A Day in Your Life Thanks to Public Health
North Dakotans live longer and healthier lives, thanks to the efforts of state, local and federal public health agencies.
6:00 am The alarm clock buzzes. Stumbling out of bed, you head for the shower and then brush your teeth. The water coming out of the faucet is clean and safe, thanks to public health.
6:30 am After waking your children you go to the kitchen. Mornings are rushed, but you have heard public health messages about the importance of eating healthy meals. You set out milk, fresh fruit and whole grain cereal. Public health nutrition programs help young families purchase healthy food.
7:30 am Pulling on coats and gathering bags, your family heads for the car. Fastening seatbelts is an automatic habit. Public health helps pass seat belt and child car seat laws and promotes their use.
7:50 am After dropping off your children at school, you head to work. As you go in, you notice that a new "Smoke Free Building" sign has been posted. For years, public health has been educating people about the deadly health effects of tobacco and second hand smoke.
10:45 am Your little sister calls. She and her new baby have just returned from the pediatrician. The six-week check-up was great! Public health offers programs to help ensure pregnant women have healthy babies.
12:00 pm You change into tennis shoes and head out the door for a brisk walk. Public health studies have shown that people who exercise regularly live longer and healthier lives, with less chronic disease.
12:35 pm For lunch you stop at the cafeteria and make a quick trip through the salad bar. You naturally assume the food is safe to eat, because public health oversees the inspection and licensing of restaurants.
1:15 pm Back at work, you gather with your co-workers who are all getting the flu shot. Public health promotes influenza immunization by bringing vaccinations to the people – at schools, work places and communities.
5:00 pm Another day ends. You start your car and the radio comes on. You hear a public service announcement advising parents to make sure their two-year olds have all their shots. Public health promotes early childhood immunizations to protect toddlers from serious, sometimes crippling and even fatal childhood diseases.
5:15 pm You pick up your children and head for home. They want to ride their bikes and you remind them to wear their helmets. Public health messages remind you that helmets reduce the risk of brain injury by 85%.
6:30 pm You call your family to dinner, and tell them to be sure to wash their hands before eating. Public health teaches that proper hand washing is a primary protection against disease and prevents the spread of infections.
7:00 pm The evening news tells of a mysterious disease outbreak among visitors at a convention in Minot. Thankfully, the illness is under control. Public health authorities tracked cases of the illness back to the source, helping to halt the epidemic quickly.
10:00 pm It’s time for bed and your family drifts off to sleep. Public health has touched your lives in countless ways today, working behind the scenes to keep you all safe and sound.
Credit: Oregon Public Health Authority