A Review of Fireplace Safety Tips

  Wintertime is usually filled with snow days, hot coco, warm fuzzy socks, and gathering around the fireplace to listen and sing holiday songs with the family. Although this year may look a little different, fireplace safety is just as important as always. According to Injury Facts  over the past several decades, deaths from home fires in the U.S. have steadily gone down – from 5,200 in 1980 to 2,820 in 2018. But home fires are still the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14. Follow fireplace safety practices to make sure you are protecting yourself and…

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D.C. Council Moves to Widen Legal Protections for E-Scooter Riders Involved in Accidents

  Amidst ongoing changes with transportation, the D.C. Council recently passed transportation measures to help e-scooter riders collect damages after being injured in an accident.  E-scooter riders will be considered a “vulnerable road user” and thus no longer fall under D.C.’s contributory negligence tort regime. Under contributory negligence, an e-scooter rider would not be able to recoup any medical bills if the rider were even 1 percent at fault. However, this measure is set to only bar recovery if a jury finds an e-scooter rider to be beyond 50 percent at fault – making it much easier to recoup medical…

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New Year, New Law: It Will Soon Be Illegal to Hold Your Phone While Driving in Virginia

If you are a believer in new years’ resolutions, you might consider adding one more item to your list: don’t hold your phone while driving. While this certainly has always been a good idea, it is even more so now that Virginia’s new law will soon make it illegal to hold any handheld personal communications device while driving. The law takes effect on January 1, 2021. Under the current law, it is illegal for drivers to read or send emails and text messages. Under the new law, just holding a personal communications device while driving anywhere at any time will…

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Cyber-physical Attacks: What They Are and How to Protect Against Them

  Given the continued merging of what’s cyber and what’s physical in our society, cyber-attacks resulting in physical harm are a growing threat. One VP Analyst at Gartner, Katell Thielemann, predicts in her 2019 report that the financial impact of cyber-physical system attacks will reach over $50 billion by 2023.  What Are Cyber-physical Attacks? Cyber-physical attacks occur when a hacker gains access to the controls of a physical system. For an example of these attacks, mobile security company Zimperium reported that due to improper validation of the user password, a remote hacker could send unauthenticated commands over Bluetooth that could…

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Safe Toy Buying Tips for the Holidays

With the holidays and shopping season right around the corner, excitement about toys and gift-giving continues to grow. At such a beautiful time of year, the last thing we would want would be for the toys and gifts we give to cause harm to our loved ones. Thanks to recent toy safety advocacy and awareness, there were only 12 toy recalls in 2019 compared to 172 in 2008. While this is certainly something to celebrate, toy-related injuries continue to be a problem. The CPSC reported that in 2018 (the most recent data available), there were 226,100 toy-related injuries treated in…

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What Are the Most Promising COVID Treatments in Development?

As we await the release of the highly-anticipated COVID vaccine, we’re learning more about the top treatments for severe cases. Certain medications and therapies can dramatically improve outcomes for vulnerable patients who, even a few months ago, would have been unlikely to recover. These include the following: Remdesivir Although medical experts have tested a variety of antiviral drugs on patients actively battling COVID, only remdesivir has consistently shown promise. Previously used against dangerous viruses such as Ebola, the medication has emerged as one of the most effective solutions for severe COVID cases. A study recently published in the New England…

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Protecting Your Immune System From the Flu and COVID This Winter

Social distancing and mask-wearing may be key measures for reducing the spread of COVID, but the status of your immune system also matters. Unfortunately, the sheer stress of navigating a pandemic has done a number on our collective immune response — and this does not bode well as flu season approaches. Take this time to bolster your immune system by implementing these key strategies: Fix Your Diet Stress eating may be a common coping mechanism during COVID, but it’s exactly what we should be avoiding at this sensitive time. Instead of turning to junk food, stock your fridge and freezer…

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A Summary of CDC Guidelines for Safe Holiday Travel

With the holidays fast approaching, millions of people across the country will be traveling to visit their families. Amidst the current pandemic, ensuring safe travel practices has never been more important. Whether you plan to travel by road or by air, there are several crucial safety measures to keep in mind. For those traveling by plane, the CDC has provided information about the safety of air travel and outlined necessary precautions: Airline Travel Tips: Fortunately, viruses do not transmit easily on airplanes due to how air circulates throughout the cabin. However, practicing social distancing can be especially difficult on flights…

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Lockdowns and Late Cancer Diagnosis: Is There a Link?

  While COVID quarantines dramatically reduce the spread of the disease, they also lead to a variety of unintended health consequences. Many of these relate to delays in preventative care, with early signs and symptoms missed due to a lack of testing or because these issues aren’t as easy to spot during telehealth checkups. Below, we explore the possible link between quarantine and late cancer diagnosis: COVID and Cancer Diagnosis: What the Research Says While research on the connection between lockdown and cancer diagnosis remains limited, data published in JAMA Network Open notes an alarming drop in the number of…

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Understanding the Differences Among Influenza, COVID, And the Common Cold

  Experts and ordinary individuals alike draw comparisons between COVID and the prominent form of influenza with which we’ve dealt with for generations. These are sometimes useful, as some of the strategies (such as masks and social distancing) used to mitigate the flu can also work for COVID. Still, it’s important to understand how these diseases differ, as we clarify below: Symptoms Both influenza and COVID-19 can prompt a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening. People with both illnesses may suffer: Headache Shortness of breath Fatigue Fever Sore throat In some people, however, COVID goes beyond these symptoms…

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