What You Need To Know For Summer Cook Out Safety

Cook Out

Cook OutIt’s getting warmer and you know what that means? It’s time to get out the grills and cook out! As soon as the weather get nice, most families take the cooking duties outdoors. From dinner to family cookouts, fun in the sun includes the gas or charcoal grill. In spite of how great grilled foods taste, gas and charcoal grills account for an average of 10 deaths, 100 injuries and $40 million in property loss each year! (According to the United States Fire Administration). 

We want you to have a great time with your outdoor cook out, but also be safe. Keep reading for some important safety tips. 

Food Safety

  • Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw and cooked foods separate by not using the same platters or utensils. 
  • Cook your food thoroughly. Cooking on a grill often results in quicker browning of the meat on the outside, but the inside typically remains raw. Use a food thermometer to ensure your meat is cooked properly. 
    • All raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops and roasts should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 F. 
    • All ground beef, pork, lamb and veal should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 160 F. 
    • Poultry should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 F. 

Avoid Grilling Mishaps

  • Don’t let children and pets play near the grilling area when cooking until the grill is completely cool. 
  • Place your grill at least three feet away from other objects including your home, trees and outdoor seating. 
  • Use starter fluid for barbecue grills that use charcoal only. Do not use starter fluid for gas grills. 
  • Check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to make sure it is not leaking and is working properly before using a gas grill. 
  • If you suspect that your gas grill is leaking, turn off the gas and get the unit fixed before lighting. Never use a match to check for leaks.
  • Do not bring your grill into an unventilated or enclosed space such as the garage or inside of your home. This is not only a major fire hazard; it is also a carbon monoxide hazard. 

Cook Out Carefully To Prevent Fires

  • Wear tight-fitting clothing that cannot drape over flames or into pans.
  • If you have long hair, tie it back.
  • Do not place oven mitts, hand towels or hot pads on or near the range.
  • When you are done cooking a meal, double-check to make sure that all appliances are turned off.
  • Unplug portable appliances when they are not in use.
  • When cooking on your range, turn on the vent hood fan to minimize any smoking. 
  • If your gas range does not light on its own, be extremely careful when lighting it.

           If The Event Of A Fire:

  • Turn off the gas or electrical appliance that is fueling the flames, if possible.
  • If the fire is in a pan on your range, cover the pan with its lid or a baking sheet. If this does not work, use a fire extinguisher or sprinkle baking soda on the pan.
  • In the event you are cooking with oil and it catches fire, DO NOT pour water on the flaming pan. This will make the fire worse.

We hope that you take the time to use these simple safety tips to have a great summer cook out season with your friends and family! 

Hearing Loss, Risk Factors and How To Prevent It?

hearing loss

Approximately one in five Americans are deal with some type of hearing loss. Often unavoidable due to the natural process of aging, hearing loss can also result from exposure to loud noises over time.

Types of Hearing Loss

The two most common types of hearing loss are sensorineural and conductive.


Sensorineural—Also called nerve deafness, this is the most common type of hearing loss, affecting one out of five people by age 55. It usually comes on gradually, but rarely results in complete deafness. People who have this type of hearing loss can hear speech but often have difficulty understanding it, especially with background noise.

There are a range of causes for sensorineural hearing loss, including:

  • Exposure to loud or persistent noise
  • Meniere’s disease (an abnormality of the inner ear)
  • Meningitis, or viruses such as mumps or measles
  • Heredity or birth defects
  • Head injuries
  • Blows to the ear
  • Circulatory problems
  • Allergic and metabolic defects

Sensorineural hearing loss is irreversible but can usually be helped with the use of hearing aids.


Conductive—This occurs when the ossicles, the three tiny bones of the ear, fail to conduct sound to the cochlea, or inner ear. It can also occur when the eardrum fails to vibrate in response to sound because of a mechanical problem, such as fluid in the ear or disruption of the ossicles.

There are several causes of conductive hearing loss, including:

  • Infection
  • A buildup of earwax
  • Fluid in the middle ear
  • A punctured eardrum

People with conductive hearing loss can be treated successfully with medicine or surgery, as well as with hearing instruments. Some people have both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss; these people can be treated with hearing aids as well.

Some other conditions that cause hearing loss or adversely affect people’s hearing are:

  • Presbycusis—This is hearing loss due to normal aging, and therefore most common for elderly people. It is caused as hair cells become old and brittle or are destroyed. Presbycusis is generally a type of sensorineural hearing loss but sometimes can be a conductive hearing loss.
  • Tinnitus—Also known as “ringing in the ears,” it is the sensation of sound that does not exist. About one third of all adults experience tinnitus at some point, and 15 percent of adults require medical evaluation for their tinnitus. It can be caused by a number of factors including earwax buildup, eardrum perforation and ear infections.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

Hearing loss is often so gradual that it goes unnoticed by the sufferer and is discovered by family, friends or a routine hearing test. The following symptoms may indicate hearing loss:

  • Nervous tension, irritability or fatigue from the effort to hear
  • The belief that people are mumbling or not speaking clearly
  • Straining to understand conversations in social settings or at work
  • Frequently misunderstanding or needing to have things repeated
  • Watching people’s faces intently when listening
  • Increasing television or radio volume to the point where others complain
  • Recurrent ear infections, constant ear ringing or dizziness

Some people have an increased risk of experiencing hearing loss, such as:

  • Those with a family history of hearing loss
  • People with diabetes, or heart, thyroid or circulation problems
  • Those who are exposed to high noise levels from things like tractors, factory machinery, firearms or power tools, without proper ear protection

Hearing Aids

A hearing aid is an electronic, battery-operated device that amplifies and changes sound to allow for improved communication.

There are three basic types of hearing aids:

  • In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fit completely in the outer ear and are used for mild to severe hearing loss, but are not usually worn by children because the casings need to be replaced as the ear grows.
  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are worn behind the ear and connected to a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer ear. BTE aids are used by people of all ages for mild to profound hearing loss.
  • Canal aids fit into the ear canal and are available in two sizes. The In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is customized to fit the size and shape of the ear canal and is used for mild or moderately severe hearing loss. A Completely-in-canal (CIC) aid is largely concealed in the ear canal and is also used for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Protecting Your Hearing

It is difficult to protect yourself from hearing loss due to aging or certain other conditions. However, it is possible to protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss. Be aware of the sounds that can be dangerous to your ears and take steps to avoid or reduce them.

  • Keep the volume turned down on your stereo, phone and television.
  • Make sure the noise in your workplace does not exceed federal regulations.
  • Wear earplugs with at least 20 decibels of protection when you are exposed to loud noises.
  • Regular hearing tests can alert you to hearing loss as soon as it starts, allowing you to enact preventative measures.

What Is Two-factor Authentication And Why Is It Important?

two-factor authentication

two-factor authentication

As cyber attacks become more and more common, protecting your data is increasingly difficult. In fact, a study from Juniper Research found that by 2023, cyber criminals are expected to steal an estimated 33 billion records. In light of the growing number of cyber attacks, many companies are turning to two-factor authentication to enhance their cyber security. This is also commonly called 2FA or multifactor authentication. While no cyber security method is foolproof, using two-factor authentication can add an extra layer of security to your online accounts. So how exactly does two-factor authentication work?

What is Two-factor Authentication?

While complex passwords can help deter cyber criminals, they can still be cracked. To further prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to employee accounts, two-factor authentication is key. It adds a layer of security that allows companies to protect against compromised credentials. Through this method, users must confirm their identity by providing extra information when attempting to access corporate applications, networks and servers. Examples can include a phone number or unique security code.

With two-factor authentication, it’s not enough to just have your username and password. In order to log in to an online account, you’ll need another “factor” to verify your identity. This additional login hurdle means that would-be cyber criminals won’t easily unlock an account, even if they have the password in hand. A more secure way to complete two-factor authentication is to use a time-based one-time password (TOTP). A TOTP is a temporary passcode that is generated by an algorithm. Meaning it’ll expire if you don’t use it after a certain period of time. With this method, users download an authenticator app, such as those available through Google or Microsoft, onto a trusted device. Those apps will then generate a TOTP, which users will manually enter to complete login.

Why Two-factor Authentication and Password Management Is Important

As two-factor authentication becomes more popular, some states are considering requiring it for certain industries. It’s possible that as cyber security concerns continue to grow and cyber attacks become more common, other states will follow suit. Even if it’s not legally required, ongoing password management can help prevent unauthorized attackers from compromising your organization’s password-protected information. Effective password management protects the integrity, availability and confidentiality of an organization’s passwords. Above all, you’ll want to create a password policy that specifies all of the organization’s requirements related to password management.

This policy should require employees to:

  • change their password on a regular basis
  • avoid using the same password for multiple accounts
  • use special characters in their password

For additional cyber risk management guidance and insurance solutions, contact us today.

Firework Safety Tips You Need To Know This 4th of July

Firework Safety

Firework SafetyFireworks are a staple of many Fourth of July and other celebrations, but remember to take precautions to ensure your special event is safe and accident-free. Firework safety is crucial to ensure you and you family have a great 4th of July holiday.  

The Risks

Unfortunately, many people do not realize just how dangerous fireworks and sparklers can be—which is a primary reason that injuries occur. Fireworks can not only injure the users, but can also affect bystanders.

Bottle rockets and firecrackers can fly in any direction and may explode on or near someone instead of up in the air. Sparklers are also a huge risk, as they burn at very high temperatures and are often given to children too young to use them safely. All fireworks pose potential risks of burn, blindness and other injury.

Firework Safety Tips for Safe Use

When using fireworks, always plan carefully in advance for who will shoot them and what safety precautions you will have in place. Here are some suggestions to ensure safety and avoid accidents:

  • Use fireworks and sparklers outdoors only.
  • Always have a hose or water bucket handy.
  • Only use fireworks as intended. Do not alter or combine them, and do not use homemade fireworks.
  • Keep spectators a safe distance away.
  • Never give sparklers to young children.
  • Wear safety goggles when handling or shooting off fireworks.
  • Do not shoot fireworks off if under the influence of alcohol.
  • Show children how to properly hold sparklers, how to stay far enough away from other children and what not to do (throw, run or fight with sparkler in hand)—but supervise closely, regardless.
  • Point fireworks away from people, homes, trees, etc.
  • Never try to relight a dud (a firework that didn’t properly ignite).
  • Soak all firework debris in water before throwing it away.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them from metal or glass containers.

Protection for Your Pets

Like thunderstorms or the vacuum cleaner, fireworks may frighten your family pets. To protect your pets from becoming stressed as a result of loud noises from fireworks:

  • Keep pets indoors away from loud noises in a place that is comfortable to them.
  • Allow pets to go to the bathroom before beginning your fireworks show to prevent accidents.

Business Email Compromise, What Is It And How To Prevent It

Business Email Compromise

Business Email Compromise

Cybercriminals continue to become more sophisticated, leveraging a wide range of tactics in order to attack their victims. One tactic that has increased in frequency, complexity and resulting losses over the past few years is the use of business email compromise (BEC) scams.

Put simply, a business email compromise scam entails a cybercriminal impersonating a seemingly legitimate source—such as a senior-level employee, supplier, vendor, business partner or other organization—via email. The cybercriminal uses these emails to gain the trust of their target, thus tricking the victim into believing they are communicating with a genuine sender. From there, the cybercriminal convinces their target to wire money, share sensitive information (e.g., customer and employee data, proprietary knowledge or trade secrets) or engage in other compromising activities.

BEC scams can lead to numerous consequences within your organization—including stolen data, financial hardship and potentially severe reputational damages. Nevertheless, these scams can be deterred through various cybersecurity techniques. Review this guidance to learn more about what BEC scams are and top measures that your organization can implement to prevent such scams.

Business Email Compromise Scams Explained

Essentially, BEC scams consist of cybercriminals impersonating an individual or entity within their targets’ trusted networks for malicious gains. These scams are categorized as a form of social engineering—which refers to a broader cyberattack method that preys on key human behaviors (e.g., trust of authority, fear of conflict and promise of rewards) to obtain unwarranted access to organizational systems, funds or data.

Cybercriminals who execute BEC scams often utilize these social engineering strategies:

  • Creating confusing variations—In an attempt to convince their targets that they are a trusted source, cybercriminals may create email addresses that are nearly identical to the source they are impersonating, with the exception of a few characters (e.g., altering the email address “janedoe@samplecompany.com” to “janedoee@samplecompanyy.com”).
  • Using spear-phishing techniques—Cybercriminals may engage in spear phishing by conducting additional research on their targets and leveraging any extra details they discover to further motivate victims to believe their false identities. When spear phishing, cybercriminals often impersonate sources who are more directly connected to their targets (e.g., a close colleague or department leader).
  • Deploying malware—When sending fraudulent emails in BEC scams, cybercriminals may encourage their targets to download harmful attachments or click on deceptive links in an effort to launch malicious software—also known as malware. Once activated, this software can help cybercriminals more easily gain access to their victims’ systems, funds and data.

According to the FBI, there are several different types of BEC scams, including the following:

  • False invoice scheme—In such a scheme, a cybercriminal impersonates an organizational supplier to trick their target into paying fraudulent invoices or transferring funds to a phony account.
  • CEO fraud—This scam method entails a cybercriminal impersonating a senior-level employee or executive and requesting that their victim conduct a wire transfer to a fake account. The request is often demanding in nature, threatening the victim with work-related consequences or other punishments for failing to comply.
  • Account compromise—Within this scam tactic, a cybercriminal hacks into an employee or executive’s actual email account and distributes messages to various contacts—attempting to fool these recipients into paying fraudulent invoices.
  • Attorney impersonation—This scam technique refers to a cybercriminal impersonating a lawyer or other legal representative and requesting a payment be made to a phony account in order to handle an organizational matter deemed “sensitive” or “pressing.”
  • Data theft—In such a scam method, a cybercriminal impersonates an HR professional to trick their target into sharing personal information about employees or executives. The cybercriminal can then leverage this sensitive data during future attacks.

Preventing Business Email Compromise Scams

Any employee can become the target of a BEC scam, putting the security and financial stability of your entire organization at risk. Be sure to implement the following cybersecurity measures to help deter BEC scams:

  • Educate your employees. Minimizing losses from BEC scams starts with training your employees on how to detect and prevent such instances. Equip your staff with these best practices:
    o Refrain from sharing personal or work-related information on social media platforms, as cybercriminals could use those details to help launch a BEC scam.
    o Avoid opening or responding to emails from individuals or organizations you don’t know. If an email claims to be from a trusted source, be sure to verify their identity by double-checking the address.
    o Be wary of emails that lack personalization, contain spelling and grammatical errors, request sensitive details or use threatening language. Don’t divulge financial information over email.
    o Never click on suspicious links contained in emails. Similarly, avoid downloading email attachments or from unknown sources.
    o If you suspect a BEC scam, contact your manager or the IT department immediately for further guidance.
  • Implement effective payment protocols. Having safe and secure payment procedures within your organization can help put a stop to BEC scams before any money is lost. As such, instruct employees who handle your organization’s financial operations to carefully analyze invoices and fund transfer requests to ensure their validity. When possible, these requests should be discussed in person before moving forward—especially if they involve alternative payment procedures or changes in account numbers. Further, consider utilizing several verification methods to confirm payment requests.
  • Restrict access to sensitive data. Only provide employees with access to sensitive organizational data if they are trusted, experienced and require such information to conduct their work tasks. Protect this data with access controls and multifactor authentication measures.
  • Utilize security features. Make sure all organizational devices possess adequate security features to help deter BEC scams—including access to a virtual private network, antivirus and malware prevention programs, email spam filters, data encryption capabilities and a firewall. Update these security features as needed.
  • Have a plan. Lastly, ensure that your organization has an effective cyber incident response plan in place. This plan should specifically address response protocols and mitigation measures for BEC scams. In particular, your organization should plan on contacting your financial institution as soon as a BEC scam occurs to determine whether funds have been stolen from your account. If money has been taken, the account should be temporarily frozen to prevent further theft. Apart from consulting your financial institution, your organization should also report BEC scams to your local FBI field office and log such scams with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

For more risk management guidance, contact us today.

Important Swimming Safety Tips To Keep Your Family Safe

swimming safety

swimming safetyThe warm weather is here and it’s the perfect time of year to do some swimming. But don’t forget to refresh your memory on swimming safety. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in the United States. Knowing how to swim and following these safety tips will help keep you and your children safe. Explain swimming safety to children when young, and reinforce its importance regularly.

Swimming Pools

  • Do not dive unless it’s deep enough to dive safely—it is recommended not to dive head-first in water less than nine feet deep, and not to dive at all into water less than five feet deep. If depth is not posted, ask a lifeguard.
  • Always monitor children, even if lifeguards are present.
  • Always review and follow posted water safety rules.
  • Avoid swimming alone, and make sure your child uses the buddy system if swimming with friends.
  • Never run near a pool—slipping can be dangerous.
  • If you are just learning to swim, stay in an area of the pool where you can stand.
  • Pool toys are not designed to be safety flotation devices—keep life jackets or life rings close at hand.

Lakes and Ponds

  • Wear water shoes to protect your feet from jagged rocks, broken bottles, trash, etc.
  • Be cautious and inch out to avoid unexpected drop-offs.
  • Be careful of weeds, which can trap your feet. If you do get tangled, slowly pull and shake your arms and legs to get loose.
  • Stay away from boats, jet skis and other motorized water vehicles.



  • Pay attention to water conditions and wave strength. If it seems unsafe, don’t go in the water.
  • Strong currents can carry swimmers away from shore quickly. If you get caught in a current, swim parallel to the shoreline until the water stops pulling you, and then swim straight back to shore. If you cannot safely make it back, tread water and call or signal somebody for assistance.
  • Watch out for jellyfish. If you get stung, find a lifeguard immediately to seek treatment, or call 911 if you have a severe reaction.
  • Never swim alone or at night.
  • Always swim in an area that is easily visible to others.
  • Wear water shoes to protect your feet from jagged rocks, broken bottles, trash, etc.
  • Do not swim extremely far out.

We hope these tips help to keep you and your family safe this summer. 

8 Tips for Keeping Your Home Workspace Clean

home workspace

home workspaceWhether your work-from-home arrangement is temporary or long-term, a clean home workspace can be good for your mental health and well-being. A clean home workspace will help you stay healthy, while boosting work productivity and lowering stress.

The Dirty Truth About Workspaces

On-site offices and other workspaces are often cleaned daily, which means the home office could have more bacteria and germs. Furthermore, you may be sharing the space with family or friends and consuming more food and drinks while you work.

The average desk contains 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. The keyboard and computer mouse can be the dirtiest items as a result of having unwashed hands and eating at your desk.

Keeping It Clean

Continue practicing good personal hygiene habits, and develop healthy and clean remote working habits by trying the following tips:

  • Avoid working from the kitchen. The kitchen is often one of the busiest and dirtiest rooms. It’s important to arrange a designated workspace so you can keep it tidy, helping you remain focused.
  • Get adequate ventilation. Open your windows to let fresh air in.
  • Keep pets away. Separate pets from your computer and other parts of the workspace so items don’t get covered with fur and dander.
  • Avoid eating at your workspace. Crumbs are a common source of bacteria and can easily hide under papers and keyboards.
  • Dust your work surfaces. This includes your keyboard, computer, monitors, lamp and any other workspace items. Do so at least once a week.
  • Declutter your workspace daily. It may be helpful to have a trash can nearby that is emptied daily.
  • Wipe down and disinfect work surfaces. Clean surfaces a couple times each week. If surfaces are visibly dirty, clean with soap and water prior to disinfection. Alcohol-based wipes may be a better alternative for electronics.
  • Stay organized. Once you’ve set up your workspace, keep items organized on shelves, in drawers or in other containers.

Dividing your home between work and relaxation can be a challenge—but keeping your working area clean is one way to make that easier. If you have concerns about your home workspace, talk with your manager.

Helping You Understand Your Auto Insurance Coverage

auto insurance coverage

auto insurance coverageIf someone were to ask you what was covered under your auto insurance policy, would you be able to tell them? Like most of us, you would probably have a hard time confidently answering that question. Interpreting the various types of coverage offered under your auto insurance policy can be tricky. But it can also be extremely beneficial. The more you understand your policy, the more peace of mind you have knowing you are sufficiently covered in an accident. To help you develop a better understanding of your policy, here are six types of coverage that it may include.

6 Types of Auto Insurance Coverage 

1) Liability Coverage

Purchasing auto liability coverage can offer you financial assistance in the event that you are found liable for a vehicle-related incident. In most states, you are required to have two forms of liability coverage in order to meet the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements. The two forms of liability coverage offered are:

  • Bodily injury liability: Bodily Injury liability coverage pays for medical expenses caused by an incident for which you are found at-fault. If you or others listed on your policy were to injure a third party with your vehicle, it would be covered under your bodily injury liability coverage. Not only does bodily injury liability cover medical expenses, it can also help cover lost wages of the injured party.
  • Property damage liability: Similar to bodily injury liability, if you or someone on your policy collide with another person’s vehicle or property, your property damage liability coverage will assist you in paying for repair or replacement costs.

2) Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

Unlike bodily injury liability coverage, PIP is designed to cover medical costs, lost wages and other expenses for you, drivers listed on your policy and passengers in your vehicle who may become injured due to a car accident. Regardless of who is deemed at-fault. As such, it is also referred to as “no-fault” coverage. PIP coverage is not offered in all states. Since PIP requires your insurance company to help cover expenses regardless of who’s at fault for the incident, having PIP coverage typically results in higher premium costs.

3) Collision Coverage

Damage to your vehicle from a collision with another vehicle or object should be covered under your collision coverage. Collision coverage is typically required if your car is still being financed. But, once your car is paid off, you often have the choice to keep or remove collision coverage from your auto policy. Although your policy may be cheaper without it, collision coverage can be beneficial in helping you cover damages to your vehicle for which you are found at-fault. If the damages were caused by a third party, it would be up to their insurance company to cover the damages.

4) Comprehensive Coverage

Simply put, comprehensive coverage provides insurance for losses caused by anything that isn’t covered under your collision coverage. Such as losses from natural disasters, riots, vandalism and contact with an animal. If a tree were to get struck by lightning and fall on top of your vehicle, your comprehensive coverage could help cover damages to your vehicle from the incident. Although comprehensive insurance tends to have lower premiums than collision insurance, the cost can vary depending on your deductible amount and policy limits.

5) Uninsured Motorist Coverage

A recent study by the Insurance Research Council revealed that, in the United States, roughly 1 in 8 drivers are uninsured. Having uninsured motorist coverage can ensure you are protected in the event that your car is involved in a hit-in-run or if you get in a car accident with an uninsured third party. Let’s say you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage—if an uninsured individual were to crash into your vehicle, resulting in major repair costs and medical expenses, you could be financially responsible for all of your vehicle repairs and medical bills.

6) Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Much like uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage applies if you are involved in an accident with an individual who doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover all of the damage to your vehicle or your medical bills. For example, if your claim exceeded the other driver’s policy limits, underinsured motorist coverage would help cover the remaining balance of the claim after the third party’s insurance limit was reached. Both underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage are required in some states, while it still remains optional in others.

Contact Us

For more information on the various types of coverage offered under your auto insurance policy, or for more information on your current policy, contact Rinehart, Walters & Danner today!

You can also Click Here to read more about auto insurance. 

Or Click Here to read how to save money on your auto insurance premiums. 

The Difference Between An Emergency Room And Urgent Care

In the case of a sudden emergency, obtaining quick medical attention is crucial. Choosing the appropriate place of care ensures prompt medical attention and lower costs. Making the wrong choice can result in delayed medical attention, and may cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. If you or someone you know suddenly falls ill or becomes injured, how can you determine which facility is most appropriate? Do you know the difference between an emergency room and urgent care? What services does each facility provide? If you don’t know the answers, don’t worry, we can help explain the difference.

Emergency Room

The emergency room is equipped to handle life-threatening injuries and illnesses and other serious medical conditions. An emergency is a condition that may cause loss of life or permanent or severe disability if not treated immediately. Patients are seen according to the seriousness of their conditions in relation to the other patients. Go directly to the nearest emergency room if you experience any of the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe abdominal pain following an injury
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Confusion or loss of consciousness, especially after a head injury
  • Poising or suspected poisoning
  • Serious burns, cuts or infections
  • Inability to swallow
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Broken Bones

Urgent Care

Urgent care facilities are not equipped to handle life-threatening injuries, illnesses or medical conditions. These centers are designed to address conditions where delayed treatment could cause serious problems or discomfort. Some examples of conditions that require urgent care are these:

  • Ear infections
  • Sprains or strains
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration
  • High fever or the flu
  • Controlled bleeding or cuts that require stitches
  • Diagnostic services (X-ray, lab tests

Choosing the wrong facility

If you go to the Emergency Room with a relatively minor injury or illness, you will most likely have to wait to be seen. Depending on the severity of the other patients’ conditions, you may have to wait more than an hour to be seen. Most often you could have been seen more quickly at an urgent care facility. And, you will also end up with a higher bill by visiting an Emergency Room. Most insurance plans offer a discounted co-pay if you go to an urgent care vs going to the emergency room. For example a plan may have a $250 Emergency Room co-pay vs a $75 Urgent Care co-pay. If your plan does not have a co-pay and your visit is subject to your deductible and co-insurance you will still most likely have a lower charge from an Urgent Care facility vs an Emergency Room.

Know the difference between an Emergency Room and Urgent Care

Knowing the difference between an Emergency Room and Urgent Care will help you determine the best facility for you or a loved ones medical emergency, as well as saving you time and money if it is determined that care can be received at an Urgent Care. Understanding your health insurance plan is also important. Co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance are all very important parts of your plan.

Click here to learn more about health insurance benefits.

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4 Summer Safety Tips You Need To Remember

It’s getting warmer and the school year is almost over. You know what that means? It’s almost summer time! While you and your family will be having more fun in the sun, it’s important to remember a few summer safety tips. Make sure you are taking appropriate precautions against the sun, bugs, and the fun outdoor activities. We have 5 summer safety tips to keep in mind as this warmer weather approaches.

#1. Heat and Sun Safety

It’s great to soak up a few rays of sun, but there can be too much of a good thing. Make sure to drink plenty of water, dress for the weather and eat light. Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke can be very serious and scary conditions. Heat Exhaustion occurs when a person cannot sweat enough to cook the body. Usually the result of not drinking enough fluids during hot weather. Heat Stroke is the result of untreated heat exhaustion. Make sure to keep an eye on your loved ones to make sure they are not showing any changes in their behavior or physical well being.

#2. Insect Bites and Allergies

With warmer weather also comes bugs, which leads to bug bites. To save yourself the pain later of an irritating bug bite with potential health risks, use insect repellents to keep the bugs from biting. These come in many different forms such as sprays, lotions, or even candles or wrist bands. Also, consider taking over-the-counter medications to alleviate any allergy symptoms.

#3. Grilling

This summer safety tip is one that applies year round. Weather you use a gas or charcoal grill, anytime there is an open flame you need to take precautions. Make sure grills are constantly monitored. Place grills at least 3 feet away from all other objects. Make sure to keep children and pets away from grills so they do not get burnt.

#4. Swimming

Swimming pools, lakes and ponds are a favorite past time for many families. When the air is hot and the water is cool, it’s the perfect time to swim. This summer safety tip talked about often. Always make sure you check the conditions to make sure swimming is safe. Children should have life jackets or other personal flotation devices.

Summer is a great time for families to spend time together and have some adventures. Make sure to keep the above summer safety tips in mind and have a great and fun summer!