Struggling for Gift Ideas? Give Gifts that Support Health and Wellness in the New Year

Date Posted: Friday, December 16th, 2016
Categories:  News Public Health

Dover – Still trying to think of the perfect gift? As we prepare to welcome 2017, the Division of Public Health (DPH) suggests giving gifts that support health and wellness in the New Year.

“In wishing all Delawareans a happy and healthy New Year, I hope they begin 2017 knowing that they can take small steps toward healthier lifestyles,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. “Ideal first steps are to select healthier foods and appropriate portion sizes, be more physically active, make a plan to quit smoking, and schedule recommended immunizations and screenings for cancer, diabetes, blood pressure, and HIV.”

Gifts that increase physical activity can reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. People who lose weight can prevent or delay diabetes, lower their blood pressure and cholesterol, and lessen pressure on their joints. Some examples of physical activity gifts are:

• Pedometer, fitness trackers, water bottle, ear buds, and music gift card

• Hat, ear warmers, mittens or gloves, winter work-out jacket, shirt, and warm pants or leggings; athletic footwear and socks

• Delaware State Parks annual pass for access to trails and other activities

• Sports balls and equipment; bicycle, helmet, and cycling gear; adjustable jump rope, work-out mat, towel, small weights, Kettlebell or pull-up bar, and resistance cord kit

• Gift certificates for bowling, roller skating, ice skating, ice hockey, swimming, dance or fitness classes, sports leagues, and gyms

Help families be prepared for winter emergencies with these gift ideas:

• For the disaster supply kit – flameless lanterns and candles, flashlights and batteries, several cases of bottled water, canned foods, non-salty snacks, and a manual can opener; and blankets and board games. Or, assist with compiling contact numbers and important household documents.

• For the Pet Emergency Supply Kit – An airtight, water proof container with food and water bowls, a manual can opener, backup collars (breakaway for cats), leashes, toys, treats and bedding. Also provide a large zipper-seal bag with paper for the pet owner to write down emergency contact information, medications the animal is taking, eating schedule and any behavior traits the owner thinks is important to include.

• For drivers – jumper cables, ice scraper, windshield snow cover, and backup windshield wipers; small shovel, sand, rock salt, and cat litter; a cell phone car charger and extra battery; a long red piece of material or scarf to tie on the door in case your vehicle becomes disabled; travel blankets, hat, and mittens; and energy bars, dry fruit, and bottled water.

Gifts of time and service are other options. Consider these opportunities:

• Make your own 2017 health, dental, and vision exams, and offer to schedule similar appointments for a family member or friend. Recommended lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, and cervical cancer screenings are at Learn which cancer screenings are covered for free under the Affordable Care Act at .

• Take someone to get their flu shot at DPH’s Jan. 18, 2017 community flu clinic at Legislative Hall from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Dover, or at other flu vaccination sites listed at

• Ask uninsured family and friends if they are enrolled in Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace. You may save them money. Those without health insurance who do not enroll by Jan. 31, 2017, may face a $695 penalty per adult ($347.50 for each child younger than 18) or 2.5 percent of their annual household income, whichever is higher. For more information, go to To enroll, go to

• Help Delawareans understand that under the Affordable Care Act, they have access to free mammograms, blood pressure checks, and autism screening for toddlers. To learn about preventive benefits, visit and search for “prevention” and view the list of preventive health services.

• For those with private wells, purchase a DPH drinking water test kit ($4 for both bacteriological and chemical tests) and help collect the sample. Visit

• Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home, and a loved one’s, to provide early warning of CO. Carbon monoxide is called the “Invisible Killer” because it’s a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas.

• Help those struggling with alcohol and drug addiction issues find resources at Let smokers 18 years and older know they can get free help quitting by contacting the Delaware Quitline or calling toll-free: 1-866-409-1858.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.

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