Sunscreen Lotions That Don’t

Almost two thirds of the hundreds of sunscreen products available to consumers are ineffective or unsafe, or both. And the SPF rating only relates to the effectiveness to block UVB rays that cause sunburn, but its UVA rays which may cause skin damage or skin cancer. Consumer Reports tested 73 lotions, sprays and sticks and discovered that 24 of the products actually protected at half the labeled SPF. Reports of effectiveness vary with the group conducting the testing. Organizations which advocate natural products argue that the best protection is provided by mineral sunscreens which contain titanium oxide or zinc oxide…

Vail Not Liable for Death

A six-year legal battle by a family who lost their son ended yesterday with a jury verdict in favor of Vail Resorts. Thirteen-year-old Taft Colin was killed at Vail Mountain on Jan. 22, 2012 by an in-bounds avalanche. His parents filed a lawsuit against Vail. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that under Colorado’s Skier Safety Act, in-bounds avalanches are an inherent risk of skiing. The claim against Vail in Colin’s case was then restated as a claim for negligence rather than wrongful death. The family argued that Vail Resorts was negligent when it did not adequately warn skiers…

Summer Fires Threaten Colorado

The extreme fire danger currently experienced in Colorado has prompted the U.S. Forest Service to close one of the most popular tourist destinations. The San Juan National Forest is closed, the first full closure of a national forest since 2002. As early as March of this year, the fire season outlook was concerning due to the low snow pack in Colorado mountains. Fire restrictions are currently in place in over one-third of the state. Homeowners are on high-alert for the possible outbreak of a catastrophic fire. The first step to avoid losing your home is to use fire resistant material.…

Pedestrians Must Pay Attention!

The Governors Highway Safety Association has released a 2017 Preliminary Data analysis of pedestrian fatalities which identifies national trends. The most disturbing trend is the 27% increase in pedestrian fatalities from 2007 to 2016. Of particular concern to Colorado pedestrians, states with legalized marijuana experienced an average 16.4% increase in fatalities in first six months of 2017 over the same period in 2016. To better educate the public regarding pedestrian hazards, the state has launched a public education campaign. Not surprisingly, 75% of pedestrian deaths occur after dark. And almost half of the fatalities involved alcohol consumption either by the…

How to Select a Summer Away Camp

With summer quickly approaching, the summer camp season is just underway. When picking a summer camp or program for your child consider what makes for a good match. Just like every child, every camp has its own personality. The child’s interest, medical needs, allergies, dietary restrictions, family monetary concerns, co-ed or single sex, length of stay and distance from home are all some of the factors to be considered in determining the proper placement. In addition to traditional camps, there are camps that specialize in individual sports, theater/art/music, education, science, computers, weight loss, outdoor adventure, language, community service and many…

Mosquitos, Ticks and Fleas, Oh No!

Illnesses from mosquito, tick or flea bites have tripled in the period from 2004 until 2016 reports the Center for Disease Control, CDC. Climate change resulting in higher average temperatures in many northern areas of the continental United States has expanded the range of mosquitos, fleas and ticks. And increasing urbanization provides more contact between the pests. According to the CDC, in 2016, the most common tickborne diseases in the U.S. were Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis. The most common mosquito-borne viruses were West Nile, dengue, and Zika. Though rare, plague was the most common disease resulting from the bite of…

Grill the Hot Dogs, Not the Home

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading causes of grill fires are dirty grills, placing the grill too close to a structure and unattended grills. Most fires begin in a porch, patio or balcony. As outdoor cooking season heats up, keep these grilling safety tips in mind: Never use a grill indoors due to carbon monoxide (CO) and fire hazards. Use the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building. Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that will burn. Always follow the instructions that accompany…

Anchor and Protect!

Falling furniture, electronics, and appliances caused at least 363 fatalities in the United States from 2000 through 2012. And more than 4 out of every 5 fatally injured is a child younger than 8 years old. Overall, about 38,000 emergency room visits each year result from instable furniture or electronics. Head injuries and injuries from being crushed under falling electronics or by tipped furniture and appliances, are the most common. To prevent a tip-over tragedy: USE STURDY FURNITURE AND SECURE YOUR TV Televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a television, such as television stands or media…

Tree Wells Pose Deadly Risk

The light fluffy snow which has been blanketing the west has also increased the hazards presented by skiing in trees. The snow is easily fallen into, often resulting in suffocation. On March 4th, a skier at Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana became separated from his friends. Later that afternoon his body was found by ski patrol in a tree well. In Oregon, Mt. Bachelor experienced a double-tragedy when the body of a male skier was found in a tree well early Friday afternoon, then two hours later a report of another missing skier prompted a search lasting into the night.…

Change Your Mind!

The Brain Injury Association of America works to de-stigmatize brain injury through outreach within the brain injury community. The BIAA empowers those who have survived brain injury and their caregivers, providing many types of support to people living with brain injury. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and March 20th is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill for Tuesday. Perhaps the most well-recognized brain injury is the concussion, but an acquired brain injury is any brain injury that has occurred after birth. The injury results in a change to the brain's neuronal activity, which affects the physical integrity, metabolic…