Why You Should Never Leave Your Children in a Vehicle

In what seems like common sense and illegal in many states across America, leaving your child in a vehicle is not only dangerous, but neglecting as well. However, there are those out there that feel that they can leave a child unattended in a car regardless. This is why there are many cases that involve a mom, a child, and the police. Some things that you should know before you think of leaving your children in a vehicle are:

The Temperature of a Child Rises Quicker Then an Adult – Your children’s temperature rises 3-5 times faster than that of your own. This could mean that you are exposing your child to temperatures that could kill them.

The Car Temperature Rises Quickly – If you have ever walked into the mall for 20 minutes, walked to your car, and found the steering wheel scorching hot, then you would know already that in just 10 minutes, your car has risen 20 degrees.

Children Hate Being Alone – When you leave your child alone for 5 minutes, they cry. Even the older ones get tired of being alone. You don’t want to cause your child stress just because there is a fun thing to do outside the car.

It’s Illegal – This cannot be stressed enough. If you haven’t understood by now, then you need to take a look back at everything. Your child is precious and the law protects the child from a neglecting mother or father.

As a mother, this is appalling. You don’t ever want to have to leave your children in cars. The fact that a child’s body is delicate should be enough for people stopping doing something like this, but it isn’t. You have to make sure that you are not going to be doing anything that you’re going to regret later. It happens that sometimes people forget. Give yourself a reminder not to forget your child.

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Tips to Avoid Heat Exhaustion When Outside

In hot climates, we tend to know what we need to do to avoid heat exhaustion, but there are many things that slip our mind. Being a mother, I always made sure that there were enough things supplied to the child to keep them safe. However, as summer approaches once again, there are many out there that feel that it is not necessary to pay attention to the warning signs. Some tips to avoid heat exhaustion when outside are:

Wear Sunscreen – By covering your skin with sunscreen is the best protection that you have against the sun. With a minimum of SPF 15, you’re going to be able to protect your skin from getting burned or even worse, cancer.

Keep Up Your Water Intake – You need to make sure that you are carrying enough water to keep yourself hydrated. When you drink caffeinated drinks while outside, you’re putting the risk of getting heat exhaustion at a higher playing field.

Wear Appropriate Clothing – By wearing heavy clothing, you are trapping heat. This is going to make your temperature rise and put you in risk of heat exhaustion. You don’t need to wear hardly anything at all just because it is hot outside.

In the end, you are going to be able to avoid needing to buy the vast majority of the drugstore’s Aloe Vera oil and lotions. When you take care of your skin and your body, you are going to be able to enjoy that hike that you wanted to go on. Heat exhaustion is a serious condition and you have to make sure that you are protected. This doesn’t mean that you can let your kid go out in a revealing top just because it is hot outside, you need to make sure you research what is great for the summer and what is not.

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4 Pool Safety Tips

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Summer is just around the corner, and for most families, this means more time for the kids to be home. Young children love to take full advantage of this time by running and playing outdoors. A home’s backyard serves as the perfect location for children in most instances. However, homes with swimming pools can pose a significant risk factor for young kids. Here are a few tips to ensure your children are safe.

Swimming Lessons
In the unfortunate event that a child should accidentally fall into a pool, the child’s ability to swim can mean the difference between life and death. Many drowning deaths of young children are caused by a child’s inability to swim.

All households with a pool should require that all members of the family learn to swim as early as possible. Get your children in the water and either teach them to swim on your own, or sign them up for lessons at a local community center or YMCA.

Holding Their Breath
The child should learn to hold his/her breath underwater. He or she should know how to float and move across the pool, and should be taught the basics of pool safety. The child should take frequent lessons and be allowed adequate time to build confidence and feel comfortable in the water.

Pool Locks and Covers
Limiting access to swimming pools can ensure that children do not have the opportunity to wander into or near the water without adult supervision. Make sure that child safety locks are placed on gates and doors. If possible, have a pool cover installed. You can even consider having an additional gate placed not just around the backyard, but around the pool itself. Alarms can be placed on doors and gates to alert parents or older siblings if young children have gone into restricted areas.

Establish Pool Rules
Talk with your children about pool safety and house rules. Ensure that they understand they are only permitted near the water if they are directly given permission and if an adult is present.

Develop a buddy system. The buddy system should require young and older children to only enter the pool if they have someone around that can come to their rescue in the event that a mishap should occur.

Explain to children that the rules not only apply to them, but also to visiting friends and family members. When children visit, make a point to go over these rules with them. Let their parents know that you have a pool and what safety precautions are in place.

With young children at great risk for death or injury resulting from drowning incidents, it is imperative that parents take every precaution to ensure that the family pool is maintained safely.

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Do You Need a Child Injury Attorney? Four Things to Check in an Accident

If you are ever involved in a car accident with your child, there are likely to be plenty of things rushing through your mind: Are they all right? Are you? How are the other people? Here are four things to keep in mind after having been in an accident, which can help you deal with the aftermath:

Stay Calm–First and foremost, you need to stay calm. If you become too excited, you will not think straight, and you’ll be liable to compound the issue rather than help.

Evaluate Potential Injury–Next, evaluate potential injury on the scene, both of yourself and of your child. If you both seem OK, proceed to contact law enforcement and check on the party in the other vehicle.Healthcare in a grownup world

Replace Car Seat–After an accident, your child’s car seat may be damaged or broken. Inquire with the car seat manufacturer about how to identify when your seat needs a replacement.

Consult with Child Injury Attorney–Finally, consider consulting with a child injury attorney if your child was injured during the accident. They can help get you the money you are entitled to for your child’s injury, pain, and suffering. In a perfect world, no one would need a child injury attorney, but tragic accidents unfortunately do happen. If you are ever involved in a car accident with your child, hopefully this list of tips can help you get through it as quickly and easily as possible.

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When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawyer ensures that all legal proceedings happen swiftly and that justice prevails. Unluckily, injured people are often denied the compensation that they most deserve. There are times that insurance companies do not pay them.

If you are one of those people injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, then there is not even a guarantee that your medical bills will be covered by the driver’s insurance company.

Legal teams and insurance companies are knowledgeable enough in minimizing settlement claims. Especially if you are attempting to challenge them, they know how to put you in an unfair position.

You should consider a personal injury lawyer for the following reasons:

  • If you have sustained a serious injury with long-term repercussions.
  • When the driver responsible for the accident is underinsured or uninsured.
  • When you and the driver at fault are engaged in a dispute.
  • When you feel pressured to agree on an easy settlement. A fast settlement is entirely different from a fair one.
  • If you do not feel compensated for future and current medical costs resulting from your auto-accident injury.

As you now know when to hire a personal injury lawyer, you must also take note that there is no need to hire one if you only have minor injuries. Minor injuries are not included, such as arm abrasions or bruised knees, as they do not likely justify the many legal costs.

On the other hand, you must not expect to get an easy and fast settlement from an insurance company with the assistance of a personal injury attorney. Always remember that vehicle claim cases can vary. It is not unusual to see other cases take years to be completely resolved. In fact, this is often true for densely populated areas with busy and hectic court calendars.

Even based on the American Bar Association or (ABA), the majority of personal injury lawyers are working with unforeseen events. This only means that you need to pay for contingency fees that depend on the court settlement.

Contingency fees may reach about 40 percent, depending on the case and attorney. Ensure that even before you hire a personal injury attorney, you have already asked about the contingency rate. Also, you must keep in mind that you need to pay for copying expenses and filing costs. No one is going to be responsible for these payments, other than you.

If you are looking for a responsible and trusted lawyer, you can count on the law firm of Lexlee Overton, no matter how big or small your case is. Lexlee Overton represents children and individuals injured by negligence or the careless behavior of other people. Her ethical standards, compassion, and competence make her the best choice for a personal injury attorney that protects you, and the things that matter most to you!

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Proper Car Seat Restraint Can Save Lives: How to Be Prepared

Despite the statistics that indicate a decrease in child (age 12 or younger) passenger deaths from motor vehicle accidents, the fact remains that thousands of children die as a result of car crashes every year. That leaves a lot of room for improvement.

Research demonstrates the crucial role of appropriate child restraints in saving lives and reducing the extent of injuries in vehicular accidents. Yet surprisingly, many children who died in crashes were found with unbuckled restraints. In a recent incident in Centerville, four people died after being ejected when their SUV collided with a school bus. Sadly, three of those killed and pronounced dead at the scene of the accident were children, and none of them had a seatbelt on. A 17-year-old passenger in the SUV survived the crash, as he was properly restrained. He sustained moderate injuries.

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It is a sad reality that children die in motor vehicle crashes because they are not properly restrained. Many of these deaths can be prevented if only parents take the time to provide age-and-size-appropriate restraints for their children. Although there is always a child injury lawyer to protect children’s rights when they figure in accidents, the ideal scenario is for parents to employ all necessary means to prevent any accident from happening in the first place.

Before it reaches the point that a family will need the services of a child injury lawyer, parents and child caregivers must realize that they have important roles to play in keeping children safe in the car. Children always look up to their parents and, more often, they imitate what they see; having said that, parents must serve as good role models to encourage everyone’s safety and protection during every trip. To do that, children must follow the rules of their parents in buckling up and using appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seatbelts at all times–on every trip, and regardless of travel duration. In addition, children aged 12 and below must be buckled up in the back seat.

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Poisoning Prevention Starts in the Home

March is national poison awareness month, reminding us all to avoid risks from common household chemicals and other toxins.

Out of all the two million potential poison exposures that are reported every year to American poison control centers, over 90% occur in the home, and a majority of these affect children 5 years of age and younger, making these household hazards of particular significance to parents. Pets, too, are at frequent risk of poisoning from things like houseplants. The poisoning of adults is also on the rise in our nation, and is now only behind motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths. Over 1000 Americans die from poisoning every year.

In addition to being aware of the common agents of acute poisoning, such as household cleaners, antifreeze, wild mushrooms, poisonous indoor plants, and certain beauty products that contain high concentration of alcohol (such as nail polish remover), it is also prudent to be aware of slower-acting toxins in our homes. Some, like asbestos, are widely known to be dangerous, but others are things the average person might never think a threat. Older candles, for instance, often contain lead in their wicks, which we inhale as they burn, potentially leading to lead poisoning over time. Older household paint may also contain lead. Some types of moth balls use naphthalene, which after prolonged exposure can damage or destroy red blood cells along with causing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Laser printer ink can give off toxic compounds and create airborne particulates; black ink is particularly toxic. Air fresheners give off chemicals such as nitrous dioxide and ethylene, which are hazardous to human health as well.

Remember, poison awareness and illness prevention should not end at what can kill you immediately, but should rather be an all-inclusive knowledge of how you can completely detoxify your home for the long-term health and safety of you and your family.

In the event of an acute poisoning, the American Association of Poison Control Centers, representing the poison control center network of the United States, offers the following poison prevention tips:

  • If you think someone has been poisoned, call 1-800-222-1222 right away. Serious poisonings don’t always have early signs.
  • Put the number for your poison control center (1-800-222-1222) in your cell phone and near home phones.
  • Keep medicines and household products in their original containers in a different place than food.
  • Always read product labels and follow any directions.
  • Keep household products and medicines locked up. Put them where kids can’t see them or reach them.
  • Buy products with child-resistant packaging. But remember, nothing is child-proof.
  • Never call medicine “candy.” Poisons may look like food or drink. Teach children to ask an adult before tasting anything.
  • Learn about products and drugs that young people use to get “high.” Talk to your teen or pre-teen about these dangers.
  • Have a working carbon monoxide alarm in your home.
  • Call 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison control center, anywhere in the United States. The call is free, private, 24/7/365, and expert help is available in more than 150 languages.

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What We Should Do NOW to Protect our Children from Side Impacts

Child safety seats have been under intense scrutiny recently because it is said that they aren’t doing all they can to protect children in case of a crash. Since 2007 car seat manufacturers have been greatly encouraged to voluntarily test the safety of their products in side impact collisions but not all seats are currently tested by the manufacturers. With the new proposal for safer child seats the federal regulators dictate the seats must be able to prevent harmful head impact from smashed vehicle doors and to reduce crash forces on the head and neck. These changes are estimated to save five lives and prevent 64 injuries annually. With these proposed changes and increased usage of the correct car seats for the right age, installed correctly, children will have greater chances of surviving T-bone, or side based, collisions.

Joseph M. Colella, a member of the Department of Transportation’s Child Safety Division, addressed a very good question in a public forum about the issue:

Q: Are there any recommendations for parents who need to move their children into a stage two car seat before the new standards are released & products hit the shelves?

A: That is a good question. The referenced standard is a Notice of PROPOSED Rulemaking (NPRM). NHTSA will accept input from manufacturers and the public on both this and the November 2013 NPRM on the new side impact test dummy. Then they are likely to make revisions and issue a Final Rule – and there will be a period before the rule goes into effect. It will be at least a few years before there IS a standard that all NEW car seats must meet.

The proposed changes will bring about a new era in the safety of children during side collisions. Car seats will be required to protect children from a very vulnerable angle in the car in the years to come if these propositions come into law.

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Louisiana is Among the Top Rated States for Driver Safety

Highway safety reports are generated annually to analyze yearly data about drivers, accidents, maintenance, and overall safety on the road. These reports, like the most recent one from Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety acknowledge positive work that has been done to maintain and encourage driver safety as well as to uncover flaws in the system that need to be addressed.

One report that is trending right now if the over-arching list of the best and worst rated states across the nation in terms of driver safety on the highways.

States are ranked as exemplary (green), moderate adoption (yellow), or unsatisfactory (red). This report draws a direct line between regulation and lives saved to show how laws work as intended to save lives.

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Safety laws are shown to reduce crashes, personal injury cases and accident-related deaths and these reports show clear correlations.

On the latest report Louisiana got a top ranking along with California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and D.C.

The eleven states with a failure rating are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

There are 15 specific lifesaving laws that they consider when giving states these rankings and they have been chosen to reflect the overwhelming safety on the roads in each state. Occupant protection, child passenger safety, teen driving, impaired driving, and distracted driving are the five categories into which the laws fall.

The laws that are considered are as follows:

  • Primary enforcement front seat belt law
  • Primary enforcement rear seat belt lay
  • All-rider motorcycle helmet law
  • Booster seat law
  • Learner’s stage: minimum age 16 for learner’s permit
  • Learner’s stage: six-month holding period provision
  • Learner’s stage: 30-50 hours of supervised driving provision
  • Intermediate stage: nighttime driving restriction provision
  • Intermediate state: passenger restriction provision
  • Cell phone restriction
  • Age 18 for unrestricted license
  • Ignition interlock devices (11Ds)
  • Child endangerment
  • Open container
  • All-driver text messaging restriction

Although Louisiana did rank high because of many safety laws, there is still concern over the failure of Louisiana’s Child Passenger Safety law to follow the recommendations of National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Of primary concern is the failure of Louisiana law to require higher age/height requirements before removing a child from a booster seat to a seat belt.

Currently, Louisiana law allows for a 6 year old to be restrained in a seatbelt without a booster seat.  Booster seats are designed to “boost” children to the correct height to fit correctly in a seatbelt.  The general rule is a child will not fit correctly in a seatbelt unless the child is at least 4 feet 9 inches.

If a child is not tall enough to fit properly in a seatbelt then life threatening injuries can be sustained when the lap portion of the belt makes contacts with abdomen and then internal organs and spinal cord during an automobile crash.

Below is the Car Seat Recommendations for Children by NHTSA and American Academy of Pediatrics:

4StepsFlyer

4StepsFlyer

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18 Wheeler Accidents in Louisiana

18 wheeler tractor trailers and commercial trucks can pose serious threats for drivers and vehicles on the road because of their increased size and lack of maneuverability. Drivers are required to hold special licenses to drive these vehicles but the extra training and screening cannot completely stop accidents on the road. In fact, these drivers can often be careless or aggressive on the roadways following the common phrase, “I’m bigger, so I win.”

The interstates that run throughout Louisiana from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport, and Lake Charles are especially popular routes for 18 wheelers traveling through the state and the negligence of the drivers can pose seriously dangerous driving conditions for drivers of small vehicles on the same roads. In the case of an accident, the employers of the negligent 18 wheelers are at risk of legal action and in their preparations for these claims the companies have often discovered how to shirk responsibility for their driver’s error. The injured person must prove liability for negligence and show that the accident was the result of the commercial driver’s fault. A violation must have directly led to the accident so that a case may be filed. Truck drivers are responsible to follow their company’s policies in addition to the rules of the road.
The majority of vehicular accidents on Louisiana’s highways include commercial trucking. The semi-trailers pose significant risk on the road and are more likely to be part of an accident than a typical, small personal vehicle. In fact, over 2,300 people are injured in Louisiana every year due to negligence in 18 wheeler accidents. In addition to these injuries, over 100 people are killed in these kinds of accidents annually and 75% of these deaths were people riding in the passenger vehicles. Obviously, these 18 wheeler accidents pose more of a threat to the passenger vehicle passengers than the commercial trucks.

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