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Health Myths and Facts for the Month of September 2016

Week of September 8, 2016  Newborn Hearing Screening 
  • Myth: Parents can test a child's hearing loss by clapping and making loud noises near their child.
  • Fact: Not Exactly!
    Some babies with hearing loss can still startle or respond to some sounds, but may not be able to hear all the sounds important for speech. Hearing testing is needed to ensure that babies are hearing all sounds of speech. Clapping and loud noises are not a substitute for a hearing test.
    It is important to identify hearing loss early. Each year in the United States, as many as 12,000 babies are born with a hearing loss. The cause of hearing loss for many babies is not known, and hearing loss can go unnoticed for years.
    Fortunately, almost all states, communities, and hospitals now offer hearing screening for all babies. The hearing screening is easy and painless, and can identify whether more testing is needed. In fact, babies often are asleep while being screened. It takes very little time—usually only a few minutes.
  • Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Week of September 22, 2016 Tobacco
  • Myth: Smoking outside eliminates the dangers of secondhand smoke. 
  • Fact: No!
    There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Even brief secondhand smoke exposure can cause harm. Exposure to secondhand smoke at home or work increases a person’s risk of heart disease by 25 to 30% and lung cancer by 20 to 30%. That’s because the amount of cancer-causing chemicals is higher in secondhand smoke than in the smoke inhaled by smokers. Families that prohibit smoking in and around the home are on the right path
  • Source: University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center 
Week of September 29, 2016
  • Myth: You can lower your risk of heart disease by just taking vitamins and supplements.
  • Fact: No-No-No!
    The antioxidant vitamins E, C, and beta carotene factor into lowering heart disease risk. However, clinical trials of supplementation with these vitamins have either failed to confirm benefit or were conducted in such a way that no conclusion could be drawn. The American Heart Association has stated that there is no scientific evidence to justify using these vitamins to prevent or treat cardiovascular disease. For reasons not yet understood, the body absorbs and utilizes vitamins and minerals best when they are acquired through foods. To ensure you get the vitamins and minerals you need, skip store-bought supplements and eat a wide variety of nutritious foods of every color of the rainbow.
    Source: Harvard University  Medical School