child and boatThere’s nothing children like more than a day out on the water, and as a parent you cherish these precious memories. Remember however, that children are at a high risk of injuries in boating accidentsBoating with children involves numerous challenges. You must take precautions to make sure that your precious cargo is safe at all times. Whether you are boating with infants, toddlers, or older children, you must take all necessary safety steps.

Toddlers are much more likely to get fidgety, restless, or cranky while on a boat where there is limited space to run around, and it’s important that parents take these challenges into consideration before they get on a boat with young children. You don’t want distractions while you are boating and toddler tantrums can definitely be a distraction.

Make sure that your toddlers and infants are safely equipped with life-saving gear to keep them safe. Infants should be safely restrained in infant life jackets. Life jackets for children should have a collar that turns their head and face upwards if they’re in the water. Buy your life jackets in a very visible color like bright yellow or orange. It’s also a good idea to make sure that life jackets are equipped with a plastic safety whistle. Practice using the safety whistle with your children before they wear the jacket.

accupuncture1063One of the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury is recurrent headaches. A new study finds that acupuncture could provide relief to people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury and are struggling with these headaches.

The study was published recently in the journal Medical Acupuncture, and found that auricular acupuncture was more beneficial in helping reduce the impact of headaches, compared to traditional Chinese acupuncture. The study was performed on members of the US military, who had suffered mild to moderate traumatic brain injury, and continued to suffer headaches as a result of their injuries. Traumatic brain injury is an epidemic in the US military, and approximately 80 percent of service members who have suffered a brain injury complain of recurrent headaches.

The researchers monitored these service members over the six-week study period, and evaluated the quality of life of those who were given normal care, with those who were given either auricular acupuncture or traditional acupuncture sessions. They found that the service members, who had been provided auricular acupuncture treatments, were better able to deal with their headache symptoms.

001338.SparklerWe’ve written extensively about the importance of fireworks safety. It’s of critical concern this time of year. Adults and children both enjoy the beautiful colors and large explosions. It adds drama and excitement to our nation’s birthday celebration. Created over 2000 years ago, fireworks have become ubiquitous during celebrations of all sorts, from New Years to the end of a baseball game. No where are they more familiar than in the Independence Day celebrations across the nation.

Representing the “rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air” from Francis Scott Key’s national anthem many fireworks shows feature amazing displays.

Even in the hands of highly trained professionals, the use of fireworks is a dangerous and risky proposition. For those yearly armatures who purchase highly explosive entertainment and fail to take the proper precautions, the risks of injury escalates dramatically.

0123 BoatSummer is here, and that means many Hoosiers will head out onto the beautiful waters to enjoy the warm water and breezy days. Boating in summer is magical, but it can quickly turn deadly. Even if you are an experienced boater, it is important to review your boating safety precautions, before the start of the summer season.

There are some precautions that every boater must take, no matter how experienced he is.

First, a boater should always check the weather updates before getting out on the boat. If the weather promises to turn threatening in the hours ahead, postpone your plans. Severe weather can be threatening in even the smallest bodies of water.

bicycle helmetA bicycle helmet is critically important to bicyclist safety. Bicyclists are at a much higher risk of suffering injuries, especially head injuries in accidents, and wearing the right kind of bicycle helmet can play a critical role in determining whether a bicyclist survives his injuries, or succumbs to them.

Although, modern bicycle helmets are sleeker, lighter, stronger and sturdier than their counterparts of the past, the fact is that helmets can be made tougher and more durable to help protect the skull from severe impact during a bicycle accident. A group of inventors is launching a new Smart bike helmet that uses innovative technology to help bicyclists avoid accidents.

The Smart bike helmet has cameras that are located both in the front and back to scan the environment around a bicyclist. Information from around the environment is processed and sent to the bicyclist. The bicyclist is alerted when a car is approaching him from behind, or when a vehicle is in his blind spot. The helmet comes with red brake lights that turn on when it detects that the bicyclist is reducing speed.

Going UnderBack in the 1940’s, approximately 69 out of every million who underwent a surgery under anesthesia, died as a result of anesthesia-related injuries. Over the next few decades however, those numbers were dramatically reduced, and going under anesthesia doesn’t automatically mean a much higher rate of death now.

However, despite great advances in anesthetic medicine, anesthesia is still not 100% safe. One of the responsibilities of your medical/surgical team, which includes your anesthesiologist, is to ensure that you’re not at a high risk for anesthesia injuries. They must account for those factors that put the patient at higher risk for complications related to the use of anethesia.

For instance, older patients are at a much higher risk of injury from anesthesia. In fact, the worldwide rate of anesthesia injuries has actually been inching upwards in recent years, and researchers point to the increasing numbers of older people going under the knife as one of the main factors contributing to this increase. As life expediencies increase, the numbers of older patients undergoing surgery has also increased. Older patients, who may have a history of cardiovascular problems including heart attacks, heart problems, or high blood pressure, have a much higher risk of anesthesia-related complications.

worker-safetyThe construction industry sees thousands of injuries and deaths each year and many of them are a result of fall accidents. In response, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently conducted its third annual National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. The campaign encouraged employers to stop work for a while and discuss fall prevention strategies with their employees.

The construction industry has a poor record in fall protection. Every year, federal inspectors cite more employers for failure to provide fall protection and safety, compared to any other type of violation. That specific failure by construction employers has terrible consequences for those who do the work. In 2014, as many as 40% of construction-related fatalities were caused in fall accidents and there is no indication this rate has decreased.

The good news for workers and their families is that many of future construction fatalities can be prevented. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has put basic guidelines in place that encourage employers to provide fall protection gear, like helmets, safety harnesses and nets, in order to reduce the risk of falls. In addition, workers need to be educated about the risk of falls, especially in certain construction-related operations, like roofing, and painting.

Memorial Day PicThe Memorial Day Holiday is the national holiday dedicated to remembering those who have served and gave the greatest sacrifice for our nation’s security. It’s timing at the end of May also establishes it as the holiday that represents the official beginning of summer.

While many will honor their fallen warriors with flying flags and flowers on graves, most American’s celebrate by listening to the Indianapolis 500, taking advantage of newly opened community swimming pools, enjoying family cookouts, and camping.

It is also a time when those warm weather activities can result in increased risk for serious personal injury. In a press release from 2003, the CDC outlines those summertime activities that pose the greatest risk to participants as the “pursue summertime fitness and fun”. Those risks include increased exposure to sun and heat, an increased risk of danger in and near water, and the importance of food safety.

surgery-676375_1280A new Johns Hopkins study establishes that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. The study calls on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to include medical errors in its annual list of the top causes of death in the United States.

This is not the first study that establishes the role of medical errors in causing injuries and fatalities across the country, but this study is garnering attention for two reasons.  First, it is from a respected institution like Johns Hopkins.  Second, the report calls on the US federal government to name medical errors as a leading cause of death in the country. That step would immediately increase awareness about the dangers patients face every year from medical negligence at hospitals and care facilities across the country.

The Johns Hopkins researchers are also calling for changes in the current system for death certification in order to better record medical errors that cause fatalities. The study estimates that there are more than 250,000 fatalities every year from medical errors. That means medical errors rank just below heart disease and cancer as the top causes of fatality in the United States. Medical errors kill more people every year than even respiratory disease.

Pill BoxMedication errors occur more often than you think, and many of these occur when you are in the safety and security of your own home.

Many of those errors occur because of miscommunication or lack of communication between doctors and patients. If you have not been adequately and correctly informed about dosage instructions and other specifics about the medication you are taking, you are much more likely to make errors. These errors could be serious, or even fatal.

Be smart and informed. Educating yourself is the first step to preventing injuries from medication errors. If you have been prescribed a medication, know what the medication is for. Ask the doctor the brand name of the medication as well as its generic name. Many doctors will expect or encourage such questions, but if your doctor seems brusque and uninterested in answering your questions, you may need to consider changing your doctor.