3 of the biggest medical hazards patients will face in 2018

medical hazardsAs patients, we expect our health care systems to function smoothly and safely. Our nation’s clinics, hospitals and health care facilities should offer high levels of care as well as advanced treatments and technologies. Yet that doesn’t always happen.

The ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care, publishes annual reports on the biggest threats to patient health and safety. Its 2018 report identifies risks to watch out for in the new year. Some of them might surprise you. Continue reading “3 of the biggest medical hazards patients will face in 2018”

What You Need To Know About “Do Not Disturb While Driving” On iPhone

distracted drivingThe new iOS 11 update on the Apple iPhone contains a safety feature that could prevent accidents and save lives.

The Do Not Disturb While Driving feature has been added to the latest update. It works by blocking text messages and phone calls while the device’s owner is driving. Continue reading “What You Need To Know About “Do Not Disturb While Driving” On iPhone”

Have a blast on the 4th of July with these tips for safe and fun festivities!

4th of julyHow are you and your loved ones celebrating the 4th of July this year? For some, the holiday is spent at a backyard barbeque enjoying the local fireworks display with friends and family. Others take the opportunity to get out of town for a few days and celebrate in a new place.

Follow these simple tips to avoid injuries and legal troubles this Independence Day. Continue reading “Have a blast on the 4th of July with these tips for safe and fun festivities!”

Have a blast on the 4th of July with these tips for safe and fun festivities!

4th of julyHow are you and your loved ones celebrating the 4th of July this year? For some, the holiday is spent at a backyard barbeque enjoying the local fireworks display with friends and family. Others take the opportunity to get out of town for a few days and celebrate in a new place.

Follow these simple tips to avoid injuries and legal troubles this Independence Day. Continue reading “Have a blast on the 4th of July with these tips for safe and fun festivities!”

Sparklers: 4th of July fun or accident waiting to happen?

Sparklers seem harmless. You’ve probably stocked up on them for 4th of July picnics and cookouts and handed them out to your kids without a second thought.

But did you know these “toys” can burn as hot as a blow torch? Or that they are one of the leading causes of fireworks-related injuries? Continue reading “Sparklers: 4th of July fun or accident waiting to happen?”

Yankee Candle recalls Luminous Collection candles for laceration hazard

Yankee Candle recall
Photo courtesy of Yankee Candle.

‘Tis the season to make sure gifts, given and received, are safe to use. The Yankee Candle Company, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, recently issued a voluntary recall on its line of Luminous Collection candles.

The company received an influx of consumer feedback reporting the candles’ glass spontaneously cracking, creating a possible laceration hazard.

Affected Yankee Candles

The collection is made up of six scented candles with the following product numbers:

  • Sea Salt and Coral (1535651)
  • Blackberry and Sage (1535890)
  • Apple Blossom and Melon (1535891)
  • Sugarcane and Honey (1535892)
  • Pine and Sandalwood (1535893)
  • Cinnamon and Cedar (1535894)

If you purchased or received a Luminous Collection candle, Yankee Candle is offering a full refund and an additional candle of your choice upon return. If the candle was purchased at another store, you must return it to a Yankee Candle location to receive the refund and additional candle.

For more information, call 877-803-6890 during business hours.

To view more holiday product recalls, visit safekids.org.

How can parents, caregivers and the public prevent hot car deaths?

Ohio will soon join the ranks of states taking action to prevent hot car deaths. Earlier this summer, Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 215 into law. Effective August 31, good Samaritans who break into a vehicle to save a minor or animal from overheating are protected from civil liability and damages.

It’s a common misconception that hot car deaths are always the result of negligence, and many fail to take proper precautions because they don’t believe they would ever put their child at risk. According to neuroscientist David Diamond, changes in routine, lack of sleep and stress can cause a parent or caregiver to forget a child is in the vehicle with them.

“A universal observation I have made is that each parent’s brain appears to have created the false memory that he or she had brought the child to daycare,” he explains. “Parents went about their routine activities, which even included telling others that they needed to leave work on time to retrieve their child from daycare. Having this ‘false memory’ caused them to be oblivious to the fact that their child had remained in the car all day.”

Diamond claims none of the parents he studied demonstrated an act of willful recklessness or gross negligence.

3 Tips for Preventing Hot Car Deaths

Forgetting your child in the car may seem unfathomable, but it’s easier to do than most parents would like to admit.

Follow these three tips for preventing a hot car death on your watch:

  1. Place an item you’ll need to retrieve before moving on with your day in the back seat. Whether it’s your cell phone or your shoe, you will be forced to check for your child before exiting the vehicle.
  2. Request your child’s school or childcare provider contact you as soon as possible if your child is absent without notice.
  3. Keep an old stuffed animal in the car seat, and move it to the passenger seat each time you buckle your child in to serve as a visual reminder.

How to Break into a Vehicle to Rescue a Child or Pet

Disclaimer: The following instructions are only to be used in emergency situations where the life of a child or pet is in immediate danger.

  1. Quickly check for unlocked doors. If you’re unable to gain access to the vehicle, call 911 or recruit a bystander to do so. Under Ohio’s new law, you must take these steps to receive immunity.
  2. Locate a tool you can use to break the car window, such as a tire iron, hammer or screwdriver.
    prevent hot car deaths
    resqme® Quick Car Escape Tool

    Want to be prepared to take action? Invest in a resqme® Quick Car Escape Tool. The keychain’s powerful steel spike quickly and efficiently cracks a vehicle’s side window. Purchase one online for just $12.95, and $4 from the purchase of certain models is donated to KidsAndCars.

  3. Select the side window furthest from the child to reduce the risk of injuries resulting from shattered glass.
  4. Drive the tool into one of the window’s lower corners until the glass breaks. Do not focus your efforts on the center of the window, as this is the strongest section.
  5. Use the tool to carefully clear any remaining glass shards from the edges of the window, and remove the child from the vehicle.

We hope you will never be in a situation where it is necessary to use this information, but you never know when you may be forced to take action to save a life.

3 Tips for Staying Safe While Playing Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO
We spotted an Eevee at the Elk & Elk Headquarters!

After the release of Pokémon GO earlier this month, millions of fans set out in search of virtual creatures in their communities. The augmented reality game encourages players to exercise, and may even be helpful for those coping with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. However, the technology poses a variety of potential safety risks. Follow our tips for avoiding injuries while playing Pokémon GO.

3 Pokémon GO Safety Tips

1. Don’t catch and drive.

The recent report of a massive pileup caused by a Pokémon GO player may be a hoax, but the dangers of playing the game while driving are very real. Ohio State Highway Patrol and other government agencies took to social media to warn users of the dangers, and traffic accidents and injuries have already been reported.

2. Watch your step.

Playing Pokémon GO behind the wheel isn’t the only way people are putting themselves at risk. Despite a warning on the app’s loading screen to stay alert, players have documented various injuries resulting from distractions posed by the game. From tripping over a curb to accidently walking out in front of a moving vehicle, there are numerous ways one could conceivably be injured while playing.

3. Be aware of your surroundings.

Don’t use the game to justify venturing to a location you would usually consider unsafe. Try to limit playing time to daylight hours, and stay in populated, well-lit areas when playing at night. Bring a friend if you’ll be travelling to a secluded spot, and always avoid trespassing.

The Pokémon GO craze is just getting underway, so have fun and stay safe on your adventures! Trying to catch ‘em all in the Cleveland area? Head to Newburgh Heights, Walton Hills or Gates Mills.

Garage Sales – what you need to know

yard-sale2Summer time is the peak season for garage sales. Kids and grown-ups alike have fun rummaging through their neighbor’s castoffs – hunting for a bargain or “new” treasure. But did you know when planning a garage sale, there are some very important legal issues to consider? Taking these simple steps before you host a garage sale may help prevent a great deal of legal problems down the line.

Check local permit requirements

Many cities require residents to purchase a permit (usually for around $5.00) before conducting a “home sale” – a sale of personal property to the public which is conducted on residential property. Local ordinances also may set parameters on things such as advertising (especially the placement of signs), hours of operation, the type of merchandise permitted, and the number of garage sales permitted each year. If you are part of a home owner’s association, there may be additional regulations that must be followed.


Check with your insurance agent or company representative to be sure you have enough liability insurance to protect your assets in case you’re sued. Most standard home and renters insurance policies will generally provide at least $100,000 of liability coverage. This coverage pays for both the cost of defending you in court and court awards for damages —up to the limit of your policy.

Most standard homeowners or renters policies have “no-fault medical coverage” as part of the liability protection. This coverage allows someone who gets injured on your property to simply submit his or her medical bills to your insurance company without having to file a lawsuit. However, most policies only include about $1,000 to $5,000 worth of this type of coverage.

Depending on your property value, you may want to consider raising your liability coverage to at least $300,000 to $500,000. If you need more coverage, excess liability or umbrella coverage can provide additional protection and won’t cost you more than $350 a year for $1,000,000 worth of coverage. 

The Insurance Information Institute offers the following guidelines for different types sales:

  • One Time Event: Yard sales that are one-time events for the sole purpose of selling unwanted personal items are generally covered under a standard homeowners or renters policy. However, it is important to have enough coverage, so be sure to check with your insurance agent or company representative.
  • Frequent Yard Sales: If you have frequent yard sales, it is a good idea to purchase a separate policy for business liability or an in-home business policy. These policies are available from many homeowner’s insurance companies and specialty insurers that sell stand-alone in-home business policies.
  • Charity Fundraiser: If you are staging a sale to raise money for a charity, you will most likely be covered under your homeowners or renters insurance policy. But you can also contact the charity to see what type of insurance protection they would be willing to extend to you if necessary.

Plan your sale with safety in mind:

  • Repair loose railings and cracked concrete which may cause injuries.
  • Place sale items so that there is enough space to move about without tripping.
  • Avoid placing items too close to stairs and ledges where people could fall.
  • Keep sharp objects such as knives and scissors out of the reach of children.
  • Do not sell items that you know are unsafe or hazardous including recalled items.
  • Keep your pets safely indoors during the sale, both for their safety and to avoid someone getting hurt. Some dog breeds can become very protective when there are several strangers on their property.
  • If someone does get injured, make sure that you get them medical attention as soon as possible.

The resale of recalled items is against the law

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 made it illegal to resell recalled or other dangerous children’s items. Used car seats, old cribs, second-hand bike helmets, and even outdated children’s coats can pose risks. Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Web site www.cpsc.gov/ for product recalls before hosting a garage sale. Car seats can be checked at www.nhtsa.gov/.


As a general rule, you don’t have to pay taxes on items you sell at your occasional garage sale. The IRS assumes you’re selling household items you bought and used for personal use and you’re selling them for less than what you paid for them. However, you can’t take a deduction for any losses, either. If you frequently sell items at garage sales or make profits on items, talk to a tax attorney or another tax professional to make sure you avoid problems with the IRS.


4th of July – Fireworks Safety

Fireworks have become synonymous with Independence Day celebrations. Sold everywhere from wholesale distributors to the local grocery store, fireworks come in a wide variety of styles, each carrying its own risks.

“Every legally available backyard firework has been associated with serious injury and death,” Gary Smith, president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance, said in a released statement. “Although some people mistakenly believe that backyard fireworks are safe if only adults handle them, our research shows that one-quarter of fireworks-related injuries to children occur to bystanders. These children were not using the fireworks themselves and yet they were still injured.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 10,000 people were treated for fireworks-related injuries in U.S. emergency rooms. 61 percent of 2011 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 34 percent were to the head.


Fireworks guidelines

  • Follow local laws (see below)
  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks
  • Never try to re-light or pick up duds
  • Read warning labels carefully before igniting
  • Always have water handy
  • Light fireworks one at a time then move back quickly
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Never attempt to alter or modify consumer fireworks
  • Douse used fireworks with water before throwing them away

Ohio Laws

Novelty Fireworks like sparklers, snakes, punks, snaps and smoke bombs are legal in Ohio.

Consumer Fireworks such as bottle rockets, firecrackers, Roman candles and fountains may be purchased in Ohio only if the consumer signs an affidavit agreeing to remove the items from the state within 48 hours.

Professional Fireworks including display fireworks and pyrotechnics are illegal to purchase or use without proper licenses and training.



Ohio Residents Advised Not to Use Home Fireworks over the Holiday” by Mark Kovac, Nordonia Hills News-Leader, July 3, 2013.

Safe Fun with Fireworks” Ohio Department of Health, accessed July 3, 2013.