More than 175 National Health Observances (NHOs) are recognized in 2012. Each observance is designed to raise public awareness about important health topics, according to

The observances provide health professionals, organizations, groups and any social media-friendly person a means to encourage peers, friends, loved ones and community members to be mindful of health issues and to stay healthy.

In early November, the 2013 calendar will be released and subsequently revised by early March 2013 with additional observances.

More than 90 observances are categorized as months, and usually remain in a month for consistency. Others fall under days and weeks. May and September are popular months, followed by March, April, October andNovember. August and December have the least amount of observances.

Here is a list of month-long observances remaining in 2012:


– Eye Injury Prevention Month

– Health Literacy Month

– Home Eye Safety Month

– National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

– National Bullying Prevention Month

– National Disability Employment Awareness Month

– National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

– National Medical Librarians Month

– National Physical Therapy Month

– Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month


– American Diabetes Month

– COPD Awareness Month

– Diabetic Eye Disease Month

– Lung Cancer Awareness Month

– National Family Caregivers Month


– Safe Toys and Gifts Month

According to the website, NHOs are coordinated by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) and its health information referral service, the National Health Information Center. ODPHP began compiling health observance dates and publishing them in 1982.

For more information about the process for declaring a NHO, submission and selection guidelines, and to obtain great tools to spread the word about observances, please visit