As we step into 2024, Connecticut's legal and insurance landscapes are evolving. With the recent changes in insurance laws, staying informed is crucial for both individuals and businesses alike. Let's take a closer look at what these developments mean for you.

One significant update, the Substitute Senate Bill No. 913 Public Act No. 23-35, revolves around insurance coverage for mental health services. The new law requires insurance plans to expand coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment on par with coverage for other medical services. This is a significant step forward in ensuring access to essential mental health care for all Connecticut residents. 

Additionally, the law addresses issues related to homeowner's insurance and tree removal. In the aftermath of severe weather events, such as storms or hurricanes, homeowners often face the daunting task of dealing with fallen trees. The updated law clarifies the responsibilities of insurance companies regarding the removal of fallen trees and debris from insured properties, providing much-needed clarity and protection for homeowners.

The legislation aims to enhance consumer protections in the insurance market. It includes provisions to improve transparency and accountability within the industry, empowering consumers with the information they need to make informed decisions about their insurance coverage.

At Jacobs & Wallace, we understand the importance of staying abreast of these legal changes and how they impact our clients. We have decades of experience as trial attorneys and in negotiations with insurance companies representing workers' compensation victims in Connecticut.

In the world of healthcare, being an educated consumer and a good advocate for yourself is crucial. Many people encounter challenges when seeking care and may need help navigating the complexities of the healthcare system. With the right knowledge, you can ensure your health concerns are heard and addressed. According to a recent article published on, titled "10 Tips for How to Advocate for Yourself at the Doctor" here are some of the tips consumers should consider prior to seeking non-emergency medical attention:

Tips for Being Your Own Advocate & Making Informed Healthcare Decisions:

Know Before You Go: Be aware that not all urgent care facilities are staffed by doctors. Before seeking medical attention, research the facility and its staff credentials. Knowing where to go for appropriate care can save you time and ensure you receive the level of expertise you need.

Be Polite but Firm:  When interacting with healthcare professionals, maintain a respectful demeanor while clearly communicating your concerns and preferences. Ask questions about potential risks, side effects, and alternative treatment options. Remember, you have the right to be fully informed and actively involved in decisions about your care.

Follow Up: After any medical visit, especially emergency room visits, always follow up with your primary care physician. The ER may focus on immediate issues, but ongoing care and monitoring are essential for your overall health and well-being.

Carry Medication and Allergy Information: Keep a list of all your medications and allergies with you at all times. This information can be critical in emergencies and ensures that healthcare providers have accurate information about your medical history.

Advocate for Yourself: If you feel uncomfortable or overlooked in a healthcare setting, speak up. If you're placed in a waiting area unsuitable for your condition, politely request a more appropriate location. Remember, you are the customer, and your comfort and well-being matter.

What is Medical Gaslighting? 

 "Medical gaslighting" is a disturbing phenomenon where concerns about your healthcare are dismissed or minimized by a medical professional. This is unfortunately common, especially among marginalized groups. Recognizing the signs of medical gaslighting and knowing how to advocate for yourself are crucial steps in ensuring you receive the care you deserve. According to a recent article published by, titled "How to recognize 'medical gaslighting' and better advocate for yourself at your next doctor's appointment", below is a list of tips for spotting medical gaslighting and advocating for yourself during medical appointments:

Spotting Medical Gaslighting:  It is important that you pay attention to certain actions by your medical provider, such as:

Keep In Mind for Your Next Healthcare Appointment:

Advocate During Appointments: Prepare for appointments by making notes about your symptoms and concerns. Bring a trusted companion to provide support and validation. If you have questions, ask and make sure you have clarity regarding the information your healthcare provider is given you.  Don't hesitate to seek a second opinion or switch healthcare providers if necessary.

Practice Mindfulness: Utilize mindfulness techniques to stay focused and calm during appointments. Practices such as breathing exercises or finger-tapping can help reduce stress and anxiety, enabling you to advocate for yourself more effectively.

Being your own medical advocate requires assertiveness, preparation, and persistence. By arming yourself with knowledge and taking an active role in your care, you can navigate the healthcare system with confidence and ensure that your voice is heard. Remember, your health is your most valuable asset, and you deserve nothing less than the best care possible.

The New Year brings a wave of change with new laws and taxes for 2024 for Connecticut residents. These laws include measures to enhance road safety, address workers' compensation benefits, provide tax breaks, and tackle various issues for positive changes. Here's a comprehensive overview of key legislation set to take effect in 2024.

Workers' Compensation Expansion:

All workers in the state who meet criteria for post-traumatic stress injuries, beyond first responders, are now entitled to Workers' Compensation benefits.

DMV Safety Videos:

The Department of Motor Vehicles will create safety videos, mandatory for residents during license renewals and transfers. These videos will cover state laws on driving, pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Local Traffic Surveillance:

Guidance on speed and red light cameras in municipalities will be issued by the Department of Transportation, emphasizing considerations for racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic factors.

Tax Breaks and Credits:

The state budget introduces tax reductions for middle-income earners, lowering marginal income tax rates. There are also expanded income tax exemptions for pension, annuity, and IRA income, benefiting a broader range of individuals.

Theater Credit:

A new tax credit for production companies involved in pre and post-Broadway shows offers incentives for live theatrical tours staged in the state, capped at $2.5 million per year.

Firefighter Benefits:

Municipalities are now required to make annual contributions to a state firefighters cancer-relief account, providing wage replacement for eligible firefighters diagnosed with cancer.

Online Dating Safety:

Dating services operating in Connecticut must establish safety centers to address unwanted behaviors, provide safety advice, and offer avenues to report sexual harassment and domestic violence. The Department of Consumer Protection can impose fines for non-compliance.

Opioid Antagonist Program:

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services initiates a fund to purchase and provide opioid antidotes to eligible entities, ensuring broader access to Naloxone hydrochloride, such as Narcan.

Other Notable Laws:

Various laws cover a spectrum of topics, from autism spectrum program expansions and cursive writing curriculum development to palliative and hospital care improvements, endometriosis data programs, and mandatory reports on pandemic preparedness and housing programs.

To learn further details of the laws coming into effect in 2024 by visiting this CT Insider article

Stay updated on safety news, law updates, community happenings, and firm news by following Jacobs & Wallace's social media accounts.

As the holiday season kicks into full gear, parents and gift-givers are urged to exercise caution when selecting toys for children. The World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) has recently revealed its "10 Worst Toys of 2023" list.aimed at guiding consumers away from potentially hazardous toys that could lead to severe injuries or, in some cases, prove fatal.  The full list can be found on W.A.T.C.H.'s website:

W.A.T.C.H. :: World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about dangerous children’s products and protecting children from harm. W.A.T.C.H. informs the public about the dangers present in many toys, children’s products, and recreational activities. Working towards making the world a safer place for children by preventing unnecessary injuries and deaths.


Disney The Little Mermaid King Triton’s All-Powerful Trident:

Original Squishmallows-Raisy:

Socker Boppers:

Diecast Fast-Food Truck:

Our Generation Hop In Dog Carrier:

Orbeez Seeds-Rainbow:

Splat-R-Ball Dude Perfect Blaster:

B Toys Make A Melody Musical Instrument Set:

Zoom-O Turbo Disc Launcher:

Carve Pro Stunt Scooter:

As you plan your holiday shopping journey, take heed of these warnings to ensure that the toys you select are safe.  Always read and follow age recommendations, warnings, and usage instructions to make smart purchases for a joyful and safe holiday season for all!

There’s still time to shop for gifts for those little people in your life. But buyers–beware. Not all toys on the shelf are safe or appropriate for children, and you’d often never know without researching the products on your list before you shop. 

To help you avoid toys known for causing severe and even fatal injuries to children, World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H) has released its 10 Worst Toys of 2022 list to guide consumers away from dangerous toys. Families deserve to feel safe with the products they purchase and receive for their children. This list contains toys with hidden hazards, defects, inappropriate age limits, and dangerous features you’ll want to avoid this holiday season. 

10 Worst Toys of 2022 by W.A.T.C.H.

Zeus Lion

Warning: Potential For Ingestion/Aspiration Injuries: While marketed to children as young as 24 months old, this stuffed animal poses a life-threatening risk of ingestion and aspiration injuries. The long hair fibers on the toy may detach with play and can easily be put in a child’s mouth. (Retailers: Walmart, Amazon, Henry Bear’s Park)

Bunny Rabbit Cuddly Pillow

Warning: Potential For Suffocation: The warning on this plush product focuses on the toy being a choking hazard due to small parts, but another risk not listed is suffocation. Manufacturers' warnings state that consumers should not purchase this product for children under 3, yet a conflicting recommendation on the packaging suggests the pillow can be for all ages. (Retailers: Amazon, Walmart)

Li’l Woodzeez Tickle-Your-Taste-Buds Bakery

Warning: Potential For Choking Injuries: While this Li’l Woodzeez Bakery set is marketed to children 3+, several smaller parts of this toy are choking hazards for young children. There are at least 69 pieces (mini pies, bread, cake slices, and other small food items) that are all choking hazards. Manufacturers did include a warning, but only on the throwaway tag. (Retailers: Amazon, Target)

Disney Raya’s Action & Adventure Sword

Warning: Potential For Blunt Force and Eye Injuries: Raya’s Action & Adventure Sword is made for children 3+ but can cause serious injuries when used. The sword is made of rigid plastic that can lead to blunt force injuries and eye injuries, particularly to the face. (Retailers: Amazon, Walmart, Target)

Pop’n Fidget Spinners

Warning: Potential For Choking Injuries: There are no age recommendations on this product, which is misleading as it can be a risk for small children. The rubber pop buttons can detach and pose a choking hazard. You won’t find any warnings about this risk on the packaging. (Retailers: Walmart, Amazon)

Ooze Labs Chemistry Station

Warning: Potential For Chemical-Related Injuries: Ingesting the slime from this chemical set could harm a child’s health. Manufacturers warn parents not to allow children to use this product alone. However, it’s marketed to children as young as 6, and the risk of ingesting at this age (supervised or not) can be high. (Retailers: Target, Amazon, Walmart) 

Cocomelon Musical Learning Watch

Warning: Potential For Battery Ingestion Injuries: This watch marketed for children 3+ has a button/coin battery that could pose a risk of ingestion injuries. Swallowing batteries can lead to serious and fatal internal chemical burns that can occur in as little as two hours. The compartment containing the coin battery in the back of the watch can be easily opened if not properly latched. (Retailers: Target, Amazon, Walmart, Kohls)

Dingray Musical Bath Toy

Warning: Potential For Ingestion and Choking Injuries: The Munchkin Dingray has a mallet included that could pose a choking injury for young children. Marketed for children as young as 12 months, the mallet is 6” in length and slender. Its size makes it easy to swallow, which could lead to the blocking of a child’s airway. (Retailers: Target, Amazon, Walmart)  

Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic Blasters

Warning: Potential For Eye and Facial Injuries: This product is one of the most dangerous toys on the list. The gun comes with small gel balls released with a semi-automatic blaster that can lead to facial and eye injuries. Warnings on the Nerf gun tell consumers to wear eyewear with the product and that the gel balls may leave temporary marks on the skin. It also states, “this is not a toy,” despite its proximity to the toy aisle. (Retailers: Walmart, Amazon, Ebay, Target) 

Black Panther Wakanda Battle Claws

Warning: Potential For Eye and Facial Injuries: These Black Panther claws are made of hard plastic and encouraged for children 5+. Modeled off the popular comic book character, warnings include prohibiting “hitting or swinging at people or animals.” However, children will most likely want to model the character’s moves, and the sharp claws can lead to eye and facial injuries. (Retailers: Target, Walmart, Amazon, JCPenny, Kohls)

Jacobs & Wallace Connecticut Accident Attorneys

If you or someone you love is injured in an accident, you need an experienced law firm to represent you. Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, has decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s injured victims. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.

Delivery drivers are sacrificing their safety to meet Black Friday and Cyber Monday quotas, and it’s only getting worse. According to Vice, Amazon delivery drivers report more extended and stressful shifts the closer they get to the holidays. Some drivers are out delivering packages as late as 11 p.m.!  

Delivery drivers are already at a higher risk for work-related injuries simply due to the nature of their job. Adding in the pressure of peak shopping season and winter-related driving hazards, delivery drivers in 2022 are more at risk for motor vehicle accidents than ever. 

Holiday Safety Risks for Delivery Drivers 

Delivery drivers sacrifice their safety and health to get the job done during the holiday season. Not only are they exposed to factors that increase their risk for accidents, but the culture of speedy delivery encourages workers to take even more safety risks to meet the needs of their employers. 

Vice reported that Amazon delivery drivers typically see their shifts extend three to five hours longer than average after Black Friday. They work round-the-clock, often on weekends, and this schedule can extend past the holidays depending on returns and delays. 

One driver stated that 80% to 90% of delivery drivers do not wear their seatbelts during the holiday delivery season to increase efficiency. Drivers also reported missing lunch breaks and forgoing rest to keep working. 

Additional seasonal road hazards that increase the chance of delivery accidents and driver injuries:

Delivery Trends Putting Drivers at Risk 

There are several trends in the delivery industry that are putting stress on drivers that have made past holiday seasons even worse: 

Increased Online Buying

The pandemic has encouraged a lot of people to buy online rather than shop in-store. The most recent Annual Retail Trade Survey reported that e-commerce saw a surge of $244.2 billion more in online sales in 2020, a 43% increase from the year prior. The convenience of online shopping has continued for many consumers into 2021, and the trend is not looking to decrease much as we enter the 2022 holiday season. 

Guaranteed Fast Deliveries

Amazon and Target are popular companies that continuously promise same-day, next-day, and two-day deliveries. These shortened delivery times put a lot of stress on drivers who must meet these quotas. With increased orders during the peak holiday season, these delivery expectations are even more challenging for drivers. 


Some deliveries require drivers to hand a package to a customer personally. This requirement is often due to an item being fragile or expensive, but it could also be a customer preference. Hand deliveries slow drivers down, especially during periods of snow and ice, making their days even longer and more tiring. 

Photo Delivery Proof

Amazon has a feature that requires drivers to take a picture of a delivered package on a porch as a confirmation to the customer of delivery. This process takes more time than placing an item and walking away, especially when the driver has to upload the image to submit to the customer. 

How To Help Delivery Drivers

The work-culture delivery drivers endure during the holiday season is hard enough. You may not be able to reduce the number of packages they get, their work hours, or set expectations, but there are a few things you can do to make their jobs a bit easier:

Jacobs & Wallace CT Delivery Driver Accident Attorneys 

If you or someone you love is injured on the job, you need an experienced law firm to represent you. Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, has decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s injured workers. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.

September marks the beginning of Baby Safety Month and a perfect opportunity to brush up on your baby safety knowledge. Every year, Safe Kids Worldwide reports that unintentional accidents in the home result in more than 2,200 infant fatalities and 3.5 million injuries every year. It’s up to all Connecticut parents and guardians to understand how these tragic accidents occur and what critical steps they should take to reduce their infant’s risk of accidents.

Baby Injury and Fatality Stats

For decades, motor vehicle accidents have been the leading cause of fatality for all children under 12. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports lack of proper child safety restraints is the most common cause of fatalities in these cases. Safety campaigns such as Child Passenger Safety Week have done an excellent job of spreading awareness and getting parents to focus on keeping their children extra safe when in the car.  But there are far more risks inside the home that could cause life-threatening injuries that parents should also be paying attention to. 

Babies love to explore as they grow and will get into anything and everything if you allow them to. The average home includes an endless number of hazards that can cause injuries to babies. Thankfully, babyproofing and safety planning can immensely reduce your infant's risk, and knowing the most common accidents is a good place to start. 

Safe Kids Worldwide divides infant injuries into two categories: fatal and non-fatal. Here are the Top Causes of Accidents for each type and how many estimated incidents occur each year. 


  1. Suffocation (1,207)
  2. Drowning (577)
  3. Fire/burn (263)
  4. Struck by/against (57)
  5. Fall (55)
  6. Poisoning (51)
  7. Cut/pierce (2) 


  1. Fall (1,955,939)
  2. Struck by/against (1,082,809)
  3. Cut/pierce (270,140)
  4. Fire/burn (93,064)
  5. Poisoning (47,273) 
  6. Suffocation (20,216) 
  7. Drowning (3,741)

How To Observe Baby Safety Month

Most accidents involving infants in the home are unintentional and result from a lack of supervision or babyproofing. Safe Kids Worldwide has reported a significant decrease in infant fatalities and injuries over the years when communities continue to discuss the topics of injury prevention in the home. 

Baby Safety Month was founded by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) in 1983 to help parents, guardians, and educators better protect infants in their care. Here are some ways to continue spreading the message that it only takes a few steps to save an infant's life.

Stay Educated 

Become an advocate for baby safety by staying educated on facts and trends related to baby safety. You can find toolkits and educational resources to help increase your own knowledge through JPMA that provide information on the history of home baby safety, prevention methods, unsafe products to discard, safe products to consider, and tips on safety planning. 

Babyproof Your Home

Don’t just learn and talk about baby safety– implement these practices in your home! Make sure you are baby-proofing your home appropriately based on your child's age and ability. Baby-proofing can include anything from putting up a gate and covering outlets to removing small toys and rearranging your rooms so that unsafe decorations and items are out of reach. 

Practice Baby Safety Tips 

Some of the most terrible infant tragedies can be prevented with simple steps. These five safety tips by JPMA are ones everyone can start right away:

  1. Only feed your baby soft snacks to avoid choking.
  2. Inspect toys often and remove any broken pieces.
  3. Keep medicine (especially gummies) out of sight and reach of children. 
  4. Never shake or toss your baby to prevent brain damage. 

Put baby gates near all stairs and rooms where babies can climb or pull things down.

Social Media Awareness

Use your social media pages to get your family and friends on board with spreading the message of infant safety this month. Using #BabySafetyMonth, you can post photos of your baby, children, or other graphics to help spread the word that babies need your help to stay safe and sound in the home while they grow.

Jacobs & Wallace Connecticut Accident Attorneys

If you or someone you love is injured in an accident, you need an experienced law firm to represent you. Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, has decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s injured victims. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.

Taking your kids to the playground in the summer is perfect for keeping them active and moving. Kids love climbing, sliding, running, and swinging till they drop. But when extreme heat and humidity are present, combined with prolonged exposure to the summer sun, children are at an elevated risk for heat-related illnesses and injuries. 

Because of their size, children are already at a higher risk for heat stress than adults in the summer. The Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) states that a child’s body mass to surface area ratio makes them more susceptible to heat-related illnesses, causing them to become dehydrated faster, especially when active. A child’s lack of judgment and love for play may also cause them to exert more energy in extreme heat without knowing how to regulate their bodies or rehydrate at appropriate times. 

In addition to the heat, playground equipment exposed to full sun can become so hot that it may be dangerous for children to touch! In 2018, a four-year-old girl suffered instant second-degree burns to her legs when going down a hot slide. News reports stated the temperature was in the triple digits the day of the incident, with the slide measuring over 150 degrees. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take a scorching day for the sun to heat up equipment to dangerous temperatures. 
With another possible heat wave coming to Connecticut, parents must stay alert to the heat index and weather conditions before taking their children out to play. Thanks to an article by Local News 8, here are some ways parents can prepare to keep kids cool and safe at the playground.

Stay Hydrated

Safety experts cannot stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated in the summer heat. Dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough water to function correctly, leading to the onset of heat-related illnesses. Children not only lose fluid faster, but they are less likely to drink when playing, putting them at increased risk for heat stress to occur. 
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) reports drinking enough fluids is the best way to keep your body hydrated and working properly. While water is the healthiest, sports drinks in moderation that replenish electrolytes can also be helpful on a hot day. Prepare a cooler or bag with plenty of fluids to keep your family hydrated and stick it nearby so children can take frequent drink breaks. If you run out, take a break and stop by a store to grab some more.

Avoid Hot Equipment

Ever hear your children scream that the slide is too hot? It may be even hotter than they think. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (C.P.S.C.) reports that thermal burns constitute a significant hazard on playground equipment in the summer. Metal, plastic, and other coated materials are all capable of causing first and even second-degree burns under the right conditions. The equipment that is most dangerous during hot and sunny days includes: 

You can find ways to cool down playground equipment, such as pouring cold water on slides or using a towel on a swing, but it’s probably not worth the risk. The C.P.S.C. reports children can get burned on equipment when it’s only 74 degrees if in full sun most of the day. Avoiding the playground for the day is always safer if the equipment is unsafe to touch.

Play Early or Later

One way to avoid hot playground equipment is to plan your visit before it has prolonged exposure to the sun. The sun increases in intensity as the day continues, hitting peak heat and radiation between 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm in the summer, according to the Weather Station Lab

The best time to go to the playground with children is early, preferably before noon or even 10:00 am, depending on how early your little ones wake. You should also hold off on the playground until after 4:30 pm when the sun begins to set and the temperatures become cooler again.

Utilize Shade and Sunscreen

Direct sunlight can cause your child to overheat quickly. Ensure you provide your family with a shaded area at the playground to avoid the sun when it becomes too intense. Hats, sunglasses, and lightweight, protective clothing are great options for your children to use as shade while they play. For the skin that is exposed, always apply an appropriate sunscreen to protect them from sunburns. To find safe sunscreens perfect for your family, EWG provides a guide to sunscreens with the most recent reviews.

Take Frequent Breaks

Your children may need a little encouragement to stop playing, but frequent breaks are vital to protecting them from heat-related illnesses and injuries. The National Athletic Trainers Association (N.A.T.A.) advises parents to provide children 10 to 15-minute fluid and rest breaks every 25 to 30 minutes when playing outdoors in the heat. Setting a timer and keeping all children in your playgroup on the same schedule can help wrangle everyone into resetting to avoid heat stress. Snacks, books, and toys can also help keep kids still enough to cool down before they start to play.

Always Play Safe

Following general playground safety rules can significantly help keep your children safe on the playground, especially when they are hot and more prone to accidents. Ortho Info highlights the following safety steps parents can take on every visit: 

Jacobs & Wallace Connecticut Accident Attorneys

If you or someone you love is injured in an accident, you need an experienced law firm to represent you. Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, has decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s injured victims. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.

Drowning is the leading cause of death among children ages 0 to 4 and the second leading cause of death for children 0 to 17. But while most Connecticut residents understand the act of drowning, how to spot it, and ways to prevent it, other conditions such as “dry drowning” and “secondary drowning” are causing concern and confusion. 

The first alleged “dry drowning” case hit the news in 2008 when a 10-year-old boy from South Carolina reportedly died days after inhaling water while swimming in a pool. It was later determined that the boy died of a health condition called “secondary drowning.” Still, the widespread media attention to the possibility of “dry drowning” and the idea that children could die days after water exposure made parents panic. 

While neither “dry drowning” nor “secondary drowning” is an approved medical term, they refer to health complications that are related to or lead to instances of unintentional drowning. Connecticut parents should stay educated on the signs and symptoms of any condition that can harm a child in the water and know how to prevent these tragic accidents this summer.

Types of Drowning

There are three types of drownings parents may hear about in mainstream media this summer: unintentional drowning, secondary drowning, and dry drowning. All of these conditions can prove to be fatal without emergency and medical intervention. Knowing the differences between each one can help parents prevent tragedies from occurring and spot concerning behaviors in time to seek life-saving medical attention.

Unintentional Drowning

Unintentional drowning is the leading cause of death in children 0 to 4 and the only medically recognized term among the three. Despite popular belief, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) reports that unintentional drowning does not occur all at once but in stages:

This entire process takes only a few minutes; it does not occur over a long period. Children cannot drown hours or days after exposure to water, as experts from Mayo Clinic have confirmed.

Secondary Drowning

While often used interchangeably, “secondary drowning” and “dry drowning” are not referring to the same conditions. According to Mayo Clinic, secondary drowning–while not a medically accepted term–refers to delayed illnesses from aspirating too much water. 

Most of the time, the body can absorb extra water aspirated into the lungs over time; secondary drowning refers to the rare instances when a body does not.  In these cases, water aspirated into the lungs irritates the lining, causing pulmonary edema, a condition involving excess fluid build-up and resulting in a lack of oxygen to the body. This disorder is mainly caused by pre-existing heart issues but can occur with harmful exposure to water. 

Symptoms of pulmonary edema generally worsen within 5 to 8 hours after onset and include difficulty breathing, uncontrollable coughing, wheezing, extreme fatigue, disorientation, and slurred speech. Mayo Clinic reports that there are cases where symptoms develop over time, but it depends on the cause of the illness.

Dry Drowning

The act of “dry drowning” doesn’t refer to any type of drowning but more to possible health conditions that, if occurring in the water, could lead someone to drown. This could include a heart attack, stroke, or rare diseases such as laryngospasm. As defined by the Cleveland Clinic, this illness affects only 2% of drowning victims. It leads the body to block its own airway when water enters, leading to suffocation rather than fatal aspiration when drowning. 

The term “dry drowning” came about in 2008 when several stories connected rare child fatalities to water exposure occurring days prior. Sadly, many “dry drowning” deaths reported over the years were caused by underlying health conditions such as heart disease or rare bacterial infections. Still, the widespread misinformation has made parents unnecessarily worry about their children drowning even days after swimming or playing in the water. 
Because dry drowning deaths could encompass any health condition that could pose a drowning risk, health experts quoted in a recent USA Today article advise parents to be careful. Safety advocates recommend avoiding terms such as dry, wet, near, passive, and silent to describe types of drowning to prevent further misinformation from spreading.

How to Prevent All Drowning Accidents

The good news for parents is that almost all drowning accidents, no matter their classification, can be prevented with supervision and preparation. Children are only as safe in the water as we allow them to be, and they need their parents and guardians to prepare for emergencies. 

The American Red Cross provides the following safety suggestions for keeping your family healthy and safe this summer in the water: 

Know CPR: CPR is a life-saving process that can save a child who has aspirated too much water. You can find CPR certification courses in Connecticut through the Red Cross. Consider doing it with other parents in your social group for extra protection!

Jacobs & Wallace Summer Accident Attorneys

If you or someone you love is injured in an accident, you need an experienced law firm to represent you. Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, has decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s injured victims. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.

Sunlight is certainly beneficial for our skin, but too much fun under the sun can also lead to life-threatening consequences. The sun's beautiful rays emit dangerous Ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can harm your skin and body. According to the Skin Care Foundation, 1 in 5 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70, and at least two people diagnosed die every day from unrepairable damage. 

Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk for skin cancer and other sun-related health conditions. Preparation for your days under the sun to reduce direct and prolonged exposure is key. Understanding why UV rays are harmful and learning about the different types of sun damage can help you choose the best protection for you and your family, putting the worry of unhealthy exposure to rest.
To help spread awareness about UV dangers and the preventative measures available, July has been deemed UV Safety Month. The focus of this campaign aims to educate the public on the long-term and life-threatening consequences that can result from UV rays and what you can do in your home to reduce your risks to help you enjoy the summer season.

What is UV Ray?

UV radiation, as defined by the American Cancer Society, is a form of electromagnetic radiation originating from the sun or produced by an artificial source, such as a welding torch or tanning bed. There are several types of radiation ranging in severity from low energy (radio waves) to high energy (x-ray scans). 

UV rays are considered moderate in severity. They contain less visible light than x-ray scans, but result in more severe health complications than low-frequency rays. UV rays are categorized into three groups based on energy intensity:

Natural UV rays originate from the sun. But, as mentioned above, when discussing UVC rays, there are several types of artificial sources that can result in UV exposure that is sometimes more harmful than direct sunlight. These include: 

Health consequences of UV Ray Exposure

The most common health condition resulting from exposure to UV radiation is skin cancer. The type of UV rays, length of exposure, and the genetic makeup of a person’s body will ultimately determine the type of cancer and prognosis of recovery. The American Cancer Society reports these most common types of skin cancer associated with UV exposure: 

Studies cited by the American Cancer Society found that while basal and squamous cell skin cancers are directly linked to UV exposure from the sun overtime, melanoma– a more deadly type of skin cancer– is a result of prolonged periods of sun exposure, bad sunburns, and often correlates with signs of sun damage including the following: 

The American Cancer Society reported that studies have also shown that increased sun exposure can result in a weakened immune system. Individuals with weakened immune systems have increased difficulty fighting off infections, which can be particularly dangerous in a hospital or other medical facility where bacteria and diseases are frequently present.

UV Safety Month Resources

The purpose behind UV Safety Month is not just to remind Americans that UV rays are harmful but to remind the public of the precautions they can take to reduce their sun exposure this summer. Most of these steps are simple, despite the life-threatening results that can occur without them. The best place to start is knowing the facts and planning your day based on your knowledge of the sun’s strength and position in the sky. 

While every day is different, the most intense part of the day for UV exposure from the sun is between 10 am to 4 pm. This does not mean UV rays are absent before or after this period, but your risk for severe exposure and uptake is far lower. 

Depending on your activity level, weather conditions, and temperature/humidity levels, here are the most effective safety steps to further reduce your sun exposure this summer: 

Wear sunscreen: Sunscreen on a very hot day, especially when involved in water activities, is often the last protection between your skin and the sun. Make sure to pick the right sunscreen for your day with an SPF of at least 15 that protects against UV-A and UV-B, and reapply as instructed.

Jacobs & Wallace Connecticut Accident Attorneys

If you or someone you love is injured in an accident, you need an experienced law firm to represent you. Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, has decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s injured victims. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.

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