Cataract Awareness Month. More than half of all Americans develop cataracts by age 80. The good news is, cataracts are one of the most curable forms of vision loss. For more information see www.aao.org
National Immunization Awareness Month. Vaccines have eradicated smallpox, eliminated wild poliovirus in the U.S., and significantly reduced the number of cases of measles and other diseases. As parents enroll their kids in school, students get ready to enter college, and health care workers prepare for flu season, it’s a good time to make sure everyone’s up to date on their vaccinations. For information see http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/
National Water Quality Month. Drinking plenty of water during the hot summer days is essential to your health. Be aware of the symptoms of dehydration: thirst, fatigue, and weakness, followed by delirium and possibly death. Decrease the risk by drinking plenty of fluids before you get thirsty.
International Clown Week August 1-7. The word “clown” comes from the Icelandic word “klunni” (a clumsy person) and is related to words like clod and klutz. During this week, clowns donate an hour of their time for a good cause in their community. They can be found clowning around in schools, libraries, hospitals, malls, and grocery stores. For more information see http://www.nationalclownweek.org/national%20history.shtml
Elvis Week August 8-16. Elvis fans unite! Held in Memphis, Tenn., Elvis Week 2009 features an Elvis film festival, an art contest, a trivia scavenger hunt, and a candlelight vigil at the gates of Graceland Mansion. For more information see www.elvisweek.com
National Assistance Dog WeekAugust 9-15. More than 20,000 dogs assist people with disabilities. Their duties include guiding people with impaired vision, helping victims of hearing loss, assisting people with mobility problems, and alerting people with sudden onset diseases.
International Left-Handers Day August 13. The Left-Handers Club initiated this celebration of sanitarily (condition of being left-handed) in 1992 to increase public awareness of the benefits and disadvantages of being left-handed. For information see http://www.indiana.edu/~primate/left.html
National Aviation Day. August 19. Celebrated on the birthday of Orville Wright (1871), who flew the Wright Brothers’ first successful airplane a distance of 120 feet in 12 seconds in Kitty Hawk, N.C. For more information see http://mynasa1.nasa.gov/topics/aeronautics/features/aviationday08.html
National Waffle Day. August 24. Not to be confused with International Waffle Day, which originated in Sweden and is observed on March 25, National Waffle Day marks the anniversary of the waffle iron, patented by Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, N.Y. in 1869. For information see http://www.swarthoutfamily.org/Famous/Waffle.htm