Page 1



a letter from the firm

John T. Bair editorial

dear friends,

Milestone Consulting, LLC is pleased to provide you with the latest issue of The Safety Report. This publication is produced in collaboration with a growing community of respected legal professionals, industry experts and consumer advocates called The Injury Board, all committed to improving everyone’s quality of life by promoting safety. Our firm is passionate about advocating for consumer rights in the context of financial security. We devote our energy to advising trial attorneys on the complexities of post-settlement issues and guiding plaintiffs through the complicated settlement process. The clients we represent handle cases for families that have experienced serious injury, death, and/or are claimants in consumer class actions. This issue of The Safety Report addresses safety on a number of levels, from an in-depth discussion on product safety to tips on how protect yourself in a crowd. We also explore common financial issues that arise during litigation and offer solutions for mitigating those problems. Our goal is to arm you with useful, practical information for protecting your clients and loved ones. If you know someone who would appreciate a copy of The Safety Report or who may benefit from our representation, then please do not hesitate to refer them to us.

e d i to r - i n - c h i e f

Stephanie Andre a s s o c i at e e d i t o r

Brittany Monbarren a r t d i r e c to r

Keith Woods senior designer

Anthony James

Milestone Consulting, LLC 737 Main Street, Suite 300 Buffalo, NY 14203 (716) 883-1833 (855) 836-2676

Best wishes for a safe and successful twenty-thirteen. Sincerely,

John T. Bair Founder/Member Milestone Consulting, LLC

Toll Free: 855-836-2676

in life, there comes a t i m e t o m ov e f o r wa r d t o t h e next milestone

the consumer ’ s guide to all things safety

on the web Want to read The Safety Report but left your copy at home? Need to share an article with a friend or colleague? Then check out for all things safety.

in your hands We now offer two ways of viewing the magazine—in html and our new digital flipbook. Through this version, you can literally “flip” through the magazine, print articles and even share the full magazine version with others via email or through social media.

we ’ re social While on, you can also follow our latest tweets and Facebook updates. @thesafetyreport

start your team at

Š 2012 March of Dimes Foundation

inside this issue On the Cover


the safety

report Features


safeguarding women ’ s health : the importance of regul ar pap smears


headed to a big event ? tips for staying safe in a crowd


commentary : don ’ t let outrage turn into road rage


is your child ready to travel alone ?

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Product Safety

When you’re buying and using products, safety comes first. Let’s be honest, most products are safe. For the most part, when you purchase a product, you shouldn’t have much trouble or concern about it being flawed. However, doing the proper research and being in-the-know before and after a purchase certainly can’t hurt. Here, we delve into this a bit further.

trending topics


why pulse oximetry screenings are vital for newborns


beauty pageants : are parents bullying their children – by accident ?


body image battle : the desire to be skinny , a first - person account


how to adapt to your child ’ s food allergies

news you can use 4

The ABCs of Recall Apps


Keeping Your Food Safe


The Dos & Don’ts of... a Successful Fitness Plan


HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT APP: Registration: Approx. 88% of consumers admit to giving false information for profile information and 54% of consumers don’t register their products. However, this is changing with online sales now surpassing that of retail. New laws are also taking into account “digital alternatives.” Registration is still a key to tracking products front to end. Apps: BabyCenter, SafetyBook, Bawte

the of




Recall apps by Ellie Cachette


ith so many new apps, it’s hard to tell what can keep you safe anymore. Companies are spending good money to get your feedback and resolve issues, but there’s a lot of clutter out there. How do you know what to believe? How do companies know how to reach you? The key is understanding your needs as a consumer, whether it’s children’s product registration or allergen alerts for grocery shopping. While there are new and innovative products launched each day, recalls too are becoming more common and will continue to. According to ExpertRecall’s Recall Index, there were 12.4 million units affected Q3 last year that affected 15 different product categories. “Consumers and companies alike need to keep their eyes open and ears to the ground in 2013,“ says Mike 04 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

Rozembajgier, vice president of recalls at ExpertRecall, a recall logistics company. “While the CPSC [Consumer Product Safety Commission] has had success reducing the number of recalls affecting U.S. consumers by increasing surveillance at our nation’s ports, don’t be fooled. It won’t be long before recalls become global events. “As an increasing amount of the world’s consumer goods come from outside the United States,” he continues, “consumers will be inundated with more recall news than ever before and effective, rapid communication will be critical.” This means that companies are going to be even less prepared for the costs and burdens of recalls leaving consumers at risk and needing important information services, so what better way than with mobile apps. Of the 6.8 billion people on the planet, 4 billion of them have mobile devices.

Complaints: Sometimes sharing painful information can be helpful to manufacturers and various apps can help get that word heard. Be mindful though of closing any possible doors for resolution and always give a company the right chance to make things better. Apps: PublikDemand, Scambook, Consumer Watchdog Reviews: Consumer purchasing decisions are considered heavily weighed with six out of 10 online shoppers affected by reviews. Many apps plan to take advantage of this by collecting reviews in central places. However, beware of false posts and twisting of information in “usergenerated” sites. Apps: Consumr, Yelp, GOODGuide Safety: Safety-focused apps can bring the most important information to the surface and take more seriously reviews and moderations. Government agencies are starting to build APIs (fancy databases) to talk to other app makers, which helps speed up information. Apps: RecallsPlus, ClickCheckProtect Recalls: While product recalls are expected to increase in certain product areas more than others, recalling and exchanging products is going to become more fluid as online shopping increases. There will be some delays in data and apps focused around strictly recalls, though special items can be flagged and monitored. Apps: FDA, CPSC, Organizer: Having warranties, receipts and contracts handy can be difficult, which is why online organizers make it easier to submit product issues and help companies recall items. Apps: Evernote, Manilla, AboutOne



Top 10 Ways the U.S. Chamber Hurts Americans As the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) holds its annual policy parade on how to eliminate Americans’ rights, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) details the top 10 most notorious ways the U.S. Chamber has hurt Americans. In its newest web feature, Top 10 Ways the U.S. Chamber Hurts Americans, AAJ exposes the U.S. Chamber’s actions to bail out Wall Street, close the courthouse door on American consumers and businesses, protect polluters and drown elections in corporate money. The list focuses on efforts that have had a direct, negative impact on Americans. “The U.S. Chamber is a front group for corporations that want to weaken basic rights of American workers, consumers and small businesses” said AAJ President Mary Alice McLarty. “It is time to expose the U.S. Chamber’s actions that put corporate profits over Americans.” A key focus in AAJ’s list is the actions taken by the U.S. Chamber to limit access to justice. Number Three on AAJ’s list details how ILR spent more than

$226 million in the past decade lobbying the federal government to restrict Americans’ ability to hold corporations accountable when they are harmed by dangerous products and services. At the same time, the Chamber’s National Chamber Litigation Center engaged in an average of two lawsuits a week on behalf of its multinational corporate members. “The last thing our country needs is to give corporations a free pass for their negligence and misconduct,” said McLarty. “Year after year, the U.S. Chamber tries to fool the public into believing that good American jobs and accountability are mutually exclusive, and at the same time uses the judicial system to push its own agenda. This is hypocrisy at its worst.” The irony does not end with lawsuits. Despite its name, the U.S. Chamber has gone to bat for foreign corporations at the expense of American businesses. Number Five explains how even being a U.S. corporation is not always enough to win the U.S. Chamber’s favor.

Top 10 Ways the U.S. Chamber Hurts Americans »» First in line for a bailout »» The leading denier of climate change »» Do as I say not as I sue »» Big business only »» Beholden to foreign corporations »» Drowning elections in corporate money »» Tampering with juries »» Stepping up for the world’s worst polluters »» Pushing the corporate “Get Out of Jail Free” card »» Funneling special interest money into Washington

Editor’s note: In each issue, we bring you news from around the legal world that affects the safety of you and your loved ones. The information is provided by the American Association for Justice. For more information, visit AAJ’s blog,


CNN Op-Ed: Protect Patients’ Rights, Protect Patients’ Lives CNN ran an op-ed online recently by American Association for Justice (AAJ) President Mary Alice McLarty on medical errors and patient safety. In the piece, she challenges the talking points used by people trying to limit patients’ rights and highlights the importance of the civil justice system: The civil justice system gives families of patients who have died or have

been injured by medical negligence an avenue to seek accountability. It also provides an incentive to health care providers to improve patient care. Removing that accountability and incentive leaves people at risk for more injures from negligent care. The calls for medical malpractice reform are misguided because they center on stripping away patients’

rights when they should be focused on preventing the deaths and injuries from occurring in the first place. She also draws on the Texas example to show how so-called “tort reform” will not lower healthcare costs, improve quality or protect patients. To read the entire op-ed, visit medical-malpractice/index.html.

After the Storm: Tips for Consumers Dealing with Insurance Agencies Rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy will continue to be a huge obstacle for people in the Northeast as they begin to rebuild their lives. Some families may be lucky enough to have their claims heard immediately and settled fairly, but this is not always the case; insurance companies are too often eager to profit at the expense of the destitute. Hurricane Katrina brought many examples of such horrific behavior. While we cannot stop this all together, we can provide helpful tips to empower home- and small-business owners. »» Following a major disaster make sure to read your policy carefully as it is important to know exactly what is and isn’t covered when talking with your insurance agent. When reading, make note of their appeals process, in case they deny you coverage. »» After reading the policy, it is critical to make your own estimate of costs and reimbursements. Although this

may seem unnecessary because an adjuster will later do these themselves, it is very important to remember adjusters work for the insurance company and do not represent your best interests. »» When communicating with the insurance company, written communication is always best. This creates a paper trail in case they later rescind a previous offer. Having a hard copy always helps your case, so make sure to save all e-mails. Another easy way to obtain hard copy evidence: take pictures. Document all damage so you can have physical representation of your claims. »» If you believe an estimate is not right, challenge it in writing. If you still have questions or need further assistance, contact your state insurance department. They cannot represent you in private matters, but they may be able to better direct your inquiries.

If you still do not believe something is correct, you may consider consulting an attorney. Throughout your insurance claims process, there are two things to be especially cognizant of. First, when filling out forms make sure you are writing the correct information as even honest mistakes may be used as a reason to deny you coverage. Second, do not cash a premium refund check. If an insurer decides to cancel your policy they will send you a refund check for the premiums you’ve paid; cashing this check may be interpreted as you accepting their decision. Finally, remember that you can get the money you are owed. It is up to you to be your own advocate, don’t let an insurance company deny you your rightful coverage.


Bullying STOPs HERE


NO MATTER™ who you are, what you look like, your sexual preferences, your beliefs, we are ALL the same, we are ALL people, NO MATTER! That means no one should ever be bullied in any way -- NO MATTER! Everyone should be treated with kindness and respect … NO MATTER! Every kid and teen has a choice in how they treat others… NO MATTER!

A national anti-bullying and cyberbullying program for kids and teens 1.877.602.N0BULLY (8559) © STOMP Out Bullying™ 2011

h e a lt h & w e lln e s s

Why Pulse Oximetry Screenings Are Vital


ardiovascular disease (CVD) is often viewed as a problem only for adults, but the reality is that CVD also takes a terrible toll on thousands of children across the country. Congenital cardiovascular defects, also known as congenital heart defects (CHD), are the most common birth defect in the U.S and the leading killer of infants with birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The incidence of CHD ranges between 4 and 10 per 1,000 live births, according to the American Heart Association. Tragically, more than 1,500 of these children do not live to celebrate their first birthday. Congenital heart disease is a structural abnormality of the heart that is present at birth. These defects range in severity from simple holes or murmurs to severe malformations,

for Newborns by Kate Sawa such as the complete absence of one or more chambers or valves. Some critical congenital heart defects can cause severe and life-threatening symptoms, which require intervention within the first 24 to 72 hours of life. However, pulse oximetry screenings are a simple, non-invasive screening that has been proven to drastically increase the survival of those children born with congenital heart defects. Pulse oximetry screenings, generally performed on newborns prior to discharge from the hospital, are an effective way of determining these life-threatening heart defects in newborns at the delivery center. These screenings estimate the percentage of hemoglobin in the blood that is saturated with oxygen. The level of oxygen saturation in the blood is an indicative of how well the heart is functioning. Unfortunately, because the screening is not mandatory in all hospitals, many babies who are born with congenital heart disease are sent home without being diagnosed and treated.

The test takes two minutes or less and can be done by a technician. Present detection methods miss more than 50 percent of all newborn cases. Current methods for detecting congenital heart defects generally include prenatal ultrasound screenings and repeated clinical examinations. However, these screenings alone identify less than half of all cases. The American Heart Association, along with a team of passionate volunteers, is advocating for legislation to require the use of pulse oximetry screening on all newborns. The lifesaving screening is a simple, painless test that can pick up a significant number of critical congenital heart defects that are otherwise missed with traditional screening methods, pre and post birth. The American Heart Association is committed to advancing public policies that will allow children and adults with heart defects to live longer and fuller lives.

To learn more about how you can get involved, visit or

The real story on Carpal Tunnel

watch your form .

Avoid bending your wrists all the way up or down. Keep the keyboard at elbow height or slightly lower. Use proper posture, which assists positioning your wrists in a relaxed middle position. Positioning can be guided with various ergonomic tools, such as wrist rests, keyboards, mice and chairs.

reduce yo u r force and r e l ax your grip .

Anatomy is a factor, but behavior can also deter the syndrome from becoming a problem

Whether on a computer or cash register, try to hit the keys softly. For prolonged handwriting,

by Stephanie Gelber As technology advances and we continue to be more “wired in” than ever, carpal tunnel syndrome is alive and well. Most often associated with typing and computer use, carpal tunnel is caused by a number of factors, including the anatomy of your wrist, certain underlying health conditions and personal patterns of hand use, although there are some general efforts that can be made to minimize the chance of developing the condition in the first instance. Some basic anatomy is important. Bound by ligaments and bones, the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway located on the palm side of your wrist, about as big around as your thumb. The tunnel protects a main nerve to your hand, as well as nine tendons that bend your fingers. Compression of the nerve produces the tingling, numbness, pain and, eventually, hand weakness that characterize carpal tunnel syndrome. Although there is some dispute among medical professionals as to whether or not carpal tunnel syndrome can actually be prevented, there is much literature to support certain strategies useful in decreasing the risk: 10 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

use a big pen with an oversized, soft grip adapter and, again, press more lightly.

take breaks .

Rest your hands on occasion to let your wrists recover during your repetitive tasks.

alternate tasks .

When possible, change activities throughout the day so the motions you are making are not as continuously repetitive.

periodically perform simple exercises .

increase warmth .

See your physician for details,

Hand pain and stiffness

however, the concept here is

increases in colder

to gently stretch your wrists

temperatures so efforts

in the opposite direction of

should be made to keep your

the repetitive motion, which

wrist muscles warm, even if

releases stress and tension.

it means wearing fingerless gloves while you work.

Don’t be afraid to discuss your daily routine with your employer, as it is beneficial to your health to avoid developing carpal tunnel syndrome. It is in your employer’s interest to have you as a healthy, productive employee.



With an increase in the American “baby boomer” population, the tally of U.S. citizens living in nursing homes has approached 1.5 million, according to the Kaiser Family Health Foundation. With this increased market segment residing in more than 16,000 nursing homes in the country comes an increased risk for the elderly to be taken advantage of in facilities that are negligent or otherwise not up to standard. da n g e r s f o u n d within a negligent nursing home

Nursing home neglect is essentially abuse of our elderly. Despite federal and state laws intended to safeguard residents, abuse and neglect in nursing homes is widespread. The National Center on Elder Abuse has estimated that at least 1 in 20 nursing home patients has been the victim of negligence or abuse. The National Center on Elder Abuse has estimated that at least 1 in 20 nursing home patients has been the victim of negligence or abuse.

x 10

In that same study, the Center also found that 57 percent of nurses’ aides in long-term care facilities admitted to having witnessed, and even participated in, acts of negligence or abuse. Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that nursing home negligence played a role in the deaths of nearly 14,000 nursing home patients over a recent four-year stretch. While intentional abuse in nursing homes does happen, the more common fault behind the large number of nursing home injuries and deaths is unintended negligence. Most nursing homes are operated by corporations that are in business to make a profit. Almost universally, nursing facilities are understaffed and the staff members are poorly trained. Studies show that more than half of nursing homes are below the suggested levels for nurses’ aide staffing, and 1 in 4 are below the suggested staffing levels for all employees. Nurses’ aides provide most of the needed care, yet they are the lowest paid and least trained staff members. Low pay and work overload often result in poor morale, high absenteeism and high turnover rates. The residents pay the price in the form of poor care. In the end, nursing home administrators can be guilty of trying to maximize their profit at the expense of the residents’ health and safety. Financial exploitation can also result in a nursing home. When @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 11

a person takes advantage of a senior citizen’s confusion to gain access to his assets, this can lead to a lawsuit to recover those assets. Examples of this have included coercing the senior into signing over real estate, defrauding an elder into buying products or services at extortionate prices, or illegally hacking into his/her bank account or credit card. Neglect is also a common occurrence when facilities lack the adequate number of employees to care for the patients in their care. Signs of neglect include malnutrition, bedsores, poor hygiene, unsanitary living conditions, and dehydration. Lack of resources (including time) is always the cause of this neglect, but that isn’t the real answer. Beneath the improperly managed time is the fact that the employees are the biggest expense for a nursing home. If the

facility can get by with the same amount of patients but fewer caregivers, that works financially in their favor. But it is to their own rue that they manage their home in this way, as we have seen time and again a shortage of nurses almost always leads to calls for help going unanswered, patients sitting for hours in soiled beds, and ultimately, to elder abuse. free resources to evaluate nursing home s

Residents do have the Nursing Home’s Report Card as a resource at home or Nursing Home Compare, which is the official federal government site for Medicare patients ( If you or someone you know has had a family member with a significant injury in a nursing home, this could be the result of abuse or negligent care.

Different Threats Present at Assisted-Living Facilities The primary difference between those who live in assisted living retirement communities as opposed to “nursing homes” can be summed up for the most part in the care needed to help that resident live a comfortable, safe life. But though “assisted-living” facilities are designed to be the home for those with fewer infirmities, there are additional risks to these homes. Commonly, medication errors, resident assaults, avoidable ulcers and bone fractures that could have been avoided with the proper attention, all occur under the auspices of these ALFs (if shopping for an appropriate home for you or a loved one, you will hear this industry-speak, which stands for assisted living facility). Residents of assisted-living facilities require and pay for supervised care to address problems that are a result of their aging bodies. Because of their age, they are vulnerable to injury when supervised care is insufficient. e c o n o m i c i n c e n t i v e s f o r i n a p p r o p r i at e retention

To be admitted, a potential ALF resident has to be certified by a doctor as appropriate for the level of care available at the facility. If you or your aging parent cannot walk (or move via a wheelchair), or if tube feeding or respirators are relied upon, ALFs are not usually the ideal situation. Even if you meet the bare minimum requirements for being admitted to the ALF, consider the gradual loss of ability and mobility that will occur while living in a less-intensive care setting. Medicare and Medicaid can pay for assisted living but not in all situations. ALFs lack government funding, so it’s in their selfinterest to hold onto residents with long-term care insurance and private pay patients. And residents who were needlessly retained (needless except for growing the ALF’s bottom line)


will have a higher injury rate than residents who graduate on time to more intensive settings like a nursing home. i n a d e q u at e s ta f f i n g

A skilled nursing facility possesses professional nurses on staff, and must have medical care and rehabilitative services available. The bar for professional services in an ALF is much lower. As a result, many staff members at these homes, then, have little or no training. State regulators do not usually mandate staffing levels at these homes, so it’s up to the consumer to vet the home and cursorily evaluate the staff and their professionalism. A nurse or medical professional in the area will probably be able to fill you in on the homes’ reputations in the profession, and which ones have quality staff and are known as a good place to work. l ack o f co m p lian ce

Finally, it’s important to note that unlike nursing homes, there are no uniform state regulations or federal regulations that pertain to the operation of assisted-living facilities. Instead, all states have their own laws that govern these. A lot of times these ALFs are not compliant with their state’s assessment and planning processes; the licensing, inspection and enforcement procedures; or the increased attention to Alzheimer’s units that are called for. Since many of these ALFs operate without a permanent nurse on staff, a lot of times the “director of wellness” will supervise the health of residents. This is inappropriate training for a position that should have medical training. To fully evaluate a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is recommended to meet one of the people who will be administering care to the senior. Residents have negotiated for a home that has adequate and consistent care for their needs as human beings.

Keeping Your Food Safe by John McKiggan


seems like rarely a week goes by without new reports in the media about food contamination or recalls. In October 2012, 1,500 meat products were recalled from a processing plant in Alberta, Canada, due to potential E. coli contamination. Even more recently, romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli from a Northern California supplier led to

a recall affecting 19 states. Health Canada estimates there are between 11 and 13 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually in Canada. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. Experts tell us that 70- to

80 percent of foodborne illnesses are due to handling of the ingredients or preparation cooking of the food product. What these statistics suggest is that the most dangerous things in our home may, in fact, be the food we are putting on our table. But these types of illnesses are completely preventable if you follow the proper precautions.

What’s Causing the Problem? Food may be contaminated by various pathogens (bacteria, viruses or parasites) that can make us sick when eaten. According to the CDC, three pathogens—Salmonella, Listeria and Toxoplasma—are responsible for 1,500 deaths each year.

Farm to Fork Generally speaking, our food system is safe, “but there is room for improvement along the farm-to-fork continuum, especially in food services and at the household level,” says Daniel Munro, a research associate with the Conference Board of Canada. How can we ensure food gets safely from the farm to your (or your child’s) fork? By knowing who is at risk, knowing the signs of foodborne disease and using four simple steps to safe food preparation (see list, next page).

Who’s at Risk? Although anyone can “catch” food poisoning, there are certain members of the population who are at increased risk. Infants and toddlers have immune systems that are still developing and may not be able to fend off bacterial infections.


Pregnant women may not become ill themselves, but some foodborne pathogens, such as Listeria, can cross the placenta and infect an unborn baby.

As a result, they also take longer to recover and may suffer more serious complications such as kidney failure. Seniors who may already be suffering from chronic diseases, such as diabetes or kidney disease, may be vulnerable to complications like kidney failure or anemia. Pregnant women may not become ill themselves, but some foodborne pathogens, such as Listeria, can cross the placenta and infect an unborn baby. People who already have a weakened immune system due to cancer, alcoholism, HIV/AIDS or diabetes may have difficulty fighting off possible illness from pathogens and may experience more severe symptoms and take longer to recover.

‘How Do I Know If I Have a Foodborne Illness?’

Four Simple Steps There are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family to reduce the chances of contracting food poisoning through contaminated food. The easiest way is to remember the letters CCSC. Chill: Temperature regulation is an essential step in preventing food poisoning. Keep your refrigerator at or below 40°F (4°C). Thaw frozen food in the fridge where it can stay at a safe temperature. Remember bacteria multiplies in the “danger zone” between 40°F to 140°F (4°C and 60°C). Clean: Wash your hands and sanitize your counters, cutting boards, utensils and dishes before and after touching food. Pathogens are easily spread by contact with contaminated hands, tools or surfaces.

Separate: Raw food and juices may contain dangerous pathogens. Be wary of cross contamination. Use separate cutting boards for meat, fish and poultry. Separate raw food from cooked food products during cooking and place raw meat, poultry and fish on the bottom shelf of your fridge so food juices don’t drip onto other food. Cook: Use a digital thermometer to make sure cooked food has reached a safe temperature, at least 160°F (70°C) for meats and eggs and 190°F (80°C) for poultry. Cooking to the proper internal temperature can kill pathogens that may have contaminated your food products.

Play It Safe The best defense you and your family have against food poisoning is to stay informed, educate yourself and follow safe food practices in your home. 14 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

Foodborne illness—more commonly referred to as “food poisoning”—can cause mild symptoms of nausea or more serious, even life-threatening episodes of vomiting, dehydration and diarrhea. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible: »» High fever over 101.3°F (38.5°C) »» Bloody stool »» Extensive vomiting »» Dehydration »» Diarrhea lasting more than three days

If you think you may have contracted a foodborne illness, it is advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible, and get plenty of rest and stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.

simple steps to sulfites


A r e Yo u A l l e r g i c to this C ommon P r e s e r vat i v e ?


Pay close attention to any physical reactions or distress you experience after eating or drinking any products with sulfites. This may be your first indication you have an allergy.


If you believe you are allergic, have a specialist test you.


Buy a sulfite-testing kit and strips ( They are a good indicator, but the strips can also react to foods with a high sulfa content. High sulfa foods include asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, and French beans.


Regardless, be cautious and don’t eat foods that have a positive test strip response even if it may be a false positive. It is safer to enjoy feasting on the company and not the meal. Make sure you test each meal component.


If you are budget minded—100 strips can cost $65—cut them in half. Note, too, vendors often spray expensive or easily perishable vegetables at the wholesale market. Even if the local chef does not use food fresheners or potato whiteners, someone may have treated the food before it was purveyed.


Eating organic provides a higher degree of safety from sulfites. [Note: sulfur is a recognized and allowed insecticide and it will turn the strip pink or red.]


If you travel to the tropics or live in a warm climate, or if you are in a winter environment, you are more apt to come in contact with sulfitetreated foods.


Recycled paper pulp and certain feminine products made from recycled paper may contain sulfites.

by Mark Kitrick

Do you eat fresh foods or baked goods? Do you enjoy seafood? Drink wine? If so, you could be one among millions exposed to a potentially dangerous, but little known, allergen:–sulfite. It is estimated that up to 350 million people, or 5 percent of the world’s population, are sensitive to sulfites. Sulfites are inorganic salts with antioxidant, preservative properties and have been around for centuries. However, once they became inexpensive to make—the chemical business now manufactures more than 100,000 new compounds a year and millions of chemicals—companies added them in more concentrated forms so many products could last longer and look better. Thus, sulfites are a boon to the wine, fresh food, pharmaceutical, seafood, baking and paper-recycling industries. They are now commonplace, but their growing concentrations in everyday items we ingest pose potentially serious health problems. Sulfite reactions range from mild to severe, even life threatening in many cases. Sulfites are one of the top 10 allergens that can cause anaphylaxis and death. Their existence made national headlines in the 1980s when customers began dying after eating at salad bars. Further compounding matters, many of the medications doctors used to treat the reactions also contained sulfites to maintain the drug’s

stability and potency. Consumers were unaware of these issues. Eventually, in the late 1980s the FDA mandated standard sulfite labeling, which depends in large part on how many parts per million companies add to various food, drink, and drug products. Read any U.S wine bottle label, for example, to see that it “contains sulfites.” Many medications, including anesthesia, sodas and foods, such as vegetables, crackers, cookies or coconuts, are labeled because the companies added sulfites to keep the products fresh, to halt discoloration and to discourage bacterial growth. Even with labeling laws, the warnings are not enough. First, labeling is only required when there are more than 10 ppm (parts per million) of sulfites added to a product. Second, a wide variety of food and drink items do not list sulfites when mixed with other ingredients. Third, sulfite reactions are often insidious; they start weak or benign, such as a headache after drinking wine, fruit juice or certain sodas. Reactions can also cause a flat rash or flushing after exercising, or trigger a funny or swollen feeling around the lips. Repeated exposure can cause hives, shortness of breath, spasms in the lungs, and pulmonary distress with life-threatening anaphylaxis. Asthmatics are more likely to be reactant to sulfites.


Safeguarding Women ’ s Health:

the importance of regular pap smears by Edward L. Graham

Did you know that approximately 9,500 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, while more than 3,500 woman die each year from the disease? Cervical cancer, a disease of the female reproductive tract, is the most common cause of cancer death in those parts of the world where Pap smears and Pap tests are not available. Yet, it is the easiest gynecological cancer to prevent through regular screening and early vaccination. The most common test doctors use to check for early signs of cervical cancer is called the Pap smear or Pap test. The classical Pap smear involves the use of a beak-like device called a speculum to separate the walls of the vagina. A small spatula and brush are then used to collect cells from the cervix, which are then smeared onto a glass slide. Modern variations of the Pap test can collect cells in other formats. However collected, a lab will later examine the harvested cells to see if they are normal or abnormal. The presence of abnormal cells usually does not mean cancer is present. Abnormal cells are quite common, and most are only mildly abnormal. Fifty to 60 million women are tested in our country each year, and 2 million to 5 million women have abnormal cells. An abnormal Pap smear always mandates further testing, however, to enable treatment where necessary. The largest risk factor for cervical cancer is human papilloma virus (“HPV”) infection, which is usually present when a Pap smear detects cell abnormalities.


r i s k fac to r s

There are more than 100 types of HPV, most of which are low risk and do not cause cancer. At least 80 percent of all women are exposed to an HPV virus during their lifetimes. HPV is transmitted through sexual contact. An HPV detected today may have been acquired years ago. Most women infected will experience no symptoms. Most of the time the virus is low risk and is destroyed by the body’s immune system before there is any harm caused. However, the presence of abnormal cells warrants increased vigilance, which can then lead to early detection and whatever treatment is necessary. Only women with persistent HPV are at risk for cervical cancer. Therefore, when a woman tests positive for abnormal cells, it is vital to test further. Followup evaluation is necessary to see if the patient may already have cervical cancer, may have cells which can become cancerous (so-called “precancer” cells), or is infected by one of the high risk HPV viruses that can cause cervical cancer, like types 6 and 18. e a r ly d e t e c t i o n

Early detection can facilitate treatment and even cure cervical cancer. Regular Pap smear screening can reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by up to 80 percent. Since the introduction of the Pap smear, deaths from cervical cancer have declined by as much as 99 percent in populations in which women are

screened regularly. Errors of prevention in the modern age are due to lack of regular screening, lack of proper followup evaluation of abnormal results, and occasionally by sampling or interpretation errors. There is a significant false negative rate with a single screen, so regular, repetitive screening is necessary. Pap smears are best scheduled when the patient is not having a menstrual period, although many physicians will test anyway, as long as there is no heavy bleeding. It is best to abstain from intercourse and avoid use of tampons and douches for two days before testing. w h e n to t e st

In the United States, Pap smears are recommended for all women starting at age 21, then repeated every three years. If testing reveals abnormal cells, or if the patient has HIV or other immune deficiency disease, more frequent testing is recommended. After age 30, the doctor may likely recommend HPV testing, sometimes alone but best in conjunction with a Pap smear. If both are negative, repeat testing can usually be held off for five years. Even if the patient has had an HPV vaccine, cervical cancer screening is still recommended. The HPV vaccine has no beneficial effect unless administered prior to one’s first sexual activity. Statistically, as many as 30 percent of females have become sexually active by the end of middle school, and that rate climbs to 60 percent for young women by the end of high school.

Women over age 65 can stop having Pap smears if they have had regular testing as recommended in the past, with no abnormal results the past ten years. Hysterectomy patients can stop having Pap smears unless the cervix was left in, the hysterectomy was needed because of cervical cancer or precancer, or the patient’s mother had consumed DES while pregnant with her. Skipping regular Pap smears causes a needless risk of cancer. Over half of cervical cancers in our country are in women who have never had a Pap smear. Ten to 20 percent occur in women who

have not been tested in the previous five years. b e p r oac t i v e

In addition to having regular Pap and HPV testing as recommended by one’s health care provider, the risk of cervical cancer can be further reduced by sexual abstinence; delayed onset of sexual activity; practicing safe sex (condoms and diaphragms reduce the odds of HPV exposure); not smoking; maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle; and, if eligible, getting the vaccine that can prevent most cervical cancers.

e d u c at i o n

For educational purposes, it is important to emphasize what a Pap smear is not. It is not a pelvic exam (a pelvic exam may include a Pap test, but you can have a vaginal exam without a Pap test). It is not a test for ovarian or uterine cancer. It is not a biopsy. Present any questions you may have to your healthcare provider. Educational brochures and additional information can also be obtained from the Women’s Cancer Network at or by calling their Information Hotline at (800) 444-4441.

...when a woman tests positive for abnormal cells, it is vital to test further.


n o w a n d ag a i n , e v e r yo n e n e e d s a h e l p i n g h a n d ... f o r t h i s , l aw y e r s a g a i n s t h u n g e r i s t h e r e .

Founded in 2011, LAH is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting hunger, increasing food security for those in need, and providing support grants to other 501(c)(3) organizations that help fight hunger in Oklahoma.

For more information or to donate, visit


beauty pageants Are Parents Bullying Their Children – By Accident? by Mark Bello


fake eyelashes, flippers, big hairdos, tanning, and sparkly’s the world of beauty pageants. We have all heard of them, maybe even watched an episode or two of “Toddlers & Tiaras” or “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” Beauty pageant competitions for young children have been dominating the pageant market for many years, although most of us were unaware of them until the 1995 death of then-5-year-old beauty queen Jon-Benet Ramsey. A recent paper in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry looked at what motivates some parents to enter their children in high-glitz beauty pageants. Author Martina M. Cartwright, a registered dietitian and adjunct professor in the University of Arizona’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, suggests that, “highglitz child pageants, largely popularized by the TLC hit reality show ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’ and its spin-off, ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,’ often have little to do with the children and much more to do with satisfying the needs of their parents.”

Proof in the Pudding Cartwright attended live tapings of “Toddlers & Tiaras” during her research and said she witnessed parents putting high pressure on their daughters to look “flawless” and win at all costs, pushing them to adopt an unnatural and adultlike physical appearance and chastising them for poor performance, lack of enthusiasm or a flawed appearance. Many parents, she said, become extremely critical of their child contestant. Cartwright said to keep very young children going hour after hour, parents jeopardize their kids’ physical health. She saw several parents

Building Confidence?

giving their toddler high-caffeine “energy drinks” and Pixy Stix candy, known as “pageant crack,” to keep the contestants awake until crowning, according to the report, Princess by Proxy: When Child Beauty Pageants Aren’t About the Kids. As young children are not capable of making decisions to enter beauty pageants before they can speak, it is obviously the parent’s choice. These parents justify their decision by saying that participating in pageants is in their child’s best interest—to gain confidence, independence, social skills,

poise and talent. Pageant kids must practice their smile, walk and turns for hours, then spend more hours preparing for their pageant interview—all before the big event. Then, there are hours of preparation—hair, makeup, nails—the day of the pageant. Parents even deny their children a nap or break during the pageant for fear that sleeping will dishevel the child’s appearance or the child will not wake up in time to compete. Are these well-intentioned parents “bullying” their children—by accident?

Pageants may be a great way to build confidence and communication skills; some contestants compete to win scholarship money for college. But, children as young as 6 months carried onto the stage by their mothers are not building self-confidence nor are they asking to compete as many “stage moms” claim. A 4-year-old might look at a pageant as “playing Cinderella,” but pageant “dressing up” is not at all equal to normal childhood role-play games. Some experts believe that pageants ultimately lead to negative results. It has been shown that children as young as 5 have a clear image of what their appearance should be and if it isn’t what they believe or have been told, then their self-worth dramatically decreases. As children move into preadolescence and adolescence, they become more susceptible to what they hear and see in their environment. It is not uncommon for some to have eating disorders at a young age or experience bulimia or anorexia later in life due to the pressures to have a “Barbie doll” image. Are parents paving the way for their children to have lifelong issues with their appearance and self-worth? A former child pageant star, who had a full-time modeling coach by the age of 3, says she was pressured by her mom

to be perfect. Now in her 20s, the young woman said she not only missed out on her childhood, but also suffered from the stress and anxiety of feeling that she had to be perfect all the time. She claims her mom criticized her performances for even the slightest mistake, such as not making eye contact with the judges. The pressure to be perfect chipped away at her confidence little by little. She also believes that the pressures to be the best put a strain on her relationship with her mother that has never been repaired, according to an article in The Sun, “Why Mums Shouldn’t Enter Kids Into Beauty Pageants.” Although the intent of these parents is not to erode their child’s self-esteem, continually forcing these young girls to endure hours upon hours of practice, sitting through hourlong makeup and tanning sessions, and critiquing every little thing they do wrong is a subtle form of bullying. Are beauty pageants teaching vulnerable little girls that looks are more important than what they have to offer in terms of aptitude and skill and that happiness is dependent upon how people are judged outwardly? What about focusing on intelligence, poise, and confidence irrelevant of a child’s exterior qualities? Emotional bullying is harder to detect, but its impact is huge and can last a lifetime. Maybe it is time for parents, and pageant promoters, to stop pushing children into an adult world far too soon.

Now in her 20s, a young woman says she ...suffered from the stress and anxiety of feeling that she had to be perfect all the time.




Why teens are most vulnerable by Stephanie Gelber

For many teens and young adults, living in the moment is all about looking good and not worrying about what tomorrow brings. Unfortunately, for those young people who use tanning beds in their quest for that year-round “healthy” skin tone, such a decision can result in an increased risk of skin cancer and premature aging. Why aren’t tanning beds safe? According to the American

t e l l i n g ta l e s

To make matters worse, according to an investigative report published in early 2012 by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, entitled False and Misleading Health Information Provided to Teens by the Indoor Tanning Industry, few tanning salons tell the truth about the health risks of indoor tanning. Committee investigators posed as 16-year-old girls, and contacted 300 indoor tanning salons throughout the country to ask about the health risks of tanning. Of the salons contacted, 90 percent told the girls that indoor tanning did not pose health risks, and more than 50 percent denied that tanning increased the risk of cancer. In addition, more than 75 percent of the salons said that indoor tanning is actually beneficial to the health of a teenage girl, suggesting that intense UV rays treat depression, induce vitamin D production, prevent and treat arthritis and help with weight loss and cellulite. When confronted with this report, John Overstreet, executive director of the Indoor Tanning Association, refuted the claims and called the report biased. He said there is insufficient evidence to prove such health risks and argued that parents

Academy of Dermatology, exposure to ultraviolet light alters cellular DNA and other skin proteins, allowing for a greater risk of skin cancer and melanoma, the deadliest form of the disease. Studies have clearly shown that the earlier in life a person experiences UV skin damage, the more likely melanoma will develop. Since approximately 70 percent of tanning bed users are under the age of 30, this age group has been found to develop melanoma at a rate of seven times that of the rest of the population. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) grades indoor tanning beds as a “Group 1” carcinogen, which is on the same level as tobacco smoke and arsenic.

join their teen daughters at the tanning salons to sign consent forms, which explain the known health risks of tanning beds, thereby trying to shift responsibility away from the tanning industry. Suzanne Connolly, MD, vice president of the American Academy of Dermatology, commented that although parental consent laws exist in 30 states, even where they are regulated, there is no standardized information required to be included in the consent forms and very poor compliance. t h e aw f u l r e a l i t y

What is of the greatest concern, however, is that based upon the 2011 Indoor Tanning: Teen and Young Adult Women Survey, conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology, Caucasian teen girls and young women who tan indoors do so for the sake of vanity, despite knowing the health risks. The answer? As is being urged by the American Cancer Society (ACS), federal officials must impose greater control over the manufacture and distribution of tanning beds. ACS Deputy Chief Medical Officer Len Lichtenfeld, MD, urged the FDA to reclassify tanning beds to reflect what the World Health Organization and scientists see as a link between the devices

and skin cancer; rather than maintaining their classification as Class I medical devices, which is reserved for the lowest risk products such as tongue depressors and bandages. Stronger laws must also be passed in all states limiting the use of tanning beds to children, as was done in New York effective in August 2012 for anyone under the age of 17; better education must be given to our teens who are apparently not getting it now and/or are not getting enough details about the risks they are facing; and maybe most importantly, some tough love must be given by parents who ultimately are responsible to guide their children to better health.


Staying Safe Around

ANIMALS by Bryan Slaughter

Most kids are dog lovers, and their natural instinct is to immediately pet and play with our canine friends. Most of the time, such interaction is safe and fun, but there are certain times when it can become at best scary and at worst dangerous. One of my daughters had a bad experience when she was 4. A dog chased her and tackled her. The dog thought they were playing, and Libby was fine, but it scared her and, to this day, she’s scared of strange dogs. Unfortunately, each year hundreds of kids are not so lucky and are injured by dog bites or attacks. Here are some tips to keep your children safe:

t e ac h c h i l d r e n t o h av e a h e a lt h y r e s p e c t for dogs

Young children are often fearless, and this lack of fear often extends to dogs. This is especially true if a child has a friendly pet in the family. Children’s trusting nature can be very dangerous when it comes to dogs, however. Teach children to never approach a strange dog, and if they want to pet a dog that’s with its owner, always ask if it’s OK to do so before approaching the dog. t e ac h t h e wa r n i n g s i g n s o f ag g r e s s i v e n e s s

Most dogs your child will encounter are not aggressive, but it can be hard to tell a dog’s intentions. A wagging tail and loping gait signifies playfulness and curiosity, while a rigid body and tail is often a sign of aggressiveness. r e s p e c t a d o g ’ s p e r s o n a l s pac e

Dogs are much more likely to act aggressively if they feel threatened or are startled. Teach children not to make eye contact with dogs, especially if they are close to the animal’s head. Likewise, kids should know not to bother dogs while they are eating or sleeping. For some reason, when she was 2 years old, our youngest daughter always loved to try to play with the food of our black lab, Lucy. Fortunately, Lucy was as docile as can be and her only reaction was to back away from her food, but we still took the time to teach Cate that Lucy’s food was completely off limits. The importance of the lesson went beyond our house, because if Cate did the same thing with another family’s dog on a play date, she might not be so lucky. don’t run

An approaching dog can be scary for a child, and a child’s instinct is to run away. Running from a dog is the worst thing a child can do. Running away from a dog can trigger its “prey drive.” Prey drive is the instinctive inclination of a dog, or any carnivore, to pursue and capture prey, and so a running child can cause a dog to chase and 22 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

attack. If the child makes any movements, they should be slow and done while facing the animal. make like a tree or a ball

The most important thing a child can do if approached by a strange dog is stay calm and be still—like a tree—and to not make eye contact or smile (what humans see as friendly might be interpreted as teeth baring to a dog). A dog is much less likely to act aggressively toward someone who is calm and still. If your child is ever attacked by a dog, he should roll up into a ball, and shield his face and neck as much as possible. No matter how seemingly minor, seek medical attention for any dog bite that punctures the skin. be careful of a dog’s turf

Dogs can be very protective of their territory, and act aggressively if they sense it is being invaded. Thus, make sure your children know to be particularly careful when cutting across yards or going to front doors. Also, a child should never stick his hand towards or tease a dog that is fenced in or chained up. n e v e r l e av e a d o g a l o n e w i t h a s m a l l c h i l d

No matter how good natured a dog is, it is still not a good idea to leave it alone with a young child. A child could pull its tail or ears, or do something else to startle or injure it. A dog’s natural instinct is to fight back if it thinks it’s being attacked. n e v e r a p p r oac h a w i l d a n i m a l

No matter how cute or cuddly they may be, children should never approach or touch a wild animal. If a wild animal is acting strangely or approaches a child, he should move away as quickly and calmly as possible. Sit down with your children and go over these simple lessons. It will help keep them safe and greatly increase their chances of having safe and fun interactions with our canine friends.

Keep the Fun in

Eating Out Make a few small, but important, changes to keep your caloric intake in check by Victoria Santoro


ost people rationalize meals out to themselves thinking, “Oh, it’s a weekend, I can cheat a little bit!” Before you know it, you’ve eaten nachos covered in guacamole, two enchiladas and enjoyed several frozen margaritas. Even one meal out, often loaded with sodium, fat and calories, can have serious deleterious effects on your health. Don’t believe me? Studies have shown that your arteries become clouded with fat, free radicals (molecules that cause cell damage) are released, your tissue becomes inflamed (similar to what happens when you get sick) and your blood pressure rises. Basically, your body suffers an anxiety attack. This isn’t so surprising when you consider the nutrition facts in an average restaurant meal. A study in Public Health Nation found that appetizers average 813 calories and entrees average 674. Even a salad, loaded with cheese, nuts and dressing, averages 496 calories. So with all of this ammunition to motivate you, the next time you’re enjoying a rare night out with friends, let these guidelines bring you through the ordering process:

When choosing a beverage, though, try to avoid soda (even diet) and stick to a tall glass of water. Soda contains chemicals that have been shown to cause cancer, kidney stones and possibly increase our appetites overall. If ordering alcohol, keep in mind that one, 12-oz. glass of beer contains 150 calories, and many cocktails contain far worse nutritional content. The frozen margaritas mentioned earlier? Some restaurant portions contain more than 500 calories. And many other popular cocktails contain a surprisingly high number of calories as well. One shot of liquor contains approximately 100 calories, so experts often recommend ordering vodka with carbonated, flavored water. (Notice, no soda!) Finally, remember to keep an eye on the kids, too. Scientific American reports kids drink 7 trillion calories per year, something they suggest is contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic. Water is always the safest bet, but these tips can help keep your calories and waistlines in check. portion size

h y d r at e

You have heard this one before: many people mistake thirst for hunger so try to hydrate before you arrive at the restaurant. 24 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

The Cheesecake Factory is probably most famous for their massive portion sizes…the plates barely fit on the table. This is despite the fact that, for the

average person, one serving of protein is about equal to the size of your fist. To combat our enormous American portions, try ordering from the starters menu or even the kids menu, if at all possible. Most restaurants offer some fairly sophisticated small plates. If the starters don’t interest you, request that the restaurant place half of your entrée in a to-go container before the food even arrives at the table. Eating family-style, and splitting up portions among your family and friends can often be more fun, provide more variety to the meal, and help control portion size. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommend “spoiling your dinner” with a small healthy snack (think celery with a tablespoon of peanut butter) to help control your appetite before dinner and avoid overeating. food substitutions

This is the most substantive, and most crucial piece of the restaurant puzzle. Modify, modify, modify! Start off thinking about what vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins you’d like to eat. If you like to start with a salad, order the dressing on the side. Creamy dressings will cost you in the health department so look for vinaigrettes, or just plain oil and vinegar.


Fruits: 4-5 per day Ex. of 1 serving: 1 medium fruit, ¼ cup of dried fruit, ½ cup of fresh, frozen or canned fruit, ½ cup of fruit juice.

EATING GUIDE How many servings do you need each day?

Grains: 6-8 per day Ex. of 1 serving: 1 slice of bread, 1 oz. of dry cereal, ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta or cereal.

Vegetables: 4-5 per day Ex. of 1 serving: 1 cup of leafy vegetables, ½ cup of cut-up raw or cooked vegetables, ½ cup of vegetable juice.

Meat: 2-3, less than 6 oz. per day Ex. of 1 serving: 3 oz. cooked meat (about the size of fist), 3 oz. grilled fish. Nuts, Seeds & Legumes: 4-5 per week Ex. of 1 serving size: ¹/3 cup or 1½ oz. of nuts, 2 tbsp. peanut butter, 2 tbsp. or ½ oz. of seeds, ½ cup of dry beans or peas.

Low-Fat Dairy: 2-3 per day Ex. of 1 serving: 1 cup of fat-free or low-fat milk, 1 cup of fat-free or low-fat yogurt, 1 ½ oz. fat-free or low-fat cheese. Fats and Oils: 2-3 per day Ex. of 1 serving size: 1 tsp. of soft margarine, 1 tbsp. of mayonnaise, 1 tsp. vegetable oil, 1 tbsp. of reg. or 2 tbsp. of low-fat salad dressing.

Sweets & Added Sugars: 5 or fewer per week Ex. of 1 serving size: 1 tbsp. of sugar, 1 tbsp. of jelly or jam, ½ cup of sorbet and ices, 1 cup of lemonade.

Based on a 2,200-calorie diet. Source: American Heart Association (

Avoid salads tossed with soft cheeses and nuts as these pack a heavy caloric punch. The more vegetables make up the salad, the better. After all, this is what a salad is meant to be! Lean protein will both fill you up and keep you satisfied. Eight ounces of chicken has 273 calories and 6 grams of fat. The same portion of steak racks up 349 calories and 17 grams of fat, so be careful to watch portion sizes of beef very carefully. Any health benefit from ordering chicken over steak, though, is canceled out if it comes to you fried, covered in melted cheese or slathered in creamy sauce. Look for entrees that have been grilled, broiled and sautéed. Try to avoid dishes that have been fried. Ask the restaurant to use little or no butter in the preparation of your food. Fish is a great source of protein, and certain types of fish also contain omega-3 fatty acids, essential for our bodies to function and key in reducing inflammation. Look for dishes that contain salmon, tuna or sole and consider ordering shellfish (beware allergies!) as either an appetizer or entrée. Dishes built around fish often come with vegetables on the side and side dishes are another sneaky culprit in the struggle

to eat healthy at a restaurant. First of all, avoid the breadbasket. Bread is full of empty calories and refined flour. Spread some butter on there and it’s a health nightmare. But even side dishes comprised mainly of vegetables are often covered in cheese or butter; ask the restaurant to either reduce or remove the unhealthy toppings. Avoid side dishes that include oversized portions of mashed potatoes covered in butter and sour cream; also avoid French fries or onion strings. Look for sautéed spinach with garlic, for example, or a vegetable medley. Generally, the more natural and simple a dish is, the more healthy it will be for you. dessert

Of course, desserts are loaded with fat and calories so try to avoid them as often as you can. Berries with whipped cream is always a good option if you’re looking for a compromise. Otherwise, if it’s been one of those days, and you’re absolutely certain the treat will be worth it, go ahead and indulge! @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 25

FIGHTING FOR INJURY PREVENTION AND JUSTICE PRESERVATION ACROSS THE COUNTRY. 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.

Headed to a Concert or Sporting Event? Tips fo r stay ing safe in a crowd by Paul Oliveri and Nathaniel Fick


ig events can be a ton of fun. From the excitement of walking up to the stadium to the rush of adrenaline you get when the band starts to play, larger-than-life events can result in big-time fun, but also big-time chaos if you don’t know how to maneuver through the crowd.

stay c a l m

Stay calm. Panic can be deadly, never join in. When something goes wrong, sometimes the only person you can count on for your own safety is you. Vigilance is your friend.

p e r s o n a l sa f e t y

Number one: watch out for the safety of yourself and those accompanying you. Crowds have force. Any person can be crushed in a crowd, especially a frenzied or panicked crowd. Use the buddy system, and look out for each other. If you’re going to wear a costume, mask or sports helmet, do not block your vision; don’t impair your ability to safely navigate tight aisles and dense crowds. Drugs or alcohol can affect your ability to look out for your own personal safety, or that of anyone with you. Have a designated driver to get home safely. It is best to be with someone you know and trust. If you are attending on a “General Admission” ticket, bleacher seating or festival seating, there may not be a limit on the number of people attending, and you cannot count on the planners to have provided for your safety.


p r e s e rv e yo u r h e a r i n g

Instead of sitting, standing, dancing or moshing upfront, consider putting some distance between you and the speaker system. The speakers on and in the stage’s immediate vicinity will probably be louder than if you are farther away from the stage. Or, consider using earplugs if the music is still too loud. You can still enjoy the music, you can still hear the announcements and crowd conversations. If you hear a buzzing sound in your ears after a concert has ended, this is a serious warning you should heed.

p e r s o n a l co m f o r t

Stay hydrated. It does not matter whether the event is summertime, wintertime, outdoors or indoors, stay hydrated. Whether an indoor or outdoor event, these involve a longer period of time, and often a lot of energy and activity. Drink water and sports drinks to keep your fluids and electrolytes in balance. The body keeps cool by sweating, and in this process you lose the fluids and electrolytes, especially sodium, which are needed to keep you properly hydrated and cooled. For the same reasons, plan ahead for restrooms and food. Keep an eye out for flying objects. Soft inflated beach balls usually present no problems, yet overzealous fans sometimes throw harder and heavier objects, capable of causing physical harm, so be vigilant.

e x i t st r at e gy

Plan ahead. Locate exits when arriving, and make sure you know of a secondary exit so you can find your way out in case of chaos, crowding or exit blockage. Look again if you are visiting the concession stands or the bathroom. It is always good to know where more than one exit is located. When something goes wrong at a concert, a sporting event or any large public gathering, it happens quickly. Crush injury, rigging collapse, clashes or fights between patrons or security personnel, fire or other dangerous developments are often avoidable by the thought you bring to the event, and your awareness of what is going on around you. The potential danger exists both in the coming and going of fans who can get hurt or killed in a crush as they try to leave the packed venue while others are trying to force their way in. Pay attention to everything going on around you and throughout the crowd. You do not want to get caught up in a brawl or a stampede. In the excitement of going, there is seldom reflection on the crowd-safety failures that have resulted in hundreds of injuries and deaths over the years.


b u d dy syst e m

This may sound lame, but it remains a primary safety feature. The buddy system provides you and your friend a completely different set of eyes, ears and attention to expand your awareness of what is going on around you while attending a concert, sporting event, festival, or other public gathering. Designate a place to meet after the event is over in case you get separated; you cannot always count on cellphones having reception, especially in venues with a lot of metal or stone, or in hearing someone with the crowd noise. You can expand your ability to look out for your own physical safety by having that friend with you, especially in a moving, anxious or panicked crowd. As alcohol or drugs can affect your ability to look out for your own safety, these can impair your ability to look out for anyone with you or them for you. Packed venues are target-rich environments for pickpockets and thieves, who can then press close and appear to be just another of the rubbing, bumping crowd. You should not be rubbing up against everyone you pass in making your way around; if the venue is overcrowded, it is unsafe—leave. Similarly, you should leave any indoor venue that is too small, closed in, crowded or otherwise appears unsafe, especially if there will be fireworks or pyrotechnics in anything other than an open sky.

c r ow d s u r f i n g

Even if you have not personally crowdsurfed, you probably have seen photos and videos of fans who are passed through the crowd as they extend their arms and legs out, as if making a snow angel, and are simultaneously held and moved by the extended hands of fellow fans. In theory, and often in practice, it can be safe. But the risk of a bad experience convinces us otherwise. Beyond the obvious risk of injury if you fall, there have been many reports of bodily assaults and sexual violations. You cannot rely upon the crowd having the strength and concern required to keep you safe. We caution against crowdsurfing.

co n f r o n tat i o n s

Avoid them! You came to enjoy the show; continue with that plan to do so. Irritation and frustration, spilled drinks and bumps, stepping on feet, disagreeable fans—can spark a fight, or a riot when a crowd is hot and hemmed in. Maintain your own calmness, and be courteous. Apologize when appropriate, and accept apologies. Avoid all confrontations. If there is a need for some intervention, get someone in authority at the event to handle it; let security do its job. They will get any necessary backup from uniformed guards or the police. Your plan must be to leave with the same equanimity as when you arrived.

ov e r n i g h t e r s

Outdoor festivals, with overnight camping at the event site, call for some additional precautions. Take a flashlight along. Wear light-colored clothing that can be readily seen by event personnel and that can avoid you being struck by patrol vehicles. Your sleeping bag and/or tent should be set up only in designated, marked areas. Especially heed our buddy system advice; common sense should tell you these festivals need an increased level of personal security. If you leave your seat or place in the crowd to go for snacks, or to the bathroom, never go alone; best to always walk the grounds with a trusted friend.

HAVE FUN There are many ways to enjoy a concert safely, no matter how small or large the audience is. While more people may increase the chance that something bad will happen, injuries can usually be avoided. Be careful, be smart and...have fun.


Lead by Example Why instilling life’s important lessons in our children is critical to their safety and growth by Nathaniel Fick and Jane S. Fick Parenting is not easy. Minute to minute. Hour to hour and so on, you are responsible for these little creatures we call children. And it can be exhausting. And frustrating. And wonderful. And the best thing you’ll ever do. But, you’re not just a parent either. You’re a man or woman. Son or daughter. Husband or wife. And you need to take care of yourself, too. Otherwise, you will be tired, cranky and less tolerant of your children’s antics. And they will know it. The healthier you are, the healthier your relationship with your children will be. Living your life in a “healthy” way and parenting by example are some of the best first steps you can take.

b u i l d i n g c h a r ac t e r

t i m e a n d at t e n t i o n

We all have faults, but the ultimate goal is for our children to learn to be truthful, dependable, diligent, respectful and sincere. As parents, we are the closest role model they have, and we set the example. Listen to the little and the big things in their lives. Not only does this show respect and strengthen the relationship, but it is the first step in knowing about and dealing with any developing problems.

“Balancing life’s demands” says it all; it is a lifelong process. Still, there is a critical importance of time, and allowing time, for each other, and for all children at all ages. Even if this is only a few minutes of undivided attention before having to turn to something pressing, the mere fact that you give someone undivided attention, focusing on their interests and what they may wish to share, is a building block. This period of life, when your children are in the home, is fleeting—despite the feeling that it will never end in the moment. Parenting and family, to some large extent, has to come first.

c a r i n g a n d s h a r i n g

Greet each other, always. Children see and hear everything. The first few moments of coming back together set the stage for all that follows. This opens the door to share and balance the joys and challenges of each day. To each member of the family, the family and home are “Home, Sweet Home.” The pressures and aggravations of the world at large are dealt with and kept at bay by responsible actions of family members, ultimately collectively. Even the youngest’s behavior and learning of personal responsibilities contributes to the entirety of family harmony. 30 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

r e s p e c t a n d l ov e

The center of our lives, from birth until death, should be in the family, in our relationships. Jackie Kennedy once stated, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters much.” Painful, but true. Parents are role models and teachers. Children learn self-discipline (which is really self-control), boundaries, respect and love by watching and emulating

Every person has something new to impart. It does not always have to be about science, history, math, or even vocabulary. It may be about grasshoppers...

10 Easy Steps to Remember About Being a Good Role Model:


Include your values and beliefs as everyday aspects of your life.


Share the successes and the failures of your life with your children in an appropriate manner.


Allow happiness and excitement to be part of the atmosphere in your home.


Don’t hide your emotions.


Live a healthy lifestyle and your children will live that way also.


Be aware of the world you and your children live in.


Express your individuality and independence.


Always respect one another.


Have a positive attitude.


Maintain both a physically active and mentally active lifestyle.

our actions and reactions. Even discipline can be a firm, yet gentle, rational and instructive demonstration of rules and boundaries. When children are treated with respect, and see parents treat each other kindly and with respect, they are off to a decent beginning. s u b s ta n c e

Learn something new every day. Every person has something new to impart, share or learn everyday. It does not always have to be about science, history, math, or even vocabulary. It may be about grasshoppers, leaves, a child’s friend at school or some quirk of a classmate that affects a relationship. From a pure growth-of-knowledge standpoint, developing an exploratory mind within each of us proves to be helpful over a lifetime. From a relationship standpoint, just sharing the time, information and insight stands to help each person involved in the conversation—if they take the time to do it. Each of us is then individually seeking, exploring, discovering, marveling and instilling in those around us that same quality. va r i e t y

There are great rewards in maintaining and growing our social and family relationships, nurturing them like a garden. A wonderful

way to maximize this starts when children are young, by having a family meal time, allowing our children to learn from us about manners, and by sharing plans, ideas and the events of their day. Life is ultimately about relationships. There is an importance to maintaining both physically active and mentally active lives, not only for our own enrichment, but to enrich each of our relationships, and enjoy the real benefits of stress reduction and mood balancing. If it is true that “one cannot give what one does not have,” isn’t it then all-important to give, give, give—and it then can blossom back for you for a lifetime. With each passing year, our lives and the demands we face grow, and it seems our quality of life is challenged. This quality of life is challenged by ever-changing mental and physical capabilities, as well as financial challenges, all the more so in these economic times. We must use all tools available, including technology and social media. The risk in not staying current in relationships and with communication trends is isolation. kindness

Kindness is a virtue that is vital toward our health as human beings. In a second, you can discover how truly fleeting our lives and relationships are.


c o v e r f o cu s

everything you ever wanted to know about product safety by Stephanie Andre


hen you’re buying and using products, safety comes first. But, let’s be honest, most products are safe. For the most part, when you purchase a product, you shouldn’t have much trouble or concern about it being flawed. However, doing the proper research and being in-the-know before and after a purchase certainly can’t hurt. In fact, it’s something you should always plan

on—especially when it comes to larger purchases and/or products related to medicine, food and your children. In this issue’s cover story, we discuss the different safety features of various products, share a commentary on the government’s role in product safety and liability and try to answer some frequently asked, but not-too-oftenanswered questions about product safety and liability in general.


the basics

w h at c o n s t i t u t e s

a d e f ec ti v e p r o d u c t?

A defective product is the result of a possible flaw or failure in a product’s design, manufacture or warning that may cause harm. Automotive defects, for example, can be as varied as the types of vehicles found on American roadways, and a closer look into the facts of each situation is always necessary. Some of the more common automotive defects involve tire failures, airbag defects, fuel system defects, occupant ejections, rollover accidents, seatback failures, seat belt defects, crashworthiness claims and vehicle stability claims. h ow d o yo u k n ow i f

a p r o d u c t i s d e f e c t i v e?

A product can be defective in several different ways. First, it may be defectively designed. This means that the product, as designed, is not safe for its intended use. A product may also be found defective due to inadequate or improper warnings if it can be shown that user-error happens frequently, or a risk could have been avoided if more information or warnings were provided. w h at t y p e s o f p r o d u c t s a r e

t y p i c a l ly f o u n d t o b e d e f e c t i v e ?

Defective products run the gamut from children’s toys and clothing to vehicles, heavy machinery and medical equipment and medications. Another factor to consider is food. While it’s not considered a “defective product,” per se, there will be a recall—mandatory or voluntary—if a food is considered to be harmful if consumed. w h at d o i d o i f i h av e a

do your research:

Medications and Medical Devices by Stephanie Andre

Millions on millions of people take various medications and use medical devices every day, all under the guise that they are safeguarded from a serious health risk by doing so. Staying up-to-date on issues related to both medications and devices is important to anyone’s health as you may not be notified right away, concern starts to grow or a full-fledged recall is ordered.

d e f ec ti v e o r r ec a l l e d p r o d u c t?

If it’s food, do not eat it. For other recalled items, carefully follow the government’s instructions, which could require you to stop using it, repair it or return it for a refund or replacement. If you have a product you consider defective, check the manufacturer’s warranty or inquire as to whether you can return the item. If you have been harmed by the product, document everything and contact an attorney. He/she will advise you from that point on. Jaime Jackson contributed to this article. 34 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

w hat i t ta k es t o g e t f d a a p p r o va l



On average, it takes 12 years and more than $350 million to get a new drug from the laboratory onto the pharmacy shelf.


u seful res o u rces Investigating which products to purchase can be a confusing and stressful endeavor. Here are some helpful resources to make your homework a bit easier.

federal trade commission

medical devices

So what constitutes a medical device? Generally, it is an instrument designed to aid in the diagnosis and/or treatment of health-related issues. When functioning properly, medical devices have the potential to vastly improve the lives of people suffering from chronic diseases, illness or health-related abnormalities. In order for medical devices to be marketed to the general public, they must first be approved by a division of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) known as the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). The CDRH has the responsibility of testing and approving each and every medical device to ensure that it is both safe and effective.

( focuses on preventing business practices that are anticompetitive, deceptive or unfair to consumers. consumer product safety commission

( is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with using hazardous products. consumerbell

( provides the public with the latest recall information. recalls

m e d i c at i o n s

The process for drug approval is even longer than the steps for a medical device. The FDA’s approval process is complex and can take many years. There are several steps involved, including a preclinical testing trial phase, followed by three phases of human clinical trials. All told, it takes an average of 12 years and $350 million to get a drug approved and on the shelf, according to Both pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers are responsible for any injuries or deaths caused as a result of each and every product that they market. As with any and all things related to your health, be sure to talk with your doctor before taking any medications or using any medical devices.

( is a “one-stop shop” for U.S. government recalls. The site offers alerts on unsafe, hazardous or defective products. consumer affairs

( is a consumer news and advocacy organization that includes recent consumer news, recall information and tens of thousands of pages of consumer complaints, comments and compliments. federal deposit insurance corp.

( is an independent agency created by Congress to maintain stability and public confidence in the nation's financial system. u. s . food and drug administration


Once a company develops a drug, it undergoes approx. three-and-a-half years of laboratory testing before

/ 1,000

an application is made to

Only 1 in 1,000 of the compounds

the FDA to begin testing

that enter laboratory testing will

the drug on humans.

ever make it to human testing.

( serves to protect the public’s health and safety by ensuring that all products and foods are safe and effective. usa .gov ( is the U.S. government’s official web portal that makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web.


be proactive: A grandmother purchases a minivan to ensure she has the safest vehicle possible for transporting her grandchildren around town. But, when she is hit by a truck on the passenger side, there are no airbags to protect her granddaughter seated in the second row. Her granddaughter is left severely brain injured.

Understanding Auto Safety Features by Jaime Jackson


n horrific situations such as these, limited insurance coverage would not adequately provide the lifetime care required by these needs or injuries. In addition, these tragic results could have been avoided but for the absence of safety system or a defective design. When we look closely at what has motivated manufacturers to incorporate new safety technologies, two sources become clear—consumer demand and litigation. In the past five decades, and even more so in recent history, litigation has been a key motivator in safer and better car design.

A family driving to visit friends is rear-ended by a

safet y sells

tractor-trailer. The vehicle

Where style and price captivated consumers through the 1990s, safety is now what sells. Drivers now expect, and are willing to pay for, the safety advances that may one day save their lives or the life of a spouse or child. New design innovations and advances in technology continue to edge us toward the goal of the ultimate “safe car.” With such advances comes responsibility, and, if automakers fail to consider the use of the safest designs or costeffective safety technologies in a timely manner, then traumatic injuries resulting from an accident may arise. Safety features can be put into two broad categories: accident prevention and injury prevention. The bottom line: with technology, accidents are more preventable than ever. But, if an accident has to happen, new technologies can also help the car protect us more than ever before. Some important features to look for in a vehicle include: electronic stability control (ESC), advanced side airbags, rollover airbags,

bursts into flames, killing the parents in the vehicle and leaving a young child orphaned.

A gentleman driving a pickup swerves to miss an animal in the roadway. The truck rolls over in the middle of the road, causing the roof to crush down on his head and spine, rendering him a quadriplegic.


laminated glass, seatbelt pre-tensioners and good (and well-maintained) tires. a b r e a k d ow n o n s a f e t y f e at u r e s

ESC—With rollover crashes claiming about 10,000 lives every year and causing a multitude of catastrophic injuries, rollover prevention has become a priority in vehicle safety. Choosing a vehicle equipped with an ESC system can help reduce rollovers. These systems use microprocessors and sensors to automatically engage the brakes, modulate acceleration and stabilize the vehicle if a skid pattern is detected. ESC can interpret real-time information, in most cases, before the average driver can sense the problem. Side Airbags—Though most vehicles are now equipped with side airbags, you may be surprised to learn that some cars—even family minivans and other SUVs—still do not offer side airbags behind the first row. Unfortunately, this is a widely unrecognized safety issue, and, as a result, misled or uninformed owners and renters of cars alike are affected. In side impacts, rearseated occupants often sustain debilitating head or neck injuries because there were no rear-position side airbags to keep their heads away from the window or direct impact. Rollover Airbags—Rollover airbags refer to side airbags that drop from the headliner and form a curtain over the window to accomplish two goals—to keep the occupant away from the glass, and, especially if not wearing a seat belt, to keep the occupant inside the vehicle. This represents a vast improvement over side airbags that are designed to protect the torso or head only.

Laminated Glass—Even though windshields must be made out of laminated glass, there is no equivalent requirement for side and rear windows. Side and rear windows are often made out of tempered glass, which is much easier to penetrate than laminated glass. Occupant ejection almost always leads to catastrophic injury or death. Therefore, this feature is critical in injury prevention or minimization. Seat Belt Pre-Tensioners—Seat belt pre-tensioners are a component of the seat belt system designed to activate tension in the seat belt system to hold the occupant in place when a collision is sensed. The pre-tensioner instantly eliminates the small space between the seat belt and the passenger to restrain him or her from forward movement. Working in tandem with an airbag, an electronic pre-tensioner will tighten and then

release slightly upon airbag deployment, or around 30 milliseconds after the collision, allowing the passenger to have a controlled contact with the airbag. Good Tires—Tire failures can be caused by a variety of factors, including under- or over-inflation, poor maintenance, tire aging, or a design or manufacturing defect. Whether it is monitored electronically or checked periodically the old-fashioned way, maintaining proper tire pressure is critical. In an overinflated tire, the center section of the tread balloons outward, focusing weight on the center of the tire. Conversely, driving on underinflated tires causes the sidewall to bulge and wear unevenly, reducing tire life and potentially leading to a sudden tire failure. Additionally, make sure your tires have good tread. Tires with inadequate tread that have been driven past their useful life and that are overly worn can

fail without notice and lead to a rollover or catastrophic accident. Tread naturally wears down over time and tires with uneven tread wear or minimal remaining tread should be removed and replaced. Keeping a watchful eye can lower your risk of a tire failure and prevent needless tragedy. b e p r oac t i v e

Most consumers trust the manufacturers of the products they purchase, relying blindly on faith that the company has performed adequate safety research and testing, and holds regular inspections of its manufacturing process. But, information is key. Many websites exist where consumers can research the products they are considering buying. Additionally, consumers can register their products to ensure receipt of any recalls or product updates.

w h at yo u m ay n ot k n ow a b o u t v e h i c l e s e ats by Brett Emison

Seat belts save lives. But seat belts become useless (or worse, dangerous) when a vehicle’s seat back fails and collapses backward. A collapsed or reclined seat can leave you (and others) unprotected in even a minor crash and lead to serious or fatal injury. s e at b ac k co l l a p s e AND fa i lu r e

Seat backs can fail and collapse for several different reasons. Two of the most common seat back defects are: weak recliner mechanisms that bend and twist even during a low speed impact; and weak materials used to build the seats (such as plastic or thin metal tubing). Unfortunately, the federal minimum safety standard for seat performance is woefully inadequate. Unchanged since 1968, the minimum standard is outdated and, in trials involving seat back defects, it has been demonstrated that a typical backyard lawn chair or even a seat fashioned only of cardboard could satisfy the minimum standard. Safety experts, including Sean Kane at Safety Research & Strategies, have called for increased strength standards for seats, citing research by Garthe and Associates showing that stronger seat frames better protect occupants. The solution is simple: Car makers need to design stronger, more robust seats that prevent the kind of collapse that will severely injure rear seat passengers.

r e c l i n e d s e at

Car manufacturers often tout the ability of their vehicle seats to recline for passenger comfort on long trips. However, these manufacturers fail to adequately warn passengers of the serious dangers of reclining seats while the vehicle is motion. Just like a collapsing seat, a seat that is voluntarily reclined can cause serious injury to its occupant in even a minor crash. Emily Bazelon at Slate Magazine wrote of her own reclined seat crash experience in a September 2007 article. “The other three people in our car weren’t hurt. But I’d reclined my seat, and my seat belt, which was riding high, left a long welt around my rib cage and along my stomach. As it turned out, I had internal bleeding from a lacerated spleen and three cracked ribs. I spent the next two days in intensive care.” Bazelon was actually one of the lucky ones. Often, passengers are paralyzed as they jackknife around their seat belt causing severe damage to their spinal cord. On your next road trip, be mindful of your vehicle’s seats. If possible, do not sit children behind front seat passengers. Also, don’t trade safety for comfort by reclining back on your next long road trip.


The Skinny on Food Safety As of late, there seems to be a rush of food safety recalls. While it may seem like more than usual, if you think about the thousands of foods ready for consumption, the numbers are actually in our favor. That said, food recalls are still important and should be viewed as such. Typically, a food recall occurs when there is reason to believe that a food may cause consumers to become ill. A food manufacturer or distributor initiates the recall to take foods off the market. In some situations, food recalls are requested by government agencies (USDA or FDA). Some reasons for recalling food include:

“Food recalls are on the rise as new products hit the shelf. We also know allergens are on the rise as we see new products trying to accommodate with gluten free and new age assortments. What we eat is going to be a big determinant in health for 2013.”

»» Discovery of an organism in a product that may make consumers sick »» Discovery of a potential allergen in a product »» Mislabeling or misbranding of food. For example, a food may contain an allergen, such as nuts or eggs, but those ingredients do not appear on the label.

Consumers can sign up for allergy alerts, major product recalls and consumer advisories—all related to food—at There are also recall apps for your cellphone (see page 4 for more information).

Ellie Cachette, CEO, ConsumerBell

—Stephanie Andre








Recall Index

500 400 300

T hird Q uarter 2 0 1 2 FDA Enforcement Reports documented 414 food


recalls in the third quarter of 2012, 2.5 times the number of recalls documented in the second quarter.


Recall activity in the third quarter of 2012 reached











the highest level in at least eight quarters. Source: Stericycle ExpertRECALL




Manufacturers Cannot Operate Under a ‘Safe Until Proven Dangerous’ Umbrella by Larry E. Coben Our system of justice has, from its earliest days, embraced the responsibility of government to protect our right to civil reparation for harm caused. In Marbury v. Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall reaffirmed the predicate upon which the American Civil Justice System was founded: “The very essence of civil liberty certainly consists in the right of every individual to claim the protection of the laws, whenever he receives an injury. One of the first duties of government is to afford that protection.” This attitude has evolved and caused state and federal regulators to prescribe thousands and thousands of laws and standards governing individual and corporate conduct in just about every facet of our lives. The intended goal has been to reduce the risk of injury and harm to all Americans. We have, therefore, become dependent upon the FDA’s regulatory power to assure us that drugs and medical devices are safe for use, the NHTSA’s standards for motor vehicles provide safe means of transportation and the CPSC’s

issuance of regulations eliminate from the marketplace highly flammable sleepwear, inadequately designed bicycle helmets and toys that can be safely used by our children. However, the only problem is that these regulations and standards have evolved into consensus safeguards that often allow these product manufacturers to escape culpability. In fact, these products have complied with existing government-issued regulations and standards. Yet, very few would doubt they included features that caused huge numbers of avoidable injuries and deaths. In 2008, the University of Massachusetts Lowell Center for Sustainable Production issued a report that stated that manufactures and importers of consumer products and toys operate in a landscape of “safe until proven dangerous,” in which they have few requirements for testing or seeking approval for products that contain potentially harmful chemicals. Our analysis has found that the consumer product safety statutes and regulations administered by the CPSC are not only burdensome, but have important gaps that leave them ineffective and potentially inadequate to protect the public from chemical hazards. To combat this issue, our regulatory agencies must constantly update safety standards. After all, it would be the epitome of hypocrisy to allow manufacturers to escape responsibility by simply complying with inadequately written government regulations, which are no more than a Band-Aid and do so very little to protect Americans. @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 39


6,000 people died last year due to distracted driving. What if that could have been prevented? It can. A serious threat to our roadways, texting while driving, cellphone usage and other forms of distracted driving are rising at alarming rates. We believe it is our duty to help educate people of all ages about this growing epidemic. The goal of is to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and to encourage drivers to put down their cellphones while driving:

No Talking, Texting, Web Surfing or Emailing. Just driving with your attention focused on driving. Keep our roadways safe, keep yourself safe and “X THA TXT.” Take the pledge and support the cause – Say No to Distracted Driving.





body image battle: The Desire

to be

Skinny A first-person account


by Noelle Mefford

essica was an intelligent, talented high school student who, on the surface, led a typical teen life. And like most girls her age, she was body conscious and insecure. But for Jessica, her desire to be thin went a bit further than just a lack of confidence: Jessica believed thinness would make her more

outwardly beautiful and, in turn, make her more comfortable in her own skin. After much trying, Jessica finally achieved her dream to be thinner. But, in doing so, she almost lost her life. At 5 feet 11 inches, Jessica struggled to keep down the 300 calories of food she allowed herself to eat—and then

regurgitate—each day. At one point, she became so thin that she could feel every rib through the three layers of clothing she wore in an effort to hide her disorder. Jessica is my cousin. Older than me by four years, I look up to Jessica, but I couldn’t understand why this beautiful girl could allow herself to waste away and, for a long time, I lived in fear that she might lose her body image battle. As a teenage girl myself, I could understand the desire to be thin. But, my heart broke watching Jessica suffer from what I believed at the time to be a selfinflicted disorder. I have since learned that Jessica has a condition known as rumination syndrome, which causes people to regurgitate their food. It is a reflex and not a conscious choice. As a close member of her family, we have learned a lot about the syndrome since her diagnosis. Since that time, she has been working hard with her doctors to deal with the disorder. That said, the physical reflex issues didn’t explain her reasoning for only eating 300 calories a day. We discovered through this process that physical body image disorders are often accompanied by psychological disorders; Jessica has high-anxiety disorder as well. Fortunately, Jessica received treatment and has found a way to love and accept herself outside of her body image. I am proud to report that she is currently thriving as a junior at one of the country’s top colleges. Jessica is not alone. In the United States, as many as 10 in 100 young women suffer from an eating disorder. Two psychiatric eating disorders—anorexia nervosa and bulimia—are on the rise among teenage girls and young women. And, while Jessica’s disease was different in that it was a reflex and not a choice, the stress that brought on her disease was tied to the same kind of body image distortion found in these other disorders. Where does this distorted sense of body image come from? I have spent a lot of time considering this question. Is it because of the perceived “beautiful people” we see online, in magazines and on the screen? Is it the people we surround ourselves with? The desire to be skinny is one every girl


has felt at some point her life. It is human to seek to improve the imperfection in us, and I am not immune to those feelings. Despite the fact that medical charts show that I am an ideal weight for my height—and despite the fact that I have seen the damage that can be done in trying to pursue a body type not suited for me—I have still considered dieting. And I’m not alone. According to psychologist Carolyn Coker Ross, studies show that by adolescence, young people have received an estimated 5,260 “attractiveness messages” per year from network television commercials alone.

Furthermore, according to Teen Magazine, 35 percent of girls ages 6 to 12 have been on at least one diet, and 50 to 70 percent of “normal-weight” girls think they are overweight. Society promotes a specific body type as ideal. It should be no surprise that some adolescence end up causing permanent, and sometimes fatal, damage trying to achieve that body type. I wish society would place less importance on body image, but I know that realistically change must be made within. As a teenage girl, the best answer for myself and other teenage girls is to love the skin I’m in a lot more and care about what people think a lot less.

watch for these warning signs

Although some eating disorder red flags are obvious—dramatic weight loss is at the top of that list—the earlier help is found, the more successful treatment will be. Below are a few signs to consider:


Stashes food in the bedroom – could indicate “binge eating”


Backs out of plans around meals often


Plays with food to avoid eating


Has become a picky eater


Makes plans during meals in order to avoid eating in a group


Leaves directly after a meal


Wears baggy clothes or clothing now appears to fit loosely




Irregular menstrual cycle


Excessive exercising


“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 be eliminated for anyone.

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.

Safety at Home:

The Breakdown on Playsets by Linda Chalat


othing should be dangerous about sending the kids outside to play on the backyard playset. But each year, more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment. Most injuries occur when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground. The injuries are frequently the result of inappropriate surface material under the playset. Many backyard playsets are placed on dirt or grass surfaces that provide no cushioning for children when they fall. Children are also injured when they are hit by swings or other moving equipment or are cut from sharp edges and protruding bolts on play structures. What’s more, every year several children die on home playgrounds. Some from falls, but others become entangled in ropes, cords or leashes attached to play equipment, or when clothing drawstrings and items worn around children’s necks catch on the equipment, resulting in strangulation. Children also die when their heads or necks are trapped in narrow spaces or when they are struck by play equipment that moves or tips over. Many of these tragedies could be prevented. When planning the installation of a home playground, choose your

8 Tips for Installing a

Home Playset 1 Install and

maintain a shock-absorbing surface under and around the play equipment.

2 Use at least 9

inches of wood chips, mulch or shredded rubber for play equipment up to 7 feet high. If sand or pea gravel is used, install at least a 9-inch layer for play equipment up to 5 feet high.


site carefully, provide a safe surface and maintain the playset after installation. choosing a site

When you plan a home playground, choose a location away from roads and driveways and one readily visible from inside the home and patios or porches. Create a site free of obstacles that could cause injuries—such as low-overhanging tree branches, overhead wires, tree stumps and/or roots, large rocks, bricks and concrete. Choose a level location for the equipment. This can reduce the likelihood of the playset tipping over and loose-fill surfacing materials washing away during heavy rains. Locate bare metal platforms and slides out of direct sunlight to reduce the likelihood of serious burns. A slide that faces north will receive the least direct sunlight. s e l e c t p r o t e c t i v e s u r fac i n g

One of the most important things you can do to reduce the likelihood of serious head injuries is to install shock-absorbing protective surfacing under and around your play equipment. The protective surfacing should be applied to a depth that is suitable for the equipment height in accordance with ASTM F1292. There are different types of surfacing

3 Install protective

surfacing at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, be sure surfacing extends, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.

4 Never attach—or allow children to attach—ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines or pet leashes to play equipment.

5 Check for hardware, like open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends, which can be hazardous.

from which to choose. Do not install home playground equipment over concrete, asphalt or any other hard surface. A fall onto a hard surface can result in serious injury to the equipment user. Grass and dirt are not considered protective surfacing because wear and environmental factors can reduce their shock absorbing effectiveness. Carpeting and thin mats are generally not adequate protective surfacing. Ground level equipment—such as a sandbox, activity wall, playhouse or other equipment that has no elevated play surface—does not need any protective surfacing. maintenance

Keeping a playset in good condition is essential to reducing injuries. Save the manufacturer’s instructions so you can order parts that break or wear out. The instruction sheet should provide the name and address of the manufacturer/ distributor and the model number of the playground equipment. Inspect the condition of the equipment, look for signs of wear and tear, such as broken or missing components, bent pipes or tubing, and splintering wooden surfaces and correct any potential hazards. Check nuts and bolts twice a month and tighten as needed.

6 Check for spaces

that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs; these spaces should measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.

7 Make sure

platforms and ramps have guardrails to prevent falls.

8 Regularly check

play equipment and surfacing to make sure both are in good condition.

M i l i ta ry F a m i l i e s : How to Help Children Cope with a Missing Parent by Craig L. Kelley


October 2001, the world in which American military children grow up has been changed dramatically by unprecedented levels of deployment, and an increased reliance on Reserve and Guard members. To date, well over 2 million American men and women in uniform have deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Of those service members, approximately 44 percent are parents. Of those deployed service-member parents, 48 percent have served at least two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not since the Vietnam War have so many U.S. military families been affected by deployment-related family separation, combat injury and death.

With the U.S. involvement in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq ongoing, there is a deep concern over parental deployment and its impact on the well-being of military children. How can we help children of deployed military parents cope with the absence of mom or dad? b e h o n e s t.

Children need to understand why the deployed parent has to leave, where they are going and how long they will be away from home. If the deployment involves moving the children or any change in school, child care or their other daily activities, your children need to hear about these things as far in advance as possible.


m a i n ta i n r o u t i n e .

During a parental deployment, it’s important to maintain your family’s daily routine whenever and wherever possible to stabilize their daily patterns. In the event that your child’s routine will need to be changed, talk to them about the changes ahead of time, and allow them to have input in their daily routine whenever possible. m a i n ta i n c a l m e m o t i o n s .

When sharing any deployment information or news, it is very important to be reassuring and calm. Children will closely study your behavior and reactions, and will model their temperament after the stateside parent, while continually learning from the parent at home how to cope with deployment. c o m m u n i c at e .

Converse with your children, and listen to their concerns. Ask them about their concerns and answer their questions truthfully, but toward their appropriate age level. Keep your talks brief with young children, and understand that all teens are not the best at talking with parents, so talk when they are most relaxed, like when you are doing some activity with them. Make them understand how well trained the deployed parent is in order to be safe at their job.

wat c h w h at t h e y see and hear.

Protect children when needed from anxiety-provoking information, including media coverage on war/terrorism and overhearing your conversations with other adults about the deployment. Help older children balance their interest in news coverage with the needs of being a normal kid, and talk together with your kids about any media stories they see or hear. h e l p yo u r c h i l d express emotion.

Remind children to use their words when expressing their feelings rather than acting out those feelings. Younger children should be taught how to use “feeling words” and connect those words to their behavior. An example would be: “I see you’re hitting the floor and stomping around— you must be mad.” With older kids, this idea works just as well. For example, “You’re yelling at everyone about losing your study guide—are you stressed about this test?” Keeping a journal and writing down thoughts and feelings can be important to adolescents. Younger kids can be encouraged to draw a picture to show how they feel, and then talk with you about their picture. Young children often work out their feelings in play, so unless they are not being safe, allow them to

act out their concerns during playtime and use that time to address concerns with the child. g i v e t h e k i ds t h e i r ow n j o b d u r i n g t h e d e p l oy m e n t .

Stress and anxiety often derive from feeling of helplessness or being unsure about their role in the deployment situation. It is important for your children to understand that school, household responsibilities and cooperation will be their job, and they may have new tasks while mom or dad is away that are important to the family and unique to them as a military child. seek professional help if needed.

Remember that help is available from the military or civilian community in the event that you or your child(ren) are suffering with the separation from the deployed spouse or parent, or if you have to deal with a significant event such as serious injury or death during deployment. As difficult as deployment is for all members of every family, you can survive and actually be strengthened by following the appropriate steps to ensure that the children are comfortable with, and made a part of, the process of deployment of a parent outside of the family home.

a c l o s e r l o o k at m i l i ta r y fa m i l i e s

612,709 m i l i ta r y s p o u s e s


18% 1 3 -1 7 YEARS


av e r ag e ag e


o f m i l i ta r y s p o u s e s are female Source: Military Spouse Cnetral’s survey


6 -1 2 YEARS






As the seasons change, so do home fire hazards. The best way to protect your family is to remain vigilant about fire safety year-round. Most people believe their family will never be affected by a home fire; they are right, but there are more potential fire risks around your home than you may think. winter

Approximately 50 percent of all fires caused by heating devices take place between December and February. With the cost of fuel at record highs, the use of auxiliary heating devices has also increased. Kerosene heaters, wood-burning stoves, and electric space heaters are being used in place of conventional furnaces and central heating units. »» Have all heating devices checked by a qualified technician prior to the heating season—26 percent of all fires involving home-heating equipment are related to improper maintenance. »» Keep all combustible materials at least three feet from any heating device—in 51 percent of all fires that involved home-heating equipment and resulted in a death, the leading factor contributing to the ignition was combustible materials in close proximity to the heating device. »» Make certain all portable heaters are equipped with an automatic shutoff. summer

Every year, as the temperatures increase, we start spending more time outdoors. We shut off the furnace and fire up the grill. We sit around the campfire and take cover during thunderstorms. These activities create a whole new set of fire hazards. grill:

»» Inspect gas grills prior to use. Make certain that all connections are tight and all burner tubes are free of obstructions. Know where all fuel shutoffs are located. »» Never wear loose-fitting clothing while cooking, inside or out. »» When finished cooking with charcoal, make certain the coals are fully extinguished and cold prior to disposal. »» Always grill in a well-ventilated area. campfires:

»» Keep campfires small and manageable. »» Do not build a campfire when conditions are dry. »» Build campfires at least 15 feet away from any combustible structure, fence or vegetation. »» Have water and a shovel on hand to extinguish fire. f i r e wo r ks :

»» Fireworks are magnificent to watch, but leave the lighting of fireworks to the professionals.



Year-Round There are fire hazards associated with every season, but if you follow these simple tips you will be better prepared to deal with a fire in the event of an emergency.

»» Install smoke and carbon dioxide detectors on every level of your home and near sleeping areas. »» Change the batteries in all detectors twice a year. Change the clock. Change the battery. »» Have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home and know how to use it. »» Have lids in place when cooking on the stove. plan

»» Have a home fire escape plan in place. »» Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice, the more you recall and remember in times of emergency. prevent

»» Never cook while wearing loose clothing. »» Never leave lit candles unattended. »» Properly store flammable liquids. With between 350,000 and 400,000 structure fires occurring every year, your odds of becoming the victim of a fire are relatively small. With proper planning and preparation you and your family can not only reduce the likelihood of experiencing a home fire, you can also greatly reduce the likelihood of injury, and that is what really matters. Tim Wilhelm spent more than 30 years with the City of Erie Fire Department, 27 years as a firefighter and another six years as fire inspector and fire prevention specialist. He now remains active as a fire investigator with Robson Forensic.


Handling Small House Fires in a Few Easy Steps by Brian Nettles Small house fires can happen to anyone. And can ignite quickly and unexpectedly, mostly in the kitchen. In fact, there are more than 150,000 kitchen fires in the United States yearly, injuring thousands. Cooking mishaps are the major cause of kitchen fires, typically caused by grease or a kitchen appliance. Once a small fire starts, should you call the fire department first or attempt to quash the flames yourself? The tips below can help prepare you for this unfortunate incident. Grease fires are extremely dangerous, so always remember rule number one: Never use water to put out a grease fire. If grease catches on fire in your cooking pan, quickly put on an oven mitt and place the lid over the pan to smother the fire. Don’t lift the lid until the pan has cooled. If a fire occurs in your oven, immediately close the oven door and turn it off. If the fire doesn’t go out right away, call the fire department. Have the oven inspected and repaired before you use it again. If a fire occurs in your microwave, close the microwave door and keep it closed. Turn the microwave off and unplug it if you can. Leave it closed and don’t use it again until you can have the appliance checked out by a technician. You can prevent electrical fires by not overloading your

electrical outlets with appliances. If a fire starts, use a fire extinguisher—never douse the fire with water. Always call the fire department for an electrical fire, even if you have already put it out with the fire extinguisher. Every kitchen should be equipped with a fire extinguisher. Become familiar with your fire extinguisher before a fire ignites. You won’t have time to read the directions in an emergency. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, baking soda can be used to extinguish a small fire. Never hesitate to call the fire department for any fire, no matter how small. However, these tips may help contain and manage a small house fire.

! Always remember rule number one: Never use water to put out a grease fire.

We c an m ake th e impo ssi b l e p ossi b l e. Get th e fund ing yo u need now! C al l t ol l f re e : 1 .8 7 7 .3 7 7 .7 8 4 8 We p ro v i d e c a s h a d v a nc es a w a i t i ng i ns ur a nc e s et t l em ent s .


Is Adoption Right for You? Questions to ask yourself before you adopt — from someone who knows by Matt Casey Three years ago, my wife and I had the privilege of adopting our son. The decision we made to adopt a child was not easy. Numerous factors went into the decision. It took us several years to finally pull the trigger, but we now regard it as the best decision we ever made. Adoption was right for us. However, it may not be right for all prospective adoptive parents. Prospective adoptive parents face many questions and choices when they first begin considering adopting a child. The following is a list of questions prospective parents need to ask themselves before they adopt. »» Are we ready to raise a child? »» Do my partner and I agree that we are ready to raise a child? Adopting a child brings with it all of the work and responsibility of raising a biological child. Are we ready for the commitment? Do we agree about how the child should be raised? Do we agree on our parenting philosophy? Do we agree about our roles and the division of labor in raising the child? »» Do we have the support of our family? »» How will the adoption affect our other children? Beyond that, raising a child is both physically and mentally demanding. Do we have the support of both our immediate and extended family to help us during difficult times? »» Are we emotionally prepared? The adoption process is an emotional roller coaster. Matching adoptive parents with a child can be difficult. Adoptive parents may be matched with a birthmother, but for various reasons, the adoption falls apart. Thirtyfive percent of domestic adopters had at least one “false start,” in which the adopters worked with one or more birthmothers before a match succeeded. As adoptive parents, you need to be ready for the ups and downs of the adoption process.

a r e w e f i n a n c i a l ly p r e p a r e d ?

Adoption can be very expensive. Depending on the route taken, an adoption can cost up to $40,000. Adopting a child from the foster care system is typically the cheapest, often costing the adoptive parents nothing. However, the majority of domestic newborn adoptions cost between $20,000 and $40,000. The majority of international adoptions cost more than $25,000. However, these costs do not take into account the $12,650 tax credit afforded to most adoptive parents. a r e w e o p e n t o c u lt u r a l d i v e r s i t y ?

Do we want to adopt a child of a particular gender, race, religion, nationality or other background? Adoptive parents can make very specific requests concerning the characteristics of the child they wish to adopt. ar e we wi lli n g to acce p t a ch i ld w i t h h e a lt h i s s u e s ?

Many adoptive children have special health needs. Many of the child’s health issues will be obvious to the adoptive parent. However, health issues can often be latent. Most states require the birthmother to disclose certain background health information concerning the child they are placing for adoption. Because many health problems can be passed from mom or dad to the child, adoptive parents need to ask themselves questions such as: »» Are we willing accept a child whose birthmother smoked throughout the pregnancy? Drank? Did drugs? »» Are we willing to accept a child whose birthmother received little to no prenatal care? »» Are we willing to accept a child whose birthmother was diagnosed as having depression? Bipolar disorder? Schizophrenia? What about if the birthfather has such diagnoses? @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 49

typical adoption fees


independent domestic

agency domestic

public agency (foster care)


$1,000 - $3000

$1,000 - $2,000

$1,000 - $2,000

$0 - $500

Documentation Authorization

$1,000 - $3,000

$500 - $1,000

$800 - $1,200

I-600 Visa Application

$500 - $600


$200 - $500

Application Fee

$150 - $600

Program Fee

$200 - $500 $200 - $500

$100 - $600 $5,000 - $15,000

$5,000 - $25,000

Child’s Passport/Visa

$300 - $400

Child’s Medical Exam

$100 - $600


$100 - $200

Foreign Fees

$0 - $2,000

Orphanage Donation

$0 - $5,000 $300 - $2,000

Post-Placement Reports

$400 - $1,000 $5,000 - $15,000

Attorney Fees

$1,000 - $6,000

$0 - $1,000


$0 - $5,000

Birth Family Counseling

$500 - $2,500

$700 - $2,500

Birthmother Expenses

$0 - $6,000

$0 - $5,000

Foster Care

$0 - $2,000

$0 - $2,000

$5,000 - $25,000

$0 - $5,000

$0 - $3,000

$0 - $2,000

$20,000 - $60,000

$20,000 - $35,000

$20,000 - $40,000

$0 - $3,500

Travel average cost (before tax credit)

w h at i s t h e b e s t t y p e o f adoption for us?

Generally, there are four types of adoptions: International, Independent Domestic, Agency Domestic and Public Agency (Foster Care). International—Parents may decide to adopt a child from another country through an agency or attorney. While dozens of countries participate in international adoptions, most U.S. parents adopt from China, Korea, Latin America and countries of the former Soviet Union. The country where the child is born may use a governmental organization, private orphanage or other social institution as the adoption agency. Each country has its own regulations. Most countries require that the adoptive parents travel to obtain a visa to take the child back to the United States. Independent Domestic—In an independent or private adoption, prospective adoptive parents use an adoption attorney or counselor and seek birth parents by networking with friends 50 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

and family, advertising in newspapers, mailing resumes to obstetricians, and even setting up web pages. The birth and adoptive parents arrange for the adoption, and the adoptive parents often financially assist the birth parent until the child is adopted. An agency still would provide the homestudy to ensure the prospective adoptive parents are suitable and would provide post-placement supervision. Agency Domestic—A private agency adoption is overseen by a privately funded, state-licensed adoption agency. Adoptive parents apply directly to the agency. Birth parents relinquish their parental rights and transfer child custody to the adoption agency, and work with agency professionals placing the child in a loving, nurturing home. Birth parents typically choose the adoptive parents, and may meet them before placement months or even years to complete an adoption, depending on desires of the prospective parents, age of the child preferred and degree of openness throughout the process.

Public Agency (Foster Care)—A public agency adoption is overseen by a government agency and involves a child in foster care. More than 100,000 children in U.S. foster care are waiting for a permanent home. This type of adoption may appeal to parents willing to take a school-age child. Adoptive parents can apply directly to adopt a foster child, or may first become foster parents and then adopt after the birth parents’ rights have been terminated. d o w e wa n t a n o p e n o r closed adoption?

In an open adoption, the birth parents have some post-adoption contact with the adoptive child. In a closed adoption, the birth parents have little or no contact, and the parties are generally unknown to each other. But it does not have to be all or nothing. Adoptive and birth parents can agree to any variation of contact, whether through in-person visits or letters and pictures.

Behind this SUV is a group of daycare children. Not one of these children can be seen by the driver behind the wheel.

WORKING TO KEEP CHILDREN SAFE IN AND AROUND VEHICLES Before you turn the key‌make sure you can see! Most drivers are unaware of the large and very dangerous blindzone that exists behind all vehicles. Every week at least 50 children are seriously injured or killed after being backed over because a driver was unable to see them behind their vehicle.

Help save the life of a precious child Donate to


FOLLOW US: @KidsAndCars


how to adapt to your child’s

FOOD ALLERGIES by Anthony R. Leone, II


t is a Sunday night, and we have returned home from a Halloween party with the kids. Emma Amelia eats a special treat after dinner—two small Reese’s Pieces peanut butter candies. Shortly after, as she is taking her bath, my wife notices a rash starting, then hives. The rash and hives quickly spread from head to toe. Emma Amelia is having an allergic reaction. My wife immediately gives her some Benadryl, and we rush her to the children’s hospital. Needless to say, mom and dad are terrified. The Benadryl seems to stop the reaction. Thankfully, she does not experience any tongue swelling, respiratory symptoms or anaphylaxis shock. Our 2-year-old is brave. She never sheds a tear. As we sit with Emma Amelia at the hospital, we wonder what is causing the reaction. We had used a new bubble 52 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

bath in her bath that night. She had those Reese’s Pieces, but we were certain that she had been exposed to peanuts in the past. After all, cereals, granolas and energy bars—all made with nuts—are staples in our house. The hospital immediately suspects a peanut allergy. Allergy testing confirms that Emma Amelia is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. day - t o - day w i t h f o o d allergies

This is only the start for a child and family living with food allergies. Food allergens are in many foods. The most common allergens of milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soy are ubiquitous in society. Even if allergens are not directly in the food, many products are made on shared equipment or in facilities with these common allergens. In 2006, the Food Allergen Labeling

and Consumer Protection (FALCPA) went into effect to mandate that food labels identify these most common food allergens. This law requires the label to declare the allergen in plain language and say that it either “contains” the food allergen or parenthetically state the list of ingredients. These allergens must be listed if they are present in any amount, even in colors, flavors or spice blends. Additionally, manufacturers must list the specific nut (e.g., almond, walnut, cashew) or seafood (e.g., tuna, salmon, shrimp, lobster) that is used. The new labeling law helps, but what else can we do to keep kids with allergies safe? carry an epipen and benadryl at a l l t i m e s

Once a food allergy is identified, always be prepared for a reaction. An EpiPen can save a life, if your child has a reaction.

We keep one at home, one that comes with us wherever we go and one at our daughter’s preschool. Benadryl is a must. It can keep many allergic reactions from getting worse. We keep individual, travel-size doses in the car when we are on the go. c o m m u n i c at e w i t h school

Many schools are now nut free and otherwise sensitive to food allergies. Despite what a school says, this representation is not enough. Talk to classroom teachers and the school nurse about the allergy. Make sure they know how to administer an EpiPen. Verify that foods offered are nut free. Our daughter’s preschool is nut free, but we check all of the classroom snacks the school provides. We’ve learned that the popular animal crackers are made on shared equipment with nuts. The school promptly removed them. research, research, research

Despite the federal law requirements to identify the most common allergens, not all companies are as responsible as others in identifying allergens, particularly if they are made in a facility or with the same equipment as the allergen. Check company websites for their policy on identifying allergens and manufacturing processes. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network ( is one of the best resources for food allergies. This website and others provide information, advice, and guidance on dealing with allergies. wat c h f o r a l l e r g e n s h i d d e n in other ingredients

This is another area that varies from company to company. Some companies clearly state if an ingredient is derived from an allergen, but others will not. An example is modified food starch,

which can be derived from wheat or corn. If you have a wheat or gluten allergy, you must avoid foods with modified food starch unless you can verify how it is derived.

prepare your child’s food separately with fresh gloves, pans and utensils. There are even mobile apps that allow you to search restaurants based upon food allergies.

r i d yo u r h o u s e o f t h e

s p e c i a l t r e at s

a l l e r g e n o r m e t i c u l o u s ly

It is very important to make our daughter feel included, particularly at those special school events. We leave a special treat, like her favorite nut-free cupcake in her classroom freezer in case there is an event. There are now allergy-friendly bakeries and grocery stores, particularly the smaller specialty markets, where they often have dedicated sections with allergy safe foods.

s e g r e g at e f o o d

We decided that our home will be the safest place for our daughter to eat. We went through our food and removed anything with peanuts or tree nuts from the house. If you keep foods with the allergen in the house, keep them separate. Also, carefully sterilize utensils, pots and pans to avoid accidental cross contamination.

‘i f i n d s a f e r e s ta u r a n t s

Our family enjoys going out to eat. We were concerned that it would be difficult for our daughter, but it really has not been a significant problem. Most good restaurants are knowledgeable and accommodating with food allergies. Surprisingly, a number of national chains are also very good at accommodating allergies. Many chain restaurants have menus and their accommodations online, which allows you to check things in advance. Even in the restaurants we frequent regularly, we ask for the manager or chef to let them know about the allergy. The biggest concern in going out is crosscontamination. Ask the restaurant to

h av e a n u t a l l e r g y ’

Emma Amelia is now 3 and wherever we go to eat, she tells the server, “I have a nut allergy.” She may not quite know what that means, but the important thing is that she knows to tell people. e d u c at e s i b l i n g s

Brothers and sisters, particularly older ones, need to understand the seriousness of the food allergy. No teasing is allowed. Emma Amelia’s big brother, Zachary, is very understanding. He will look out for his sister by chiming up with “Emma Amelia has a nut allergy.” While all of this may seem like a lot of work, it’s a necessary step toward ensuring our daughter’s safety and educating others about severe allergy. @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 53

Common-Sense Rules for DIY Painting by Stephanie Andre It will be spring soon and with that comes the desire to clean out, spruce up and open your home to the smells of the season. Many times, this also brings about the motivation to change the look of your home. A simple, yet highly effective way to do that is with paint. Taking on a painting project is not difficult, per se, but there are certain lessons to learn and rules by which you should abide.

ventilation,” then this means to open windows and doors and use a fan; Don’t inhale the fumes. Instead, go outside and take a break every few minutes. no smoking, please

Many chemicals can turn even deadlier when heated by a cigarette. Always wash your hands well before smoking. If even a tiny amount of a chemical gets on the cigarette, it may be enough to harm you. Always rinse with water and allow to dry before disposing. wat c h w h e r e yo u ’ r e wa l k i n g

Keep the floor clear of debris and things you can trip on or fall over. Don’t use ladders unless they are in good condition. Always test a ladder to make sure it’s locked prior to climbing.

chemical check

Many adhesives, cleaners, strippers, paints and other finishes have extremely toxic ingredients. Some are deadly and cannot be made non-poisonous. Read the label. If it says, “use with adequate

get some fresh air

Take frequent fresh air breaks while painting. Leave painted areas if you experience eye watering, headaches, dizziness or breathing problems.

the right time of year

Try to schedule painting for dry periods in the fall or spring. In the warmer months, windows can be more easily left open for ventilation. don’t store pa i n t n e a r h e at

Too many homeowners have half-empty cans of paint on their garage floor— not a good idea. Most paints are extremely flammable and can explode, especially if they are in a sealed container.

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.




Sometimes I wish I had a rocket launcher. There is this intersection on my way home that drivers sometimes block. Because I am on a side street, my green light is short and I can miss the whole light cycle. My blood pressure skyrockets; I just want to bang on the steering wheel, and I want to blow up the other vehicle. Like most everyone else, I end up laying on the horn, hoping this will somehow punish the offending driver. On roads throughout the U.S. every day, thousands of incidents like this or other offenses are committed by drivers. They occasionally escalate into violence with physical damage

and even injuries. There are limitless reasons why people get upset while driving, but the important issue is how we can avoid becoming involved in "road rage." One huge resource for information on the psychology of driving is the website of Professor Leon James, Here, you’re provided with a brief guide on how to avoid escalating road outrages into road rages. There are two parts to consider when driving: your actions that could provoke a reaction and your reaction to what another driver does. Here are nine things you can do that take care of both parts.

Follow the rules. Stop at stop signs; don't run "pink" lights; drive the actual speed limit (but keep up with traffic); etc. If you follow the rules of the road, no one has any justification to be upset with you. There will be people who think you are in their way, but they are rare and they are in the wrong, not you.



Have admitted to behavior indicative of road rage


Drivers don’t think of themselves as a road rager

Go beyond the rules and learn what it takes to be safe on the road. Keep your vehicle in safe condition, and don't do distracting things while driving. Improve your driving skills. There are many advanced driving schools in the U.S. that take you from an average driver to an expert. BMW has a school and so do other car manufacturers. But you don't have to own an expensive car to learn skills. For example, the Texas World Speedway Performance Driving School, located in central Texas, has reasonable daily prices. Similar schools can be found all over the country. Change the way you feel about driving. After we have gotten over the initial feeling of freedom that comes with learning to drive, driving becomes something we do to get somewhere. In a sense, driving is an inconvenience that we have to endure to get where we want to be. So we start off, at least subconsciously, half-irritated at the task. But driving can be fun even when the primary purpose is to get somewhere. With the confidence that we gain from the first three points, we can look forward to the drive for its own sake. Do as the Zen masters say, drive in the moment. Even if we enjoy driving, there are still times when we get frustrated, especially when we are late or the traffic is slow for no apparent reason. When you are late, accept that you are late. Tests have shown that hurrying through traffic will not save more than an insignificant amount of time no matter what, and the danger of an accident that further delays you goes way up. When the traffic is stopped and there is nothing safe you can do, learn to live with it. It helps to allow plenty of time to get where you need to be. The more important the event, the 56 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

²/3 people have been a victim of road rage in the past 12 months.

catching others on mobile phones.


more extra time for unforeseen traffic should be added. If you have plenty of time, there is less pressure to do something that is going to outrage another driver. Remember, there is nothing wrong in getting there early if the traffic is better than you anticipated. Don’t judge the other drivers. Some drivers are obnoxious and self-centered, but many just make mistakes because they are in a hurry, not paying close attention, or are unfamiliar with the area. Sometimes you can tell when a driver is being a jerk, but even then, the driver may have just had a bad experience and is emotionally out of balance (a condition you do not want to escalate). From your side, the best you can do is objectively deal with what is actually happening on the road, and not what is in the other driver's head. Help the other driver, if you can. If the other driver is wanting in your lane, let them in. If they are trying to turn left from a right hand lane, let them. If they are speeding, let them by. If you haven't judged the other driver, you can think of this as being helpful. If you have judged


Failure to indicate

9% 15% 24%

the other driver, you will have a tendency to think of this as cowering, giving in, or letting them get away with it. Forgive other drivers. They aren't all as smart, skilled and emotionally centered as you. Especially young drivers, they may lack the maturity to drive as safely as they should. It would be good for them to learn better, but the road is not the place to teach them. Practice being the kind of driver outlined in the previous eight tips. Sometimes just get in the car and drive with the sole purpose of paying attention to one or more of the points. Every time you get in the car, do a checklist in your head, relax, and only then start the car. Be alert and make sure you are fully rested when you drive. There are many reasons why people get angry at other drivers, and there are many reasons why drivers often drive too aggressively. However, it only takes mastering these nine simple (and fun) points to make your driving experience more enjoyable and safer for you, your passengers, and other drivers.

The Lowdown on Traveler’s Thrombosis



by Steven Pokiniewski

Have you ever been on a plane and noticed a person walking the aisles to “stretch their legs?” Chances are, they’re doing it because they know about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE). Both are serious medical conditions that can, in part, be due to prolonged sitting that can occur on a long airline flight or train trip. DVT that develops in a person who may have recently been on a prolonged trip in a plane, train or automobile is called “Traveler’s Thrombosis.”



t h e b r e a k d ow n

DVT develops when a blood clot, or what physicians call a thrombus, forms in a deep vein, usually in a person’s calf or thigh. Veins are blood vessels that return blood to the heart. If the clot is large enough it can cause swelling and pain in the leg as the blood pools behind the clot. A DVT can lead to an even more serious medical problem, a PE. A PE occurs when one or more of the blood clots break off and travel from the leg to the lungs. As the vessels become progressively smaller, the clot gets trapped in one of the vessels of the lungs. It can then block off the flow of blood to the lungs. This can result in sudden death. r i s k fa c t o r s

A DVT, as a result of long periods of inactivity, was recognized more than 50 years ago. The actual number of people who develop a DVT due to travel are unknown. However, people who are at greater risk for DVTs have been identified: persons who have had a prior DVT, pregnant women, stroke victims, smokers, the elderly, persons with certain cardiac conditions and persons with some blood clotting disorders. The cause of Traveler’s Thrombosis is not precisely known. Most DVTs are not connected to travel. A DVT can develop due to vascular problems as well as blood-clotting factors unrelated to a person’s level of activity. However, lack of activity, for example, following surgery, has been recognized as placing a person at heightened risk of developing a DVT. It is thought that Traveler’s Thrombosis is related to long periods of sitting and inactivity. The decrease in activity may lead to poor circulation in the legs. Also, the leg veins may be slightly constricted, which may also contribute to a decrease in circulation. Impaired or poor circulation may then allow blood clots to form.


There are a number of recommendations to avoid the development of a DVT while traveling. If you are traveling a long distance by plane, train or car, you should consider the following: »» Wear loose, comfortable clothing. »» Consider buying flight socks (compression stockings). »» Store luggage overhead so you have room to stretch out your legs. »» Do anti-DVT exercises. Raise your heels, keeping your toes on the floor and then bring them down. Do this 10 times. Raise and lower your toes 10 times. Do it at least every 30 minutes. »» Get up and walk around whenever you can. »» Take short naps rather than sleeping for a prolonged period of time. t r e at m e n t

If you develop calf or thigh pain or swelling in either leg following prolonged inactivity incidental to travel, you could have a DVT. If you suspect that you may have developed a DVT, you should immediately contact your physician or go to an emergency room. Be sure to mention that you have recently travelled and had been sitting for a prolonged period. Such information may aid in making the correct diagnosis. Various diagnostic tests are available to check for a DVT and to evaluate for a possible PE. @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 57

Saving the

Environment: Tips for Eco-Friendly Travel by Bret Hanna


raveling the U.S. and the world can be fun and educational for the entire family. It can also be done in an environmentally friendly and culturally sensitive way if some thought goes into the entire travel experience.

Plan flights carefully. If you are going to fly as part of your travels, book non-stop flights whenever possible. A significant percentage of carbon emissions from planes are generated during takeoffs and landings.

b e fo r e yo u g o

Plan accommodations carefully. Consider staying at a working farm that is also an inn rather than a hotel. Working farms are often less expensive and they offer unique insights into local culture and food production. If you need or want to stay at hotels, consider those that are eco-friendly. Look for LEEDcertified building practices, solar-heated pools and hot tubs, green laundry services, and hotels with recycling programs for your room waste.

Educate yourself. Look for travel guides at local libraries or research your destinations online, so you can learn as much as possible about the places you will visit during your travels. Look for information on history, cultures, languages, customs and travel advisories so you can hit the ground running when you arrive. Learn a little of the local languages. If you are going to an area where the languages spoken are not known to you, take the time to learn a few words in those languages. Learn words that will allow you to offer greetings to locals, to politely ask for services or assistance, and to thank those that provide services and assistance. Look at all of your transportation options. Walk, ride a bike or take public transportation if you can. You’ll get a better sense of the local culture and these forms of transportation are cheaper than cabs and rental cars. If you do rent a car, consider renting a hybrid or a compact vehicle with a high gas mileage rating in an effort to reduce fuel consumption. 58 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

if you are so inclined. Look for local festivals and celebrations that you can enjoy and shop in local markets if they are available. If bargaining for goods and services is part of the culture you are visiting, be respectful of appropriate limits on your negotiations. Remember, the other side of that negotiation is someone’s livelihood. Keep your footprint as small as possible. As you enjoy your excursions in the places you visit, use reusable bottles for drinks and reduce, reuse and recycle. If you are exploring the natural environments of your destinations, hike marked trails and follow the rules with respect to wildlife interactions, campfires and camping.

d u r i n g y o u r t r av e l s

o n c e yo u ’r e h o m e

Buy local services and products. Buy local food at farmers’ markets or sources for cooking on your own, and look for restaurants that use local ingredients when eating out. This usually cuts down on costs and reduces the carbon footprint that is created by packaging and long distance shipping of food products. Also, buying collectables from local artisans and relying on local tour providers increases the chance that the money you spend will stay in and support the local economy.

After you return, consider giving back. If some portion of a culture or an issue you encountered during your travels caught your attention, consider looking for opportunities to engage with them after you return home. The Internet has shrunk the world in a way that allows us to “reach out” and support organizations and programs that support local communities in various ways. Traveling domestically and internationally opens hearts and minds, and builds bridges across cultures and geographic areas. Enjoy your travels as much as possible but consider your impact as you do so.

Engage in, but respect the local culture. Attend local religious services

Flying Solo Is your child ready to travel alone by Brittany Monbarren

When is your child ready to fly alone? Most airlines suggest children as young as 5 years old are able to fly alone. However, the decision is initially up to the parents. Parents are the best judge at determining whether or not their child is ready. Before booking a flight, think about the responsibilities that come with flying alone and ask yourself questions to determine if you think your child is ready. Is my child comfortable around strangers? Do they take direction well? Can they keep track of their belongings? Will they be able to quietly entertain themselves for extended periods of time? These types of questions will help you make your final decision. Once you have decided that your child is ready, you have to be prepared to do some research about the airline your child will be traveling on. Each airline has its own policies, restrictions and regulations, which can vary. To get you started, here are some general facts on unaccompanied minors traveling: ag e li m it

Most airlines consider children between the ages of 5 to 11 years old that fly alone as an unaccompanied minor (UM). However, some airlines consider up to age 15 as an unaccompanied minor. If your child is over the age limit, the

policies might change and they could be considered as an adult flyer. service fee

Some airlines may charge an additional fee for unaccompanied minor services. For example, if your 8-year-old has a connecting flight (some airlines won’t even allow that) the airline will provide them with an assistant to help the child get to the correct connecting flight. d e pa r t i n g a n d a r r i v i n g

All airlines require specific information (name, ID card, address and phone number) about the person who’s dropping the child off and picking the child up. They also require an adult at the counter of the origin and destination airport. If you don’t follow these instructions, the child may not be able to complete their journey. Deciding whether or not your child is responsible and comfortable enough to fly alone is always up to you. If you agree with the airlines policies and requirements for an unaccompanied minor, then by all means let them spread their wings a little and fly.


Know Before You Go— Don’t Get Slammed By Airline Add-On Fees by Jerry Trachtman

In air travel, one of the most difficult tasks is to determine what an airline ticket will cost before you buy it. The extra fees and charges collected by the airlines make it extremely difficult to know the total cost of a ticket before you pay the bill and to comparison shop the airlines when you are planning a trip. This is a significant trap for the unwary airline traveler. The airlines are not even required to disclose all their extra fees to those selling their tickets—even websites and travel agents. pricing disclosures

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires the airlines to include all mandatory taxes in

be sure of any additional airline charges unless you go to the airline’s website and look for its additional fees and charges. Hopefully, this will change in the nottoo-distant future. The DOT is working on a proposal that would require airlines to provide all add-on fee information to any company that sells tickets on their behalf. However, the decision on whether or not to implement such a requirement is not scheduled to be made until May of this year, largely because the DOT is being inundated with arguments from the airlines and consumer advocates. One must question why the airlines would oppose full disclosure. Perhaps the answer is related to the billions of dollars the airlines are reported to be collecting annually in such fees. additional fees

their advertised ticket prices, and to disclose all baggage fees at the time a ticket is purchased online. However, the airlines are not required to disclose baggage fees and all other add-on fees to third-party entities that sell airline tickets. Book a ticket at one of the online travel sites, and you cannot


Infrequent fliers are shocked to learn that a lot of things taken for granted in “the good old days” of airline travel will now cost you. Want to make a reservation by telephone? Be prepared to pay a fee. Is your checked baggage considered by the airline to be oversized or overweight? That will really cost you. Expecting a meal or a snack or a soft drink on your flight? Better bring your wallet. How about a pillow or a blanket? Ka-ching. The list goes on and on: fees for priority boarding, fees for a window, aisle or exit row seat, fees for carry-on

airlines are not required to disclose bag gag e f e e s a n d a l l

other add - on fees to t h i r d - pa r t y e n t i t i e s t h at s e l l a i r l i n e tickets.

baggage and fees for a seat with enough legroom to avoid permanent paralysis. The bottom line is, know before you go. ove r boo k i n g

Have you ever waited at your departure gate for your flight to depart, only to learn that the airline overbooked the flight (sold more seats than available)? Overbooking is the airline’s way of covering itself for the no-shows and last-minute cancellations. But what happens if all ticketed passengers show up? The airline is required to pay money to passengers who are involuntarily bumped from an oversold flight. Bumped passengers subject to short delays (within one to two hours of the originally scheduled arrival time for domestic flights, and one to four hours of the originally scheduled arrival time for international flights) are entitled to compensation up to $650 or 200 percent of the one-way fare, whichever is smaller. Bumped passengers subject to long delays (more than two hours after the originally scheduled arrival time for domestic flights, and more than four hours after the originally scheduled arrival time for international flights) are entitled to compensation up to $1,300 or 400 percent of the one-way fare, whichever is smaller. If the airline verbally offers a travel voucher to an involuntarily bumped passenger, the airline must also verbally offer the monetary compensation by cash or a check. Passengers who are solicited to voluntarily give up their ticket must be informed of all material restrictions on the use of transportation vouchers offered in lieu of cash. If you are not in a hurry, voluntarily giving up your ticket on an overbooked flight may get you a “free” ride.

One Second is not a very long time.

But when you’re behind a steering wheel and your eyes leave the road—that ONE single second can change a life. ONE second is all it takes to be distracted. When you are driving, it should not be a secondary task­—it should be the only task. (End Distracted Driving) was established to raise awareness and generate action against the epidemic of distracted driving. Distractions include: Visual (taking eyes off the road) Manual (taking hands off the road) Cognitive (taking mind off the road)

What makes up the other 82%? »»Putting on makeup »»Reaching to grab a drink »»Changing the music »»Dealing with the GPS »»Eating on the go The distractions are endless. But they don’t have to be. The Core Mission of EndDD Our core mission is to preserve life and promote safety on a large scale through advocacy, education and action. It is our hope that we can prevent families and friends from suffering the loss of a loved one because of distracted driving. Together, let’s work to prevent distracted driving from claiming another life.

Visit us online web:

While texting and talking on the phone are both mental and physical distractions, cellphone use is attributed to 18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes.

twitter: facebook:

End Distracted Driving is sponsored by the Casey Feldman Foundation and is dedicated to inspiring individuals and communities to take action to end distracted driving. CONTACT US toll-free at 855-363-3478 or @end_DD EndDistractedDrving

Planning a month-long or even week-long vacation can be very exciting, but when it comes down to trying to fit everything you need into your luggage it can be a hassle. The next time you are packing for an extended trip, consider these simple tips to maximize space in your luggage.

and pick up the rest when you need more. Extra toiletries can cause clutter in your luggage. Also, you will want to pack any toiletries very carefully. When packing shampoos, conditioners and lotions pack them in a tightly sealed plastic bag so they don’t leak.

Tip 1 - It may be hard to do because you’ll want to pack your entire closet, but it’s important that you try to plan your wardrobe. If you plan what outfits you’re going to wear then it will help with cutting out the unnecessary items in your luggage. An easy way to consolidate clothing is by packing pieces and colors that mix and match so you can wear them with several outfits.

Tip 3 - If you are traveling with large jackets or need to bring a lot of clothes; an easy way to maximize space in your luggage is using a vacuum-sealed storage bag. Vacuum-sealed bags allow you to organize and compress your clothing so you can add more to your suitcase.

Tip 2 - If your vacation is longer than one month, try to only pack one week’s worth of toiletries

Police chases kill at least






Tip 4 - Depending on the type of vacation and how long it is, you should only pack two to four pairs of shoes. Don’t clutter your bag with extra shoes, you want to make the most room for your clothes.

innocent bystanders every week.


Kristin Kristie

Isaac 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 • 62 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 5 ED 1

Maintaining Your Vehicle Throughout the Colder Months by Peter J. Leiss

If you live in an area affected by winter weather, hopefully you prepare your vehicle for the winter several months before the cold weather arrives. Here are several critical vehicle systems that require special attention during the winter.

pressure a few PSI. Not only does proper inflation help keep you safe, it also keeps money in your wallet through better fuel economy and longer tread life.

ti r e r e p l ace m e nt

tire pressure

Weekly checking and adjusting of your tire pressure is recommended year-round, but is especially important in the winter months when lower air temperatures cause lower tire pressure. Maintaining proper tire inflation is critical for vehicle safety. Both traction and vehicle handling are adversely affected by improper inflation. Proper tire inflation can also reduce your likelihood of experiencing a blowout, which is commonly caused by under-inflation. TIP: If your TPM light is on when you start driving and it turns off as you drive and your tires warm-up, your tires are not properly inflated. TIP: Tire pressure should be checked prior to the vehicle being driven. Even a couple miles on the road can raise the

TIP: If you have replaced tires in sets of two, instead of four, it is essential that the better tires are fitted to the rear of the vehicle; this holds true regardless which wheels drive your vehicle (e.g. FWD, RWD, 4/AWD).

trips both reduce electrical production and deplete the battery’s state of charge.

warm-up fully during cold weather; this aids the oil in expunging moisture, thereby extending its useful life.

TIP: You can prevent battery replacement by keeping your car in a garage out of the cold, limiting accessory use during trips, and inspecting and cleaning the battery terminals to prevent corrosion build-up. TIP: If you notice your headlights or interior lights dimming at a stop and brightening on the move, your alternator may be failing. Have the charging system checked by a professional.

wiper blades

Wiper blades are susceptible to drying and tearing during the winter due to frost, snow, ice, and lower humidity levels. TIP: Watch for streaking and skips as the rubber dries and becomes brittle. Replace them as needed.

motor oil b at t e r y

Cold weather diminishes the amount of energy your vehicle’s battery can provide. At 0° F, a battery can output only 40 percent of the energy available at 80° F. Other factors can also contribute to the demise of vehicle batteries in the winter. Shorter periods of daylight lead to prolonged headlight use and freezing temperatures increase the use of defrosters and heated seats. Idling engines for warm-ups and short

Modern vehicles typically do not call for a different weight of oil for cold seasons, but you should consult your owner’s manual to be certain. TIP: Never use a different weight oil in your vehicle than what the Manufacturer specifies (i.e. 5W-20, 10W-30, 0W-40). If your driving habits are mainly short trips, more frequent oil changes in the winter are recommended. TIP: Allow your vehicle to

air conditioner

Air conditioning matters in the winter. When you operate the HVAC system in defrost mode, the air conditioner removes moisture and prevents fog and condensation from building up on the inside of your windows. TIP: If your vehicle cannot keep the windows clear from fog and condensation, your air conditioning system may have the incorrect amount of refrigerant and needs service.



Dos & Don’ts


A successful fitness plan ­­­by Brittany Monbarren

Warm up/ stretch before your workout.

Write down your fitness goals.

Skip stretching. Skip breakfast; it really is the most important meal of the day.


Give up. Cool down afterward. Forget to reward yourself on occasion.

Work out with a friend. Slowly increase the intensity of your workouts.


Don’t Drink plenty of water.

Set unrealistic goals.

KNOW YOUR CLIENT: AVOIDING FINANCIAL PITFALLS DURING LITIGATION by John T. Bair Attorneys know their clients’ cases, but how well do they know their clients?

Milestone Consulting, LLC (“Milestone”) is an experienced, next generation settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s mission is threefold: to advise attorneys on the complexities of post-settlement issues, to guide plaintiffs through the settlement planning process, and to advocate for consumer protection, disclosure, and transparency in the settlement planning industry. Our consultants are licensed in all 50 states to provide guidance on post-settlement matters, including Medicare Set-asides, special needs trusts, structured settlements and government benefits planning. Milestone’s services are offered on a contingency basis, so there is never a cost to our clients. In addition to our work with plaintiffs and trial attorneys, we support a number of civil justice organizations, including The Injury Board, the American Association for Justice, the Civil Justice Foundation, and statewide organizations in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island. These organizations embody the same ideals that Milestone strives to achieve and we are proud to provide them with our continued support.

Settlement planners often hear stories about financial issues that lead to complications during and after litigation, the root of which can be traced back to a few common causes. Here are some recommendations to mitigate these issues: 1. Know Your Client’s Finances Great attorneys know their clients, but don’t necessarily know the totality of each client’s financial details. For those families on fixed budgets, the cost of a lengthy lawsuit can be overwhelming, and money management mistakes can lead to devastating financial consequences. Take into account the effect that the following might have on your client’s ability to stay solvent throughout litigation, and as a result, what financial expectations might be shaped on their end: »» Credit score »» Mortgage rate and balance »» Personal balance sheet »» Type of health care plan: public (e.g. Medicare) vs. private »» Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid eligibility 2. Know Your Client’s Stakeholders When a family pursues a settlement, people inevitably come out of the woodwork.

Clients suddenly find themselves in the position of receiving financial requests from every direction. By knowing upfront who the stakeholders are—and likewise, who the fairweather friends are— the attorney can understand who is shaping their client’s view of the settlement. A good rule of thumb might be for the attorney to touch base with the client once a month to stay up-to-date on any changes in the interested parties. 3. Know Your Client’s Psyche Plaintiffs who have suffered a personal injury or the death of a loved one are in a vulnerable state. Litigation is a daunting process for those who have never been through it, and the concept of then taking a settlement recovery and creating a lifelong plan can feel overwhelming. Employing a holistic approach that addresses best possible outcomes vs. worst possible risks can help assuage some of the uneasiness inherent to the settlement. If the attorney “follows the dollar” and proactively develops an understanding of their client’s financial situation, it can be easier to create an environment in which the client has faith that post-litigation life will meet their expectations; for the attorney, that can translate into a more satisfied client.

i n l i f e , t h e r e c o m e s a t i m e to m ov e f o rwa r d to t h e n e x t m i l e s to n e .

recovery | discovery | education | planning | selection | implementation | lifelong representation

Milestone Consulting, LLC is a national settlement planning

services offered

firm and management company dedicated to working with


injured plaintiffs and their families.

Government Benefits Planning Insurance Investment Liaison

Our comprehensive settlement plans optimize a client’s settlement recovery by balancing present financial needs

Trust Planning Economic Analysis

with a diversified plan that maximizes their cash flow

areas of specialization

and asset preservation in years to come.

Structured Settlements Business Transactions Mass Torts & Class Action Matrimonial/Division of Assets Medicare Set-Asides Structured Sales Workers’ Compensation Special Needs Trust

john t. bair Founder/Member

howard t. saperston

christina m. hartke


Settlement Planner

Structured Attorney Fees

737 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203 | phone 716.883.1833 | toll free 855.836.2676 |

MilestoneAd_10.125x15.5_color.indd 1

1/30/13 12:01:40 PM

The Safety Report- Vol. 5 Ed. 1 (Milestone Seventh)  

In this issue, we discuss the different safety features of various products, share thoughts on the government's role in product safety and l...

The Safety Report- Vol. 5 Ed. 1 (Milestone Seventh)  

In this issue, we discuss the different safety features of various products, share thoughts on the government's role in product safety and l...