NATIONAL BIRTH DEFECTS PREVENTION MONTH 2017 PREVENT TO PROTECT: PREVENT INFECTIONS FOR BABY’S PROTECTIONBy Leslie Terjesen on Friday, January 6, 2017
NATIONAL BIRTH DEFECTS PREVENTION MONTH 2017
PREVENT TO PROTECT: PREVENT INFECTIONS FOR BABY’S PROTECTION
Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, said, “During National Birth Defects Prevention Month it is important to increase awareness that preventing infections before and during pregnancy can protect babies from being born with birth defects. We know that infections are a major cause of birth defects. Research has proven that up-to-date vaccinations, safe sexual practices, good hygiene and knowing how to protect yourself from insect, animal and food-borne sources of infection can reduce the risk of having a child with a birth defect.”
Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator, stated, “Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. Not all birth defects can be prevented but women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by preventing infections before and during pregnancy. The Prevent to Protect theme encourages all women to take the following steps:
- Properly prepare food.
- Talk to your healthcare provider.
- Protect yourself from animals and insects known to carry diseases such as the Zika virus.
- Maintain good hygiene.
By following these Prevent to Protect guidelines, women can reduce the risk of having a child with a birth defect and also reduce their risk of pregnancy complications such as early pregnancy loss, prematurity and stillbirth. Not only can birth defects lead to lifelong challenges and disabilities, they are also the most common cause of death in the first year of life and the second most common cause of death in children aged one to four years. Public awareness, expert medical care, accurate and early diagnosis, and social support systems are all needed for prevention and treatment of these all-too-common and sometimes deadly conditions.”
The Ocean County Health Department will continue to provide information on Prevent to Protect throughout this month on Twitter@OCpublichealth and on its Facebook page. Please visit the Ocean County Health Department website at www.ochd.org for health updates and other news.