October National Health Observances

october health awareness month

October highlights one of the nation’s most well-popularized health observances – Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink-themed campaign reminds women to schedule their annual screenings. The earlier breast cancer is caught, the more successful treatment options can be.

This month also highlights National ADHD Awareness Month and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Awareness Month.  

Learn about October’s national health observances so you can get important reminders, and interesting facts, and make small changes for your health this month!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast cancer awareness month

Wear pink this month to raise awareness for a great cause – Breast Cancer Awareness Month! This month encourages women to schedule their annual visits and complete regular breast cancer screenings. Mammograms are recommended every two years for patients over the age of 50 who are not at an elevated risk for breast cancer.

The risk of breast cancer can also be lowered by maintaining a healthy weight, drinking alcohol in moderation only (if at all), and breastfeeding your babies.

National ADHD Awareness Month

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) estimate that 11 million American adults are currently diagnosed with ADHD, but this figure is believed to be underrepresented as many individuals are not diagnosed.

national adhd awareness month

National ADHD Awareness Month seeks to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ADHD. It is most commonly diagnosed in children. Symptoms include inattentiveness, like struggling to pay attention or being careless, and hyperactivity such as being unable to sit still. There are many symptoms and other aspects that go into diagnosing ADHD. All children can at times be inattentive and hyperactive by nature, but this does not mean they necessarily have ADHD.

There is ongoing work by CHADD to create national guidelines in the US for diagnosing and treating ADHD in adults.

SIDS Awareness Month

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a terrible health complication that results in the loss of about 3,500 American infants each year. The exact cause of SIDS remains unknown, though many researchers believe it is related to an infant’s ability to arouse from sleep or detect that they are struggling to breathe.

SIDS Awareness Month raises awareness for how we can create a safe sleeping environment for our children to decrease the risk of SIDS. Exposure to cigarette smoke, sleep position, and objects (like blankets) in the baby’s sleeping area can all increase risk. 

Babies should not be exposed to secondhand smoke, sleep on their backs whenever possible, and have a sleeping environment free of extra objects.