County offers tips on how to safeguard yourself

FREEHOLD, NJ – Did you know that every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke?

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when a blockage stops the flow of blood to the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts.

“Although many people think of stroke as a condition that affects only older adults, strokes can and do occur in people of all ages,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso. “In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly a quarter of all strokes occur in people younger than age 65.”

The CDC offers the following steps you can take to lower your risk of stroke:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet that’s low in sodium.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Prevent or control diabetes.
  • Limit your alcohol intake (fewer than two drinks per day for men, or one drink per day for women).

“If you or someone you are with is having signs of a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately,” said DiMaso. “The faster someone receives medical treatment, the lower their chances are for disability or death. Remember that every second counts.”

Know the signs of a stroke and call 9-1-1 immediately if you or someone you are with have the following symptoms:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding.
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance and coordination.
  • Severe headache with no known cause.

May was designated as National Stroke Awareness Month for the first time in May 1989 with the goal of reducing the incidence of stroke in the United States.

For more information about strokes go to www.cdc.gov/stroke.