There are many things everyone can do to prevent disease and live longer, healthier lives. Recommendations regarding what foods to eat, the best exercises (and their frequency), and other healthy lifestyle measures change frequently.

Although our best efforts at fighting such diseases as measles, diabetes and cancer may fail us, certain illnesses like measles, diabetes and cancer seem to come about anyway.


Thanks to medical and health-related advances, many diseases that once threatened young children have now receded into obscurity. But despite these improvements, infectious diseases and nutritional disorders still pose threats and shorten life spans – even with treatment interventions at relatively low costs available today.

Vaccinations are one of the most powerful means of disease prevention available today, making them essential in safeguarding children from illness. All children should receive immunizations recommended by their physician as this will protect them against viruses, bacteria or parasites which could otherwise inflict harm to the body.

Kids need to regularly wash their hands with soap to help reduce germs and avoid illness. Children should learn the proper techniques of handwashing before and after eating, using the toilet, playing outside or entering public areas – and when coughing and sneezing. Teach them how to thoroughly clean their hands after touching common objects such as phones, doorknobs and toys that could contain germs; encourage them to use alcohol wipes or rubbing alcohol on those that might harbor bacteria such as their favorite toys or games that contain hidden bacteria hiding underneath.

Children need enough sleep and follow a nutritious diet in order to strengthen their immune systems, and get ample physical activity. Obesity can have serious negative implications on children’s health; leading to heart disease and respiratory illnesses among others.

Infectious diseases and nutritional disorders remain the leading causes of child death among those aged under five, such as pneumonia and diarrheal diseases. Over 150,000 children annually in North America alone die as a result of infectious and nutritional diseases.

Unfortunately, many of the diseases threatening children’s lives can be prevented and treated using low-cost interventions strategies; unfortunately however, thousands of families remain without access to knowledge or resources needed to protect their kids against such conditions.

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Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) addresses this challenge by encouraging child health-related behaviors in communities and healthcare facilities. It combines disease detection and treatment with health promotion and prevention activities and engages parents, ECE facilities, schools, health systems and communities in its efforts.


Teenagers need to understand that heart disease, cancer and strokes often begin in their teenage years. Teens need to understand which choices can prevent these illnesses as well as the consequences associated with health risk behaviors – some that threaten immediate health while others could have long term repercussions in later years. Furthermore, it should be possible for them to visit their family doctor independently for confidential discussions about making healthy decisions and avoidance strategies.

Globally, approximately 1.2 billion adolescents aged 10-19 comprise adolescents. How they develop, live, learn and thrive has significant ramifications that resonate across generations; yet even with improved child vaccination rates and lower infectious disease mortality rates among adolescents today there remain substantial obstacles they must navigate to succeed in life.

Road traffic injuries, lower respiratory infections and suicide are some of the leading causes of death among adolescents. Furthermore, poor diets and sedentary lifestyles increase their risk for mental health problems; girls experiencing puberty face additional threats from poverty and discriminatory social norms that limit options which could lead to early marriage, female genital mutilation or unintended pregnancy.

Adolescents can lower their risks of disease by following a healthy diet, engaging in enough physical activity and maintaining adequate sleeping patterns. They should also get immunized regularly against measles, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough), as well as human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to protect against genital warts, cervical cancer and other conditions.

Teens need healthy relationships with both family and friends, as well as engaging in regular activities that support healthy development. They should avoid smoking and substance abuse and seek assistance when experiencing emotional difficulties; family doctors may provide valuable advice and support regarding depression, stress relief and sexually transmitted infections or relationship violence issues as well as any required services referrals; in addition they can discuss screening requirements such as Hepatitis C or HIV depending on risk factors.

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Public and health care profession alike have shown increasing interest in disease prevention through lifestyle modifications such as diet, exercise, sleep patterns and the cessation of tobacco and excessive alcohol use. Although such lifestyle choices may appear harmless at first glance, they are major determinants of illness which are often in their control and preventable or managed directly by an individual – this type of preventive medical care known as wellness can be seen as essential to disease prevention.

Although maintaining a healthy lifestyle ultimately falls upon each individual, nurses play an invaluable role in supporting and encouraging individuals to make necessary changes. Nurses provide education on proper nutrition, stress management and regular physical activity. Furthermore, they help individuals understand the significance of receiving routine health screenings such as flu vaccinations, cancer checks and screenings for heart disease or blood pressure issues.

Chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, account for 70% of deaths in the US and can impact people of all ages. Preventing these conditions involves eating healthily, not smoking or overconsumption of alcohol, getting ample restful sleep every night, and engaging in physical activities regularly.

Oral diseases, including gum disease and tooth decay, are also widespread among adults and can be prevented through drinking plenty of water, brushing twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste, and flossing daily. Early treatment of these conditions is important; therefore it’s vital for adults to visit both their dentist and doctor regularly for preventative healthcare services.

Health promotion and disease prevention for the elderly should focus on keeping them independent as they age; one goal should be delaying certain diseases or disabilities that reduce quality of life significantly, like hip fractures and dementia. Regular screenings such as cancer screenings or flu vaccination should also be provided; nurses play an essential role in protecting elderly from such risks.


Focusing specifically on seniors, given that they are at an increased risk for diseases and disabilities. Although aging itself cannot be avoided, risk for disease development can be mitigated through proper diet, exercise and smoking cessation; limiting exposure to pollutants such as dust and pollen; as well as taking drug therapies which are effective when administered early (primary prevention).

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However, many health promotion and disease prevention activities offered to this population have not been rigorously tested on elderly persons or subgroups within this demographic. Therefore, it is critical that modules of health promotion and disease prevention items appropriate for use with various population-based surveys are developed specifically targeting the elderly population.

Development of such modules could be assisted by the rising popularity of prepaid health care systems, which provide comprehensive medical and health services in exchange for monthly or annual fees; many such plans also incorporate geriatric services as part of their plans.

Another potential pitfall in meeting the healthcare needs of elderly is making generalizations from studies of younger and middle aged adults to elderly people, since their patterns of disease presentation and risk factors vary significantly between populations. An example is to suggest taking aspirin for primary prevention against heart attack when an elderly patient had previous upper gastrointestinal bleeding; such advice increases recurrent bleeding risk instead.

With life expectancies continuing to extend, health promotion and disease prevention efforts for elderly are also increasing in importance. Research suggests that persons aged 65-74 with activity limitations visit physicians more frequently than those without any restrictions; additionally there is evidence suggesting physiologic and pathologic changes associated with aging can be modified in order to delay additional disability – thus retarding it (Office of Technology Assessment 1985b). Such approaches also reduce health care costs by postponing costly hospitalization or surgery needs.