Happy New Year! January kicks off two things, resolutions (which I like to call intentions) and another year of national health observances. This month’s health observances include:
- Cervical Health Awareness Month
- Glaucoma Awareness Month
- National Birth Defects Prevention Month
- National Blood Donor Month
- National Radon Action Month
- Thyroid Awareness Month
Out of all the health observances for January, I’d specifically like to highlight National Blood Donor Month. The goal of this campaign is to increase blood and platelet donations during wintertime, when donations tend to be scarce. The American Red Cross celebrates and recognizes the lifesaving contribution of blood and platelet donations by encouraging healthy donors to come out in the winter months. When donating blood and platelets this season, please keep these facts in mind:
- Blood can be safely donated every 56 days.
- Platelets can be given every seven days (up to 24 times a year).
- Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good health may be eligible to donate blood.
- High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org. Donors can also use the free Red Cross Blood Donor app found in app stores by searching for “American Red Cross.”