan identifies “Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity to Reduce Obesity” as one a winnable battle.  We have started several programs to help achieve that – things like integrating physical activity into our everyday lives, making healthy foods available everywhere, activating employers and healthcare providers, strengthening schools and preschools as the heart of health, and marketing what matters for a healthy life.  

Adults have an opportunity to help young people get a healthy start in life.  We work hard to protect our children from danger – if we think of obesity as a threat like a drug dealer, we can easily imagine our reaction. We have the power to change the future – we can remove the threat  by removing obstacles to healthy living and creating more opportunities to be healthy.  My counterpart at the Department of Economic Security, Director Clarence Carter, speaks about the mission we need to take on to change the course for our children in his blog.  

We have to work together to change the course of obesity in our state.  Our future depends on it.