Do You Have Allergies? 6 Helpful Tips For Allergy



Between the rain, new growth and house cleaning, chances are if you have allergies, you are miserable right about now. Whether you have seasonal allergies or suffer year round, there are steps you can take to help decrease your symptoms without having to stock up on medication.

Who is affected by allergies?

Though allergies can affect anyone, individuals with the following characteristics are afflicted more often:

  • Under 40 years old
  • Have at least one parent with allergies
  • Suffer from allergic conditions such as asthma

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Red, itchy or watery eyes
  • Dry throat
  • Stuffy nose

Tips to alleviate allergy symptoms:

To alleviate allergy symptoms, consider the following recommendations:

  1. Stay indoors when the pollen count outside is high.
  2. Keep your home clean and as dust-free as possible.
  3. Place pillows, mattresses and duvets in allergen-proof encasements.
  4. Use a vacuum cleaner with double bags, allergen-trapping bags or a HEPA filter.
  5. Avoid having pets or going near others’ pets if you have animal allergies.
  6. In your home, choose hardwood floors instead of carpeting.

Did you know?

According to the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, about half of the U. S. population suffers from allergies. These negative reactions occur as a result of coming in contact with normally harmless substances. Some allergies change or disappear over time, while seasonal attacks will return at the same time each year for only a few weeks or months.

Healthy Hints

Treatment for most allergy symptoms is available over-the-counter or as a prescription from your physician. If your symptoms are severe or you don’t know what is causing you to have a reaction, an allergist can perform a test to pinpoint what you are allergic to. And don’t forget, allergy testing and treatment is usually covered by your health insurance.

Do you need help finding what your copay or out of pocket cost will be?

Call us today – 419-522-9892 – we can help.

How To Maintain Your Heart Health During American Heart Month

heart health

heart healthAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. While there are some risk factors that contribute to heart disease that you can’t control, there are also many things you can do to preserve your heart health.

Risk Factors

Here’s a list of largely preventable factors that increase your risk of heart disease:

  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a waist measurement greater than 40 inches (for men) or 35 inches (for women)
  • Having an inactive lifestyle
  • Having Type 2 diabetes
  • Keeping a poor diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol
  • Experiencing excess stress

Mitigating Your Risks

 Use these tips to take control of your risks:

  • Do not smoke or use drugs.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise.
  • Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.
  • Limit your sodium intake to between 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams per day.
  • Keep your stress levels under control.
  • Schedule regular medical checkups with your primary care physician.
  • Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.

The Difference a Healthy Lifestyle Can Make

Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet, adequate sleep, effective stress management and avoidance of tobacco slashes your risk of heart disease and premature death dramatically. By following this guidance, you can do your part to maintain your heart health for years to come.

Winter Driving Safety Tips Everyone Should To Know

winter driving

winter drivingLosing control of a car is undoubtedly one of the most frightening experiences behind the wheel. Unfortunately, it is a potential side effect when the temperatures turn frigid and the roads get slick with ice or snow. Being familiar with winter driving safety is critical to keep you and other drivers safe. 

One of the most dangerous winter driving hazards is skidding, which, at high speeds, could result in a nasty crash. To prevent an unnecessary skid, slip or accident, consider the following accident prevention techniques.

  • Slow down ahead of turns and curves, as this will allow you to prepare for potential icy spots.
  • When at a curve, apply power slightly to the gas and steer steadily. Do not change directions abruptly and refrain from braking suddenly.
  • Be prepared for lane changes. Check your rearview mirror and blind spot, and then signal your direction to alert other motorists.
  • When changing lanes, move over in a long, gradual line with minimal steering changes.
  • Look out for ice patches, piles of wet leaves and shady areas. These areas are skidding hazards.
  • Anticipate stops by slowing down gradually, well ahead of intersections. These areas are generally slicker than other parts of the road because of the excess starting and stopping traffic.
  • Drive at reduced speeds. Slow your speed and increase your following distance behind the vehicle in front of you. This will allow for a larger buffer in case you start to lose control.
  • Avoid overpowering in deep snow.
  • Use a light foot on the accelerator (rather than slamming on the gas to move forward).

If You Start to Skid

If your car starts to skid, do not panic. Steer in the direction that the vehicle is sliding until you feel the wheels regain traction. Then, slowly straighten your wheels and keep rolling.

If you need to brake before your tires regain traction, apply the brake carefully so that you do not lock your wheels.  

If you have an accident

In the unfortunate event you end up in an auto accident, we are here to help. Click here to learn what to do after an auto accident or contact us by clicking here

5 Winter Wellness Tips to Help You Stay Healthy

winter wellness

winter wellnessThe winter months are notorious for bringing sickness. Influenza (flu) season begins in October and peaks between December and February. Colds are also more common during the season. Further adding to the mix of potential wintertime illnesses, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (or RSV) are swiftly circulating in the United States.

Viruses transmit more effectively in cold and dry weather, increasing your chances of coming into contact with sickness. And as cold weather drives people indoors, you’re more likely to be in close contact with someone who isn’t feeling well.

This article highlights winter wellness tips for keeping you and your family healthy during the winter months.

Winter Wellness Tips for Staying Healthy

Winter can be hard on your health, but you’re less likely to fall ill when your body is taken care of. Consider the following tips for staying healthy:

  • Be up to date on vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older receive a flu shot, with rare exceptions. This year, it’s imperative to be up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccines, too, as more people gather indoors and COVID-19 safety precautions further wane.
  • Practice proper hygiene. Hand and respiratory hygiene are essential for preventing the spread of germs during winter. Wash your hands often or carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth—and always cough or sneeze into a tissue.
  • Stay hydrated. It may be easier to drink water in the summer heat, but staying hydrated in winter is just as critical. Wintertime benefits of staying hydrated include more energy and better skin protection.
  • Get enough sleep. Quality sleep is essential for your physical and mental well-being, and too little sleep can wreak havoc on your immune system. Adults should aim to get at least seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night.
  • Keep moving. It’s recommended that adults engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes each week and muscle-strengthening activities two times per week. It may seem like a lot at first, but if you break it down, that’s 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. Staying on top of your fitness during winter can be challenging, but it can help your overall health this time of year.
  • Eat a healthy diet. It’s crucial to continue eating a heart-healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Eating foods high in prebiotics (e.g., asparagus, bananas, legumes and oatmeal) can also be beneficial as they feed the good bacteria in your gut.
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption. Colder weather is often correlated with increased alcohol consumption, but it’s vital to curb your intake. Not only can alcohol provoke feelings of depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges, but excessive substance use can also weaken your immune system.
  • Focus on getting vitamins. Taking a daily multivitamin is the most efficient way to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs. Vitamins help your body with various critical functions. For example, vitamin D helps strengthen your bones. Since wintertime often means less sunlight, most people have a reduced ability to produce vitamin D outside this time of year. Taking a supplement may fill that gap.
  • Manage stress through self- Stress can negatively impact your physical and mental health, so make an effort to engage in activities you enjoy. Take time to unwind and prioritize your hobbies or other activities that help you relax and recharge.

If You’re Feeling Sick

No matter how careful you are, sickness happens. If you’re not feeling well, stay home and call your doctor to explain your symptoms. Since there’s some overlap between common symptoms of respiratory illnesses (e.g., flu, cold and COVID-19), it may be difficult to determine what you have. As a first step, you could take an at-home COVID-19 test.

Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about your physical or mental health during winter.

Safety Tips For Your Holiday Decorating Needs

holiday decorating

holiday decoratingIt’s cooling down and holiday spirit is in the air. For many, it’s time to start holiday decorating! While holiday decorating adds beauty to your home, it can also bring added risk. Trees, garlands, and lights can add extra fire hazards if not used properly. The last thing you want for Christmas is a homeowners insurance claim to deal with. But don’t worry, we have a few tips to keep your home and your family safe this holiday.

Christmas Tree Safety

  • Keep a fresh-cut tree outdoors and cover the trunk in snow, or immerse it in a bucket of water until you are ready to decorate it.
  • When you are ready to put up a live tree, cut a 1- or 2-inch diagonal off the bottom of the trunk. The new cut will help the tree to absorb water, which preserves its freshness.
  • Select a spot for the tree that is at least three feet away from a heat source.
  • Put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand with widespread legs, and keep the stand filled with water.
  • Once a tree becomes dried out, do not keep it in your home or garage, as it is highly flammable.

Holiday Lighting Safety

  • Mixing and matching lights can create a fire hazard, so keep outside lights outdoors and inside lights indoors.
  • Always buy lights and electrical decorations bearing the name of an independent testing lab, such as UL, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance.
  • Carefully inspect new and previously used light strings before using them. Throw away any that appear damaged.
  • When hanging your lights, string lights together using built-in connectors. Do not join more than 200 midget lights or 50 larger lamps through one string or cord.
  • Do not connect more than three sets of lights to one extension cord.
  • Remember to unplug all decorations and lights, both inside and outside your home, before leaving or going to bed.
  • If you blow a fuse, unplug the lights from the outlet and immediately replace the blown fuse. If the replacement fuse blows again, a short circuit may be present. Throw the faulty light string or decoration away, or if it is new, return it for a refund.
  • When hanging lights outside use a ladder made of non conductive materials to reduce the risk of electrocution.

Candle Safety

  • Place candles in stable holders and in a spot where they cannot be easily disturbed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate your Christmas tree.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, and always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Avoid placing candles near flammable objects.
  • Keep burning candles out of the reach of children.

Taking extra precautions while decorating can be the difference between a relaxing holiday season or a tragic holiday season.

If you found this information helpful, please share with others. 

Helping You Prepare for the Fall and Winter Virus Season

Virus Season

Virus SeasonFall and winter are when viruses that cause respiratory disease usually circulate more heavily. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) were the main causes of severe respiratory disease during these times of year. Although some people have mild symptoms when they catch the flu or RSV, others get sick enough to be hospitalized. Some seasons are more severe than others based on strains of the viruses circulating and immunity to these viruses.

Respiratory disease season lasts from October through May in the United States, peaking between December and February. The timing and duration of virus activity have been unpredictable since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports early increases in some viruses, employers can plan to prepare for peak activity. Furthermore, the CDC predicts a possible increase in hospitalizations due to new COVID-19 variants or a severe flu season paired with waves of COVID-19 and RSV cases.

With respiratory infections likely in the fall and winter seasons, it’s important for employers to consider ways to mitigate or address illness among employees to help keep workers healthy and productive. This article highlights best practices for employers during the 2023-24 virus season.

Employer Guidance

While the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health emergency have officially ended, the coronavirus still has the potential to disrupt workplaces for the foreseeable future. As other respiratory viruses and infections spread during the fall and winter, employers should do their due diligence and continue incorporating employee health and safety in current workplace plans, policies and benefits.

Consider the following best practices for addressing employee health and safety during the 2023-24 respiratory virus season:

  • Review organizational risks. Even though there are no longer any federal, state or local mandates related to COVID-19, employers can independently assess exposures and determine how to respond. Employers could identify the hazards and risks for their on-site workplaces and implement controls (e.g., personal protective equipment and administrative or engineering controls).
  • Establish remote work policies. If the workforce is primarily on-site, employers can consider having a backup plan to allow employees to work from home when dealing with virus-related symptoms. Some respiratory illnesses may not be debilitating in all cases, so employees can still work but remain isolated to reduce the chances of others getting infected.
  • Review paid time off and leave policies. Expanding leave policies, including allowing negative balances in paid time off banks and leave donation or sharing programs, could be helpful to employees battling illness in these seasons. Policies may also accommodate employees to take time off when they or their family members are sick.
  • Encourage healthy employee behaviors. Employee education is critical for healthy employee behavior changes. Vaccinations have been shown to reduce hospitalizations, so employers can encourage employees to get vaccinated. This fall, vaccines for the flu, RSV and COVID-19 are available. Aside from vaccinations, people need to get a good night’s sleep, stay active and drink plenty of water to keep their immune systems strong. Employers could also encourage workers to eat a nutritious diet of healthy grains, fruits, vegetables and fiber. Employee benefits could support these aspects of personal health and wellness or even incentivize healthy behaviors.
  • Keep cleaning supplies on hand. If employees are working on-site, it can be beneficial to have hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies available for employee use. Businesses can encourage good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene to help prevent the spread of illnesses.
  • Foster open communication. Employers can encourage employees to talk to their managers if they’re experiencing any health issues, including long-lasting ones that may impact their performance. Training for managers could also help them respond appropriately to such conversations, which could properly address employee concerns, strengthen employee well-being and reduce legal risks.

In general, employers must stay agile and accommodating while adapting to the post-pandemic workplace. Without local, state or federal COVID-19-related mandates, employers have more ownership of how they address the respiratory season while protecting and supporting their workforces.

For More Information

Along with the flu and RSV, COVID-19 has become a part of the respiratory virus season. As infections and hospitalizations are expected, employers can review workplace policies and consider ways to protect and support employees who may catch a respiratory infection this season.

For the latest updates about the current respiratory disease season, visit the CDC’s website. Contact us today for additional workplace strategy guidance.

Tips on How To Maintain A Healthy Social Well-being

Social well-being

Social well-beingMaintaining a healthy level of social well-being benefits your overall health and relationships around you. Social well-being is the sharing, developing and sustaining meaningful connections with others. Benefits of social well-being can include being comfortable where you are in social situations, increased self-esteem, the ability to create healthy boundaries and helping build emotional resilience.

Without awareness of your social well-being, you risk becoming socially isolated. Social isolation is the withdrawal from human relationships and can lead to feelings of fear and loneliness.

Loneliness can negatively affect your health, including behaviors, mental health, physical health and mortality risk. A sense of belonging is crucial to the way humans function and correlates with feelings of loneliness if someone doesn’t feel they belong.

Building the foundation for healthy social well-being can be difficult, especially when it’s not something you’re used to.

Tips for Managing Social Well-being

Here are some best practices to maintain social well-being. 

Make connections.

You can make connections at any phase of life. Whether you just started a new job, moved to a new state or switched communities, you can work through creating new relationships. A large part of making new connections is getting involved in any social events in your communities, whether at work or in your personal life.

Get involved.

Find new events or groups to be a part of in your community, whether through a volunteer opportunity at work or a local event. If you’re unsure how to get involved, think of your hobbies. Research events related to your hobbies in the area or try learning something new. If your neighborhood has events, get involved. Helping others can reduce loneliness, so finding volunteer opportunities can also benefit our social well-being as we make new connections.

Bond with your loved ones.

Strong relationships are essential no matter your phase of life. Before building new connections, you are protecting and caring for your current contacts is necessary. Spend time with your loved ones without distractions. Unplug and stay engaged.

Invest in yourself.

Taking care of yourself before anyone else is crucial when discussing social well-being. If you’re at your best, you can be at your best for your friends, colleagues and loved ones alike. You are caring for others’ needs before yours consistently can lead to increased stress. Be sure to balance your time wisely.


It’s become more accessible than ever to connect, but it’s also easier to isolate. Socially connecting in person with loved ones and properly caring for your own needs can help you care for your social well-being. For more information on social well-being, contact us today.

Important Insurance Tips For Your College Student

Insurance tips for your college student

Insurance tips for your college student

High School is over and it’s time for the next big step, college. The new students schedule is done, books are purchased and the day is approaching fast for the big move. New furniture, décor and electronics are all packed and ready to go. Before your college student can begin their next adventure you have one last item to complete on your check list. Talking with your insurance agent. While that may seem like an odd item to have on your checklist, it is probably one of the most important. Your insurance agent will have important insurance tips for your college student. When your child leaves home and takes up a new residence at college, that can affect how their belongings are covered. Below are a few questions you may have when it comes to insurance and your college student.

Will my college student’s belongings be covered by my homeowners policy?

Does your child lives in a campus dorm? There is usually a small amount of coverage that would be extended from your homeowners policy. If your child has expensive items, or a lot of items, you may need to consider purchasing additional coverage. Does your child lives in off campus housing? Their belongings may not be covered at all.

Is renters insurance really necessary?

Yes. Chances are your child’s belongings will exceed the amount provided by your homeowners policy, if they are even covered at all. Renters insurance will cover the possessions in your child’s housing at a small cost. You can purchase renters insurance for as little as $15 per month. This will not only give you the extra coverage, but peace of mind that that expensive new laptop or TV will be protected in the event of fire, theft, or other disaster.

In addition to your college students belongings, the move to college can affect your auto coverage and health coverage.

Will your child move more than 100 miles away from home?

If this answer is yes and they do not keep a vehicle at school, your insurance premiums could decrease by as much as 30%. If they are taking a car with them, be sure to review your auto coverage with your agent. Make sure you have the appropriate coverage and your child understands how it works in the event of a claim.

Does my child need to purchase health insurance?

In the state of Ohio, many health insurance carriers are now required to coverage children up to age 26. This rule applies regardless of full time student status. Be sure to review your health coverage to verify the dependent age limit on your plan. Also, make sure your child has an ID card with them if they should need to see a Dr or get a Prescription. They should also understand how the coverage works and if there is any copay they will be responsible for if they should have to use the coverage.

Sending a child to college can be a scary yet exciting time for everyone. When you add your insurance agent to your list of people to talk to during this transition, it can help give you peace of mind for you and your child’s future insurance needs. Remember, your agent is a great source for insurance tips for your college student.

Did you find this information helpful? Please share this information.

You Need To Know These 4 School Bus Safety Tips

School Bus Safety

School Bus SafetySummer is almost over and our local schools are gearing up for the new school year. With school back in session, that also means school buses will be back on the road. Chances are you’ve gone over some school bus safety tips with your kids and what they need to know as riders. But have you reviewed the school bus safety tips you need to remember as a driver? Or gone over them with your new teen drivers? 

School Bus Safety

Being extra cautious around buses are critical. After all, they carrier the most precious cargo. In the next few weeks when you start seeing buses on the road, keep in mind these 4 tips. 

  1. Be prepared to stop when you see the bus driver turn on the flashing red lights and raise the stop sign; a passenger is getting off.
  2. Never pass a stopped school bus that is unloading students.
  3. Remember that buses stop at railroad tracks so keep your distance as you approach them.
  4. Obey speed limits in school zones and give school buses the right-of-way

Start the new school year off on the right foot. While the increased traffic is a little of on inconvenience, everyone’s safety should be the #1 concern this year.

From your friends at Rinehart-Walters-Danner Insurance, have a great 2021-2022 school year! 

Avoid Heat Illnesses This Summer With These 7 Crucial Tips

Heat Illnesses

Extreme summer temperatures are not only uncomfortable, they are also dangerous for your health. This is particularly true for older adults and children, who are more susceptible to illness. When it is hot outside, your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels. Normally, your body cools itself through sweating. However, in hot and humid weather, sweating is not enough and the result can heat illnesses.

Avoiding Heat Illnesses

Here are some tips for staying safe when you’re out in the heat:

  1. Wear loose, light-colored clothing so your skin gets air exposure.
  2. Shield your head and face from direct sunlight by wearing a hat and sunglasses.
  3. Avoid spending time outdoors during the middle of the day, when temperatures are highest and the sun is directly overhead.
  4. Take regular breaks in a shaded area if you’re involved in a strenuous activity.
  5. Drink water frequently, even if you aren’t thirsty. Experts recommend drinking at least 8 ounces every 20 to 30 minutes to stay hydrated. Stick to water, fruit juice and sport drinks while avoiding caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which can dehydrate you.
  6. Monitor children and seniors carefully, since they can get dehydrated more easily.
  7. Call 911 if someone exhibits symptoms of heat stroke, such as flushed skin, rapid breathing, a throbbing headache or confusion.

Providing Treatment for Heat Illnesses

It is essential to treat heat illness as soon as possible. If you are feeling any of the above symptoms, inform a co-worker and ask for help. If you suspect that a fellow worker has any of these conditions, follow the first-aid suggestions below:

  • Heat Cramps – Move the victim to a cooler area and provide them with water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages. Follow up with a medical examination.
  • Heat Exhaustion – Move the victim to a cooler area and keep them lying down with their legs slightly elevated. Cool their body by fanning and applying cool, wet towels. Have them drink approximately six ounces of water every 15 minutes. Follow up with a medical examination.
  • Heat Stroke – You or a bystander should immediately call an ambulance. Meanwhile, move the victim to a cooler area, remove their outer clothing, immerse them in cool water or apply cool, wet towels or cloths to the body. If the person is awake and able to swallow, give them small amounts of cool water to drink. If medical help is delayed, call the hospital for further instructions while waiting. Heat stroke is life-threatening, so it’s important to move quickly!

Stay Safe

The risk of heat illness increases with age, poor diet, being overweight, insufficient liquid intake, poor physical condition and/or when taking medication. Never take salt tablets without your doctor’s approval. Be aware of weather conditions when you will be working outside so that you can be prepared with appropriate clothing and beverages. If you are working outside and start to feel any adverse symptoms,  let someone know and take a break.

Click here to read more Heat Illness Safety Tips from the CDC