In this new Lifelines series, we aim to get you up to speed on important health-related headlines you may have missed.
Flu Vaccine Offers Up to 6 Months of Protection
A new study suggests the flu vaccine helps protect those who get the shot for up to six months – offering additional immunity through most of the flu season. Researchers found getting a flu shot can reduce your chances of needing a doctor visit by 50-70 percent. So ask your Health & Welfare Fund staff about getting a flu shot this season or visit www.flu.gov to find a location near you.
More Kids Accidentally Getting Drunk on Hand Sanitizer
The Georgia Poison Center reported an alarming increase in young children getting drunk by ingesting hand sanitizer. Often found in colorful packaging and scented with flavors like strawberry, these products contain 45-90 percent alcohol. The Center highlighted one case in which a six-year-old ingested a few squirts of hand sanitizer and soon had a blood alcohol level of .179 – more than twice what is considered legally drunk for an adult.
Massive Airbag Recall Affects 1 in 7 U.S. Cars
You’ve probably heard about the Volkswagen emissions scandal, but did you know that 34 million U.S. cars are part of an ongoing recall to replace faulty airbag parts? Airbags in affected vehicles may not inflate properly or may cause passengers to be hit with metal shrapnel when deployed. Click here to find out if your car is affected and what to do next if it is.
Vaping Banned in U.S. National Parks
The jury is still out on whether e-cigarettes and the vapor they produce are harmful to users and the public, but one U.S. agency isn’t waiting to find out. The U.S. National Park Service has now banned e-cigarettes anywhere smoking is also prohibited on their grounds. New York City passed a similar law in 2014 that treats e-cigarette smoke the same as tobacco smoke in restaurants, bars, parks and other areas.