Illnesses and injuries affect everyone at some point in life. That is why it is important to think about how to prevent getting sick or injured. There is a saying: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This means that even a small amount of prevention will save a lot of time lost from getting sick or injured. Amazingly, there is a wide variety of ways that each individual can try to protect her or his own health and well-being. Starting in childhood, a person can establish a healthy diet and physical fitness program and begin other healthy habits that will greatly reduce the likelihood of future illnesses and injuries.
This chapter will examine three aspects of preventive care: illness prevention, injury prevention, and preventive medicine. The discussion on illness prevention will detail the many ways that an individual can avoid contracting diseases or developing painful or life-threatening conditions. Injury prevention will examine safety precautions, good habits, and equipment that protect people from getting hurt at home and at play. Information on preventive medicine such as vitamins, minerals, and herbal medicines that help the body fight off disease and infection will also be discussed.