Risks and Prevention Archive


Warding off germs this winter: What's helpful, what's not

Some habits are essential to stave off respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses during the winter. Such habits include washing hands frequently, getting vaccinations, wearing a face mask in crowded indoor spaces, and using caution around sick loved ones. However, some habits probably don't make much of a difference and may be unnecessary. Those habits include washing groceries, cleaning a smartphone, removing shoes before entering a home, changing into clean clothes after being out, and wearing a rubber glove to touch a bank ATM or gas pump.

Health-savvy house hunting

When people house-hunt in their 50s and 60s, they should consider home features that enable them to age in place if they become less mobile. Such architectural details include fewer or no stairs, bright lighting, an open layout, cabinets that aren't too high, and bathrooms with step-in showers. Outside amenities are also important, including nearby health care facilities, stores, pharmacies, and parks. A vibrant community can expand people's social options and provide proximity to neighbors to call if needed.

3 strategies for safer home workouts

Home workouts often lead to injuries, such as muscle strains and falls. To reduce injury risks, people should choose a well-ventilated, clutter-free space with a level floor and plenty of room to move; add safety essentials to the space, such as an exercise mat, a mirror to help maintain the proper exercise form, and a smart speaker to call for help if needed; and practice safe exercise habits, such as warming up before a workout and then stretching afterward.

Staying safe while getting well

Preventable adverse medical events occur in up to 7% of hospital admissions and sometimes can lead to serious and even life-threatening complications. Examples include inaccurate medications, unexpected infections, and problems during surgery. To help protect yourself from these events in the hospital, have a trusted partner be with you as much as possible, inquire about each of your medications when offered, and work with your nurse to move around safely.

Women's heart attacks more strongly connected to different risk factors than men's

A 2022 study found that women under 55 experiencing heart attacks have different leading risk factors than men in this age group. For women, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, and low household income are strong risk factors for heart attack.

Asking about guns in houses where your child plays

Between 2015 and 2020, there were more than 2,000 unintentional shootings in the US by children under 18. Parents can help reduce the chance of an accidental shooting by asking about gun security at homes where their children play.

Recognizing and preventing sun allergies

There are several types of "sun allergies," including polymorphous light eruption (PMLE), hives, and photoallergic reactions. Learn about these different reactions to sun exposure, as well as prevention and treatment.

Year three of the pandemic is underway: Now what?

Despite how it may sometimes seem, the COVID-19 pandemic is very much still with us. This is a good time to pause and assess where we are now and what you need to know about vaccines, boosters, and other measures to help you stay well.

Ring vaccination might help curtail monkeypox outbreaks

The monkeypox outbreak currently traveling around the globe is the largest ever recorded outside of western and central Africa. Controlling this virus demands preventive measures, and one method that has worked to contain previous disease outbreaks may be effective for monkeypox as well.

4 immune-boosting strategies that count right now

With colds, flu, and COVID variants circulating, keeping your immune system healthy is even more important. Advertising would have you believe that some supplement or other is the key to protecting yourself from getting sick, but the best strategies to protect yourself involve common sense and simple steps.

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