Medical Notes this week…

Vaping among teenagers is a huge risk for COVID-19. A Stanford University study in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that teenagers using e-cigarettes the previous 30 days were five times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than non-vaping teens. Those smoking both regular and e-cigarettes were nearly seven times more likely to be diagnosed. Doctors aren’t sure exactly how vaping increases risk. More than a quarter of high schoolers say they use e-cigarettes.

Experts recommend that all-terrain vehicles be ridden only off-road… and be operated only by people at least 16 years old. But a new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the journal Clinical Pediatrics shows families are flouting those rules. The study evaluated injuries from ATV crashes among youths 18 and under and found that kids under 12 account for nearly half of all injuries. An ATV crash on the street results in hospital admissions about 1.5 times more often than crashes off road.

If you want to reduce your pandemic stress… learn all you can about COVID-19. A study in the Journals of Gerontology: Series B shows that knowing the facts about the pandemic reduces the stress that people feel about it. Researchers say uncertainty is very stressful and knowledge reduces uncertainty.

And finally… you may have seen headlines recently that wearing a neck gaiter for a face mask is worse than no mask at all. A small Duke University study had found that spandex gaiters could break up large droplets into dangerous small ones. But a subsequent study at Virginia Tech University focusing on gaiters finds they’re not so bad after all. However, the researchers say it’s a good idea to fold your gaiter so it has two layers.

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