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					 Fall 2011 / VOL 2 ED 4


                                            The Makings of an
A ‘GROWING’ PROBLEM - Childhood Obesity

   James T. Heos      Devon R. Glass    Nolan L. Erickson    Diego Avila     David S. Mittleman

from the firm»
                                                                                                        David S. Mittleman
                                                                                                          Devon R. Glass
                                                                                                         Nolan L. Erickson
                                                                                                           Diego Avila
Dear Friend,
Please accept this complimentary copy of The Safety Report as a gift from ChurchWyble                    Executive Editor
PC, a proud member of The Injury Board.                                                                    Tom Young
The Injury Board is a growing community of attorneys, industry experts and consumer
advocates committed to making a difference by helping families stay safe and avoid                       Managing Editor
injury, and by helping those who are injured get the assistance they need to move on                     Stephanie Andre
with their lives after an accident.

Autumn is a season full of change. Kids are going back to school; the leaves are falling           ADVERTISING INFORMATION
off the trees and the temperature is beginning to drop. As rain turns to ice and we     
switch from the air conditioner to the furnace, remember to take a few moments to
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Speaking of change, it looks like the future might hold some consumer-friendly
developments in the law. After decades of pro-corporation, anti-victim legislation and
court decisions, the tide of public opinion has shifted.

A powerful new documentary, Hot Coffee, is helping to set the record straight about                      2827 E. Saginaw
how huge companies are rewriting our laws to limit access to justice. Hot Coffee uses
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several real-life cases to show the real effects of “tort reform legislation”: shaming
people away from using the civil justice system and making it nearly impossible to
obtain fair and adequate compensation for their injuries. Google “Hot Coffee” for more
information. It premiered on HBO in June and will be available on DVD this fall.

In this magazine, you will find articles and safety tips supplied by some of the nation’s
brightest attorneys and safety experts. Our goal is to make sure you have the                     Representing
information you need to protect yourself and your family from preventable, life-changing
injuries.                                                                                           Victims of
We invite you to visit our website at There, you will find brief
profiles of our attorneys and descriptions of the services we provide. In addition, you
can follow our Injury Board blog at, where you’ll find the
latest consumer safety and legal news.

We hope you find this magazine helpful and informative. Check back with us regularly                  We Are
                                                                                                   Here When
for new content and advice.


David S. Mittleman
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                               The SAFeTy RepoRT onlIne
                     table of                                 CONTENTS
                                                                   fall 2011

                                                                                  13.     ‘Bath Salts’:
                                                                                          The Next Drug Trend?

  21.       Are You Ready for
            Some Football?
                                                                                    F EAT U RED

                                                                                             Breast Cancer Awareness —
                                                                                    04.      Start Early

                                                                                             Is a Low-Carb Diet the Right
                                          23. Trick-or-Treat                                 Way to Go?

                                                                                             A ‘Growing’ Problem - Childhood
                                                                                    14.      Obesity

                                                                                             Pregnancy & Antidepressants:
                                                                                    16.      Know the Facts

                                                                                    27.      Bounce House Blitz

                                                                                             12 Gift-Giving Tips for the Cyclist
                                                                                    28.      in Your Life

                                                                                    43.      How to Ensure Your Baby Formula is Safe

                                                                                    46.      Grieving: 5 Ways to Offer Support

                                                                                    48.      It’s Tough Raising a Kid These Days

                                                                                    49.      On Campus: Fire Safety Rules

                                                                                             Get Your Car Cold-Weather Ready
32 Bullying: The Makings of an Epidemic                                             57.
                                                                                             Hit the Brakes on Distracted Driving
                                                                                             … Before It’s Too Late
   Nerd. Fat. Weird. Loser. Dork. Ugly. Freak. ... The list goes on and on.
                                                                                             Commentary: Standing My Ground
   These are derogatory labels teens regularly use to belittle and intimidate       58.      on Teenage Drivers
   others. This is bullying. In this issue’s cover spotlight, we break down the
   various types of bullying, what parents and schools should be doing about
   it and how we all, as a society, can stop it. Plus, we also take a more in-
   depth look at hazing, a sometimes-deadly component of bullying, starting
   on page 38.

                     breast cancer awareness
                    START EARLY                                                                                     By Wayne Parsons

                      October is National Breast Cancer Awareness           »Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
                      Month, yet many people are still not aware            »Inverted nipple
                      of how to check for risk factors or how the           »Peeling, scaling or flaking of the nipple or breast skin
                      disease is treated. This is all despite the fact      »Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of
                            that breast cancer is the second most           an orange
                             common cause of death from disease                Late diagnosis still remains the biggest factor in determining
                              — next to skin cancer — and the first         survival. Cancer is a race against time. Every woman — starting
                              among women.                                  in her teenage years — should have a plan for breast cancer
                              Following is a list of factors to look for,   awareness.
                   according to the Mayo Clinic:
                                                                            TyPEs OF BREAsT CANCER
      »A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the sur-
      rounding tissue                                                       Most breast cancer is classified as ductal carcinoma — cancer
      »Bloody discharge from the nipple                                     that occurs in the milk ducts in the breast. As science advances
      »Change in the size or shape of a breast                              its understanding of cancer at the cellular and genetic levels,
                                                                                                                                    THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 05

                                                 of drugs called PARP inhibitors, includ-           advanced equipment.
                                                 ing the more familiar Olaparib. Some
                                                 chemotherapy drugs kill most of the cells          For more information, visit Susan G.
                                                 they encounter and, thus, can only be              Komen for the Cure ( or
                                                 administered in limited doses. Targeted            the National Breast Cancer Foundation
                                                 drugs hope to lessen the impact by go-             (
                                                 ing directly to the cancer cells.
                                                                                                    — Wayne Parsons is an attorney with Wayne
                                                 STAndARd TREATmEnT                                 Parsons Law Offices in Honolulu, Hawaii.
                                                 most breast cancer patients undergo
                                                 surgery to remove a tumor or have
                                                 the entire breast removed followed by

                                                                                                        DON’T GIVE UP
                                                 chemotherapy and sometimes radiation.
                                                 Surgery options include:
                                                 »Mastectomy – The entire breast is
                                                                                                         » Editor’s note: Below is a commentary by
                                                                                                         Wayne Parsons. The opinions expressed
                                                 »Lumpectomy – An individual tumor
                                                                                                         here are those solely of the author.
                                                 and the surrounding area (margin).
                                                 »Sentinel node biopsy – The lymph                          To the women who are facing or may
                                                 node that drains the tumor site is removed.
                                                                                                         face a bad prognosis, be aware that many
                                                 »Axial lymph node dissection – If the                   local oncologists are unlikely to know
                                                 sentinel lymph node has cancer then                     about current state-of-the-art treatments
                                                 the series of nodes under the armpit                    being offered at top cancer centers, such
                                                 are removed. However, be aware that                     as the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospi-
                                                 this does not improve survival in cases                 tal, Anderson Cancer Center, the Moffett
                                                 of early detection, lumpectomy, che-                    Center & Institute and other centers of
                                                 motherapy and whole-breast radiation,                   the like.
                                                 according to the mayo Clinic.                              I learned this firsthand when my wife
                                                 CHEmOTHERAPy & RAdIATIOn                                contracted a rare form of cancer (not
                                                                                                         breast cancer) a few years ago. Our doc-
                                                 Chemotherapy can be given before
                                                                                                         tors did not inform us about treatments
                                                 and/or after surgery. The goal is to kill               that were available at other centers.
                                                 cancer cells in the breast tumors as well                  I found the other treatment centers
                                                 as those that may have moved outside                    myself — on the Internet and in discus-
                                                 the breast into other parts of the body                 sion forums. When I found a new treat-
                                                 through the lymph system. The drugs                     ment and asked the local doctor about it,
                                                 used change frequently as research                      I was given a negative response — even
                                                 unveils new treatments.                                 though I later found out that the treat-
                                                    Radiation can be done via two differ-                ments were often saving lives.
many variations of breast cancer are be-         ent methods: an external beam directed                     Do not accept a death sentence from
ing identified, including “triple negative”      at the tumor site or by placing radioac-                any doctor without doing your own
(missing hormone receptors or HER2               tive agents into the tumor site. The latter             research and asking tough questions.
receptor in the cancer cells) or “basal-         — called brachytherapy — allows for                        With the Internet, we can all do that
like” breast cancers.                            higher doses of radiation with less dam-                now. Look for breast cancer patient
   Familial breast cancers are identified        age to surrounding tissue.                              discussion forums. They are marvelous
by certain gene mutations in the cancer             However, some hospitals may have                     sources of support and information, and
cells, such as BRCA mutations. The               older machines, so it is best to ask your               offer everything from novel treatments to
latter are being studied for treatments          doctor about treatment at a cancer                      questions to ask of doctors.
targeting such mutations with a class            center that offers newer and more

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                    Toner Shoes Are Well-Marketed, Poorly Designed
                                                                                                                               By Brett Emison

         Called by one reviewer as the                  think the shoes are working because of             shoes. A test by the American Acad-
      “World’s Smallest Gym,” toner shoes               the pain they feel in their muscles when           emy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and
      are now the fastest-growing segment in            wearing the shoes. Results like this led to        American Council on Exercise showed
      the footwear industry. Shoe companies             a class-action lawsuit against shoe manu-          prolonged use can lead to material
      claim the shoes’ design tones legs and            facturer New Balance for using deceptive           alteration of individual walking gait me-
      boosts the benefits of walking.                   marketing tools to pitch toner shoes.              chanics. This is particularly concerning,
         In fact, with well-known spokespeople             While the shoes’ health benefits may            considering the industry’s new marketing
      pitching the product — including sports           be uncertain, toner shoes certainly do             campaign push toward preteens.
      greats Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky                 create health risks. Consumer Reports                 In response to the Consumer Reports
      and Karl Malone, and the increasingly             Health recently analyzed a product                 Health report, Skechers, a leading toner
      popular Kim Kardashian — the toner                complaint database and found 36                    shoe manufacturer, dismissed the risk
      shoe market tripled last year alone.              people had reported injuries associ-               and danger to its customers:
         Collectively, shoe manufacturers have          ated with toner shoes during just three               “Like other shoes that have natural
      released more than 60 different toner             months in 2011. The number of toning               built-in instability, like high heels or
      shoe options. The shoes seem to have              shoe complaints was far greater than               roller blades or roller skates, Shape-Ups
      become accepted by the public as a le-            any other single type of product. In one           are slightly unstable. That’s what gets
      gitimate way to stay in shape; however,           ABC News report, an individual suffered            you the fitness benefit. But you have to
      recent studies say otherwise.                     a broken bone after just 45 minutes in             follow the instructions. That’s why every
         The American Council on Exercise               the shoes.                                         box of Shape-Ups comes with written
      conducted an independent study that                  Unfortunately, these injures are not            instructions and a video telling you how
      showed “no evidence to support claims             surprising to many health care profes-             to use the product.”
      that these shoes help wearers exercise            sionals, as toning shoes are designed to              Regardless of what the manufacturers
      more intensely, burn more calories or             create instability. Orly Avitzur, MD, medi-        say, be an educated consumer. Learn
      improve muscle strength and tone.”                cal advisor to Consumer Reports Health,            all you can about toner shoes and then
         Additional research conducted by the           concluded that anyone with balance                 make a decision about whether or not
      Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists           issues, back pain, neuropathy or unstable          you want to take on the risks associated
      support the conclusion that the shoes             ankles should not wear toner shoes.                with these shoes.
      have minimal toning effect. Professor                However, the toning shoe danger is
      John Porcari, a sport science specialist          not limited to individuals with balance is-        — Brett Emison is a partner at Langdon &
      at the University of Wisconsin, told the          sues. Even young people in good shape              Emison in Kansas City, Missouri.
      Daily Mail (U.K.) that people mistakenly          have reported problems with toner

      Would you like to find this article online    From your computer, enter the article ID in    From your smartphone, scan the tag
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                                                                                                                                THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 07

 Health 101
                                                                                                  additionally, some medical literature
                                                                                                  describes other categories of cerebral
                                                                                                  palsy; any individual patient may have
                                                                       By David Mittleman
                                                                                                  symptoms consistent with more than
                                                                                                  one variation of the condition. Thus,
                                                                                                  these categories are helpful but not
                                                                                                  necessarily definitive.
                                                                                                  healTh Care
                                                                                                  The effects of cerebral palsy on the
                                                                                                  health care system are difficult to fully
                                                                                                  calculate. In many cases, patients need
                                                                                                  around-the-clock, skilled nursing care.
                                                                                                  Families often have difficulty obtain-
                                                                                                  ing these services, let alone paying for
                                                                                                  them. even relatively mild cases require
                                                                                                  anti-spasm medications, braces, walk-
                                                                                                  ers, canes and more.
                                                                                                     With no cure currently available,
                                                                                                  these costs are incurred throughout the
                                                                                                  lifetime of the patient.
                                                                                                  advaNCeS IN MedICINe
                                                                                                  recent advances in medical science —
                                                                                                  including stem cell use — have brought
   Cerebral palsy is defined by the           including:                                          a glimmer of hope to families affected by
National Center for Biotechnology             • Bleeding in the brain                             the condition. For example, preschooler
Information as a “condition, sometimes        • Brain infections (encephalitis, meningi-          Sasha Browne received an injection of
thought of as a group of disorders, that      tis, herpes simplex infections)                     her own stem cells, taken from her um-
can involve brain and nervous system          • Head injury                                       bilical cord shortly after birth.
functions such as movement, learning,         • Infections in the mother during preg-                Sasha, now 4, is able to walk, talk and
hearing, seeing and thinking.” Symp-          nancy (rubella)                                     interact with others much better than
toms range from simple lack of fine           • Severe jaundice                                   her doctors ever expected had she not
muscle coordination to an inability to        CoNdITIoN TypeS                                     received the treatment.
maintain balance or walk.                                                                            While we are a long way from making
                                              Generally speaking, cerebral palsy is
   The condition is often accompanied                                                             cerebral palsy a thing of the past, we
                                              divided into three distinct types:
by other medical complications, includ-                                                           are coming closer to fully understanding
                                              • Ataxic, which is characterized by
ing seizures and developmental delays.                                                            the condition.
                                              low muscle tone and shaky, unsteady
The CauSe                                     movements
Cerebral palsy can be caused by a num-        • Choreoathetoid, in which the limbs,               For more information, please visit www.
ber of different events, some of which        trunk and face muscles move spontane-     
may occur before, during or after birth. In   ously and without voluntary control
some cases, the condition may result from     • Spastic, the most common type (afflict-           — David Mittleman is an attorney with
a combination of events occurring at all      ing about 70 percent of individuals with ce-        ChurchWyble PC in Lansing, Michigan.
three stages of the birth process.            rebral palsy), in which muscles remain stiff
   however, premature infants have            and tense, severely limiting movement
a slightly higher risk of developing
cerebral palsy, according to NCBI.
Cerebral palsy also may occur during                   From your computer, enter the             From your smartphone,
                                                     article ID in the search box at thesafe-   scan the tag using TagReader. For
early infancy as a result of conditions,
                                            Article ID: 2405             more information visit

                    Oh, My Aching Back!

                    TO RELIEVE BACK PAIN
                                  By Robyn Madden
                                                                                                                                    THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 09

                    illions of Americans         equipment to help you lift loads. If                  Use a stool to reach anything higher
                    suffer from back pain        you’re on the phone most of the day,               than shoulder level.
                    at some point in their       try a headset. If you work at a com-                  Manage and address your stress.
                    lives. That stat’s not       puter, make sure that your monitor and             Professional and personal stress can
                    surprising, consider-        chair are positioned properly. Avoid               lead to muscle tension and tightness,
ing almost everything we do requires             unnecessary bending, twisting and                  which can contribute to or worsen back
us to use your backs.                            reaching. Limit the time you spend                 pain. Use positive coping mechanisms
   According to Discovery Health,                carrying heavy briefcases, purses and              — such as deep-breathing exercises,
approximately 60-90 percent of all               bags. Consider using a rolling suitcase.           taking a walk around the block or
Americans will experience at least                                                                  talking about your frustrations with a
one back injury in their lives. Half of                                                             trusted friend — to handle stress in a
these people will experience multiple
episodes of back problems. Back pain                 Back problems                                  healthy way.
                                                                                                       Stay active. Maintaining a healthy
ranges from dull and achy to stiff and
sharp and can be acute, chronic or
                                                     are rarely the                                 weight minimizes stress on your back,
                                                                                                    and exercise can strengthen your back
recurrent acute.
    Fortunately, back problems are
                                                     result of a                                    and stomach muscles. For most healthy
                                                                                                    adults, the Department of Health and
rarely the result of a single activity or
accident and result over time from pull-
                                                     single activity                                Human Services (HHS) recommends at
                                                                                                    least 150 minutes a week of moderate
ing, straining, stretching or spraining.             or accident and                                aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week
Pinpointing the source of the pain can                                                              of vigorous aerobic activity — prefer-
be problematic as it can originate from              result over time                               ably spread throughout the week —
muscle, soft tissue, ligaments, carti-
lage, discs and nerves. Other times,                 due to pulling,                                and strength training exercises at least
                                                                                                    twice a week.
the source of an injury is obvious, such
as a car wreck or isolated injury.
                                                     straining,                                        Minimize hazards. Falls can seriously
                                                                                                    injure your back. Remove anything
   To help minimize potential back pain
issues, heed this advice:
                                                     stretching or                                  from your work space that might cause
                                                                                                    you to trip. Consider wearing low-
   Avoid exerting too much force on                  spraining.                                     heeled shoes with nonslip soles.
your back. Lifting or moving heavy                                                                     Listen to your body. If you must
objects can cause injury. When lifting,                                                             sit or stand for a prolonged period,
kneel down on one knee with the                    Be careful when sitting and stand-               change your position often. Try taking
other foot flat on the floor as near as          ing. Slouching exaggerates your                    a 30-second break every 15 minutes
possible to the item you are lifting.            back’s natural curves, which can lead              to stretch, move or relax. Or, stand up,
Lift with your legs and not your back,           to muscle fatigue and injury. When                 stretch and change positions each time
keeping the object close to your body            standing, keep one foot forward of the             you answer the phone, make a call or
at all times. Ask someone for help and           other, with knees slightly bent, to take           do another routine task.
remember that pushing is better than             the pressure off your lower back. When                If you smoke, stop. Nicotine re-
pulling a heavy object.                          you are sitting, keep your knees slightly          stricts the flow of blood to the discs
   Modify any repetitious activity.              higher than your hips to provide good              that cushion your vertebrae, increasing
Repeating certain movements can lead             lower back support.                                the likelihood you will suffer back pain.
to muscle fatigue or injury, particularly          Sleep on your side. Sleeping on
if you’re stretching to the limit of your        your back puts 55 pounds of pres-                    If you suffer from back pain, seek the
range of motion or using awkward                 sure on your back. Putting a couple                advice of your family doctor.
body positioning. Think about how you            of pillows under your knees cuts the
can modify repetitive tasks at work to           pressure in half. Lying on your side               — Robyn Madden is an attorney with the
reduce physical demands on your body.            with a pillow between your knees also              Strom Law Firm in Columbia, South Carolina.
   Use lifting devices or adjustable             reduces the pressure.

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to leave a comment, print copies, or         the search box at         using TagReader. For more information
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      By Samuel L. Davis
         No longer is bullying is confined to           on a product being defective, the                  increased risk when searching for a hos-
      the schoolyard. An intellectual bullying          manufacturer’s first reaction is often to          pital, surgeon and device. Here’s how:
      has been going on in this country for             go after the surgeon. The incentive to             1. Do your homework.
      years and the number of victims reaches           make the right choice for a patient be-            2. Make sure your doctor has plenty
      to the hundreds of thousands.                     comes clouded by conflicts of interest.            of experience with the procedure he is
         Who are the culprits? Big Pharma               Unfortunately, the victim is the patient.          recommending.
      and its close cousins, the medical de-              In a currently pending litigation,               3. Is he being compensated by the
      vice manufacturers.                               doctors who complained about the                   maker of that device?
         Hospitals are the new playground for           poor outcomes with a hip replacement               4. Is your hospital subsidized by that
      these corporate bullies. With hospi-              manufactured by Zimmer were chided by              manufacturer?

                    5 Tips for Dealing with Medicine’s Corporate Bullies
      tals hoping to get research dollars               the maker for having used poor surgical            5. Does the hospital have low infec-
      from multibillion-dollar manufacturers,           technique. Zimmer shrugged off reports             tion rates?
      pharmaceutical industry sales represen-           of device failure and rejected the possibil-          Be a proactive patient and demand
      tatives restrict orthopedists’ choices to         ity of a hip replacement recall.                   independent judgment and a high stan-
      use products made by the one or two                  While Zimmer blamed poor surgical               dard of care. It will increase your odds
      manufacturers that are supporting the             technique, the hip implant had serious             for a successful surgery.
      hospital. As big business becomes the             complications, including failure of hip               While it may be just as intimidating
      benefactor, surgeons choose a manufac-            implant to bond with bone, unexpected              to question a surgeon as it is to stand
      turer that has the most money, but is not         movement of joint in hip socket, loosen-           up to a schoolyard bully, when you or
      necessarily making the best device.               ing of the hip implant and damage to               a loved one’s health is on the line, it is
         The consequences for speaking out              the surrounding bone.                              time to put the proverbial recess ren-
      have become more severe. Any doctor                  In July 2008, the company announced             egade in his place.
      who doesn’t play ball is given unpleas-           a suspension in sales of the product, but
      ant or inconvenient operating room                never issued a formal hip recall.                  — Samuel L. Davis is founding partner of Davis
      access. If a surgeon blows the whistle               It is possible to avoid being at                Saperstein & Salomon in Teaneck, New Jersey.

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                                                                                                                             THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 11

                                                                                                                     By Stephanie Andre

                                                                                       Is a Low-Carb
                                                                                       the Right Way
                                                                                       TO GO?
             he holidays will soon start         According to the Mayo Clinic, the             ries overall.
             approaching. As will the holi-   theory behind the low-carb diet is that             Long-term weight loss success de-
             day meals … and the calories     insulin prevents fat breakdown in the            pends on the individual, however. Aban-
             that come along with them.       body by allowing sugar to be used for            doning a low-carb diet and returning to
   With boatloads of foods, such as           energy. Proponents of the low-carb diet          your previous eating habits may result in
breads, starchy vegetables and more,          believe that a decrease in carbs results         weight gain.
it’s easy to head toward carbohydrate         in lower insulin levels, which causes            WATCH WHAT You eAT
overload and straight off your diet. To       the body to burn stored fat for energy.
                                                                                               being on a low-carb diet still means
avoid a complete diet meltdown, you           Still, research suggests that any weight
                                                                                               watching what you eat. A number of
might want to look into a low-carb diet,      loss from a low-carb diet probably isn’t
                                                                                               foods that work well for a low-carb diet
designed to limit carbs and empha-            related to blood sugar or insulin levels.
                                                                                               are high in saturated fat and choles-
sizes sources of protein and fat. Many        WHAT You’re eATIng                               terol. This can increase the risk of heart
types of low-carb diets exist, each
                                              In general, a low-carb diet focuses on           disease and perhaps some types of
with varying restrictions on the types
                                              meat, poultry, fish, eggs and some non-          cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic.
and amounts of carbohydrates. How-
                                              starchy vegetables.                                 What’s more, if your diet is lacking
ever, understand that going on such a
                                                 A low-carb diet is likely to promote          in fruits, vegetables and whole-grain
diet will limit/eliminate certain foods
                                              weight loss — at least at first. Contribut-      foods, you may not get enough fiber
from your diet that most would deem
                                              ing factors may include:                         — which can contribute to constipation
healthy, such as fruits and vegetables.
                                              • Loss of water weight. Low-carb diets           and other gastrointestinal problems.
CArb breAkdoWn                                often have a diuretic effect.                    THe VerdICT?
Carbohydrates are found in grains,            • Increased feeling of fullness. A
                                                                                               So, will you lose weight on a low-carb
dairy products, fruits, vegetables and        low-carb diet is relatively high in fat
                                                                                               diet? Yes. Will it last? Maybe not … un-
legumes (beans and peas). They’re             and protein. Since fat and protein take
                                                                                               less you change your lifestyle.
also found in sugar and sweets. For           longer to digest than do carbs, you may
                                                                                                 In the end, eating in moderation and
most people, carbohydrates serve as a         feel fuller longer.
                                                                                               watching portion control is key. don’t
primary source of energy. during diges-       • Reduced calories. A low-carb diet
                                                                                               forget — exercise is vital toward long-
tion, your body converts carbohydrates        strictly limits the variety of foods you
                                                                                               term health and weight control.
into sugar. As your blood sugar level         eat. This generally results in fewer calo-
rises, so does your insulin level. Insulin
drives blood sugar into your cells to
                                                     From your computer, enter the article    From your smartphone,
provide energy. extra sugar is stored in            ID in the search box at                  scan the tag using TagReader. For
your liver and muscles as glycogen.        Article ID: 2408    more information visit

                       sleep apnea kills

      By Jim Cole and Will Sciba
         Did you know that at least one-third    risk factors include:                             According to studies conducted on
      of commercial truck drivers suffer from    Obesity – More than half the people               both the U.S. and Canadian drivers,
      at least a mild case of sleep apnea?       with sleep apnea are overweight.                  patients with sleep-disordered breath-
      That’s according to a number of studies,   Age – People over 40 are more likely to           ing were 2.5 times more likely to have
      including one by the Federal Motor         suffer from the disorder.                         automobile accidents. What’s more,
      Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).     Male – Men are generally twice as likely          when you apply those numbers to the
         But, before we start talking about      as women to have sleep apnea.                     trucking industry, it’s estimated that
      truck drivers, we have to first get to     A large neck – For men, this would be             20-30 percent of accidents involving
      the root of the problem: do you know       larger than 17 inches; for women, larger          tractor-trailers are sleep related. In fact,
      what sleep apnea is? It occurs when the    than 15 inches.                                   one study found that drivers with sleep
      muscles in the back of the throat relax    High blood pressure – Sleep apnea is              apnea are three to five times more likely
      too much to allow for normal breathing.    common among people with hypertension.            to be involved in a head-on collision.
         When this happens, typically, the       Smoking – Smokers are nearly three                   For proper diagnosis, a person
      person wakes up. In fact, people with      times more likely than nonsmokers to              should have a sleep study. This normally
      severe sleep apnea may wake up             have sleep apnea.                                 involves overnight monitoring of breath-
      hundreds of times a night. The result      Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquil-            ing and other bodily functions.
      is inadequate sleep, excessive daytime     izers – These may relax the muscles in               There are several common treatments
      sleepiness, drowsiness and fatigue.        the throat.                                       including surgery, the use of an oral
         Sleep apnea is most prevalent among     Your body – Having large tonsils, a               appliance or the use of a continuous
      males over 40 years old that are over-     large tongue or a small jaw bone.                 positive airway pressure (CPAP). Use
      weight and live a sedentary lifestyle.     Family history – Your lineage can have            of a CPAP machine is the most com-
      These factors are prevalent among truck    some effect on whether or not you have            mon treatment and is often effective in
      drivers.                                   the disorder.                                     controlling sleep apnea.
         Signs and symptoms include:             Nasal obstruction – If you have a devi-              Making this change is necessary to
      » Loud snoring                             ated septum, allergies or sinus problems,         the safety of truck drivers and all oth-
      » Abrupt awakenings accompanied by         you may be more prone to the disorder.            ers on the road. A driver who is being
      shortness of breath                           Considering the number of drivers on           successfully treated for sleep apnea is
      » Observed episodes of breathing ces-      the road and the associated risk, sleep           qualified to drive.
      sation during sleep                        apnea is a problem — for both the truck-
      » Gasping and snorting                     ing industry and the traveling public.            — Jim Cole and Will Sciba are with Cole,
                                                                                                   Cole & Easley in Victoria, Texas.
      » Difficulty staying asleep
      » Excessive daytime sleepiness
      » Forgetfulness                                   From your computer, enter the article    From your smartphone,
      » Trouble concentrating                          ID in the search box at                  scan the tag using TagReader. For
         While anyone can have sleep apnea,   Article ID: 2409    more information visit
                                                                                                                                    THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 13

   ‘Bath Salts’
       THE N E X T D R U G T R E N D ?
By Pete Strom
   For many parents, the primary con-            hallucinations, paranoia and rapid heart           slit his face and stomach repeatedly. All
cerns for their teenagers are underage           rates, as well as suicidal thoughts. The           across the nation — from the Southeast
drinking and alcohol or drug abuse. While        drug is easy to get a hold of, costing             to California — emergency calls have
alcohol and drug abuse continue to be a          about $25 at convenience stores, and can           been reported for people using the
problem, parents should also be aware of         cause serious health problems.                     stimulants.
a new, readily available — and surprisingly         The Centers for Disease Control and                Poison centers across the country have
legal — drug that is gaining extensive           Prevention (CDC) warns that, “unlike               reported growing numbers of calls about
popularity. It’s known as “Bath Salts.”          traditional cosmetic bath salts, which are         the synthetic stimulant.
   Bath Salts are packets of white powder        packaged and sold for adding to bath                  The stimulants in Bath Salts are not
with innocuous names like Vanilla Sky,           water for soaking and cleaning, the drugs          regulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Ivory Wave and White Rush. The packets,          sold as ‘Bath Salts’ have no legitimate            Administration (DEA); however, they will
which are usually smoked or snorted,             use for bathing and are intended for               likely face federal scrutiny.
produce a meth-like high and violent             substance abuse.”                                     Even though abuse of Bath Salts is
behavior in users.                                  The active ingredient in Bath Salts is a        becoming more popular, it is difficult to
   Surprisingly, this dangerous and highly       chemical called MDPV, which is similar to          combat the problem since the drug is still
addictive recreational drug is sold at gas       cathinone, a compound found in a plant             legal in many states.
stations and convenience stores as well          called Khat that produces leaves that are             The Associated Press reported that
as on the Internet. Bath Salts have made         chewed in Africa. However, unlike or-              Gary Boggs, an executive assistant at
their way to much of the Southeast.              ganic cathinone, Bath Salts are synthetic          the DEA, said there is a long process to
   The designer drug has gained wide-            drugs made in a lab.                               restrict designer drugs such as Bath Salts.
spread popularity and has already been              Traumatic stories of overdoses have             Unfortunately, he said it is a process that
banned in North Carolina and Florida.            been circulating the country as the drug           can take years. In the meantime, parents
While many states are acting quickly to ban      becomes more controversial. In Panama              should be aware of the danger and its
access, the drug remains readily available.      City, Florida, multiple officers were need-        convenient accessibility.
   Some health professionals claim the           ed to restrain a man who tore a radar unit
effects of the powders are as influential        out of a police car with his teeth.                — Pete Strom is an attorney with Strom
as abusing methamphetamines. Accord-                In Mississippi, a man got high on the           Law Firm in Columbia, South Carolina.
ing to reports, the chemicals can cause          chemicals and took his skinning knife and

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                    A ‘GROWING’PROBLEM
                      By Stephanie Andre
                      It’s no secret that today’s kids weigh more than in previous
                       generations. Just ask the Centers for Disease Control and
                         Prevention (CDC). According to its data, approximately
                          17 percent of children ages 2-19 are obese. In fact, since
                           1980, obesity in children has almost tripled.
                               But why? Well, for starters, it’s basic math: caloric intake
                            vs. a lack of physical activity. From video games to 24/7
                            television, children nowadays have many more options
                             for how to spend their time — all without ever leaving
                             the comfort of the couch.
                                 What kinds of habits are we teaching our children
                            if we don’t motivate them to play outside with friends
                              or put down the soda? The bottom line is childhood
                                     obesity is only getting worse and it’s our job as
                                         parents to curb the behavior and teach these
                                           children to love their bodies and take care
                                              of themselves.
                                                      Looking for more proof? Following
                                                   is a list of risk factors from the CDC:
                                                          Sugar drinks and less healthy
                                                        foods on school campuses.
                                                           About 55 million school-aged
                                                             children are enrolled in
                                                               schools across the United
                                                                States, and many eat and
                                                                drink meals and snacks
                                                                there. Yet, more than half
                                                                of U.S. middle and high
                                                               schools still offer sugar
                                                              drinks and less healthy foods
                                                             for purchase.
                                                                Advertising of less healthy
                                                           foods. Nearly half of U.S.
                                                          middle and high schools allow
                                                        advertising of less healthy foods,
                                                       which impacts students’ ability to
                                                     make healthy food choices. In addi-
                                                   tion, foods high in total calories, sug-
                                                 ars, salt and fat — and low in nutrients
                                                 — are highly advertised and marketed
                                                  through media targeted to children
                                                                                                                                     THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 15

and adolescents, while advertising for            high-energy-dense diet is associated               fed at the end of six months. The success
healthier foods is almost nonexistent in          with a higher risk for excess body fat             rate among mothers who want to breast-
comparison.                                       during childhood. Sugar drinks are the             feed can be improved through active
   Variation in licensure regulations             largest source of added sugar and an               support from their families, friends, com-
among child-care centers. More than               important contributor of calories in the           munities, clinicians, health care leaders,
12 million children regularly spend time          diets of children in the United States.            employers and policymakers.
in child-care arrangements outside the            High consumption of sugar drinks,                     Television and media. Children 8-18
home. However, not all states use li-             which have few, if any, nutrients, has             years of age spend an average of 7.5
censing regulations to ensure that child-         been associated with obesity. On a                 hours a day using entertainment media,
care facilities encourage more healthful          typical day, 80 percent of youth con-              including TV, computers, video games,
eating and physical activity.                     sume sugar drinks.                                 cellphones and movies. Of those 7.5
   Lack of daily, quality physical activ-            Increasing portion sizes. Portion siz-          hours, about 4.5 hours is dedicated to
ity in all schools. Most adolescents              es of less healthy foods and beverages             viewing TV. Eighty-three percent of chil-
fall short of the 2008 Physical Activity          have increased over time in restaurants,           dren from 6 months to 6 years old view
Guidelines for Americans recommenda-              grocery stores and vending machines.               TV or videos about one hour and 57
tion of at least 60 minutes of aerobic            Research shows that children eat more              minutes a day. TV viewing is a contribut-
physical activity each day, as only 18            without realizing it if they are served            ing factor to childhood obesity because
percent of students in grades 9-12 met            larger portions. This can mean they are            it may take away from the time children
this recommendation in 2007. In fact,             consuming a lot of extra calories, espe-           spend in physical activities; lead to in-
by 2009, only 33 percent attended daily           cially when eating high-calorie foods.             creased energy intake through snacking
physical education classes.                          Lack of breastfeeding support.                  and eating meals in front of the TV and
   No safe and appealing place, in                Some studies have shown that breast-               influence children to make unhealthy
many communities, to play or be                   feeding protects against childhood                 food choices through exposure to food
active. Many communities are built in             overweight and obesity. However, in                advertisements.
ways that make it difficult or unsafe to          the United States, while 75 percent of
be physically active. For some families,          mothers start out breastfeeding, only 13           For more information, visit
getting to parks and recreation centers           percent of babies are exclusively breast-
may be difficult, and public transporta-
tion may not be available. For many
children, safe routes for walking or                  From video games to 24/7 television,
biking to school or play may not exist.
Half of the children in the United States             children nowadays have many more
do not have a park, community center,
and sidewalk in their neighborhood.                   options for how to spend their time —
Only 27 states have policies directing
community-scale design.
                                                      all without ever leaving the comfort of
   Limited access to healthy, afford-
able foods. Some people have less
                                                      the couch.
access to stores and supermarkets that
sell healthy, affordable food, such as
fruits and vegetables, especially in rural,
minority and lower-income neighbor-
hoods. Supermarket access is associ-
ated with a reduced risk for obesity.
   Greater availability of high-energy-
dense foods and sugar drinks. High-
energy-dense foods are ones that have
a lot of calories in each bite. A recent
study among children showed that a

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                     know the facts about
                     PREGNANCY &                                                                              By Tor Hoerman

                     AN TI D EP RES S A N T S
                    Depression is among the most common problems           entirely without first discussing it with their physician.
                    seen in primary-care medicine. According to the           however, recent studies show that staying on
                    American College of Obstericians and Gynecolo-         these drugs could harm the unborn child. the sad
                    gists (ACOG), reproductive-age women have the          fact is that the public has not been provided with the
                    highest prevalence of major depressive disorders;      known risks to unborn children exposed to ssRIs, so
                    approximately 1 in 10 women will have major or         a risk-benefit analysis is very difficult — if not impos-
                    minor depression sometime during pregnancy and         sible — for pregnant women and women looking to
                    the postpartum period. For years, doctors have pre-    become pregnant.
                    scribed antidepressants to treat depression.              During pregnancy, medications taken by the
                       Given these statistics, it should come as no        mother can cross the placenta and enter the devel-
                    surprise to find a large number of pregnant women      oping baby’s bloodstream. A medicine’s effect on
                    worried about the effects of these drugs on their      the unborn baby depends on the medication and
                    unborn children and confused about their options.      the trimester in which the medicine is taken.
                    Although the Web is filled with support forums for
                    women that find themselves in this situation, the      DRuGs AnD theIR eFFeCts
                    drug companies and the Food and Drug Administra-
                                                                           In order to assist pregnant women with their deci-
                    tion (FDA) have been slow in responding to these
                                                                           sions about whether or not a drug could be harmful
                    women’s pleas for information.
                                                                           to her fetus or newborn, the FDA provides drug
                                                                           categories based on information the agency has
                    WhAt hAppens?                                          gathered in initial studies and as a result of informa-
                    selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (ssRIs), the   tion the drug companies provide. the five catego-
                    most widely prescribed antidepressants, have been      ries are divided as A, B, C, D and X, with A being
                    known to cause withdrawal symptoms — often severe      the weakest warning and X being the strongest (see
                    — when usage is stopped suddenly. Obviously, women     sidebar).
                    should not make the decision to go off these drugs        Most ssRIs are Category C, which generally means
                                                                                                                                    THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 17

    SSRIs                                           FDA                                                INJURIES/BIRTH
    (selective serotonin
    reuptake inhibitors)
                                                    Use-in-Pregnancy Ratings                           DEFECTS
                                                                                                       linked to the use of SSRIs
                                                     Category A                                        by pregnant women
     » Paxil (paroxetine)                            » Drugs that were tested and
     » Zoloft (sertraline)                           found to be safe during pregnancy.                 » Anencephaly
                                                     Includes folic acid, vitamin B6 and                » Autism
     » Prozac (fluoxetine)
                                                     some thyroid medications in pre-
     » Effexor (venlafaxine)                                                                            » Cerebral palsy
                                                     scribed doses.
     » Celexa (citalopram)                                                                              » Chiari malformation
     » lexapro (escitalopram)                                                                           » Club foot
                                                     Category B
     » Symbyax (olanzapine/fluoxetine)                                                                  » Cleft lip and/or cleft palate
                                                     » These drugs are frequently used
     » Wellbutrin (bupropion)                        during pregnancy and do not ap-                    » Craniosyostosis
     » Cymbalta (duloxetine)                         pear to cause major birth defects                  » Heart defects, including :
                                                     or other problems. Category B                           • Atrial septal defects
                                                     includes some antibiotics, acetamin-                    • Patent ductus arteriosus
                                                     ophen (Tylenol), aspartame (artificial
                                                                                                             • Patent foraman ovale
                                                     sweetener), famotidine (Pepcid),
they are neither safe nor unsafe for use in          prednisone (cortisone), insulin (for                    • Tetralogy of fallot
pregnancy. The exception is Paxil, which             diabetes) and ibuprofen (Advil,                         • Transposition of the great
is a pregnancy category D medication.                Motrin) before the third trimester.                       arteries & bicuspid aortic valve
   Historically, Paxil has received the                                                                 » Ventricular septal defects
most attention regarding injuries relat-             Category C                                         » Hypospadias
ing to its use during pregnancy. Studies             » Animal reproduction studies have                 » Omephalaocele
                                                     shown an adverse effect on the fe-                 » Plagiocephaly
have concentrated on the effects that
                                                     tus and there are no adequate and
Paxil has had on the unborn child,                                                                      » PPHn (persistent pulmonary
                                                     well-controlled studies in humans,
rather than the other SSRIs. In fact, the            but, potential benefits may warrant                  hypertension of the newborn)
ACOG recommends that Paxil should                    use of the drug in pregnant women                  » Pulmonary stenosis
                                                     despite potential risk.                            » Respiratory distress
be avoided, when possible, by pregnant
women or women planning to become                                                                       » Spina bifida
                                                     Category D                                         » Tethered spinal cord
pregnant due to the potential risk of
                                                     » There is positive evidence of
fetal harm.                                          human fetal risk based on adverse
   That said, researchers are quickly                reaction data from investigational or
learning more about each of the SSRIs                marketing experience or studies in
and the effects they could potentially               humans, but potential benefits may             used by pregnant women.
                                                     warrant use of the drug in pregnant
have on unborn children. Early studies               women despite potential risks.                   Furthermore, it is understandable that
led researchers to believe that injuries                                                            many women are afraid to stop taking
from fetal exposure to SSRIs were                    Category X                                     the medication that prevents them from
limited to the lung and heart. But recent            » Studies in animals or humans have            going into depression, especially when
studies link many more life-altering and             demonstrated fetal abnormalities               that woman is soon to be responsible
                                                     and/or there is positive evidence of
debilitating defects to the usage.                                                                  for a new life.
                                                     human fetal risk based on adverse
                                                     reaction data from investigational               However, if there is any chance that
                                                     or marketing experience. The                   the drug could harm the baby, these
                                                     risks involved in use of the drug in           women must be advised upfront so they
Often, mothers feel an immense sense                 pregnant women clearly outweigh
                                                                                                    can discuss their medical options with
of guilt when they think that something              potential benefits.
                                                                                                    their physician after they have the oppor-
they ingested during pregnancy may
                                                                                                    tunity to make a decision on their own.
have caused these injuries/defects. This
guilt, while understandable, is misplaced.       not properly study and/or disclose the             — Tor Hoerman is an attorney with TorHoer-
The guilt should be on those that did            risks associated with their products when          man Law in Edwardsville, Illinois.

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      TIME FOR FOOTBALL,                                                                                   By Emily Hawk Raley

           or many, fall is synonymous with             A CONCUSSION CANNOT BE DIAgNOSED WITHOUT MEDICAL
           football. Any level of football, really.
           Whether it’s your local high school
                                                        TESTINg. IT CAN BE HOURS OR DAyS AFTER THE INjURy BEFORE
      team, the college game or the NFL, the            SOME ATHLETES ExPERIENCE AND/OR REPORT SyMPTOMS.
      players come into the fall ready, having
      sweated it out over the summer, prepar-         firm that Thomas’ suicide was caused             experience and/or report symptoms.
      ing for the season to begin. But, as with       by CTE, they said that a 21-year-old             Some people with a concussion recover
      all sports, safety must be a priority.          “having developed the disease so early           quickly and fully with no additional
         With football, in particular, there is       raised the possibility that it played a          problems. But for others, signs and
      great concern regarding head injuries —         role in his death, and provided arresting        symptoms of concussion can last for
      specifically concussion, a traumatic brain      new evidence that the brain dam-                 days, weeks or longer.
      injury that can be caused by a bump,            age found in NFL veterans can afflict              To help keep athletes safe from con-
      blow or jolt to the head and can change         younger players.”                                cussion, the CDC provides a free online
      the way your brain normally works.                 According to his parents, Thomas was          course to help recognize and respond
         Concussions can also occur from a            never diagnosed with a concussion or             to potential head injuries. This program
      blow to the body that causes the head           complained of headaches. In light of his         — which may be beneficial to coaches,
      to move rapidly back and forth. It is           family’s reports, several doctors said his       parents and others involved — offers a
      important to note that even what seems          CTE — whose only known cause is re-              certificate at course completion as proof
      to be a mild bump or blow to the head           petitive brain trauma — must have de-            of an individual’s readiness to recognize
      can be serious.                                 veloped from concussions he dismissed            a problem.
         Penn football player Owen Thomas is          or from the thousands of subconcussive
      a prime example. He hanged himself in           collisions he withstood in his dozen             For more information, visit
      April 2010.                                     years of football, most of them while his
         While Thomas had no history of               brain was still developing.                      youth.html.
      depression, doctors examined his brain             Something important to note: A con-
      tissue and found he was in the early            cussion cannot be diagnosed without
                                                                                                       — Emily Hawk Raley is an attorney with
      stages of Chronic Traumatic Encepha-            medical testing. It can be hours or days         Cusimano, Keener, Roberts, Knowles & Raley
      lopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain             after the injury before some athletes            in Gadsden, Alabama.
      disease found in individuals who have
      been subjected to multiple concussions
      and other forms of head injuries.                      From your computer, enter the article    From your smartphone,
                                                            ID in the search box at                  scan the tag using TagReader. For
         According to the New York Times,
                                                   Article ID: 2423    more information visit
      although the doctors could not con-
                                                                                                                    THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 19

STARTING AN                                                                                       By Stephanie Andre

What’s normal ... and when it’s not safe
Swimsuit season may be over, but that doesn’t mean it’s              what signs to look for if you’re overdoing it.
time to give up on getting healthy and maintaining a stable             One thing that may help you — both mentally and physical-
weight. If you’re thinking about starting a new exercise             ly — is to set small goals for yourself. Don’t expect to be able
program — or just starting up, period — there are a few              to run a marathon right away … that’s how you’ll get hurt.
warning signs to keep in mind as you navigate through a              Start off by setting a goal, for example, of hitting the gym or
new routine.                                                         running three times a week.
   Of course, a certain amount of discomfort is bound to be             You should also plan to reward yourself for good behav-
felt as you start up. You can expect to have sore muscles and,       ior, so to speak. It’s easy to get offtrack. Take it day-by-day,
quite often, you won’t feel that pain until a few days later.        always keeping your goals in mind.
   However, there are also some warning signs that shouldn’t            Another way to prevent injury is to mix up your routine
                  be ignored:                                        with other exercises. If you run three days a week, consider
                    »Have pain or pressure in the left or            walking on your off days. Maybe incorporate yoga. Doing so
                      middle part of your chest, or in the left      could help you with muscle flexibility, which will also help you
                       side of your neck, left shoulder or left      prevent injury.
                        arm                                             Whether you’re starting a new program — or starting all
                           »Feel dizzy or sick                       together — keep a healthy mindset and try to have fun.
                                »Break out in a cold sweat
                                 »Have muscle cramps
                                  »Feel sharp pain in your
                                  joints, feet, ankles or bones
                                 »Notice that your heart starts
                                 racing or beating irregularly
                                        Remember, you should
                                    also consult a doctor before
                                      beginning any exercise
                                       program. This is par-
                                           ticularly important if
                                                      you’re not
                                                           A doc-
                                                           tor can                                              A Non-Profit
                                                           advise                                               humanitarian
                                                         you on                                                 organization for
                                                        how to                                                  Lawyers worldwide
                                                      approach a                                                to provide relief to
                                                  new exercise                                                  victims of natural
                                                                             For more inFormation,
                                              routine and tell you           please visit our website:          disasters and
                                                                             or email us at
                                                                                                                help individual
                                                                           and families in
       From your computer,           From your smarphone,                                                       the poorest of
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     2413                                                                                 they can.

                               FDA WARNING:                                                                                                   By Mark Kitrick

          surgical mesh may not be best route
       The Federal Drug Adminstration                                                                                          and may face unnecessary
       (FDA) recently issued a warning                                                                                         future surgeries in treating
       regarding serious complications                                                                                         those complications. While
       associated with transvaginal                                                                                            its manufacturers have
       placement of surgical mesh for                                                                                          claimed that transvaginal
       pelvic organ prolapse. Here’s                                                                                           mesh is safe and benefi-
       what you need to know:                                                                                                  cial, recent clinical studies
       Who’s affected                                                                                                          have proven both of those
       Patients who’ve undergone                                                                                               propositions false. In fact,
       surgical repair for either pelvic                                                                                       one clinical POP study
       organ prolapse (POP) or stress                                                                                          was shut down due to the
       urinary incontinence (SUI) have                                                                                         frequency and seriousness
       suffered serious complications                                                                                          of transvaginal mesh’s side
       from transvaginal mesh. POP                                                                                             effects. The FDA contin-
       occurs when pelvic organs bulge                                                                                         ues to investigate surgical
       (or prolapse) into the vagina                                                                                           mesh’s possible effects
       and is the result of stretched or                                                                                       on SUI patients and is ex-
       weakened tissues. SUI involves a                                                                                        pected to convene a panel
       leakage of urine during physi-                                                                                          of obstetrics and gynecol-
       cal activities like exercising or                                                                                       ogy experts in September.
       laughing. Transvaginal mesh is often used in surgical treat-                   Warning Signs
       ment for both POP and SUI, although there are much safer                       Women who’ve undergone POP treatments using transvagi-
       and similarly effective alternatives.                                          nal mesh should be on the lookout for symptoms, includ-
       The Product                                                                    ing mesh erosion through the vagina (also called exposure,
       Surgical mesh is a medical device that is normally used to                     protrusion or extrusion), pain, infection, bleeding, discomfort
       repair weakened or damaged tissue. Transvaginal mesh, in                       during sex, organ perforation, urinary problems and mesh
       particular, is used in urogynecologic surgical procedures. It’s                contraction.
       permanently implanted to reinforce the weakened vaginal                           The FDA reports that “erosion of mesh through the vagina
       wall. This mesh is typically employed in procedures to repair                  is the most common and consistently reported mesh-related
       POP or to support the urethra in treating SUI. Bard, Tyco and                  complication from transvaginal POP surgeries,” which “can
       Mentor market these products. Lawyers are also investigat-                     require multiple surgeries to repair and can be debilitating for
       ing Ethicon, AMS and Boston Scientific to determine whether                    some women.”
       they’ve sold surgical mesh products with insufficient warnings                    Unfortunately, even numerous surgeries may not fix the
       or defective designs.                                                          problems associated with mesh erosion. In its most recent re-
                                                                                      port, the FDA discovered a new risk in POP treatments called
       The Problem
                                                                                      mesh contraction, also referred to as “shrinkage.” Both mesh
       According to the FDA’s warning: “serious complications as-
                                                                                      erosion and contraction can cause serious pelvic discomfort,
       sociated with surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP
                                                                                      painful sexual intercourse and even the inability to have sex.
       are not rare.” The FDA also explained that “it is not clear
                                                                                      Men have also experienced pain and irritation to the penis
       that transvaginal POP repair with mesh is more effective than
                                                                                      during sex thanks to mesh erosion.
       traditional non-mesh repair in all patients with POP and it may
       expose patients to a greater risk.”                                            — Mark Kitrick is an attorney with Kitrick, Lewis & Harris Co. LPA in
          As a result, thousands of women are at risk of serious injury               Columbus, Ohio.

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       to leave a comment, print copies, or         the search box at            using TagReader. For more information
       share it via Facebook, Twitter or email?     Article ID: 2414                                  visit
                                                                                                             OUT & ABOUT

               FO O TB ALL?
               ARE YOU READY FOR SOME

By Jon Lewis
   Ahh … it’s that time again. Tailgating. The smell of
                                                          CHILDREN -
fall. Family and friends gathering before the big game.
                                                          Are you going to bring children to the game? If so,
And, having an all around good time.
                                                          make plans for what to do if they get lost. If they are
   Unfortunately, these good times can quickly sour if
                                                          old enough to have a cellphone, make sure both of
you aren’t prepared. This is especially true when you
                                                          your phones are charged so you can stay in contact.
and your family are in a sea of 80,000 to 100,000 peo-
                                                          If not, make a plan on where to meet in the event you
ple, and even more so when you consider the pregame
                                                          are separated. Finally, make sure they know where to
                                                          go if those two plans fail, i.e., security guard or public
   So, what should you do to be properly prepared for
                                                          address announcer.
the big game? Here are a few tips to consider:

       Food – Are you tailgating? If you
       are cooking, make sure the tempera-
       ture is hot enough so that you aren’t
       eating raw chicken or meat. Also, prior
       to cooking, keep raw meats separated.
       If you bring sides with mayonnaise —
       or other spreads susceptible to the
       heat (or cole slaw, potato salad, etc.)
       — make sure you keep them properly
       chilled so they don’t spoil. Keep your
       hands clean and bring hand sanitizer
       with you to ensure that you do not
       spread germs and bacteria.
                                                         est usher or security guard. Do not get
       Weather –
                                                                                                            those driving by. Obviously, this is the
                            Have plenty of               involved. Let the authorities handle it;
                                                                                                            time you need to pay attention. Don’t
       sunscreen for those hot September/                they will be glad to.
                                                                                                            text, play with the radio, turn around to
       October days. Wear sunglasses. Make
                                                         Don’t Be Too
                                                                                                            talk with the kids, etc. Keep a constant
       sure you drink plenty of fluids ... and not
                                                         Overzealous –
                                                                                                            lookout so you can make it to and from
       of the alcoholic variety. Water is usually                                   Be cautious
                                                                                                            the game without incident.
       best in these situations. If there is a           when expressing your excitement —
       threat of thunderstorms or inclement              even in what can seem like a safe envi-
                                                                                                            Theft –       Games with so many
       weather, make sure you have the proper            ronment. Unfortunately, in extreme situ-
                                                                                                            people are the ideal situation for those
       gear: ponchos, umbrellas, etc. You may            ations, a simple trip to the ballpark or
                                                                                                            who are there to take advantage. Keep
       want to check with the stadium to make            stadium can end tragically, as evidenced
                                                                                                            your purse securely on your shoulder and
       sure umbrellas are allowed. Check the             by the father who fell over a railing and
                                                                                                            keep an eye on your belongings. If you
       local weather or radar, and take shelter          died reaching for a ball thrown into the
                                                                                                            turn for a minute, they could be gone.
       if it starts getting bad.                         stands at a Texas Rangers game in July.
                                                         Be aware of your surroundings. There
                                                                                                            Don’t Enter the
       Other Fans – In light of some                     are certain locations in a stadium that
                                                                                                            Playing Field –                  In college
       recent events, make sure you respect              can be dangerous. You don’t want to
                                                                                                            football, some conferences have instituted
       the other fans. Remember, it’s only a             be on “SportsCenter” as a result of a
                                                                                                            a penalty if a team’s fans enter the play-
       game. Not liking the other team is one            tragedy.
                                                                                                            ing field after a victory. Needless to say,
       thing; fighting and cussing is another.
                                                         Check the Internet –
                                                                                                            nothing good can come from storming the
       Respect the fact that there are children
                                                                                                            field. This is where injuries can occur. Just
       present. Consider them as well and the            Most stadiums have a website with in-
                                                                                                            sit back and enjoy the victory.
       role you are playing. Antagonizing other          formation regarding security, telephone
       fans — other than in good taste — only            numbers, parking, evacuation, medical
                                                                                                              These are just some suggestions so that
       leads to trouble and, possibly, injuries.         information, lost children, inclement
                                                                                                            you can have a fun football season in 2011.
                                                         weather, power outages, etc.
       Report Unruly Behavior –
                                                                                                            Whether it’s high school, college or the

                                                         Driving –
                                                                                                            pros, heeding these tips will help to ensure
       Every stadium has rules and you agree                               Clearly, you need to
                                                                                                            you and your loved ones have an enjoy-
       to abide by those rules when you pur-             be careful driving in and around any
                                                                                                            able — yet safe — time at the game.
       chase a ticket to the game. If someone            sporting arena, stadium, etc. There are
       is drinking non-permitted alcohol or              thousands of people walking around                 — Jon Lewis is an attorney with Lewis, Feld-
       acting unruly, report them to the near-           … and they are not paying attention to             man & Lehene in Montgomery, Alabama.

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                                                                                                                                     OUT & ABOUT

                                                      By Robyn Madden


        n a night filled with ghosts,             glows in the dark, you can help prevent            familiar — or looks as if it has already
        goblins and spooky stories,               an inattentive driver from not seeing              been opened — it is best if they throw
        Halloween is undoubtedly one              your child in the dark.                            it away or show it to an adult.
of the most spine-chilling nights of the            Your teenager is invited to his/                     Plan a meeting spot. Before
year, especially for parents.                     her first Halloween party. As they                 embarking on your trick-or-treat route,
  Filled with nostalgic memories of               excitedly pile into a car with friends,            make sure you plan a meeting spot in
their own trick-or-treating adventures,           you nervously wave goodbye at the                  case you get separated. Plan a course
parents look forward to creating new              door (see more, page 58). Remind                   through the neighborhood that is well-
memories with their children on Hallow-           your teen that the driving distractions            lit and well-populated.
een night. But the Halloween hysteria             should be kept to a minimum. Loud                      Teach fire safety. Many parents
of tampered-with treats, strangers and            music and screaming back seat drivers              often search for costumes that are guar-
kids gone missing can often over-                 only add to the hectic atmosphere of               anteed to be “fire resistant.” But never
shadow the spirit of the holiday and              Halloween night.                                   fear if your search for the perfect fire re-
leave parents with nothing more than                 Keep a cellphone handy. If you                  tardant costume leaves you emptyhand-
Halloween heebie-jeebies.                         are not able to accompany your child to            ed. Teaching children that luminaries
  So how do you keep your children                the Halloween festivities, have your little        are off limits and lit jack-o-lanterns are
safe and still have fun?                          Cinderella or Batman carry a cellphone             only for looking — not touching — can
  Don’t scare your children silly.                with them. This also gives slightly older          prevent almost all fire-related accidents
Instead, calmly review familiar rules that        children more freedom and flexibility on           on Halloween.
you follow all year-around. Don’t talk            Halloween night.                                       Have fun! Halloween is the one
to strangers (see more, page 30), look               Watch for vandals. The pumpkin                  day out of the year when kids can be
both ways before crossing the street              you worked so hard to carve might                  whoever they want and eat enormous
and always use the buddy system. Ev-              end up smashed to pieces and the new               amounts of teeth-rotting candy. By fol-
eryday rules still apply.                         car in your driveway may not escape a              lowing these tips, Halloween can revert
   Watch for cars. The commonly                   few eggs. The most important way to                back to one night a year of uncompli-
used “hold hands while you cross the              prevent being a victim of vandalism is to          cated fun.
street” is not always enough to prevent           be present.
a tragic accident. By creatively outfitting          Candy fears. Remind your kids that              — Robyn Madden is an attorney with Strom
your child’s costume with an item that            if they see packaging that looks un-               Law Firm in Columbia, South Carolina.

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                                                        readily float through the air, so just              with recreational drug use.
                                                      because there were no mushrooms at a                      ACONITUM — This plant has many
                                                    particular location following the last rain             common names, including Wolfsbane
                                                    does not guarantee that the area will be                and Devil’s Helmet. In 2002, a man
                                                    mushroom free following the next rainfall.              died from an accidental poisoning after
                                                       OLEANDER — In 2002, there were                       ingesting the plant — perhaps mistaking
                                                    847 known human poisonings from                         it for spinach — while on a camping trip.
                                                       Oleander in the United States. This is
                                                             an extremely dangerous plant
                                                                                                            — Pete Burns is an attorney with Burns, Cun-
                                                              because of its toxicity and
                                                                                                            ningham & Mackey, PC in Mobile, Alabama.
                                                              popularity as a durable and at-
                                                              tractive landscaping plant.
                                                                  DEADLY NIGHTSHADE —
                                                                  This plant is found in shady,
                                                                    moist locations in North
                                                                       America. Young plants

      Just A
                                                                        and seeds are espe-
                                                                        cially poisonous.
                                                                          POISON HEMLOCK —

                                                                        People have died from
                                                                        eating as few as eight
                                                                          WATER HEMLOCK
                                                                        — According to the
                                                                                                              In the Event of
                                                                       USDA, water hemlock
                                                                     or poison parsnip is, “the
                                                                   most violently toxic plant in              If you or someone you know has
       HOW ONE PIECE OF PLANT                                    North America.” This plant is                been exposed to a poisonous
       COULD SPELL DEATH                                      mistaken for wild ginseng.                      plant, call the Poison Control Cen-
                                                          CASTOR BEANS — Castor beans                         ter at 800.222.1222 immediately.
       By Pete Burns                                are used in the Caribbean to make                         If you do not have access to a
       Did you know that more than 700              jewelry, which has resulted in the poi-                   telephone, do the following:
       species of plants cause toxic reactions      soning of children who have sucked on
       in humans? While many plants are not         or eaten the beans. A single bean can                     » Collect a sample of the plant and
       fatal, you don’t want to take that risk. It  be fatal and there is no antidote. Many                   take it with you to the nearest medi-
       takes only seconds for a small child to      gardens in California have one or more                    cal facility.
       take a bite of what may look like a per-     of these beautiful killers.                               » While in route, rinse or wipe out
       fectly ripe piece of fruit, but, in reality,    DIEFFENBACHIA — This beautiful                         the person’s mouth, but do not at-
       could be deadly.                             houseplant is one of the plants that                      tempt to make the person vomit.
          Here, read more about dangerous           most often injures young children. All                    » If the toxin got in the person’s
       plants and why to avoid them:                parts are poisonous.                                      eye, flush the eye while holding the
          MUSHROOMS — There are different              YEW BUSHES — These popular,                            eyelids open.
       types of wild mushrooms — some are           urban bushes are hardy and evergreen.                     » If the contact was with the skin,
       poisonous, some are not. If you have         Children have died from eating the fruit                  remove contaminated clothing and
       small children, be aware of areas where      of this bush. There is no antidote.                       wash the area with clean water.
       mushrooms may appear following rain             ANGEL’S TRUMPET — This is a
       and remove the mushrooms before              beautiful, ornamental plant, but all parts                In all cases, get medical help with-
       small children do.                           are poisonous. Because it is a strong                     out delay.
          Keep in mind that mushroom spores         hallucinogen, it is frequently associated

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Who Protects Consumers Across The U.S.?

 The Civil Justice Foundation is a national
 charitable organization dedicated to
 safeguarding justice for all Americans by
 strengthening the alliance between trial
 attorneys and consumer advocacy groups.

 It is the only national foundation devoted solely
 to protecting the individual rights, health and
 well-being of the injured — providing small but
 significant grants to the tireless organizations
 fighting for injury prevention and
 justice preservation
 across the country.

                                                             How Do We Do It?

                                                               The Civil Justice Foundation is
                                                               proud to award grants to
                                                               grassroots organizations that
                                                               are at the forefront of the
                                                               consumer advocacy
                                                               movement — particularly to
                                                     groups that have difficulty securing
                                                     traditional funding because they are
                                                     newly organized and/or address a
                                                     controversial issue.

                                                     To date, the Foundation has awarded
                                                     more than $1.4 million to more than 110
                                                     of these groups.

             For more information, please visit

                          SURVIVING   A FALL INTO COLD WATER                                               By Mario Vittone

                 couldn’t feel my hands anymore          Giesbrecht, Ph.D., “but only if you have           how strong a swimmer you are — you
                 and using them was impossible.          a life jacket on, because there is no way          will drown long before you ever become
                 The shivering was uncontrol-            you can keep your head above water                 clinically hypothermic. The longer you
                 lable and violent. “That’s a good       that long without one.”                            stay in, the weaker you become. So after
                 sign,” I thought.                          Giesbrecht, a thermo-physiologist               that first minute of just staying calm, you
                  I remembered from my studies           and one of the world’s leading authori-            have about 10 minutes to try and self
       of hypothermia that shivering stops be-           ties on environmental injuries, was talk-          rescue. If you haven’t gotten out of the
       fore you lose consciousness. “If I’m still        ing about the 1–10–1 principle of cold             water by then, you’re not going to.
       shivering then I’ll live for a while longer,”     water immersion — three numbers that
       I reasoned. But mostly I was wondering            will help you remember how to survive              PHASE 3: Hypothermia (core body
       how I got myself into that mess.                  the three phases of an unexpected dip              temperature of 95° or less) takes a sur-
          The National Water Safety Congress,            into cold water:                                   prisingly long time to happen. The point
       which got eight of us to volunteer for                                                               here is not to panic. Depending on
       this crazy — federally funded — ex-               PHASE 1: The cold shock response                   variables like air and water temperature,
       periment in suffering, recruited by               (falling into cold water under 59° F) is           no matter how uncomfortable you are
       design. It was easy to agree to jump              an assault on the body’s senses. Char-             (and trust me, you will be) you will have
       into freezing cold water when it’s sunny          acterized by uncontrollable gasping                an hour (1) or more before you lose
       and warm out.                                     and disorientation, the first moments              consciousness from hypothermia.
          The organization’s public service              can be the most dangerous. So for that
       DVD, “Cold Water Boot Camp, USA,”                 first minute (1), do nothing but keep                The hope is that you are never in
       was designed to dispel two dangerous              your head above water, try and stay                this situation. But if it is arises, do you
       myths about cold water: that a person’s           calm, and control your breathing. The              best to stay calm and follow the 1-10-1
       swimming ability makes a real difference          gasping will stop and then you’ll be               principle. It’s your best shot for survival.
       in their need for a life jacket and the           able to work on getting yourself safely
       other is that hypothermia kills quickly.          out of the water.                                  — Mario Vittone is an expert in water safety
       Neither is true.                                                                                     and a marine safety specialist with the U.S.
          “When immersed in cold water, you              PHASE 2: Swim failure (loss of muscle              Coast Guard. Learn more about Vittone at
                                                                                                   The views and opin-
       have at least one hour before you’ll              control) happens to everyone who stays             ions expressed by the author are not neces-
       become unconscious due to hypo-                   in cold water long enough. If you’re not           sarily those of the Department of Homeland
       thermia,” said our instructor, Gordon             wearing a life jacket — regardless of              Security or the U.S. Coast Guard.

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       share it via Facebook, Twitter or email?     Article ID: 2419                               visit
                                                                                                                                            OUT & ABOUT

                          HOW TO AVOID INJURY
By Brian D. Nettles
   In recent years, bounce                                                                                        Given the lack of profes-
houses — those giant                                                                                           sional supervision, here are 10
inflatable enclosures — and                                                                                    tips from My Parent Time to
inflatable slides have grown                                                                                   ensure a fun, yet safe, bounc-
leaps and bounds in popu-                                                                                      ing experience:
larity. And because of the                                                                                      Hire a rental company that
amount of padding these                                                                                        is insured. This demonstrates a
huge toys provide, parents                                                                                     commitment to safety.
have expressed little con-                                                                                      Watch your kids closely
cern for the safety of their                                                                                   when they play in or around
children.                                                                                                      an inflatable.
   However, following the                                                                                       Make sure the unit is
basic safety rules — such as                                                                                   staked down or heavily
occupancy and weight limits                                                                                    weighted down with ground
— that come along with a                                                                                       weights or sandbags.
bounce house is key. Not                                                                                        When the unit is inflated,
doing so can significantly                                                                                     make sure there are no visible
raise the risk of incident                                                                                     rips or holes.
and/or injury.                                                                                                  Make sure the unit is fully
   For example, a women                                                                                        inflated and not sagging.
and 12 others were recently                                                                                     The operator must
injured when the wind lifted                                                                                   cover all operating and safety
an inflatable slide and took                                                                                   procedures verbally — and
its participants with it. From                                                                                 should leave printed instruc-
coast to coast, at least 10                                                                                    tions as well.
inflatables have blown away or collapsed under too much                         Do not exceed the maximum capacity/occupancy at any
weight in the past few months, injuring more than 40 people,                   time.
according to                                                 Make sure to put your child in with other children his/her size.
   Injuries can also occur from bouncing out of the house onto                  Remove any children who seem tired. A sitting child risks
the ground or by colliding with a person or object inside the                  getting jumped or landed on.
structure. A Consumer Product Safety Commission report                          Turn the unit off during inclement weather or high winds.
released in 2005 linked the growing popularity of inflatables
with an increasing number of injuries at emergency rooms from                    Additionally, check the temperature inside the bounce
1997 to 2004. The agency identified an estimated 1,300 inju-                   house. An enclosed inflatable will get very hot very quickly.
ries in 1997 and 4,900 in 2004, the most recent data available.                  Children should always be supervised around a bounce
   Most large, inflatable “toy” accidents are caused by                        house/inflatable. Most accidents can be avoided with careful
improper anchoring, high winds and lack of supervision. It                     preparation and planning.
is estimated that there are 10,000 operators or renters of
inflatables nationwide. However, industry experts claim super-                 — Brian D. Nettles is an attorney with Nettles Law Firm in
vision of these operators would be too expensive to manage.                    Henderson, Nevada.

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              12 Gift-Giving Tips
                  FOR THE CYCLIST IN YOUR LIFE
       By Doug Landau
       There are many cyclists on the roads these days who lack basic   made to sell in the United States must meet the U.S. Consumer
       safety equipment. If you or a family member bikes to work,       Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards.
       rides with a group or pedals for pleasure, consider a cycling       There should be a CPSC or other sticker inside the helmet
       gift that may protect them from unnecessary loss and injury.     that tells you what standard is used. The ASTM standard is
       Here are some suggestions:                                       comparable. The Snell B-95 and N-94 standards are tougher
                                                                        but infrequently used. If you do not see one or more of these
                                     HELMET —                           stickers, you probably should not buy the helmet. Also, make
                                           This would seem obvi-        sure the helmet is a good fit and properly secured, as even the
                                        ous, but not all helmets        best helmets will offer little protection in a crash if not sitting
                                         are created equal. Bicycle     on the rider’s head correctly.
                                              helmets are required to      What’s more, all helmets that have been in a crash — or that
                                                meet minimum safety     are cracked — should be inspected at a bike shop and likely
                                                standards. Helmets      replaced.
                                                                                                                                        OUT & ABOUT
Personal, medical                                 mirrors —
and emergency                                     Cars have rear-view and side mirrors, so
identification —                                  why not bicycles? Rear-view mirrors for            bicyclist on bike trails. Calling out “on
Having identification, medical informa-           helmets or handlebars would increase               your left” often results in their stepping
tion and emergency contact information            safety as the rider can be looking forward         directly into the cyclists’ paths.
on your person whenever you are out cy-           and still see what is coming from behind.
cling is vital. There are several products                                                           nightlights —
on the market, including a Road ID wrist-         PocKet mUlti-tool —                                If the cyclist in your life rides at night or
band. You can put telephone numbers,              There are many brands of bike “multi-              in low-light conditions, front and rear
names and a few lines about special               tools” — the Swiss Army knives of the              lights are essential. Most front headlights
medical conditions or medications.                bicycle world. A good, pocket-sized tool           provide light to see the road before you.
   Another product to consider is the             will have an allen (“L”) wrench for tighten-       However, the main function of the front
Minerva Health Manager. As USA                    ing loose parts, tire changing and other           headlight is to make sure the cyclist is
Triathlon’s official personal health record       important devices. They are relatively             seen. It will illuminate road hazards di-
manager, Minerva Health Manager                     inexpensive and can be as simple or as           rectly in front of you and reflective street
provides athletes with easy-to-                         all-encompassing as the rider in your        signs. There are handle bar and helmet-
use software that allows                                   life would like.                          mounted lights. Each type can be used
them to enter their                                                                                  on and off the bicycle.
personal health                                                       gloves —
records on their                                                     On hot days, a good             Under-seat bag —
computer and                                                           set of gloves can             Under-seat bags for tools, first-aid and
also store them                                                        keep a rider’s hands          personal belongings are great for long-
on a lightweight                                                       on the handlebars.            distance cycling and touring, as you can
USA Triathlon                                                         On cold days, good             pack a lot of gear out of the way under
wristband flash drive                                               bike gloves can keep             the saddle. A cyclist does not need a
that can be worn during                                        fingers gripping on the               lot of room for many tools or a big bag
training and racing.                              brakes. And, when a bicyclist is thrown            to carry a bicycle toolkit. A small under-
                                                  from the saddle, the hands automatically           the-seat bag will do the trick most of the
PocKet first-aid Kit —                            go out to break the fall.                          time. And, the smaller and lighter the kit
Items such as Band Aids, tape, anti-bac-                                                             or bag, the better.
terial creme, alcohol wipes and gauze             reflective leg &
come in very handy while on the road.             arm bands —                                        high-visibility
They are inexpensive and used more                Most racing bikes do not have reflectors           clothing —
often than you would think.                       and many cyclists take the reflectors off          When it comes to the best all-around
                                                  their pedals and wheels, feeling that they         accessories for bicycling safety, there are
eye Protection —                                  are “dead weight.” However, there are              high-visibility (reflective) vests, jerseys,
Have you ever been hit by a bumble bee            reflective bands with Velcro or that snap in       outerwear, leggings and gloves. Highly
in the eye at 30 miles per hour? It hurts!        place that can hold a rider’s pants out of         visible yellow and green materials can be
Good shatter-resistant sunglasses for             their gears while still giving oncoming cars       seen for hundreds of feet in bright- and
sunny days — and clear lens for overcast          and trucks warning in low-light conditions.        low-light situations. This gift can max
rides — can increase biker safety. When           These can be used at the wrists and arms           out on the “cool factor” and prices and
dirt, debris or bugs get in a rider’s eyes,       and come in a variety of styles and colors.        styles run the gamut.
visibility and safety are both reduced.           At a bare minimum, every bicycle ridden
Plus, on bright, sunny days, if you cannot        after dark should have a headlight, a tail            With these 12 suggestions, hopefully
see, then pedestrians, other cyclists and         light and rear reflector that is not obscured      you can find a gift that promotes safety
runners sharing the road can also be in           by bags or clothing.                               for your biker buddies and cycling fam-
danger. Cyclists with prescriptions can                                                              ily members.
even get prescription sunglasses, and             bell or horn —
quality eye protection can prevent pain-          Bells and other noise makers are                   — Doug Landau is an attorney with Abrams
ful ocular injury.                                excellent for alerting people and other            Landau Ltd. in Herndon, Virginia.

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                                                                                                    By Stephanie Andre

              STRANGER DANGER
              T    hey’re everywhere — in the grocery
                   store, at the park, outside your home.
              They are strangers.
                                                                      • Point out safe places. Show your children
                                                                      safe places to play, safe roads and paths
                                                                      to take, and safe places to go if there’s
                Most children generally know not to                   trouble.
              “talk to strangers;” however, there are a               • Teach children to trust their instincts.
              few more rules to know to help keep them                Explain that if they ever feel scared or
              stay safe and avoid dangerous situations,               uncomfortable, they should get away as
              according to the National Crime Prevention              fast as they can and tell another adult what
              Council (NCPC):                                         happened.
              • Know where your children are at all                   • Teach your children to be assertive.
              times. Make it a rule that your children                Make sure they know that it’s OK to say no
              must ask permission or check in with you                to an adult and to run away from adults in
              before going anywhere. Give your children               dangerous situations.
              your work and cellphone numbers so they                 • Use the buddy system. Children should
              can reach you at all times.                             avoid walking anywhere alone.

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                    Article ID: 2418                             information visit

        ATV’s & Kids: A Dangerous Mix
                    From 1982-2008 nearly ONE-THIRD of the 9,633
              All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) related deaths were children under 16.

     Over one hundred children are seriously injured EVERYDAY and approximately
               one dies EVERY OTHER day from an ATV related crash.

                Injuries to children from ATV accidents cost society OVER
             2 BILLION DOLLARS annually in medical and economic costs.

                     PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE.
                   Don’t allow children under the age of 16 to ride ATV’s

Concerned Families for ATV Safety     Visit for more information.
                                                                                                                                       OUT & ABOUT

 An Improved Flying Experience?
By Jerry Trachtman

   If you’ve ever flown, you know the             operating at U.S. airports and estab-              advertised ticket price.
drill: take your shoes off; put your              lish a four-hour tarmac delay time limit           » OVERSOLD FLIGHTS: The new regula-
laptop in the bin. And while passen-              for all international flights of U.S. and          tions increase the monetary compensa-
gers understand this is ultimately for            foreign airlines. Food, water, bathrooms           tion to passengers who are involuntarily
everyone’s protection, what they don’t            and medical attention must be provided             bumped from an oversold flight. What’s
agree with are some of the other, more            to passengers stuck on the tarmac after            more, if the airline verbally offers a
deceiving practices.                              two hours.                                         travel voucher, it must also verbally offer
   Well, it seems like the Department of          » LOST BAGGAGE: If baggage is lost,                the monetary compensation by cash or
Transportation (DOT) finally agrees, put-         airlines will now be required to refund            a check.
ting into effect new regulations with the         any fee that was charged for the bag.              » FLIGHT INFORMATION: Airlines
stated purpose of improving the air travel        Airlines are already required to com-              are now required to notify consumers
environment for consumers. This is the            pensate passengers for loss, damage or             through whatever means available — in-
second step of an ongoing effort to im-           delay in the carriage of baggage.                  cluding flight status notification subscrip-
prove consumers’ air travel experiences.          » FEES: Airlines will have to prominently          tion service, boarding area, the airline’s
   In December 2009, DOT made its                 disclose all potential fees on their websites,     telephone reservation system and on its
first change, requiring domestic airlines         including but not limited to baggage fees,         website — of delays of 30 minutes or
to provide basic rights — food, water,            meals, canceling or changing tickets, and          more and of cancellations and diversions
bathrooms and medical attention — to              advanced or upgraded seating.                      within 30 minutes of the airline becom-
passengers whenever lengthy tarmac                » FREE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE: They                     ing aware of a change in flight status.
delays are encountered and outlawing              will be required to include on e-ticket
delays of more than three hours. This             confirmations information about the air-             Above all else, remember to be an edu-
decision has resulted in the near elimi-          line’s free baggage allowance and fees             cated consumer. Even if the airlines fail
nation of this practice.                          for checked bags and carry-ons.                    to make a voluntary disclosure, nothing
   With its second rules change now in            » ADVERTISED PRICING: Airlines will                keeps you from asking for the information
effect, here’s a breakdown:                       have to include all government taxes               before you book your next flight.
» TARMAC DELAYS: The new regula-                  and fees in every advertised price. Until
                                                                                                     — Jerry Trachtman is an attorney with Law
tions apply the existing ban on lengthy           now, government taxes and fees have                Offices of Jerry H. Trachtman PA in Mel-
tarmac delays to cover foreign airlines           not been required to be included in the            bourne, Florida.

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              B ULLYI NG
                the makings of an epidemic
              By Stephanie Andre

              Nerd. Fat. Weird. Loser. Dork. Ugly. Freak. ... The list goes on and on. These are de-
              rogatory labels teens regularly use to belittle and intimidate others.
                This is bullying.
                Bullying is nothing new. However, in recent years, it’s taken on heightened levels of
              attention. And the stats confirm this trend: reported incidents of bullying have risen.
                “Bullying has caught more attention since the rash of suicides in recent years,”
              explains Ross Ellis, founder and CEO of and STOMP Out
              Bullying. “There’s a lot of drama. Bullies are creating it and victims are accepting it.”
                Ellis cites the 24/7 newscycle as a chief culprit: “When you see this type of behavior
                                                                                                                       THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 33

                                                                                              What’s a
                                                                                              BULLYING CAN TAKE ON MANY FORMS:

                                                                                              » VERBAL: name-calling, teasing

                                                                                              » SOCIAL: spreading rumors, leaving
                                                                                                people out on purpose, breaking up

                                                                                              » PHYSICAL: hitting, punching, shoving

                                                                                              » CYBERBULLYING: using the Internet,
                                                                                                cellphones or other digital technologies
                                                                                                to harm others

getting attention, it becomes contagious          While no parent can protect their           A New Foe — Cyberbullying
behavior,” she says. “When you have            children forever, it is their responsibility   In addition to dealing with face-to-face
one kid who commits suicide, it almost         to educate their kids and arm them with        bullies, there is now a potentially bigger
becomes a copycat thing. These teens           the right tools and knowledge should a         problem: cyberbullies.
believe it’s an easy way to get rid of the     bullying situation arise.                         In an age of Facebook, Twitter, texting
pain they suffer from bullying everyday.”         “It’s so important to educate your kids,    and more, any child who has access to a
                                               even role play with them,” says Ellis.         computer or cellphone can be subjected
Starting Young ... and At Home                 “This is a really good option especially if    to this new version of intimidation and
Many experts agree that bullying starts        they are timid or shy because if they get      harassment.
when children are as young as 2 or 3           bullied, they’re not going to know how            The term “cyberbullying” refers to the
years old.                                     to deal with it … and that’s exactly what      use of cellphones, text messages, emails,
   “Watch a 3-year-old. How many of            a bully wants.”                                instant messaging, chats, blogs and
these toddlers push each other down?”             Conversely, it’s also vital to explain      social networking sites to bully another
says Ellis. “If we, as parents, do not teach   why being a bullying is not the answer,        student, according to No Bully.
our children — even at this age — that         either. “As parents, we have to teach             Examples of cyberbullying include:
this is wrong, then it becomes bullying.”      our kids that friendships can go wrong,           Sending threatening or insulting texts
   Nicholas Carlisle, a child therapist        that revenge is not the answer and that           Posting untrue information or personal
and executive director of San Francisco-       there are other ways to deal with prob-        pictures about another student on social
based No Bully, agrees. He believes this       lems,” says Carlisle.                          networking sites, such as Facebook or
behavior is already established by the            They also have to learn how to deal         Twitter
time children start school.                    with problems within a group setting,             Using another student’s email or IM
   “We need to develop the attitudes of        he says. “If a child is feeling pressured      name to send messages that make the
kids, teachers and the administrators,”        to pick on someone, it’s so important to       student look bad
he says. “When kids arrive in school, they     help them understand why they need to             Creating a webpage devoted to put-
need to know how to relate to other            stand up for others instead of breaking        ting down another student
children and people, overall.”                 them down.”                                       Forwarding a text or email that was
   Adds Ellis: “The first three years             Communication is so important, says         meant for your eyes only
mean everything. These parents think,          Ellis. “Talking about school, bullying,           According to a 2007 survey, released
‘eventually he’ll learn.’ That’s not neces-    friends is vital,” she says. “Having that      by the Pew Research Foundation’s
sarily the case. I’ve seen parents at the      ongoing communication will keep par-           Internet Project, one in three teenag-
playground. They let their children act        ents in tune with what’s going on in their     ers who use the Internet say they have
aggressively; that sets the tone for the       children’s lives.”                             been targets of a range of annoying and
future.”                                                                                      potentially menacing online activities.

    Children listen
    to what their
    parents say
    and how they
    act. If a parent
    gets loud and
    angry in a
    kids see that                               GOT A BLUE SHIRT?
    and bring                                   Wear it Oct. 5
    that behavior                                » Did you know that Oct. 4-10 is National Bullying Prevention Week? What better

    to their own                                 way to help increase awareness than to show your support of this cause by wear-
                                                 ing a blue shirt on Oct. 5 as part of STOMP Out Bullying’s Annual World Day of

                                                 Bullying Prevention.

                                                 » The entire week is observed by schools and organizations across the country to
         — Ross Ellis, STOMP Out Bullying        encourage communities to work together to increase awareness of the preva-
                                                 lence and impact of bullying on children of all ages.

     Parents just don’t get how prevalent     has an age requirement of 13 or they just     mitted suicide after she “sexted” her
   cyberbullying has become, says Ellis.      don’t think the requirement is a big deal.    boyfriend and it went viral, Ellis says.
   “Parents think it’s OK for kids to have       Most often, these children are posting       According to Ellis and Carlisle, if we
   cellphones, be on Facebook, browse the     actual photos of themselves, their contact    don’t start addressing the problem,
   Web — all without any monitoring or        information and offering way too many         cyberbullying has the potential to be-
   boundaries,” she says. “What they don’t    details about their personal lives. This      come more harmful than physical abuse.
   realize is that their kids are way more    often-seen situation, in turn, lures cyber-
   tech and Internet savvy than they are …    predators and bullies — all looking to take   The Parent-School
   and that’s a huge problem.”                advantage and cause harm, Ellis explains.     Relationship
     In fact, many parents of preteens have      And, it’s getting worse. “We are now       Understandably, the parents of children
   even set up Facebook accounts for their    seeing cyberbullying situations escalate,”    who are bullied are angry — especially
   children — either because they don’t       says Ellis.                                   if the incidents are happening at school.
   know that the social networking giant         In fact, a teenage girl recently com-      However, there is a right way to talk with
                                                                                                                   THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 35

the school, says Ellis.
   “Everybody wants to react,” she says.
“They want to go into that school and
demand that the bully be expelled, but          CHARITY CORNER:
that’s just not the reality. If you go into
a school angry, you’re not going to get
                                                About the Organizations
   Get your information together, says El-      STOMP OUT BULLYING
lis. “Document everything. Have your in-
formation ready — then call the principal       » STOMP Out Bullying — a national anti-bullying and cyberbullying pro-
and schedule a face-to-face meeting,”           gram for kids and teens — is a signature program of Love Our Children
she says. “Get a copy of the school’s           USA, which, since 1999, has been a national nonprofit leader and ‘go-to’
anti-bullying policy before you meet. Tell      prevention organization fighting all forms of violence and neglect against
your story and ask how you can work             children in the United States.
together to help your child. You will get          In 2005, Love Our Children USA recognized a critical need to address
much further this way.“                         the issue of bullying and cyberbullying and created STOMP Out Bullying.
                                                   STOMP Out Bullying focuses on reducing and preventing bullying, cy-
But What About the School’s Role?               berbullying, sexting and other digital abuse, educating against homopho-
Both Ellis and Carlisle agree — schools         bia, racism and hatred, decreasing school absenteeism, and deterring
need to get involved in all forms of            violence in schools, online and in communities across the country.
bullying.                                          It teaches effective solutions on how to respond to all forms of bullying;
                                                as well as educating kids and teens in school and online, providing help
    “Every child should feel safe at school
                                                for those in need and at risk of suicide, raising awareness, peer mentoring
and that’s just not the case,” says Carl-
                                                programs in schools, public service announcements by noted celebrities
isle, whose organization works directly
                                                and social media campaigns. An additional focus educates parents on how
with school administrators, counselors
                                                to keep their children safe and responsible online.
and teachers on following best practices
to combat and respond to bullying.
                                                For more information, please visit
    “Schools just don’t know how to
handle bullying,” says Ellis. For starters,
one of the biggest misconceptions, she          NO BULLY
says, is that holding a school assembly
will help educate students on bullying. In      » No Bully is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that was founded free of any
actuality, it’s simply a waste of time, she     special interest and advocate for the ending of bullying and harassment of
says.                                           every student, whatever the cause. Its vision is to restore school as a place
    “Students will not take anything away       where students integrate the pursuit of their individual potential with kind-
from a speaker who comes in to talk             ness and compassion for all.
about bullying,” says Ellis. “They’re more         No Bully focuses on bringing anti-bullying initiatives into schools at all
focused on the fact that they’ve been           grade levels. The organization’s goal is to create an environment in which
able to get out of the classroom for an         there is significant reductions in in bullying, harassment and violence;
hour.”                                          improved student attendance and retention; less administrative time spent
    It starts with the adults in any school,    in dealing with bullying and a greater reputation for the school.
says Carlisle. “We have found that the             As schools work with No Bully, they create a school culture in which stu-
most effective way to rid a school of bul-      dents deepen their social and emotional intelligence and can at last relate
lying is to educate the educators.”             to each other with respect, acceptance and the values for which your school
    But it takes time and dedication, he        stands.
                                                   The rewards that schools typically experience from social and emotional
says. “With the schools that are more
                                                learning are significant reductions in student bullying, increased student
enthusiastic, it still takes one or two years
                                                inclusiveness and respect, and 11-17 percent improvement in student
to become bully-free environments,”
                                                academic performance.
says Carlisle. “These schools are invest-
ing in long-term cultural changes … and
                                                For more information, please visit
it’s working.”
    In fact, according to Carlisle, the
rewards that schools typically experience

    Every child                     How to Tell If...
                                    YOUR CHILD IS THE BULLY
    should                          No one wants to find out that their own child is a bully, but the fact of the

    feel safe                       matter is that they are out there. Here are some signs to look for:

                                    » Impulsive, hot-headed, domineering

    at school                       » Easily frustrated
                                    » Lacks empathy

    and that’s
                                    » Has difficulty following rules
                                    » Views violence in a positive way
                                    » Comes home with possessions or money that does not belong to him/her

    just not the
                                    » Switching computer screens or closing programs when you, or others,
                                      are nearby.
                                    » Laughing excessively while using the computer or cellphone.

    case.                           » Using multiple online accounts or an account that is not his/her own.
                                      Excessive use of a computer and/or cellphone.
                                    » Agitation if access to a computer or cellphone is restricted or denied.
    — Nicholas Carlisle, No Bully
                                    — Mark Bello is owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation in Southfield, Michigan.
                                                                                                                                    THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 37

                                                                                                       How to Tell If...
                                                                                                       YOUR CHILD IS
                                                                                                       BEING BULLIED
                                                                                                        Unless your child tells you about being
                                                                                                        bullied — or has visible bruises or inju-
                                                                                                        ries — it may be difficult to tell. Watch
                                                                                                        for these warning signs:

                                                                                                        » Effort to avoid going to school
                                                                                                        » Repeated loss of possessions
                                                                                                          or money
                                                                                                        » Loss of self-esteem
                                                                                                        » Depressed and withdrawn
                                                                                                        » Anxious
                                                                                                        » Loss of appetite
                                                                                                        » Difficulty sleeping
                                                                                                        » Grades start to fall
                                                                                                        » Unexplained bruises and other
                                                                                                          physical injuries

                                                                                                        — Mark Bello is owner and founder of Lawsuit
                                                                                                        Financial Corporation in Southfield, Michigan.

from social and emotional learning are           something most people want to ad-                  versation, kids see that and bring that
significant reductions in student bully-         dress, says Carlisle.                              behavior to their own environments.”
ing, increased student inclusiveness and           “These bullies need to understand
respect, and 11-17 percent improvement           why what they’re doing is wrong; they              Future Progress
in student academic performance.                 need help,” explains Ellis. “No one                Without education and dedication, bul-
   There are also some simple solutions          wants them to grow up to be criminals,             lying will not only continue to plague our
that may help students who think they            but that’s certainly the direction in              children but it will get worse. It simply
are helpless. “I have seen schools imple-        which they’re headed.”                             should not be considered acceptable
ment anonymous bullying books,” says               It’s important for parents to hear               behavior.
Ellis, “or have a bullying box in which a        and understand what his/her child is                  Parents must take a more active role
child can write on a piece of paper, ‘I’m        doing instead of jumping to their initial          in their children’s lives — both on- and
being bullied’. These things can work.”          instinct — denial.                                 offline — and schools must stand up to
                                                   Parents have to look to themselves and           bullying and implement programs to
When Your Child Is the Bully                     question what is happening in the home.            combat the problem. If they do not, we
Bullying doesn’t start and end with the            “Children listen to what their parents           could reach epidemic levels before we
victim. The student doing the bully-             say and how they act,” explains Ellis. “If         know it.
ing needs help as well, and that’s not           a parent gets loud and angry in a con-

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      High school hazing — pervading             new study has found. Researchers have       showers and held down and sexually as-
    groups from athletic teams to the            discovered that 47 percent of college       saulted by upperclassmen on the team.
    yearbook staff and debate team — is as       students reported having been hazed           A similar incident victimized the son
    widespread as ever despite efforts over      while still in high school. The study       of an assistant coach of the wrestling
    the last two decades to eradicate the        found hazing included activities from       team in a Nevada high school. The

                                                                                             Nevada students admitted that during a
                                                                                             tournament trip, they taped the victim’s
                                                                   By Linda J. Chalat        eyes, mouth and arms, pulled off his
                                                                                             pants, taped him to a coffee table and
                                                                                             spanked him with a spatula before
                                                                                             locking him outside the hotel room.
                                                                                             Then, when he was let back in, he was
                                                                                             spanked again and urinated on in the
      When the Whole Team Bullies

    practice. Just like college students, high   silly stunts to drinking games, with 8      shower.
    school students are susceptible to peer      percent of the students drinking to the        More common, and much more
    pressure and intimidation within group       point of sickness or passing out.           troubling, is the conduct of football
    activities, engaging in conduct normally        Earlier this year, a high school wres-   team members involved in a hazing
    thought unacceptable. Often, parents         tling team in Monroe, Michigan was          incident at a New Mexico high school
    are shocked when the truth is revealed.      investigated by local law enforcement       last season. Three team members were
       Hazing particularly plagues high          when parents reported that some of          charged with criminal sexual penetra-
    school athletics throughout the coun-        the youngest members of the wres-           tion in the second degree, criminal
    try, while also growing more brutal, a       tling team had been urinated on in the      sexual contact of a minor in the second
                                                                                                                                    THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 39

degree, two counts of conspiracy to                 A pivotal study on student hazing,
commit criminal sexual penetration in            “The Alfred University Hazing Study”
the second degree and one count of
contributing to the delinquency of a
                                                 (1999), defines hazing as “any activity
                                                 expected of someone joining a group
                                                                                                      Is Someone
minor.                                           that humiliates, degrades, abuses or                 You Know
  But, according to incident reports,
two possible victims of sexual hazing
                                                 endangers, regardless of the person’s
                                                 willingness to participate.”
                                                                                                      Being Hazed?
“revealed that they did not feel that
they were victims of abuse, battery or
                                                    Most high school students do not
                                                 perceive even the most dangerous
                                                                                                      WHAT TO
sexual assault.”                                 initiation activities as hazing. Only 15
                                                                                percent of
                                                                                                      LOOK FOR…
                                                                                the stu-
 The specific behaviors or activities                                           dents who
                                                                                                       • Cutting, branding, labeling or shaving
                                                                                                         parts of the body
 [of hazing] may vary widely among                                              a recent               • Required carrying of certain items

 participants, groups and settings,                                             survey said            • Loss of voice due to having to yell
                                                                                                       • Required attendance at late-night work
                                                                                they thought
 but all have a common intent.                                                  they were                sessions, resulting in sleep deprivation
                                                                                hazed in               • Not coming home for days or weeks at
                                                                                high school,             a time
                                                                                                       • Not being able to sit down or soreness
   The victims each described being              but twice as many reported abusing
                                                                                                         from paddling
grabbed, held, groped and punched,               substances or committing dangerous
                                                                                                       • Appearance of mental exhaustion or
but “they advised that the incidents oc-         acts as part of their initiation.
                                                                                                         withdrawal from normal lifestyle;
curred in the locker room after practice            Even though high school students’
                                                                                                         change in personality
and described the actions as being               self-report of hazing is substantially low-
                                                                                                       • Appearance of sadness or expressions
more ‘joking around’ than being a vic-           er than the actual behaviors reported, a
                                                                                                         of inferiority
tim of a crime.” Younger team members            total of 29 percent said they had been
                                                                                                       • Withdrawal from normal activities
proved to be very reluctant witnesses.           hazed, witnessed hazing and/or left a                   or friends
   This attitude demonstrates both a             group because of hazing.                              • Being dropped off and made to find the
desensitizing to unacceptable physical              When one considers that 67 percent                   way back
molestation and the growing sexual               of high school students are involved                  • Photos of hazing activities are
nature of many hazing activities.                in athletics, and 35 percent of those                   commonly found on a public Web space
   There is a wide spectrum of behavior          surveyed reported being subjected to
that is correctly characterized as hazing.       some form of hazing, then approximate-
But any activity that produces mental or         ly 800,000 high school athletes per year
physical discomfort, embarrassment, ha-          are being subjected to hazing.                     to the practice of hazing, suffering the
rassment or ridicule is hazing. Any initia-         Hazing is different from conventional           immediate humiliation and physical pain
tion practice that is physically abusive,        bullying. Bullies do not want the victim           and often long-term consequences of
hazardous and/or sexually violating,             to be part of their group, and their goal          the abuse. Students must be convinced
involving domination of group members            is to humiliate, ostracize and degrade             that hazing harms others, weakens
by other group members should be                 the victim, promoting feelings of                  rather than builds a team and should
considered hazing. The specific behav-           superiority. But hazing involves a group           never be tolerated.
iors or activities within these categories       dynamic and coercion.
may vary widely among participants,                 Hazing continues to be a widespread
groups and settings, but all have a com-         problem in high school. These students             — Linda Chalat is an attorney with Chalat,
mon intent.                                      pay a high price for being subjected               Hatten & Koupel PC in Denver, Colorado.

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share it via Facebook, Twitter or email?     Article ID: 2402                               visit
home & Family

                                                   Be Part of the Solution
                                                                                                                By Wendi Lewis

             id you know that in one, 24-hour   Physical abuse                                cluding matters of divorce, child custody,
             period, the National Network to    What people most often think of when          bankruptcy, landlord/tenant disputes and
             End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)      they think of domestic violence.              restraining orders.
    domestic violence victim advocates                                                           “There are so many sidebar issues
                                                sexual abuse
    reported nearly 71,000 requests for                                                       that an offender uses to keep a victim
                                                The least discussed, but equally traumatic.
    assistance for adults and children who                                                    down, and the offender knows that and
    were victims of abuse.                      emotional abuse                               uses it,” says Steve Searcy, executive
       Those numbers are directly from a        The victim is made to feel worthless and      director of the One Place Family Justice
    one-day NNEDV survey (conducted             hopeless.                                     Center in Montgomery, Alabama. “The
    Sept. 15, 2010) of domestic violence        Financial abuse                               offender uses this to tie the victim into
    shelters and service agencies, tracking     The offender cuts off access to resources     an abusive relationship. They tell the
    that day’s activities.                      that could help the victim leave the          victim they won’t be able to afford an
       Additionally, NNEDV census informa-      abusive situation.                            attorney to get a divorce or they will lose
    tion reveals volunteers answered more         The key for any offender is to isolate      their children if they leave. Many times,
    than 20,000 emergency hotline calls for     the victim, so that he or she retains         the victim keeps waiting, thinking maybe
    help, three women were murdered by          control over the situation, making it         they can save up enough money to see
    their significant others, 36 babies were    extremely difficult for a victim to break     an attorney, and sometimes they wait
    born to mothers living in domestic vio-     away.                                         too long.”
    lence shelters and three men committed        The largest percentage of people               A victim may need to meet with as
    suicide in domestic violence situations     looking for help requested emergency          many as 10 agencies on their journey to
    — one after murdering his wife, another     shelter (75 percent), followed by the         get the services they need. Traditionally,
    after attempting to kill his girlfriend     need for children’s support or advocacy       a victim may go to the police depart-
    and the third after holding his partner     (56 percent). The third most requested        ment, the emergency room, a counseling
    hostage.                                    need was for legal assistance, with 54        center, a lawyer’s office, a social service
       There are many different forms of        percent of domestic violence victims          agency — the list is long.
    abuse, and often a victim suffers from a    needing the help of a lawyer.                    This often requires a great deal of
    combination of these tactics. Forms of        Victims often need help with a com-         time, and requires the victim to travel
    abuse include:                              bination of civil and criminal matters, in-   from building to building, telling their
                                                                                                                                      THesAFeTYrePorT.CoM / 41

story over and over again. By providing
all the services a victim needs under one
roof, places like Family Justice Center
help to ensure that victims do not give
up or become confused, frustrated or                       IF You Are BeIng ABused
simply run out of resources to complete
the journey.                                                  First and foremost, know that you           • nnedv recommends the
   Archie Grubb, an attorney with                          are not alone and that the abuse               followIng Items for your
Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis &                                                                   suItcase:
                                                           is not your fault. If you are in an
Miles PC, in Montgomery, Alabama, and                                                                       +Money/cab fare
                                                           abusive relationship or suspect you
volunteer with the State Bar’s Volunteer                                                                    +Checkbook
                                                           might be in one, safety and support
Lawyer Program (VLP), sees this first-                                                                      +Credit card/ATM card
                                                           are critical.
hand. Through the program, he is able                                                                       +Order of Protection
                                                              The National Network to End Do-
to assist clients he might not otherwise                                                                    +Passport
                                                           mestic Violence (NNEDV) provides
represent in the course of his consumer                                                                     +Immigration documents
                                                           the following safety planning tips for
and business litigation practice.                                                                           +Work permit
                                                           someone who believes they are in
   “We all know that domestic violence                                                                      +Public Assistance ID
                                                           an abusive relationship:
is a serious problem and devastating to                                                                     +Driver’s license and registration
                                                           • IdentIfy what you wIll do If                   +Social Security card
those who experience it in their daily                     the vIolence starts agaIn.
lives,” he says. “But there are a number                                                                    +Your partner’s Social Security
                                                           Can you call the police? Is there a
of legal issues that hide in the shadows:                                                                    number
                                                           phone in the house? Can you work
bankruptcy issues, child custody or                                                                         +Medical records
                                                           out a signal with the children or
guardianship issues, landlord-tenant is-                                                                    +Insurance policies
                                                           neighbors to call the police or get
sues and so forth. As a volunteer lawyer,                                                                   +Police records
I have been able to assist people des-                                                                      +Record of violence
                                                           • Plan an escaPe route and                       +Children’s school and immuniza-
perately in need of help, and it’s been                    PractIce It.
rewarding.”                                                                                                  tion records
                                                           Know where you can go and who
   Regardless of whether or not there                                                                       +Lease
                                                           you can call for help. Keep a list
is a central location for services, victims                                                                 +Birth certificates
                                                           of addresses and phone numbers
need help to break the cycle of violence.                                                                   +Baby’s things (diapers, formula,
                                                           where you can go in crisis and keep
Searcy says friends, co-workers and rela-                                                                    medication)
                                                           them in a safe place.
tives should not be afraid to reach out                                                                     +Medications
                                                           • Put together a suItcase
to someone they think is in trouble. Be                    and keeP It at a frIend or                       +Clothing
prepared. Take the time to learn what re-                  famIly member’s house.                           +Eyeglasses
sources are available in your community                    Pack clothes for you and the chil-               +Family pictures
to assist victims of domestic violence.                    dren, needed medicines, important                +Address book
   “There’s no excuse for not directing                    papers, car keys, photographs, mon-              +Important telephone numbers
a person you perceive to be a victim to                    ey and emergency phone numbers.                  +Cellphone/coins to use a pay
the resources that might save their life,”                 Add anything else you might need if               phone
Searcy says.                                               you have to leave suddenly.

For more information, visit www.fami- or

— Wendi Lewis is communications director
with Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis &
Miles PC in Montgomery, Alabama.

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            Sleep Like a Baby
                 HelpFUl tips For Crib saFety                                                                               by alison DeVilliers

     A   recent report in the journal Pediatrics found that some
         26 children suffer from crib-related injuries every day.
     Not every week, but every day.
                                                                                   or openings between the mattress and the crib. If two adult
                                                                                   fingers can be placed between the mattress and the crib, the
                                                                                   mattress needs to be replaced.
      Heed these crib safety tips to protect little ones from danger:              • Adjust the mattress to the correct height as the child grows.
                                                                                   The higher the mattress is, the easier it is for a child to pull
     Crib Design                                                                   himself out of the crib. The mattress should be at the lowest
     • Do not use purchase an antique or used crib. Antique cribs                  setting when a child is able to pull himself up.
     often have cutouts or openings that could trap the child’s
     head, neck, arms or legs. Antique or used cribs may also be                   Crib Use
     missing important hardware.                                                   • Do not use bumper pads. They increase the risk of strangula-
     • Watch for corner posts. Do not use a crib with corner posts                 tion and suffocation. All cribs sold in the U.S. today have slat
     that are more than 1/16 of an inch higher than the crib ends.                 requirements that make it nearly impossible for a child’s head
     Corner posts that do not meet these specifications can catch                  to get through. The CPSC advises against bumper pads.
     a child’s pajamas.                                                            • Use only a bottom-fitted sheet on a firm, tight-fitting mattress.
     • The space between crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8                   • Remove mobiles or crib gyms once a child can pull himself up.
     inches apart. The CPSC requires this to protect from babies                   These are meant for babies to look at, not reach for or touch.
     getting their heads stuck between the slats.                                  • Place baby on his/her back for sleep. Babies who sleep on their
                                                                                   backs are less likely to develop Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
     Crib MaintenanCe                                                              (SIDS), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
     • Check the crib hardware. It may become loose, missing or dam-               • Do not place pillows, blankets, comforters, stuffed toys or
     aged over time. Contact the manufacturer for replacement parts.               anything similar in the crib while the baby is sleeping. Use a
     • Check for chipping paint. Lead can be found in old paint                    sleeper instead of a blanket. Babies can become entangled
     and is a health hazard to children.                                           in these items and may not be able to free themselves.
     • Check the mattress support to ensure that the system hold-
     ing the mattress up is not bent or broken.                                    — Alison DeVilliers is an attorney with Goodson & Company Ltd. in
     • Make sure the mattress fits. There should not be cracks                     Cincinnati, Ohio.

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                          How to Ensure
                          Your Formula is
 By Michael Brandner

           ew and                                                                                       cloth or a single-
           expectant                                                                                    use napkin.
 take note: pow-                                                                                         Boil a suf-
 dered infant formula                                                                                  ficient volume
 is safe. However, it                                                                                  of safe water. If
 is not sterile and,                                                                                  using an automatic
 therefore, has a                                                                                     kettle, wait until
 minute chance of                                                                                    the kettle switches
 bacteria growth in the                                                                             off; otherwise, make
 powder.                                                                                         sure that the water
    So what, as parents, can                                                              comes to a rolling boil.
 we do to protect our infant chil-                                                    Note: bottled water is not sterile
 dren? Some mothers are not able                                                       and must be boiled before use.
 to breastfeed and have no choice                                                      Microwave ovens should never
 but to feed their children powdered                                                   be used in the preparation of
 infant formula. How do we minimize                                                  powdered infant formula as un-
 the risks to infants?                                                            even heating may result in ‘hot spots’
    Unfortunately, parents cannot rely on the                                   that can scald the infant’s mouth.
 directions offered by manufacturers: add “X”
 amount of formula to “Y” amount of water                                    Pour the appropriate amount of boiled
 (no temperature specified). So, what do we                                  water, which has been allowed to cool
 do?                                                                         slightly, but not below 158 degrees Fahren-
    The U.S. government has not yet devel-                                    heit, into a cleaned and sterilized feeding
 oped safe procedures for mixing and pre-                                      cup or bottle. The temperature of the
 paring powdered formula for consumption                                       water should be checked using a sterile
 by an infant child. So, you have to look                                      thermometer.
 to the World Health Organization (WHO).                                     If making a batch in a larger container, the
 Here’s what it recommends:                                               container should be cleaned and sterilized. It
                                                                       should be no larger than 1 liter, be made from
  Clean and disinfect a surface on which to prepare the feed.      food-grade material and be suitable for pouring hot
  Wash hands with soap and water, and dry using a clean         liquids.

     To the water, add the exact amount of formula as instruct-                    Dry the outside of the feeding cup or bottle with a clean
    ed on the label. Adding more or less powder than instructed                    or disposable cloth and label with appropriate information,
    could make infants ill.                                                        such as type of formula, infant’s name or ID, time and date
                                                                                   prepared, and preparer’s name.
     Cool feeds quickly to feeding temperature by holding
    under a running tap or placing in a container of cold water or                  Because very hot water has been used to prepare the
    iced water. Ensure that the level of the cooling water is below                feed, it is essential that the feeding temperature is checked
                                 the top of the feeding cup or the                 before feeding in order to avoid scalding the infant’s mouth.
                                           lid of the bottle.                      If necessary, continue cooling as outlined in step 6.

                                                                                    Discard any feed that has not been consumed within two

                                                                                Parents cannot rely on the directions
                                                                                offered by manufacturers: add “X”
                                                                                amount of formula to “Y” amount of
                                                                                water (no temperature specified). So,
                                                                                what do we do?

                                                                                      According to the WHO, the risk dramatically decreases
                                                                                   when powdered infant formula is mixed with water that is no
                                                                                   less than 158 degrees Fahrenheit, as this temperature will kill
                                                                                   any bacteria in the powder.
                                                                                      Consequently, mixing powdered infant formula with water
                                                                                   no less than 158 degrees Fahrenheit dramatically reduces
                                                                                   the risk to all infants, even slow-feeding infants and infants in
                                                                                   warm climates in which refrigeration of the prepared formula
                                                                                     may not be readily available. When powdered infant formula
                                                                                       is prepared with water that is less than 158 degrees Fahr-
                                                                                            enheit, it does not reach a high enough temperature
                                                                                               to completely inactivate the bacteria present in the
                                                                                                     Follow these tips to ensure that your formula
                                                                                                  is safe for your baby to consume.

                                                                                                — Michael Brandner is an attorney with Brandner Law
                                                                                                Firm LLC in Metairie, Louisiana.

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                                                                                                                                    THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 45

Steer Clear of Scams
                                                                                                                          By Henry “Hank” Didier Jr.

T      here are
       times when
financial stress
                                                                                                                   cess is essential.
                                                                                                                      It’s important to
                                                                                                                   note that all factor-
can be just as                                                                                                     ing companies are
detrimental to an                                                                                                  not created equal.
accident victim’s                                                                                                  There are many
health as the                                                                                                      instances of abuse,
physical injuries                                                                                                  even with current
they suffer. Espe-                                                                                                 laws and statutes
cially in today’s                                                                                                  in place in most
economic climate,                                                                                                  states in the form of
such mental an-                                                                                                    “Structured Settle-
guish can lead to                                                                                                  ment Protection
financial depres-                                                                                                  Acts.”
sion and despera-                                                                                                     Nonetheless,
tion, leading some                                                                                                 “good apples”
to make ill-advised                                                                                                do exist. The law
decisions in hopes                                                                                                 requires judicial ap-

fixing their money                                                                                                 proval of any struc-
woes.                         Accident victims are now being preyed upon by                                        tured settlement
   To that end, ac-           ‘structured settlement’ companies that offer up                                      transaction and the

cident victims, often                                                                                              courts are charged
left to live on little      quick, lump-sum payouts that come at a high price.                                     with considering
more than what their                                                                                               whether the transac-
financial settlements                                                                                              tion, including the
provide, are now being preyed upon by structured settlement        discount rate and the amount of fees and expenses charged, is
companies that offer immediate, lump-sum payouts that come         fair and reasonable and in the best interest of the payee and his
at a high price — typically only offering a fraction of the money  or her dependents.
to which the victims, and/or their families, are entitled.            But, even with such protections in place, factoring companies
   In return, these factoring companies receive the accident       have still been able to push through unsavory deals.
victim’s future stream of payments.                                   Sound advice is key: people need good guidance to protect
   In such circumstances, it’s best to get some sound advice —     them from the realities of today’s predatory marketplace.
perhaps from their former attorney, the structured settlement         Companies that act to fulfill the spirit of the current laws
professional with whom they previously worked or some other        governing these transactions — and that take steps to ensure
trusted financial advisor — on how to best go about possibly       sellers of structured settlements and annuities are given the
selling their future payments.                                     information they need to make informed decisions — can
   There are a number of things to consider:                       perform a valuable service for those who need to trade in their
   Selling has huge financial consequences that should not be     future payments for cash. It can be done fairly and reasonably,
taken lightly.                                                     but, in the face of rampant abuses, steps must be taken to help
 All other possible options should be explored before the         sellers find the right company with which to work.
decision to sell is finally made.
 If selling is the right or only option, then finding a reputable — Henry Hank Didier Jr. is a founder of Vantage Capital Consultants
company to guide him/her through a fair and transparent pro-       LLC and also a practicing plaintiff’s lawyer.

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     5 w ay s T O s U P P O R T s O M E O N E w H O I s

       By Joel Feldman
                  y 21-year-old daughter, Casey, died in July       death and mourning that can interfere with attempts to
                  2009 after being struck by a distracted driver.   comfort.
                  Before her death, I found it difficult to feel      Recognizing that grief is different for everyone, I offer
        comfortable speaking to those whose family members          some suggestions for providing support based on my
        had died. I did not know what to say or do, and feared      own experience.
        that I might say the “wrong thing.”                           Don’t judge a person’s grieving. I don’t really know
           Following Casey’s death, I experienced a wide range      how I will be on any given day and don’t appreciate
        of behaviors from family, friends and coworkers, some       someone else telling me how they think I am doing. Tell
        that were helpful and others that were harmful. There       me how well I am doing and I may think that I am doing
        is awkwardness, anxiety and ignorance that surrounds        too well and not grieving enough. Tell me that it’s time
                                                                                                                                     THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 47

to get on with my life and I will resent you. It is up to me,
alone, as to how I grieve and for how long.
   Say my child’s name. I often heard that people were
afraid to talk to me about Casey for fear that they would
remind me of her and make me sad. I think of her all the
time as do many who have lost loved ones. We fear that our
loved ones will be forgotten. I consider it an incredible gift
if someone says Casey’s name, tells me a story about her or
asks me to tell a story about her.
   I welcome people “intruding” upon my grief. I did not
feel that a single person who reached out to me was intrud-
ing. Yet many, who did not reach out initially, tried to explain
later by saying they did not want to intrude. Surviving a loss

  Surviving a loss is a struggle
  and I feel different as a result
    of my loss. Don’t make it
   worse by staying away and
    making me feel isolated.

is a struggle and I feel different as a result of my loss. Don’t
make it worse by staying away and making me feel isolated.
   What is the “right” thing to say? There really are no
magic words that will lessen someone’s grief. When we
grieve, we often just need someone to sit with us and to                      is in a better place” are just not helpful.
listen if we wish to speak. Mental health professionals speak                    When is it too late to send a card? For me, the answer
of “being present” or empathic listening, the ability to listen               is never. There is a lot of support in the weeks following a
intently so that the other person knows you are paying at-                    death, but gradually, that support dissipates. Grief can wors-
tention and understand not only their words but how they                      en once support is taken away. The second year following
are feeling and what it is like to see things through their                   Casey’s death has been harder in some ways than the first.
eyes.                                                                         Don’t forget the anniversary of the death. Yes, it is appropri-
   “I was thinking of you and your family” is the kind of                     ate and incredibly helpful for family members on that painful
sentiment that is helpful. I welcomed being asked what I was                  anniversary to know that others care. A simple card, text or
going through if done in a caring fashion.                                    email will be greatly appreciated.
   On the other hand, please do not speak those platitudes
that mean nothing and perhaps only comfort the one saying                     — Joel Feldman is the managing partner of Anapol, Schwartz, Weiss,
                                                                              Cohan, Feldman & Smalley, PC in Philadelphia.
them. “Be strong,” ”time heals all wounds” and “he or she

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                                                                                        PROTECT YOUR
                                                                                        possessions                                      By Alan Perkins

                                                                                 house — to                tools and equipment, artwork, silver,
                                                                                 document your             crystal and jewelry.
                                                                                 structures and all          Check with your insurance agent to
                                                                                 their contents.           be sure that these items are adequately

   Y    ou never forget a fire when it hap-
        pens in your own home. Our family’s
  fire was caused by a malfunctioning elec-
                                                                                    Keep in
                                                      mind that having a family member in the
                                                      picture will help you establish ownership
                                                                                                           covered for replacement. Most agents
                                                                                                           can also provide you with a home inven-
                                                                                                           tory form to help guide you in collecting
  tric baseboard heater. The fire gutted the          of the items, should you need to file an             the information you need. You can also
  interior of the house, leaving us with only         insurance claim. Each item should also be            download programs that will assist you in
  our memories of what was once inside.               documented on a list with details of its             compiling your list.
      Our insurance adjuster needed a list            name, description, size, age, model num-               Use a safe-deposit box to store your
  of what we’d lost, a difficult                                                                                       videotapes, pictures and writ-
  task considering our state
  of emotional distress at the
                                           Begin by taking a camera or                                                 ten descriptions with receipts
                                                                                                                       or leave them with a relative
  time and the number of                   video recorder from room to                                                 so you’ll have access if your
  items that were lost. Add to
  it the fact that while we were
                                           room, including the garage                                                  home is destroyed. Also,

  adequately insured, we had               and around the outside of                                                   check the value of these items
                                                                                                                       periodically to adjust your
  not documented what was in               the house, to document your                                                 coverage as necessary.
  the home prior to the fire.
      Without a detailed house-
                                           structures and all their contents.                                             Spend a little time now and
  hold inventory, processing                                                                                           save yourself a lot of time and
  and collecting an insurance claim at the            ber, brand name and any other informa-               money later, should you ever have the
  full value of your losses can be difficult to       tion that helps determine its value.                 unfortunate experience of trying to recall
  impossible. To that end, here are some                 Remember to list everything, includ-              all that you lost in a fire.
  tips for dealing with the unexpected.               ing items you can’t readily see because
      Start your household inventory and set          they’re in closets or dresser drawers.               — Fire Marshal Alan Perkins is a 32-year
  a deadline for completion. This includes            Even if the heat from a fire does not                veteran of the fire service. A Certified Fire
  listing items you own, dates you bought             reach personal belongings in such places,            Protection Specialist (CFPS), Perkins is also
  them and the original prices or monetary            damaging soot or smoke can.                          a board member of Live Safe Foundation, a
                                                                                                           nonprofit organization devoted to making fire
  value. Begin by taking a camera or video               Keep receipts (or copies of them)                 and life safety education, awareness initiatives
  recorder from room to room — including              with your inventory for big-ticket items,            and life-saving tools available on a broad basis.
  the garage and around the outside of the            such as TV equipment, computers, large               Learn more at

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                                                                                                                                      THeSaFeTyRePORT.COM / 49

        fter 37 reported incidents and 23 serious burn injuries,                     While the average consumer believes that a product on the
        the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) an-                         market has been adequately tested and approved for safety,
        nounced the voluntary recall by Napa Home and Gar-                        approximately $700 billion is spent each year as a result of inju-
den, Inc. of nearly a half-million bottles of pourable gel fuel                   ries, property damages and deaths caused by unsafe or defec-
used in Napa FireLites.                                                           tive consumer products.
  The burn victims spanned in age, from toddlers to baby                             With the Napa FireLites and FireFuel, at least 23 people were
boomers. The CPSC stated in its warning to consumers that the                     seriously injured — including many with life-altering, third-degree
Napa “pourable gel fuel can ignite unexpectedly and splatter                      burns — before the Napa products were removed from retailers’
onto people.”                                                                     shelves. Without these reports, however, more people may have
  Before the recall, Napa FireLites and the accompanying pour-                    been injured if the products remained available for sale.
able gel fuel was sold for more than two years at retailers, such                    The CPSC is the federal governing agency tasked with pro-
as Bed Bath and Beyond,, ShopKo, Restoration                           tecting the public against injuries and deaths from consumer
Hardware and numerous other retailers, including locally owned                    products available in the United States. More than 15,000 dif-
home decor and garden stores.                                                     ferent consumer products, from cribs to all-terrain vehicles and

      IF You See SomeThIng,
      Say SomeThIng
      By T. David Hoyle

swimming pools, come under the CPSC’s jurisdiction. As a result, the CPSC
needs help your help in identifying potential hazards associated with these
  Earlier this year, the CPSC launched, which
provides consumers with the ability to quickly report potential hazards
through an easy-to-use interface. This website also provides a searchable
database of complaints filed by consumers as well as manufacturers’ re-
sponses, bringing more information to the forefront.
  While the CPSC is continuing to accept reports through phone, fax
and mail, the new website is intended to expedite the two-way flow
of information between the CPSC and the public. The CPSC also has
an email distribution list that will alert consumers to recalls as they
  By working together, consumers and the CPSC can help ensure
the safety of consumer products and hopefully minimize the inci-
dence of resulting, life-altering injuries.

— T. David Hoyle is an attorney with Motley Rice in Mount Pleasant,
South Carolina.

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       It’s Tough Raising a Kid These Days                                                                                       By Michael Cowen

  T    here seems to be so much “noise” around kids these days
       — those external factors that seem to directly work against
  your goals and decisions. Navigating around these obstacles
                                                                                  phasing in driving privileges leads to fewer traffic accidents
                                                                                  and tickets. Other things to consider: limiting the number of
                                                                                  passengers in the car, banning cellphone use and texting while
  can be tricky, but as parents, it’s our jobs to ensure that our                 driving, limiting driving after dark and, of course, making sure
  children make it through the other side with their minds — and                  your teen doesn’t drink and drive. (See more, page 57)
  bodies — intact.
    Here are a few methods for dealing with the madness:                          set an exaMpLe
                                                                                  If you want your kids to be safe drivers, you have to practice
  Monitor internet Usage                                                          what you preach. Be sure to use safe-driving behaviors for your
  Preteens and teens have poor judgment. It’s not their fault.                    child to model. There are plenty of “teachable moments” for
  Neuroscience has shown that the parts of the brain that pro-                    you to talk about safe driving with your child each time you
  vide self control do not fully develop until your early 20s. As a               ride in the car together. Drive how you would like your child to
  result, you cannot trust that your child won’t end up chatting                  eventually drive — since he/she will copy you.
  with people who turn out to be predators, post private informa-
  tion or even post inappropriate photos that will end up being                   HeLMets
  circulated all over cyberspace.                                                 Every year, lives are ruined in otherwise minor accidents be-
     Monitor your child’s Facebook page — “friend” them so you                    cause kids suffer brain injuries. Make sure your child wears a
  can see what he/she is doing. Follow him/her on Twitter. Be                     helmet when skateboarding, bicycling and/or rollerblading.
  sure nothing inappropriate is being posted. And talk to your                    They might think a helmet looks uncool, but a brain injury is
  kids about the dangers of online creeps who pose as someone                     way uncooler.
  else to lure them into their clutches. Remember, if your child is
  under 13, they should not be on any social networking sites to                  pick Up yoUr kiDs anywHere, anytiMe —
  begin with.                                                                     no qUestions askeD
     One final note: remember, once it’s posted, it’s out there for-              No matter how good a parent you are, there is a good chance
  ever. Don’t let your teen forget that.                                          that your teen will eventually end up in a situation where he/she
                                                                                           is tempted to drive while drunk or high, or is asked to
  LiMit teen Driving                                                                           ride in a car with an intoxicated friend. Often, the
  Just because your teen turned the legal driv-                                                   teen will take a chance driving while intoxicated
  ing age does not mean that you should                                                               because he/she thinks her parents will kill her
  give him/her free use of your car. Car                                                                 if she sees them in an impaired condition.
  crashes are the leading cause of                                                                           Knowing that they can safely call you
  death for teens, resulting in ap-                                                                             for a ride may save your teen’s life.
  proximately 3,000 deaths and
  over 350,000 emergency                                                                                               — Michael Cowen is an attorney
  room visits every year.                                                                                                 with The Cowen Law Group in
                                                                                                                             Brownsville, Texas.
  Studies have shown
  that    gradually

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on campus:
               FIre SaFeTy rULeS                                                                                           By Alan Perkins

       id you know that from 2003-               and on each level. For the best protec-            Up to 75 percent of all structure fires
       2006, U.S. fire departments               tion, all smoke alarms should be inter-            involve cooking equipment.
       responded to an estimated 3,570           connected so that when one sounds                  • Cook only when you are alert, not sleepy
structure fires each year in dormitories,        they all sound.                                    or drowsy from medicine or alcohol.
fraternities and sororities, resulting in        • Test all smoke alarms at least monthly.          • If you smoke, smoke outside and
seven deaths and 54 fire injuries?               • Never remove batteries or disable                only where it’s permitted. Don’t smoke
   By now, college is back in full swing.        the alarm.                                         in bed or when you’ve been driving or
For many, this is their first time living        • Learn the building’s evacuation plan             are drowsy.
away from home. As they make new                 and practice all drills as if they were the        • Check the school’s rules before using
friends and establish new routines, a            real thing.                                        any electrical appliances.
number of factors — including candle             • If living off campus, have a fire escape         • Use a surge protector for the com-
use, cooking, smoking and misuse of              plan with two ways out of every room.              puter and plug the protector directly
electrical appliances — can heighten the         • During a power outage, use a flash-              into an outlet.
risk of fire in any campus environment.          light — not candles.
                                                                                                    — Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS, is a
   Following are some important key              • Burn candles only if the school per-
                                                                                                    founding board member of the Live Safe
rules for living a fire-safe life:               mits their use. A candle is an open                Foundation ( and a 32-year
• Look for housing equipped with an              flame and should be placed away from               veteran of the fire service. A certified fire
automatic fire sprinkler system when             anything that can burn. Never leave a              protection specialist through the National
                                                                                                    Fire Protection Association and a member of
choosing a dorm or off-campus housing.           candle unattended. Blow it out when
                                                                                                    several similar safety organizations. Perkins is
• Make sure your dormitory or apart-             leaving the room or going to sleep.                the fire marshal for the Washington Township
ment has smoke alarms inside each                • Cook only where it is permitted.                 Fire Department, Dublin, Ohio.
bedroom, outside every sleeping area             • Stay in the kitchen when cooking.

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“The right to sue and defend in the courts is the alternative of force. In an organized society it is the right
conservative of all other rights, and lies at the foundation of orderly government. It is one of the highest
and most essential privileges of citizenship.”
That’s what the Supreme Court said a century ago. But now the “right conservative of all other rights”
is under attack.
Public Justice was founded to enforce that fundamental right. We fight in the courts – for the
wronged, the poor and the powerless; the environment; consumers’ rights; workers’ rights; civil rights;
civil liberties; and corporate and government accountability. We cannot allow access to the courts to
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Help us keep the courthouse doors open for all!
To support our Access to Justice Campaign, become a member of the Public Justice Foundation, or to
learn more about our fight to hold wrongdoers accountable, visit our website at
or call us at (202) 797-8600.
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Maximum Protection

By Craig Kelley

       or most of us, preparing for                                                                                   Check the spray nozzles
       winter is often a daunting task.                                                                                of your windshield-washer
       We prepare our homes with ex-                                                                                    system. They can get
tra insulation, sealing up drafty spots                                                                                 blocked by wax or debris,
to protect us and our dwellings from                                                                                    which can be cleared with
the cold. We wear warmer winter                                                                                        a needle or pin.
clothes to protect us from the ele-                                                                                  Carry emergency equip-
ments. So, why wouldn’t we take                                                                                    ment in your vehicle, includ-
the same care with our vehicles?                                                                                 ing jumper cables, a snow/ice
   This winter season, make sure                                                                 scraper, a flashlight, a fresh supply of extra
your vehicle is as protected as                                                             batteries, flares, a shovel, first-aid kit, basic hand
you and your home. Spending the                                                             tools, blankets and, if at all possible, a cell phone
extra time and effort to get your                                                           and car charger in case of a breakdown or other
vehicle properly prepared for winter                                                        emergency. Matches, extra clothes, bottled
conditions will save you money ...                                                           water and non-perishable snacks in your truck/
and could prevent you from injuries in                                                        storage area will complete your emergency kit.
an accident.                                                                                   Don’t forget to keep plenty of gas and
   Before cold, wet and winter-driving                                                          windshield washer fluid in your vehicle.
conditions are upon us, take precautions:                                                        Keep your gas tank at least half full in the
Take your car to a mechanic and                                                                  cold season. This will reduce condensation
check out the following: battery, radia-                                                          in your tank and fuel system and make your
tor fluid levels and protection tempera-                                                          vehicle easier to start when cold.
ture of your anti-freeze in your system,                                                          Clean the snow and ice off of your entire
brakes, hoses and belts.                                                                          vehicle each time you drive for maximum
Make a visual inspection of your                                                                 visibility and safety. This includes not just the
vehicle lights. Make sure the front                                                               windows, but also the mirrors, head/tail lights
and rear lights are operational, paying                                                           and your hood and roof. The extra time spent
particular attention to the car’s flashing                                                        is far better than dealing with an accident or
hazard lights.                                                                                    damage to a vehicle due to poor visibility.
Change your wiper fluid so it doesn’t                                                             If you take good care of your vehicle before
freeze. Instead of toughing it out until                                                        the winter season arrives, your vehicle will
spring, exchange the fluid with one                                                            take great care of you all winter long and help
made especially for protection during                                                          keep you safe.
freezing conditions.                                                                               Once last piece of advice: always check the
Purchase winter wiper blades to cut                                                         road conditions before driving away so you are
through snow and ice instead of using                                                        prepared for what lies ahead.
summer blades throughout the year.
Make sure your heater, defroster                                                           — Craig Kelley is an attorney with Inserra & Kelley in
                                                                                            Omaha, Nebraska.
and rear-window defroster are work-
ing properly.

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       LET YOU DOWN?
                                                                        By Bret Hanna

       Before you hit the road, make sure                Then, if the problem is some-
       you have an emergency kit in your                 thing you can fix — such as a
       vehicle. Although not necessarily                 flat tire, for example — check
       practical for every trip, every time,             for safe clearances from traffic
       every destination, the ideal kit would            before jacking the car up.
       contain these items:                                 If the problem is not
       + Fresh drinking water                            something you can fix, call for
       + Food                                            roadside assistance from any
       + Waterproof matches and candle                   provider you subscribe to for
       + Flashlight and spare batteries                  service or contact a local tow
       + Orange warning sign and flares                  and mechanic service if you
       + Whistle                                         don’t have roadside assistance
                                                                                                           mile range, but some suggest it as low
       + Blankets                                        service. While waiting, try to stay in a
                                                                                                           as the 75,000-mile mark.
       + First-aid kit                                   location that does not obstruct your
                                                                                                              Regardless, it is wise to invest the
       + Towel                                           emergency lights and signs.
                                                                                                           several hundred dollars to get it done
       + Collapsible shovel
                                                                                                           because if it breaks, you are dead in
       + Jumper cables                                   PREvEnTIOn
                                                                                                           the water and the breakage may cause
       + Cellphone and charger                           The most important safety tip when it
                                                                                                           engine damage — in addition to the
       + Rope                                            comes to vehicle breakdowns is to try
                                                                                                           cost of replacing the belt. The manu-
       + Cutting device                                  and avoid them. The leading cause of
                                                                                                           facturer’s checklist will alert you to
       + Duct tape                                       vehicle breakdowns is maintenance
                                                                                                           other critical maintenance issues.
       + Basic tool kit                                  neglect. So, the most important thing
                                                                                                              It is also a good idea to pay attention
       + Gloves, hat and boots                           to pay attention to is routine main-
                                                                                                           to your vehicle as you drive it. Periodi-
       + Chains or traction devices                      tenance. Get the oil changed and all
                                                                                                           cally, check the headlights, turn signals
                                                         fluids checked approximately every
                                                                                                           and brake lights to make sure they are
          If you break down, turn on your                3,000 miles. Keep your tires in good
                                                                                                           working. After you have had your ve-
       hazards immediately. If there is a hard           condition and pay special attention to
                                                                                                           hicle for a short time, you will develop
       shoulder to stop on, look for any debris          keeping them properly inflated. Rotate
                                                                                                           a sense of how it sounds and drives.
       and then stop with wheels turned away             and balance the tires every 5,000 miles,
                                                                                                              If you notice changes to the “nor-
       from traffic. Otherwise, get the vehicle          including the spare if it is full size.
                                                                                                           mal,” it is time to investigate. Look
       as far away from traffic as possible.             Most tire sellers will do the rotations
                                                                                                           for tire and brake issues, and have the
          Exit your vehicle away from traffic to         and balancing free of charge after you
                                                                                                           steering checked if the wheels starts to
       stay as safe as possible. If the car is not       purchase from them.
                                                                                                           respond differently as you drive. The
       drivable, stay in it and call for help or            Also, as boring as it may be, review
                                                                                                           time and money you spend on routine
       wait until someone stops to help if you           the manufacturers proposed mainte-
                                                                                                           issues will likely save you a lot more
       can’t make a call. Regardless, get to             nance schedule and try to follow it if
                                                                                                           time and money down the road.
       your emergency kit as soon as you can.            you can. For instance, most manufac-
       Put out the orange emergency sign                 turers suggest replacing the timing               — Bret Hanna is an attorney with Jones
       and road flares if you can safely do so.          chain/belt in the 90,000- to 110,000-             Waldo Attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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                                                                                                                                   By Michael G. Phelan

Fall can be the time for late-season family vacations and                     Avoid driver fatigue. Schedule your trip to allow for frequent
weekend car trips to beaches, rivers, lakes, mountains or                     breaks. Stopping for food or beverages, taking time to pull
recreational facilities. Before hitting the highways, take the                over at a rest stop just to stretch your legs, staying overnight
following safety precautions recommended by the National                      at a motel or local bed and breakfast, and sharing the driving
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):                                are all good strategies for avoiding fatigue and staying alert
                                                                              behind the wheel.
Perform a vehicle safety inspection. See sidebar for a com-
plete list from the NHTSA.                                                    — Michael Phelan is an attorney for the Law Offices of Michael G.
                                                                              Phelan Esq. in Richmond, Virginia.

Never leave children or pets unattended in a parked vehicle
— especially during warmer weather. Even on a relatively
cool day and with windows partially cracked open, tempera-
tures inside a vehicle can soar, rapidly causing occupants to
                                                                                   BEFORE HITTING THE ROAD...
                                                                                   BE SURE TO CHECK THE FOLLOWING BEFORE
suffer from heat illness or even die from heatstroke.
                                                                                   YOU START ANY ROAD TRIP:
                                                                                   Tires — Air pressure, tread wear, spare
Always use child safety or booster seats. NHTSA guide-
                                                                                   Belts and hoses — Condition and fittings
lines for proper child safety and booster seat use can be
                                                                                   Wiper blades — Wear and tear on both sides
found at under “Which seat is right
                                                                                   Cooling system — Needed servicing and coolant level
for my child?”
                                                                                   Fluid levels — Oil, brake, transmission, power steering, cool-
                                                                                   ant and windshield
Have a fully charged cellphone, a cellphone charger and
                                                                                   Lights — Headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency
an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle (see page 54 for a
                                                                                   flashers, interior lights and trailer lights
detailed list).
                                                                                   Air conditioning/heat — Sensitive to heat/coldness? Check
                                                                                   your A/C performance and/or heat output before traveling.
All vehicle occupants must wear seat belts. This is the
single most important way to keep you and your passengers
                                                                                   Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
safe on the road.

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       HAS YOUR

                                    By Wayne Hogan

                fter the spate of Toyota recalls
                for product safety defects,
                Congress requested that the
       Government Accounting Office (GAO)
       perform an analysis of the effective-
       ness of vehicle defect recalls. In June
       2011, the GAO issued its report,
       which details key findings and rec-
       ommendations. Among those is this
       important point:
          Under federal law, the National
       Highway Traffic Safety Administra-
       tion (NHTSA) cannot require used-car
       dealers (or franchised dealerships that
       sell used vehicles) to notify potential
       buyers of an outstanding safety defect
       or require that they get the defect
       remedied prior to sale.
          A result is that, in some instances, a
       used-car dealer may not be aware that
       an outstanding safety defect exists in
       a vehicle. In particular, GAO reported
       that “a used-vehicle dealer associa-
       tion with over 20,000 members told
       us that because used dealers do not
       have a franchise agreement with the
       manufacturers, they do not receive the
                                                         provides the public with guidance and             to vehicle owners about what to do if
       defect notices that manufacturers send
                                                         information on safety recalls, primarily          they do not receive a recall notification
       to franchised dealers. Moreover, used-
                                                         through its website,                letter, but believe that their vehicle
       car dealers we spoke with told us that
                                                            There, NHTSA maintains a database              may be affected by a recall. GAO also
       generally they do not receive defect
                                                         that the public can search for safety re-         recommended to NHTSA that it seek
       notices from manufacturers, except
                                                         calls by entering year, make and model            legislative authority to notify potential
       in certain cases, such as when a used
                                                         of a vehicle. The agency’s website also           used car buyers of recalls.
       dealer purchases previously leased
                                                         provides basic guidance on what to
       vehicles directly from a manufacturer.”
                                                         do in the event of a safety recall. For           — Wayne Hogan is an attorney with Terrill
          Because of this finding, it is important
                                                         example, the website offers guidance              Hogan in Jacksonville, Florida.
       for consumers to know that NHTSA

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Before It’s Too Late                                                                                                       By Noble McIntyre

          According to a recent report       changing the radio station.                       everyone be safer on the road.
              by the Governor’s Highway         While cellphone laws are a positive               Turn off your phone before you get
                        Safety Association   step toward reducing distracted driving,          in the car.
                           (GHSA), there     they should not be the primary moti-                 Set up a special voice message to tell
                           is no evidence    vation for people to stop using cell-             callers you are driving and you will get
                           that banning      phones while driving. The reality is that         back to them as soon as possible.
       cellphone use while driving is        distracted driving is a very serious and             Pull over if you need to make a call.
effective. The report also states that       potentially fatal problem.                           Ask a passenger to make important
hands-free phones are no less danger-           According to distracted driving                calls for you if the calls can’t wait.
ous than handheld phones.                    statistics compiled by Oklahoma Law,                 Do not text, surf the Web or read
   Despite this conclusion, the GHSA         distracted drivers are 23 times more              emails.
recommends that all states enact cell-       likely to cause an accident compared                 Become familiar with state and local
phone and texting bans. Currently, nine      with drunk drivers who are seven times            laws before you get in the car.
states prohibit all drivers from using       as likely to cause one, making them                  Program your GPS device, review
handheld phones while driving, while         some of the most dangerous drivers on             maps and read directions before you
34 states have banned text messaging         the road.                                         drive.
for all drivers. However, no state has          In fact, in 2009, out of 33,808 car               Secure pets before you drive.
banned all cellphone use for all drivers.    crash deaths, reports indicate that 16               Do not argue with any passenger in
   Cellphone use appears to be the           percent (or 5,474 cases) could be at-             the car.
most common type of act that distract-       tributed to driver distraction. Even more            Avoid any activity that will take your
ed driving laws aim to prevent. Two-         staggering is that research suggests up           mind and eyes off the road.
thirds of drivers have reported using a      to 80 percent of driver deaths could
cellphone while driving, but distracted      have involved distraction.
driving is a much broader concept. Any          To reduce the possibility of distracted        — Noble McIntyre is a senior partner at
activity that diverts a driver’s atten-      driving, here are some tips that will help        McIntyre Law in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
tion away from the road is considered
a distraction. Some examples include
eating, drinking, using a GPS device,               From your computer, enter the article    From your smartphone,
talking, grooming, reading directions or           ID in the search box at                  scan the tag using TagReader. For
maps, watching portable televisions or    Article ID: 2437    more information visit

     Standing My
                                        By Jeff Weinstein

                                                  sk a young adult what the greatest

                                                  killer of their generation is and, I
                                                  promise, you will be bombarded

     Teenage Drivers
                                                  with many answers to the ques-
                                          tion. However, while most of the answers
                                             make good common sense, the correct
                                               answer is often overlooked.
                                                         The greatest killer of young
                                                 adults in America today is car colli-
                                                 sions. Realizing the dangers
                                                  asociated with teen drivers, when
                                                  is it appropriate to allow your
                                                   young and preteen children to
                                                   ride in a car with a teen-
                                                   age driver?

                                                                         My wife and I have
                                                                  three children, Avery,
                                                           11; JoJo, 9 and Ryan, 7. The
                                                     answer for me is easy. It’s
                                              never. I’ve met most of my children’s
                                       friends and their friends’ siblings; I admit that
                                     it’s going to be a tough sell for me to move off
                                     my position.
                                        It is every parent’s worst nightmare to receive
                                     a late night call or law enforcement visit to their
                                     home advising that there has been an accident
                                               involving their child. The statistics on
                                                    injuries and death to teenagers and
                                                       their passengers are eye opening.
                                                          My own research indicates that
                                                          over half of the teenage pas-
                                                          sengers killed in motor vehicle
                                                          collisions were passengers in a
                                                        car operated by a teenage driver.
                                                            While our family may be
                                                 liberal in our rule enforcement on
                                     making beds and cleaning rooms, I believe that
                                     non-negotiable rules must be enforced concern-
                                     ing young people and the decision to allow/not
                                     allow them to ride with teenage drivers.
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   Experience is such an important factor in teenage driving. The
problem is, how do you measure the experience of a 16-year-old
driver who has only recently earned a license. Asking questions of
                                                                           3 FACTORS
both the teenage driver and your teenage children will not likely
                                                                           That Play Into Teen Driving
                   reassure you on whether to allow the teenager to
                       drive your children around.                         Each year, more than 3,000 teens are killed in
                                I can hear the discussion at my house      car and truck crashes, according to the Centers
                         now. “So and so’s dad lets him drive the family   for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The
                         car whenever he wants” or “Can you believe it?    equivalent of two classrooms full of high school
                                                                           students will die in Oregon this year from
                         Suzie’s dad bought her a brand-new car.”          preventable crashes.
                                Just because we like Suzie and think she
                     is a nice girl does not mean she is a good driver.    According to the American Academy of Pe-
           Likewise, just because we like Suzie’s parents does not         diatrics, a 16-year-old driver is 20 times more
                                                                           likely to have a motor vehicle crash than any
    make her a good driver. All of our children can drive the family       other licensed driver. Here, read three factors
golf cart but I’m not ready to turn the keys over just yet.                that can contribute to a teen’s driving skills:
   I believe adults have a duty to discuss the consequences of bad
or reckless driving with the teenage driver. After all, the teenage        Lack of Experience
driver is about to take our most-prized possessions for a ride in a        » New drivers are not used to detecting and
4,000-pound vehicle that is capable of going from zero to 60 miles         responding quickly to traffic hazards. They
                                                                           generally have less control of the vehicle and
per hour in under 12 seconds.                                              have little experience anticipating the actions
   If you feel as though something isn’t right, don’t allow your child     of other drivers. Experienced drivers some-
to get in the car. Your gut instinct may be 100 percent right on           times forget that it takes a lot of practice to
concerning a particular teenage driver.                                    safely maneuver in everyday situations and
                                                                           react to unexpected circumstances.
   When I was growing up, my mother used to say nothing good
happens after 10 p.m. I now completely understand what she
                                                                           Risky Behavior
meant. Setting curfews and demanding they be met will set the
                                                                           » The region of the brain that inhibits engag-
standard for whether my child will ever again ride with a particular       ing in risky behavior is not fully formed until
teenage driver or not.                                                     age 25. Teenagers may engage in risky driving
   I’m sticking to the fundamental rule that as long as the children       behaviors, such as speeding, running red lights
                                                                           and stop signs, tailgating, weaving in and out
are living under our roof, I have the absolute right to determine
                                                                           of traffic, and not keeping a safe distance
whether they go out, with whom they go out and how long they get           because they might not fully understand the
to stay out.                                                               risks of their actions. Adolescents are more
   One of the hardest things for a young person to do is to admit          influenced by their emotions, stress and peers
                                                                           — leading them to take more risks. Addition-
they are scared. I want to make sure our children understand that
                                                                           ally, teenage drivers are less likely to use seat
if they are in a car with a teenage driver who is being reckless,          belts, significantly increasing their risk of injury
they can call me to come get them with no questions asked and              in a crash.
no “I told you so” discussions.
   I am more concerned about our children riding with a teen-              Distractions
age driver than I am about most of the issues we face as parents.          » Any new or inexperienced driver is chal-
Allowing our children to ride in a car with a teenage driver is            lenged when faced with driving distractions.
                                                                           Distractions can be minimized by limiting
perhaps the most dangerous activity we can allow them to do.               passengers, advising your teen to turn off their
   I realize that eventually some teenager is going to drive up to         cellphone while driving and limit the use of
our home and drive away with one or more of our children. I hope           external devices, such as iPods (see page 57
when the time comes that my wife and I and our children respect            for more on distracted driving).
the rules we set out and that our children understand that they too
are responsible for assuring their safety.                                 — Tom D’Amore is an attorney with D’Amore Law
                                                                           Group PC in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
— Jeff Weinstein is an attorney with Weinstein Law in Athens, Texas.

                                                                                                  CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

             TIPS » For Keeping Your Teen Driver Safe
             » Set a good example.                          Do not assume your teenager knows                 phone — use helps them understand
             Be the model for correct, legal driving        what you want them to do.                         what you expect of them. The con-
             behavior. Make sure you are familiar                                                             tract lets them know that operating
             with all controls and safety devices           » Remember the learning curve.                    a motor vehicle should be taken seri-
             in each of the family vehicles — it’s a        Making mistakes is part of learning. Be           ously and the privilege can be revoked
             good safety check for parents, too.            supportive and relaxed, and discuss               if they break the rules and engage in
             Remember to turn off your phone                the errors with them: separate physical           irresponsible driving practices.
             while driving.                                 errors (i.e., turning the wheel too soon)
                                                            from mental errors (i.e., not detect-             — Tom D’Amore is an attorney with
             » Provide a safe, reliable vehicle.            ing a problem) and coach your teen                D’Amore Law Group PC in Lake Os-
             Making sure your motor vehicle is              accordingly.                                      wego, Oregon.
             mechanically safe is crucial to ensuring
             your child’s safety, and helps them            » Use a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement.
             learn how to care for and maintain             These agreements are like a contract
             a vehicle.                                     between a parent and teen setting
                                                            rules and guidelines for driving.
             » Offer guidelines.                            Establishing limits on your teenager’s
             Let your kids know what you expect of          driving privileges —- such as a limited
             them in a clear, calm and positive way.        number of passengers and no cell-

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           Police chases kill at least
                                                                     3          innocent bystanders every week.

                                          Desiree                                 Tabatha                               Kristin                Isaac
                           Johnny                                Brandon                            Kristie                            Chris

                       How many deaths before it’s not okay?
                                     Police chases for non-violent crimes often spin out of control,
                                               killing and injuring innocent bystanders.
          PursuitSAFETY is a national nonprofit organization working to raise awareness about a real crisis that
        will continue to affect thousands of law-abiding people if we don’t come together and do something about it.
       Please visit so you can find out more about what PursuitSAFETY is doing to:
                                                    • Serve injured victims and bereaved families
                                                    • Unite people together to solve this global crisis, and
                                                    • Save Lives by promoting pursuit policies and legislation that strike an appropriate
                                                       balance between (a) apprehending fleeing drivers or answering first-responder
                                                       calls and (b) ensuring public safety.
                                                                             Your tax-deductible gift will help us save lives.

       A National Nonprofit Organization • PO Box 3128, Chico, CA 95927 • 530-343-9754 •
                                                                                                                                      OT R

the                                                                                                                                   ON THE ROAD

 of child safety seats
                                                                                  By Bryan Slaughter

 Have you taken a good look at the
 revised child safety seat recommenda-
                                              The new guide-
 tions? The new guidelines, released by       lines are based
 the American Academy of Pediatrics
 (AAP) and the National Highway Traffic       on age instead
 Safety Administration (NHTSA), were
 created through a better understand-
                                              of seat type,
 ing of what keeps children safe in car       and generally
    The new guidelines are based on age
 — instead of seat type — and generally       that parents
 recommend that parents keep their chil-
 dren in each type of seat for as long as     keep their chil-
 possible before moving them up to the
 next level. Here’s how they compare:
                                              dren in each
                                              type of seat for
 Former GuideliNeS
  Under 1 year: it was recommended
                                              as long as pos-
 or required that an infant be rear-facing.   sible before mov-
  Ages 1-4 (or up to 40 pounds):
 Children should be in a forward-facing
                                              ing them up to
 safety seat with a five-point harness.       the next level.
  Ages 4-8 (or 40-80 pounds): Chil-
 dren should be in a belt-positioning
 booster seat.
                                               Ages 8-12: Children should be
 New GuideliNeS
                                              placed in a belt-positioning booster
  Under 1 year: Children should al-          seat until they are large enough for a
 ways ride in a rear-facing car seat.         seat belt to properly fit (4’9”). A prop-
  Ages 1-3: Children should be kept          erly fitting seat belt will lie snugly across
 rear-facing until as long as possible —      the upper thighs, not the stomach. The             laws is sufficient. However, rather than
 defined as when they reach the seat          shoulder belt should lie snug across the           rely on your state legislature for how
 manufacturer’s maximum weight or             shoulder and chest and not cross the               to best protect your child, do your own
 height limitation. once that limit is        neck or face.                                      research and get educated.
 reached, they should be placed in a           Up to age 13: Children should stay
 forward-facing seat with a five-point        in the back seat until they are 13 years
 harness.                                     of age.                                            — Bryan Slaughter is an attorney with
  Ages 4-7: Children should be in a             many parents may believe that com-              MichieHamlett in Charlottesville, Virginia.
 seat with a five-point harness as long       plying with their state’s child restraints
 as possible — until they reach the
 seat manufacturer’s maximum weight
 or height limitation. once that limit is
 reached, they should be placed in a                 From your computer, enter the article     From your smartphone,
                                                    ID in the search box at                   scan the tag using TagReader. For
 belt-positioning booster seat.
                                           Article ID: 2439     more information visit

                                     The Nitty-Gritty on
                                                                                                  By Larry E. Coben

                                     Buying a Safe Car
                                       The automotive marketplace is booming with new safety
                                       gadgets. There are lots of choices, some of which make driv-
                                       ing more fun and other features that make driving a bit safer.
                                       To that end, here are a few options to consider as you ponder
                                       your next vehicle purchase:
                                         Stability Control and ABS - Both features can help drivers
                                       retain control of their vehicles in dangerous situations. Stability
                                       control is an essential feature for trucks and SUVs that have an
                                       increased rollover risk.
                                         Electronic Steering Control (ESC), Traction Control and
                                       AWD - These features can also improve traction in poor
                                       weather and off-road conditions. They are very useful in
                                       areas with significant snowfall and poor snow removal and in
                                       the rain.
                                         Reverse Sensing - Reverse-sensing detectors or backup
                                       cameras are helpful to prevent impacts with children or ob-
                                       jects that might be below your line of sight.
                                         Roll Stability Control - This reduces the risk of a vehicle
                                       rollover in extreme cornering or evasive turning, especially for
                                       vehicles that stand tall with a high center of gravity. The sys-
                                       tem uses a gyroscopic sensor and the ESC system by braking
                                       one or more wheels and reducing engine power.
                                         Curve Control System (CCS) - This platform is an extension
                                       of roll stability control. The system senses when you are enter-
                                       ing a curve too quickly and automatically slows the vehicle
                                       speed by reducing engine power and applies braking to the
                                       four wheels.
                                         Blind Spot Detection - This feature warns a driver that a
                                       vehicle is in his or her blind spot — areas to the side and rear
                                       of the vehicle outside the driver’s view. Sensors (camera, ultra-
                                       sonic or radar) monitor the vehicle’s sides and rear for other
                                                                                                                                                  OT R
                                                                                                                                                 ON THE ROAD

vehicles approaching from behind and              systems will also activate the seat belt            night. It generates a video image in real
alert the driver with lights mounted in           pretensioners, precharge the airbag                 time in either the head’s-up display or
either the side-view or rear-view mirrors         systems and the brakes.                             on a screen in the instrument panel. The
or the door.                                         Advanced Forward Lighting - This is              potential safety advantage of night vi-
   Automatic Crash Notification - Some            a term used for lights that can automati-           sion is in facilitating earlier detection of
manufacturers include systems that can            cally adapt to changing driving condi-              objects compared to headlamps alone.
automatically notify authorities in the           tions (road and visibility). Some systems              Tire Pressure Monitors - This feature
event of a crash.                                 can swivel the main beams left and                  checks the tires’ air pressure and alerts
   Forward Collision Warning - This               right up to 15 degrees according to the             the driver by voice, message or other
feature senses when the vehicle ahead             vehicle’s travel path (angle of the curve)          warning signal when a tire’s pressure
is slowing or stopped and alerts the              and speed. This provides greater light-             has dropped below a safe level.
driver of the risk of a possible crash.           ing to the road ahead. Other systems
The system monitors the relative speed            can automatically switch from high                  For more information, visit
and following distance to the vehicle in          beams to low beams when it detects an
front. When your vehicle gets too close           approaching vehicle.                                — Larry E. Coben Esq. is an attorney with
to the vehicle in front, a signal (audible           Night Vision - This helps drivers see            Anapol Schwartz PC in Scottsdale, Arizona.
and/or visual) alerts the driver. Many            people or animals in the distance at

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                                                    Commentary:                                                                        By Pierce Egerton

       You know what a roundabout is, right?
       It’s a circular intersection that’s been
       touted by transportation officials as a
       proven safety solution that reduces the
       severity of crashes.
           They slow traffic down, so that
       makes sense.
           Officials also say they reduce the
       number of accidents. However, that
       claim is open to debate.
           In the eight months following a
       roundabout opening in Raleigh, North
       Carolina, 42 accidents took place. In
       another example, a newspaper in Al-
       bany, New York, reported that crashes
       increased at 15 of the 20 roundabouts
       constructed in the region.
           The problem is that some roundabouts
       are complicated and difficult to navigate.
           Roundabouts fall into two catego-
       ries: single-lane and multi-lane.                lane roundabout.                                   If there’s more than one lane, use the
           It seems as though the multi-lane               I observed two problems: Some driv-            left lane to turn left, the right lane to
       roundabout tends to confuse more driv-           ers don’t understand who has the right            turn right and all lanes to go through,
       ers, especially right after they open as         of way. And, with a wider, two-lane               unless directed otherwise by signs and
       it takes a bit more time to get used to          roadway, drivers approach and enter               pavement markings.
       navigating it. At the Raleigh roundabout,        the intersection much faster.                      Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
       for example, crash counts were highest              I even witnessed one close call                 Yield at the entry to circulating traffic.
       in the first three months after it opened.       in which an apparently very safety-                Stay in your lane within the round-
           I have had an unusually good oppor-          conscious driver avoided being hit by             about and use your right-turn signal to
       tunity to observe drivers trying to tackle       another car.                                      indicate your intention to exit.
       newly constructed roundabouts. In a                 All in all, roundabouts do improve              Always assume trucks need all avail-
       nearby small town, three roundabouts             safety. According to the Federal                  able space — don’t pass them.
       were built this year, each less than 100         Highway Administration, at locations in            Clear the roundabout to allow emer-
       yards from the other. Two are single-            which these intersections are installed,          gency vehicles to pass.
       lane and one is multi-lane.                      there is more than a 90 percent reduc-
           The single-lane roundabouts work             tion in fatalities and a 76 percent                 And finally, keep an eye on the
       great: one was built at the entrance to a        reduction in injuries. Head-on and                vehicles around you. Always expect
       shopping center, where traffic jams were         high-speed, right-angle collisions are            the other driver to make a mistake. If
       a daily problem and making a left turn           virtually eliminated.                             you follow these directions, you stand
       was near impossible at rush hour. Now               Given this information, here are               a good chance of being able to react
       the traffic flow is smooth and drivers           some guidelines to remember as you                and prevent an accident.
       seem to know intuitively what to do.             drive through a roundabout.                       — Pierce Egerton is a partner with Egerton &
           I can’t say it’s as calm at the multi-        Slow down.                                      Associates in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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                                                          about the firm
                                                            ChurchWyble PC, started in downtown Lansing in
                                                          1951 when Jesse D. Parks and Edgar L. Church joined to
                                                          practice law. In 1968, the firm of Church, Wyble, Kritselis
                                                          & Robinson PC moved to 3939 Capital City Blvd., Lansing,
                                                          MI, near the airport, and continued the tradition of serving
                       THE                                the legal needs of people in the Mid-Michigan area.
 CHURCHWYBLE PC                                             On November 2, 1998, ChurchWyble opened its new
                                                          office at 2827 E. Saginaw, Lansing, MI. Although its
                    LAW FIRM
                                                          location changed, the firm’s commitment to providing
          CONGRATULATES                                   quality legal services and protecting the rights of injured
                                                          people continues to be its #1 priority.
                                                            The lawyers at ChurchWyble specialize in areas of
                                                          personal injury which include medical malpractice,
                                                          wrongful death, automobile accidents, slip and falls,
                                                          nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence
                                                          and disability claims. We would be honored to help you, a
                                                          family member, or friend. Know your rights, let us help you
                                                          protect them.

                                                          Experienced and Aggressive Trial Attorneys Specializing
                                                          in Accidents Causing Serious Injury, Disability and
                                                          Wrongful Death

           JAMES T. HEOS
        The Best Lawyers in America, 2011
                                                          ARE YOU READY FOR
                                                          WINTER DRIVING?
                                                          Michigan roads can be extremely treacherous during the
                                                          winter months. As the snow approaches, review these
                                                          important tips provided by the Michigan Department of

                                                          • Slow down when you see or suspect ice or snow.
                                                          • Bridges and underpasses can be icy, even when the road
                                                            around them is dry.
                                                          • Avoid sudden stops, turns or lane changes.

   DAVID S. MITTLEMAN                                     • Road salt is less effective between 10 and 20 degrees
                                                            Fahrenheit, and completely ineffective below 10
          Michigan Super Lawyers, 2011
                                                          • When slush appears stiff and is thrown directly behind
LANSING PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS                             the vehicle (rather than splashed to the side), icy
                                                            conditions are likely to develop.
    INJURED PEOPLE SINCE 1951                             Also, have your car checked and winterized by a qualified
                                                          mechanic and always have plenty of gas in the tank before
                                                          heading out.
       2827 E. Saginaw • Lansing, Michigan 48912
T (517) 372-1011 • TF (888) 227-4770 • F (517) 372-1031   By keeping these few points in mind, you can help keep
                                 our roadways safe for everyone.
                         CALL 911
                            IN AN
                                NON-EMERGENCY NUMBERS:
                                     Michigan State Police
                                           (517) 332-2521

                                   Clinton County Sheriff
                                           (989) 224-5200

                                     Eaton County Sheriff
                                           (517) 543-3512

                                  Ingham County Sheriff
                                         (517) 676-8205

                                          Michigan DOT
                                          (517) 373-2090

                                   Poison Control Center
                                         1(800) 222-1222

             VISIT US ONLINE AT
             or call us at 1 (888) 227-4770.

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