2 Recent Fires in DC Homes Highlight Danger of Broken Smoke Detectors

Two homes in DC were burned after fires broke out on Tuesday, June 4th. Both fires broke out in buildings with non-functioning smoke detectors. One woman died from her injuries after being rescued by firefighters, and a dog was found dead after the other fire. These fires demonstrate the danger of having broken or absent smoke alarms in the home. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that households without functioning smoke alarms have double the death rate from fires compared to households with a sufficient amount of working smoke alarms. Here are some tips from the NFPA about how…

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1 in 6 Ride-Sharing Vehicles Have Safety Recalls but Remain in Service

A recent Consumer Reports study looked at vehicle registration for ride-sharing companies in Seattle and New York, and found that 16.2% of vehicles in service had at least one or more active safety recalls. The total number of vehicles surveyed in the study with safety recalls was 15,175. One car in service in Seattle had over 5 different open safety recalls, including one for a defective Takata airbag. Overall, the percentage of recalled vehicles on the road for Lyft and Uber is actually lower than other car-hire services such as the traditional taxi industry. However, the scale and frequent use of…

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The Surprising Physical Dangers of Parenting

Few experiences match the highs and lows of parenting, which can simultaneously deliver unthinkable joy and unthinkable exhaustion. Unfortunately, that exhaustion can have a detrimental impact on our physical and mental health, as can other parenting concerns. Below, we outline a few of the most significant physical dangers today’s parents face: Sleep Deprivation By far the greatest hazard of parenting during the first few months, sleep deprivation has a discernible physical and mental impact on drowsy parents. Those who struggle to rest may be more prone to problematic behaviors behind the wheel, such as speeding or failing to come to…

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Metro Removes and Subsequently Reinstates 3000-Series Cars

On Tuesday, the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (“Metro”) took all of its 3000-series cars out of service after receiving a report that a car door had slid open on an Orange Line train on Sunday. According to The Washington Post, Metro first became aware of the incident after a rider posted a video of the open door on social media on Monday, and later confirmed the malfunction with camera footage at the Dunn Loring station. Metro’s General Manager, Paul Wiedefeld, said in a news conference on Tuesday that the removal of the 3000-series cars was temporary, and that Metro was unsure…

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Virginia Tech’s New Youth Helmet Ratings: What They Mean For Young Athletes

Parents of football players and other athletes are understandably concerned about traumatic brain injury and a whole host of other issues. Some take solace in knowing that helmets can provide valuable protection for vulnerable young athletes. Unfortunately, not all helmets stack up. In an effort to clear up the confusion, Virginia Tech recently released a thorough collection of ratings demonstrating which helmets are the most effective. The culmination of a decade of research, these ratings could be a critical resource for parents and coaches looking to keep young athletes safe. How Were the Ratings Obtained? Virginia Tech’s team sought ratings…

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The Dangers of Trampoline Parks

Backyard trampolines received a lot of negative press a few years back, but until recently, most people have been willing to look the other way for their larger and potentially more dangerous counterpart: trampoline parks. These parks offer an exciting experience for thrill seekers of all ages. Unfortunately, they’re also incredibly dangerous. Below, we examine some of the biggest threats underlying the recent increase in trampoline park injuries. Common Trampoline Park Injuries While both at-home trampolines and trampoline parks can prompt sprains and fractures, research suggests that sprains are more likely to occur at trampoline parks — as are dislocated…

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Replacement Takata Airbag Recall: What You Need to Know (Part II)

Honda recently issued a recall of vehicles equipped with replacement Takata airbags, but this is far from the first time Takata and Honda have faced issues — and it’s just one facet of an ordeal involving many automakers. In our last blog on the recent airbag recall, we explored the circumstances surrounding the defective replacement airbags. Now, we’ll delve into the broader trend of airbag inflator malfunctions. Airbag Inflator Injuries: By the Numbers The 2018 crash that prompted the latest Takata recall is just one in a series of incidents involving airbag inflators. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety…

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Replacement Takata Airbag Recall: What You Need to Know (Part I)

Takata lies at the center of what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls the “largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” A recent Honda recall involving replacement airbags is just the latest in the long Takata saga. According to the automaker, the airbags’ improper manufacturing could prompt explosions that might send sharp metal fragments flying within vehicle cabins. In this two-part series, we will explore the latest recall and its relation to the overarching Takata drama. How Honda Discovered the Malfunction The dangers of replacement Takata airbags were brought to light in January, 2018, when a 2004…

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New EPA Restrictions on Methylene Chloride: What Is It and Why Is It Dangerous?

From bathtub refinishing to furniture stripping, methylene chloride takes center stage in a variety of household projects. Increasingly, however, health authorities are alerting the public to the substance’s dangers — and claiming that it’s to blame for a myriad of tragic deaths. What Is Methylene Chloride? Why Should Consumers Avoid It? Sometimes referred to as dichloromethane or DCM, methylene chloride is a solvent used in a wide array of products. It is most commonly seen in paint strippers, but can also be used in adhesives such as acrylic cement. The substance is also sometimes seen in automotive and general cleaning…

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Avoiding Injury While Lugging Suitcases During Your Vacation

Whether your dream vacation involves a skiing adventure or drinks on the beach, you’re eager to get away from the usual stresses of everyday life. If you’re not careful, however, your vacation could prompt pain and suffering far beyond what you currently face. Luggage, in particular, can prove hazardous; in 2015, over 84,000 U.S. patients were treated in emergency rooms or clinics after suffering luggage-related injuries. Thankfully, these injuries can often be avoided. Read on to learn how: Reassess Your Packing Style How much do you really need to pack? In all likelihood, you can pack more efficiently — especially…

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