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WHITLEY LAW FIRM


A Letter from the Firm

PUBLISHER Whit Whitley

Dear Friends, We are pleased to provide you with this complimentary copy of The Safety Report. This magazine is the product of a collaboration of respected legal professionals, safety industry experts and consumer advocates, all committed to safer communities and improved quality of life. This group is known as The Injury Board, whose members from across the country contribute to The Safety Report. The Injury Board promotes safety and well-being through articles and safety tips, like those you’ll see in this magazine. As an Injury Board member, we hope you find this information helpful. The articles teach ways to keep you and your family free from harm. Other articles give practical tips on what to do if you or a loved one are injured or killed. The Safety Report is intended to prevent others from suffering tragic injuries in the future by promoting safety and responsible product manufacturing. At Whitley Law Firm, we’re committed to helping you reach your goals through personal service and vigorous, responsible representation. With offices in Raleigh, Kinston, New Bern, Jacksonville, Greenville and Winston-Salem, we represent clients throughout the state. You may have been injured in an auto accident, hurt at work or may need help with a matter involving Social Security. With an attorney at our law offices by your side to guide you through this often-stressful and difficult situation, you can rest assured that your interests will be represented and your rights protected. We are a law firm built upon the principles of individualized client service and dedicated legal representation. For more information about legal questions and our firm, please visit our website at www.whitleylawfirm.com. For more information about The Injury Board, please visit injuryboard.org. Sincerely, Bob, Ben and Whit Whitley

EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Andre sandre@thesafetyreport.com Art Director Keith Woods kwoods@thesafetyreport.com Senior Designer Anthony James ajames@thesafetyreport.com

Brought to you by:

2424 Glenwood Ave. Suite 201 Raleigh, NC 27608 919.785.5000 www.whitleylawfirm.com

Promoting Safety. Protecting Rights. Giving Back. For Over 30 Years.


the safety

report

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 thesafetyreport.com 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.

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start your team at marchforbabies.org

Š 2012 March of Dimes Foundation


inside this issue On the Cover

the safety

report Features

09

A Matter of Heart: An Open Letter

22

Teaching Financial Literacy to Your Kids

31

Your Guide to Getting a Tattoo

62

Rental Car Roulette

32 The Rise in Concussions: More Injuries or More Awareness? Were there always this many concussions? If so, why are we only talking about it now? Perhaps it’s simply a matter of awareness. In this issue’s cover story, we focus on the prevalence of concussions, taking a deeper look at the who, what, when, where and why these incidents are gaining conversation momentum...and how we can protect our players.

Trending Topics

14 Oral Health: Is Your Mouth Really Clean? 19 7 Steps to Fighting Addiction 44 Is Your Child Ready for Social Networking? 46 Teen Suicide: Learn the Signs news you can use 05

Plastic Gas Cans a Hazard?

15

RSD/CRPS: A Misunderstood, Misdiagnosed, Debilitating Disease

64

The Dos & Don’ts of...Social Drinking


thepulse

what me the most: tales

of

an

e v e ry day

co n s u m e r

by Ellie Cachette

P

eople often think that working for a healthminded and product recallfocused company that I am immune from dangers or concerns that plague everyday consumers. Just because I might be on the initiating side of information—often hearing stories weeks before they are announced—it doesn’t make me immune from being the average consumer; I am one after all. As a Humboldt State grad, I tend stick to organic produce and things locally made. I’ve lived in small towns and even when roaming the streets of Manhattan I try my best to always find that “mom-and-pop shop,” but at the end of the day I eat like most people, drink like most people and buy products for my apartment just like any other person. I know more areas to look out for and, in some ways, this makes purchases an even bigger decision than normal. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I overvalue my health. Here are five examples that scare me the most as a consumer, that I think about more than I should and I worry about for others, too. 04 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

Eating a Meal, Getting Sick and Having NO IDEA What Did It. I once almost killed myself when I cooked a delicious dinner. Everyone at the table that night nearly died, spending the next two days with food poisoning. Living on my own, it was frightening to think I was too sick to go to the hospital. It took months of cooking at home, and getting sick two more times, to realize it was my fish oil, a condiment seasoning that is merely added to a dish. I was caught so off guard, luckily I had a label to confirm it was expired. Have you ever cooked a meal and seen all the trash and wrappers that came with it, all those wrappers laying at the top of the trash can? Those things could have life-saving information. How do we easily track what’s coming into our homes and bodies?

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2 Using a Faulty Product There is truth to “fear of the unknown.” For some reason, the fear of using a faulty product while not knowing it is faulty scares me even more than food because almost anything could be faulty.

Is my cold medicine contaminated? Is my office chair properly put together? Will I ever pick up a pan in the kitchen only to have the handle come off? I’m terrified that at any minute what I’m using could be faulty and even worse is not knowing if the message would reach me anyway if news about the product was out. Getting a Rare Disease…from Taking Medicine Let’s face it, very few diseases are coming up from genetic mutation; however, rare diseases and some diseases that shouldn’t even be able to access certain areas (say like a meat disease being found in vegetables) are happening more than ever. My greatest fear is spending massive amounts of time and money with doctors in hospitals and almost never knowing why or what the cause is from.

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Anything Involving ‘Personal Areas’ As a woman, we already have enough to think about related to our reproductive and physical health. Doesn’t matter if it’s birth control, contraceptives, condoms, oil, tampons, cleanser—if it goes below the belly

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‘‘

button, I’m absolutely terrified of something going wrong.

Have you ever cooked a meal and seen all the trash and wrappers that came with it... ...Those things could have life-saving information.”

Getting the News Too Late What’s worse than never getting the news? Getting it too late. My ultimate fear is that someone gets word of their recalled items right after consumption or after a major issue. I’d prefer we all have the chance to double check something before use, but if the damage cannot be reversed or

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the side effect is longstanding, it scares me to think about getting the right information minutes after consuming or using something. The world is a big place, and with different publishing technologies coming out, news spreads faster than ever. Get educated. Read our blog at blog.consumerbell.com. Check out Twitter. By staying current, you will be safer and healthier— and the world may not be nearly as scary a place.

PLASTIC GAS CANS A HAZARD?

5 tips for safe handling and usage by Wayne Parsons

Did you know

that plastic gas cans that lack a flame arrester may be the most dangerous device in the home? Plastic gas cans make up 95 percent of the 19 million gas cans sold in the U.S. each year. So, why worry? Well, just ask the parents of 3-year old Landon Beadore. As recently reported in Let America Know, young Landon tipped over a plastic gas can while helping his mom pick up toys. The vapors from the spilled gasoline, heavier than the air in the room, crawled along the floor until they found the pilot light from the water heater and ignited. Like a fuse on dynamite that you might see in a cartoon or movie, the flame rushed back to the spout of the gas can and exploded the vapors above the liquid gas in the can. The explosion ruptured the plastic container and the liquid gasoline sprayed over the entire room and all over Landon’s body, head to toe. In an instant, the gas ignited and Landon was consumed in fire.

Here are a few tips for preventing such incidents to happen to someone you love.

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Never buy a gas can—plastic or metal—that does not have a flame arrester in the spout. A flame arrester is a piece of wire mesh that is placed in the spout of the gas can. For more than 200 years, it has been known that mesh barrier will stop vapor flames by restricting oxygen to the combustion process. In Landon’s case, the flame from the water heater raced back into the nozzle of a plastic gas can that did not have a flame arrester. Of the 19 million gas cans sold each year in the U.S., one company— Blitz USA—is responsible for 75 percent of all sales. Blitz did not include a flame arrester in its plastic gas cans; the company is now defunct. Overall, Blitz is responsible for approximately 150 million plastic gas cans in circulation across the country. Remember, that’s about 150 million plastic gas cans without a flame arrester. However, there are other plastic gas can makers that do manufacture gas cans with the mesh barrier. Kansas-based No-Spill is one of them.

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Gas vapors flow out of the spout of gas cans. Be alert to any flames when a gas can is in the area. Be aware that a spark can also ignite the vapors that could travel into the spout.

3

Never buy a gas can unless it contains a flame arrester.

4

Buy a gas can with a cap that automatically closes after use.

5

Do not pour gas on a fire or in the vicinity of a fire. Don’t pour gas on a smoldering fire to give it a boost. Heeding these tips will help you prevent possible exposure and injury. @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 05


LEGISLATIVEBEAT 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, fightingforjustice.org

1

Homeowners Still Without Relief from Chinese Drywall

MADE IN CHINA It took more than three years, but a Chinese company’s efforts to evade responsibility for selling defective drywall in the U.S. may slowly be hitting a brick wall. Taishan Gypsum sold more than 10 million pounds of dangerous drywall, linked to metal corrosion, sulfuric gases, headaches, asthma and other health problems here in the U.S. But for homeowners like Bill Morgan and his family, who paid the price for a foreign company’s dangerous product, the battle has been too long. Morgan, a retired police officer in Newport News, Va., testified in June 2010 about his legal battle to hold Taishan responsible for his dream home’s demise. Built with about 06 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

200 sheets of Taishan’s dangerous drywall in 2006, the sulfuric gas from the product destroyed his home’s air-conditioning and other electrical systems, computers and televisions. After experiencing numerous health effects, Bill and his wife, Debra, decided to move out, strip the house down to the studs and rebuild. Unable to pay for the mortgage and rent, they lost the home in foreclosure and filed for bankruptcy. “Taishan Gypsum’s delay and deny tactics have cost the Morgans their home. They are the innocent victims when foreign manufacturers sell and profit from their products here in the

U.S., but avoid our country’s legal system when their products fail,” said American Association for Justice (AAJ) President Mary Alice McLarty. This week, U.S District Judge Fallon, overseeing the multidistrict litigation in New Orleans, ruled against Taishan Gypsum, denying the company’s request to vacate a judgment of $2.6 million levied in 2010. Unfortunately for the Morgan family, collection is not expected soon, as the ruling is likely to go before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Even then, collection from the Chinese company might not be easy.


2

PayPal Users Beware

As of Nov. 1, PayPal is now the latest company to include a clause in its user agreement eliminating the right to seek justice in a courtroom. This clause forces consumers into arbitration. Arbitration can be an effective method of resolving disputes when both parties voluntarily agree to arbitrate a dispute after it arises, but since

3

wrongdoing occurs. Now, if millions of consumers are wrongly overcharged $30 by PayPal, they will each individually have to take their claims to arbitration. As most consumers would not have the time or means to do this, PayPal has essentially granted itself immunity from any responsibility for cheating or misleading its own customers. The growing list of companies using these clauses in the fine print to avoid accountability includes: Microsoft, Netflix, Match.com, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft XBox, Electronic Arts and Dell. Be sure to learn more about arbitration here, and tell Congress to support the passage of the Arbitration Fairness Act (S. 987/H.R. 1873) in order to protect consumers from abusive forced arbitration clauses.

these clauses are almost always presented on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, people have no choice but to waive their rights. In addition, PayPal’s clause includes a class-action ban, which eliminates the only economically feasible remedy available for consumers to hold corporations accountable when widespread

Fine Print Can Limit Your Rights After Harm or Injury The Washington Post recently posted a column from Keiser Health News warning consumers against signing away their rights due to clauses found in the fine print of nursing home contracts. These clauses limit the rights of consumers to hold nursing homes accountable when their love ones are mistreated or neglected, forcing them to bring their case to a private arbitrator—not in front of a judge or jury. Routinely hidden in pages of fine print, these arbitration clauses are easily missed by consumers at an already emotional time. The Post shares the story of Paul Ormond and John Mitchell below: “Mitchell had been institutionalized since suffering a stroke in 1999. During a hospital stay early this

summer, Mitchell, then 69, had received a tracheotomy and needed to switch to a nursing home that could accommodate him. A few weeks after Mitchell arrived at the new nursing home, staff members dropped him while using a lift device. An ambulance was called and then canceled as his vital signs stabilized. Later that night Ormond, 63, got a call from the nursing home that Mitchell was unresponsive. Mitchell was rushed to the hospital, and doctors found that the fall had caused extensive bleeding on his brain. He died a few days later. Mitchell’s sons hired a lawyer to look into the circumstances surrounding their father’s death. That was when Ormond learned that amid all the admissions papers he had signed

was an arbitration agreement. ‘I thought it was deceptive, and I was pretty angry that I’d been tricked into signing something that I didn’t know what it was,’ says Ormond.” Arbitration clauses are found not only in nursing home agreements, but everyday contracts for cellphones, credit cards—even doctor’s offices. The clauses themselves are not the problem. When both parties voluntarily agree they can be an effective means to address problems, but forcing often unwitting consumers into arbitration closes the courthouse doors unfairly.

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 07


If you are hurt or injured by someone’s negligence, there’s a good chance your access to justice may be limited by laws you never heard of. For years, corporations have quietly slipped hundreds of millions of dollars into the hands of lobbyists charged with doing one thing: making sure they can’t be held accountable when they do something wrong. And Congress has too often given them exactly what they want. Corporations win. You lose. They call it “tort reform.” We call it a corporate con. Please join the fight to Take Justice Back.

Visit www.takejusticeback.com and learn what you can do. Coming Fall 2012.


You areAll

Heart

Editor’s note: This is one mother’s love letter to her son explaining his tumultuous start to life.

To My Son, There are no words that can express the love we felt for you—even before we ever met. It’s such a cliche, but it really is “unconditional love.” You were born on Oct. 4, 2004. Like millions of other births each year, I went into labor, dealt with the common aches and pains, and close to 22 hours later, you were here. … And five days later, I was able to finally hold you. Let me start from the beginning.

health&wellness


The Ideal Candidate At 27, I was a healthy, “ideal” candidate for pregnancy. I have never smoked, rarely drink alcohol and have never touched narcotics. Perfect, right? I got pregnant relatively quickly and life was good. Then, at 16 weeks, life changed. My doctor called with results from an optional screening test I had taken. “Elevated” is all I remember her saying. Through the tears, reality set in. Something might seriously be wrong: spina bifida, a hole in the brain, heart defects—anything, really. I was alone when I got the call. I was 3,000 miles from home—away for business, away from your dad. After traveling on what would feel like the longest flight ever, I finally saw him— standing stoically, waiting for me at 1 a.m. in the airport. And that was it. I broke down. After waiting two weeks to have an ultrasound, we discovered the screening test was accurate: your heart was “broken”; it was not forming correctly.

Facing Our Truth I will be honest with you; it was devastating. It didn’t make any sense. Without time to breathe, we were thrown into a world we knew nothing about: pediatric cardiologists, “Level 2” ultrasounds, fetal echocardiograms—I didn’t even know you could view an unborn baby’s heart.

We were understandably clueless. I remember at our initial visit with the pediatric cardiologist, he said that while it was too soon to know exactly how things would play out, he also started throwing out words and phrases like, “holes in heart,” “rate of survival,” “transplant” and “after care.” He said he was giving us the worst-case scenarios, but that didn’t ease my mind at all. It was so much to handle. From that moment on, there really wasn’t a minute I didn’t think about what was happening to you, how you were growing and what would happen after you were born. Fear of the unknown can be so powerful. It can truly break you down. One of the hardest things to handle was how “normal” you felt bouncing around in my belly. You were safe as long as you were there. I didn’t want to let you go.

Important Decisions As time went on, what went from what we now consider minor issues— ventricular septal defects (VSDs), better known as “holes in the heart”— evolved into extremely stunted aortic growth, additional VSDs, blockages and general malformation of the heart. Given the situation, at 32 weeks, our doctor advised that we see more experienced physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)—a three-hour drive from our Washington, D.C. home. The doctors at CHOP confirmed the diagnosis: major, life-threatening

surgery would be required shortly after birth. Once born, you would not be able to live for more that 24 hours without it. They also decided it would be best for me to deliver in Philadelphia, so you would already be there for surgery and would not have to endure the journey between the two cities.

Life Changes So, we prepared the best way we could. We made induction plans. We packed our bags. We tried to keep things “light” and to stay busy until it was time. After a late-pregnancy diagnosis of preecclampsia, doctors advised us to head to Philadelphia—even though it was more than a week before the scheduled induction. After being in town for two days, I naturally went into labor. Close to a full day later, you were born. Immediately after birth, the neonatal specialists took you away. Within minutes, they began supplying you with medication that would ensure you’d be able to breathe until surgery, scheduled for about 12 hours later. I was able to see you through the plastic window of the infant crib in which you were placed. But we couldn’t hold you. It was so emotional. We were happy; we were extremely sad.

Helpless and Stone As planned, by noon the next day, you were in surgery. The doctors temporarily placed your

You are so very special. You are proof that a powerful mind and determination can get you through almost anything. Your heart surgery does not define you; it is only part of your history.” 10 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4


little body on frozen bypass, which meant that, for a limited time, your body temperature was brought down below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The doctors had a small window to do what they needed to do before bringing your body temperature back up; otherwise, you would be facing brain damage...or worse. The five-plus hours of waiting was truly the hardest thing we’ve ever gone through. I don’t remember anything other than feeling like I couldn’t breathe. It was pure helplessness. Your dad was stone. Finally, at about 5:30 that evening, surgery was over and we met with your surgeon. He gave us the news we had so desperately hoped to hear—the operation went as well as it could have gone; you were going to be OK. However, what they weren’t sure of before surgery was how large your aorta might actually be. Our worst-case scenario was a reality: it was so tiny that it was rendered unusable. Once in surgery, the doctors had to be creative, so they took your pulmonary valve and made it your aorta; they then implanted an artificial valve to work as your pulmonary valve. Four days after surgery, we finally held you. Four days after that, you were discharged—about a week ahead of schedule. It was in those nine days that we learned how very strong you are.

The Strongest Person I Will Ever Know Your path has been a bit bumpier than we imagined it might be. As parents, you hope for the best and want to protect you children, never thinking this can “happen to you.” But, it did. The doctors believed your artificial valve would last until you were 2 or 3, but your body rejected it and, at 8 months old, it was replaced. As you know, it was replaced again when you were 4. With each surgery, you proved your doctors wrong—leaving the hospital just days after surgery, not weeks. Even in your infancy, you showed your determination and strength. You are a fighter. Today, at 8 years old, I see in front of me a strong-willed (sometimes too much!), unbelievably intelligent young man who has the strength, drive and power to do anything he wants in life. You are so very special. You are proof that a powerful mind and determination can get you through almost anything.

Your heart surgery does not define you; it is only part of your history. We all know there will be more surgeries. However, we also know that this inner strength you have will bring you through them. I don’t know a stronger person than you. I am in awe of you. We hold out hope that with science’s rapid advances, there may be noninvasive solutions or perhaps even stem-cell options for you in the years to come. It is our greatest wish. What you have proven to us is that you are magic. You have shown us what true strength is. And we could not be prouder. Love,

Mom

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 11


Namaste 5

Reasons to Consider Yoga by Diego Avila

C

hances are, you live a life filled with demands. You have a job that involves meeting lots of obligations and responsibilities. You may have a family that depends upon you for support. You have bills that are due like clockwork every month. There seems to be little flexibility in this life, yet you are expected to meet these tasks. It can be very easy to overlook the importance of addressing the needs of your body, mind and spirit. You probably allow your body to suffer without knowing it. Your mind never gets a break. You think of work at home. You worry about family at work. You struggle to sleep wondering if the noise will ever stop. All of these burdens take a toll on your spirit. While you may have once thought of yourself as a joyful, radiant individual, perhaps you are feeling lethargic and empty lately? Maybe it’s time to consider yoga. Here are some reasons why. Recapture Your Breath. Today, I want you to be aware of your breathing as you go along your day at work. Try and find how many times you are working while holding your breath. You will be astounded how often this happens. Yoga is fine-tuned to the breath. Most of the movements are calibrated so that you perform one

12 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

half in an inhale, with the remainder of the move in the exhale. Your breath is sacred. One day, you will suck air for the last time. Yoga helps you to recapture the power of your breathing. Regain Your Flexibility. Life’s pressures seem rigid. You don’t have to be. Yoga slowly increases flexibility by moving the spine and joints in ways that support fluidity. As your learn to be flexible in your body, you also learn to be flexible in the mind. You cannot become flexible in the body unless you become flexible in the mind. You will not be able to perform certain moves until you have removed the barriers in your mind that they cannot be done. And once your mind has learned to become flexible in yoga, it will know how to carry that flexibility into the rest of your life. Feel like a leaf battered in the wind? Try yoga. Core Strength. Do not believe for one second that yoga is not a powerful exercise. Your muscles will strengthen. You will lose weight. You will sculpt your body. All of this will happen because yoga works the core muscles and the leg muscles. The leg muscles have the greatest mass and thus burn fat efficiently as you strengthen them. The core muscles will enhance your digestion, your posture and your

stability. Back pain? No better exercise than yoga. Quiet Your Mind. Practicing yoga requires you to zero in on your body’s precise movements. Standing on one foot with your chest bent over and your arms extended like airplane wings requires focus. Breathing into your hips (sounds ridiculous until you try it) requires focus. Staying still in a squatted position even as your muscles start to ache requires focus. Learn to focus in yoga and you can focus on a singular task anywhere. Do your family members wonder why you are so distracted? Try yoga. Sleep Like a Baby. This was the greatest benefit in my journey through yoga. I struggled many years with poor sleep. Staying up late, waking up too early. The quality of my sleep was poor and the quantity of that sleep was laughable. Yoga brought me a quality of sleep I never had before. My muscles cooperated with my desire for relaxation. My mind was able to let go of the day’s events. My body no longer struggled to have enough air, blood flow and digestion. All of this led to one inevitable outcome. Rest. Tired every morning? You definitely need yoga.


Stressed

out

Use these tips to decompress and live a happy, longer life by Mike Ferrara

E

veryone looks for that magic bullet—the one thing that is “guaranteed” to improve one’s health. What if there was an easy way to lower your blood pressure, reduce your chances of having a heart attack and improve your immune system? What if you could lose those pounds you’ve been trying to get rid of forever? What most don’t realize is that it’s right there—just by cutting your stress. Scientists have now concluded that if you reduce your stress levels, you will feel better, reduce your blood pressure, reduce your chance of heart attacks and even lose body fat.

48hr

The stats prove this. In fact, half of all fatal heart attacks occur within 48 hours of a stressful event.

That said, it’s not really that simple, is it? So, how do you manage stress? Well, first thing’s first: identify the cause(s) of your stress. Make a list. What stresses you and why? For example, many report that family problems, money and workplace issues are leading causes of stress. Fears about the future, retirement and the economy all work on our subconscious to build up stress. Figure out which items you can control

and those you cannot. Identifying the things that cause stress is key to eliminating it. Experts advise that it is wonderful to create predictability in your life. Having structure and routine is one way to eliminate stress. When something out of the ordinary happens, you’ll be in a better position to deal with it. Also, don’t overlook the importance of regular exercise. In fact, some studies suggest that dog owners have fewer health problems, primarily because of the daily walks they take with their pooches. Find an exercise you enjoy. If you don’t like the treadmill, try an elliptical machine. Play tennis, squash or racquetball. Put a TV in front of the exercise machine to help pass the time. If you make it a regular part of your routine, you’ll begin to feel better, your stress will be reduced, you’ll lose weight and your overall health will begin to improve immediately. Many joggers report getting a “runner’s high” because of the release of hormones, but just don’t overdo it. Thirty minutes a day is what the experts recommend. Be sure to check with your doctor before you begin any exercise program. The next thing to consider is meditation. Buy a book or video on how to do it. It may seem a bit odd at first, but it really works.

The trick is to do it regularly. Find a quiet place with no distractions. Try to have your mind focus on being still. Try to eliminate all stray thoughts and worries while you are meditating. Related to mediation is yoga, also a proven stress reducer. You can do by yourself or join a yoga group at a fitness center. Virtually everyone who does yoga in combination with meditation and exercise report a dramatic drop in their stress levels and a dramatic improvement in their overall health. Our returning war heroes and those in auto crashes report additional stress. This condition is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is a real medical condition. This condition requires medical attention from board certified psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. This is also the case for those who suffer from long-term chronic stress. Treatment with medications and individual or group therapies may be required for these conditions, so don’t try to selfdiagnose or self-treat them. Bottom line: make yourself a promise to begin an exercise program. Consider yoga or meditation. When you feel stressed, take a break to decompress. Go for a walk. Remove yourself from the stressful surrounding. Make yourself a promise, for your own sake, to start implementing some of these ideas today. @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 13


Oral Health: Is Your Mouth Really Clean? by Stephanie Andre Did you know your oral health is not only dependent on how well you brush and floss but also on what you eat, your overall health habits and the amount of saliva in your mouth? Here are some steps from Colgate to ensure you take proper care of your mouth: Step 1: Understand your own oralhealth needs. Changes in your overall health status often result in changes in your oral health. For example, many medicines, including more than 300 common drugs, can reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth, resulting in dry mouth. Step 2: Commit to a daily oral-health routine. Talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about your oral health practices. Based on the discussion, come up with an effective routine. It should be easy to follow and take your situation into account. Step 3: Use fluoride products. Everyone can benefit from fluoride, not just children. Fluoride strengthens developing teeth in children. It also helps prevent decay in adults and children. Toothpastes and mouthwashes are good sources of fluoride. Step 4: Brush and floss to remove plaque. Everyone should brush at least twice 14 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

a day. It’s even better to brush three times a day or after every meal. In addition, you should floss at least once a day. These activities remove plaque, a complex mass of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. If plaque isn’t removed daily, it can turn the sugars found in most foods and drinks into acids that lead to decay. Bacteria in plaque also cause gingivitis and other periodontal diseases. You need to remove plaque from all sides of the tooth and where the tooth meets the gums. Step 5: Limit snacks, particularly those high in simple sugars, and eat a balanced diet. Every time you eat, bits of food become lodged in and around your teeth. This food provides fuel for the bacteria in plaque. The bacteria produce acid. Each time you eat food containing sugars or starches (complex sugars), your teeth are exposed to these acids for 20 minutes or more. This occurs more often if you eat snacks and the food stays on your teeth for a while. These repeated acid attacks can break down the enamel surface of your teeth, leading to a cavity. If you must snack, brush your teeth or chew sugarless gum afterward. A balanced diet is also important. Not getting enough minerals and vitamins can affect your oral health, as well as your general health.

Step 6: If you use tobacco in any form, quit. Smoking or using smokeless tobacco increases your risk of oral cancer, gingivitis, periodontitis and tooth decay. Using tobacco also contributes to bad breath and stains on your teeth. Step 7: Examine your mouth regularly. Even if you visit your dentist regularly, you are in the best position to notice changes in your mouth. Your dentist and dental hygienist see you only a few times a year, but you can examine your mouth weekly to look for changes that might be of concern. Changes in your mouth that you should look for include: • Swollen gums • Chipped teeth • Discolored teeth • Sores or lesions on your gums, cheeks or tongue Step 8: Visit the dental office regularly. Talk to your dentist about how often you should visit. If you have a history of cavities or crown and bridge work, or are wearing braces, you should visit the dentist more often. Some people, such as diabetics or smokers, have more gum disease than the general population. They also should visit the dentist more often.


RSD/CRPS

a misunderstood, misdiagnosed, debilitating disease by Jerry Trachtman

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome as it is also known, sometimes results from a physical injury, including a minor injury, after the injury itself is treated and healed. It is an uncurable affliction that results in pain and mobility problems out of proportion to those expected from the initial injury. Some have described RSD/CRPS as the nervous system not knowing that the body has healed. The first and primary complaint occurs in one or more extremities and is described as severe, constant, burning and/or deep aching pain. All tactile stimulation of the skin (e.g. wearing clothing, a light breeze) may be perceived as extremely painful. Repetitive touching of the skin may cause increasing pain with each touch, and the pain may continue after the touching stops. There may be spontaneous sharp jabs of pain in the affected region that seem to come from nowhere. It often spreads to other parts of the body, and can result in a person being bound to a wheelchair, or even worse. RSD/CRPS affects children as well as adults. The emotional consequences of RSD/CRPS are equally debilitating. The pain is so extreme and so chronic that suicidal thoughts are not uncommon. The families of RSD/CRPS sufferers are not only burdened with caring for a loved one, but there is a feeling of helplessness brought on by the very nature of the disease.

A number of precipitating factors have been associated with RSD / CRPS including: Trauma (often minor) ranks as the leading provocative event Ischemic heart disease and myocardial infarction Cervical spine or spinal cord disorders Cerebral lesions Infections Surgery Repetitive motion disorder or cumulative trauma, causing conditions, such as carpal tunnel

However, a definite precipitating event cannot always be identified, and the mechanism by which an injury triggers RSD/CRPS is not understood. People who develop RSD/CRPS as the result of an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, such as in an automobile crash, often end up in our civil justice system. They may retain legal counsel to make a claim against the person at fault. The person at fault usually has insurance, and the insurer is obligated to defend the claim. It is common for the insurer to accuse the RSD/CRPS victim of lying and faking their condition, especially if the medical record only documents

subjective complaints of pain, often unbearable pain. If there are no objective findings consistent with RSD/ CRPS documented in the medical record, the insurer will have a field day. After all, the precipitating injury has been ‘treated and has healed,’ is the defense. To make matters worse, there are physicians who are paid small fortunes by insurance companies to testify in court against people with RSD/CRPS. Typically, they will state it is “mental,” there is no injury, there is no real pain, and the victim is a liar. Unfortunately, many treating physicians are not familiar with RSD/ CRPS and their records only document the subjective complaints of pain. If more physicians would educate themselves about RSD/CRPS, they would learn about relatively simple tests to look for objective findings consistent with RSD/CRPS, and they would be helping their patients in more ways than one by documenting those objective findings. RSD/CRPS research is ongoing, and while there is no known cure, there are several experimental treatments that seem effective in putting the RSD/ CRPS in remission, at least temporarily. The best advice for someone with RSD/CRPS is to educate yourself about the disease, and make sure your treating physician has educated himself/herself about the disease. Try not to get discouraged. Progress is being made to understand and treat RSD/CRPS. @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 15


Getting Some Help with the Baby Blues by Ed Graham

Bringing home a new baby should be one of life’s happiest moments, but for many families, there are mixed emotions. Most women face postpartum mood disturbances, from mild short-term mood swings to more serious long-term mental health challenges. Postpartum blues is a transient condition characterized by rapid mood swings: contentment or euphoria one moment, then sudden sadness, anxiety and crying spells. Mothers experiencing postpartum blues may suffer insomnia, irritability and concentration lapses. According to uptodate.com, an online resource for physicians, 40-80% of mothers experience these symptoms by three days after delivery. Symptoms typically peak around five days postpartum, and usually resolve by two weeks after delivery. Risk factors include a history of depression in the individual or family, a history of mood changes related to pre-menstruation or oral contraceptives, child-care stress and alterations in work, recreation and relationships. Adequate bed rest and emotional support are usually effective treatment, as restorative sleep facilitates sound decision-making and fosters an improved sense of self control.

do

what to

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Postpartum Depression (PPD) is diagnosed when the mother experiences depressed mood, loss of interest in pleasurable activities and other characteristic symptoms for most of the day for at least two weeks. The frequency of PPD is around 10%, not much higher than the 5-9% rate of depression in women generally. The onset of new cases of depression is higher in the first five weeks postpartum. Symptoms include changes in sleep, energy, libido, appetite, weight and gastrointestinal functioning. Other symptoms include feelings of inadequacy or failure as a mother, shame, guilt and a sense of being overwhelmed by perceived inability to bond with or care properly for the baby. Increased anxiety, panic attacks, irritability and anger are common. There may be thoughts, often concealed, of harming oneself or one’s baby. Panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder can also arise or recur following delivery. When present along with PPD, the prognosis is more concerning. Treatment cannot begin until PPD symptoms are reported. Various treatment modalities may be

recommended, based on symptoms severity and initial response to treatment. Psychosocial therapy is generally the initial treatment of choice for milder cases, with pharmaceutical drug(s) being added for more severe cases. If the patient is breastfeeding, special care in choosing the pharmaceutical drug prescribed is imperative. If you do not seek treatment, it may impact your entire family. Untreated PPD adversely affects not just the woman herself, but also the mother-child relationship, childhood development, the marital relationship and the partner’s mental health. Children whose mothers suffer untreated PPD are at increased risk for behavioral disorders, over-aggression, cognitive and attention deficits. Remission significantly benefits the mother and her children. Untreated maternal PPD is also a key risk factor for paternal PPD. According to the 2010 Journal of the American Medical Association, men experience the following rates of PPD: 8% the first three months; 26% the next three months and 9% six to 12 months postpartum. These rates compare with 5% depression among men generally.

If you suffer signs or symptoms of postpartum blues a few days after your delivery, do not overreact—you have lots of company. Get ample rest and seek emotional support. However, if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby, if your symptoms are more severe or persist beyond two weeks, do not ignore them: persistent postpartum mood disorders are serious and require professional treatment. Promptly contact your obstetrician or primary care provider to report your symptoms and ask for help. Doing so will benefit you, your husband, your new baby and any other children. Do what it takes to get well, for yourself and your family.


JUMP START YOUR HEART... AND MIND Tips for keeping healthy at any age by Jaime Jackson and Maria Gallo-Groft

Aristotle once said,

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

So

too it is with leading a healthy lifestyle. We just need to commit our minds and our bodies will follow. We don’t need to run miles upon miles, spend hours working in a gym or give up that beer and ice cream we love to lead a healthy lifestyle. Baby steps and moderation are key. So too is routine, just stick with it, “we are what we repeatedly do” and before you realize what has happened, healthy eating and exercise becomes a way of life, a lifestyle. We just need to start, by eliminating the words “I can’t” from our vocabulary. You can lead a healthy lifestyle at any age by following a few simple tips: Set Goals. Set reasonable goals and reward yourself when you hit them; then set new goals and do it again. I am going to lose five pounds this month, I am going to run a 5k, I am going to swim a couple laps, ride my bike to the park and back. Slowly increase your distance and you will surprise yourself with your abilities to keep moving forward. Don’t let age stop you; age is just a number. Join a senior league, join a bike club, join a running club, yoga group, swim club. Pick what you want, go do it and stick with it. Before you know what happened, you will be joining a triathlon club.

Eating. The food we choose to put in our bodies is truly fuel. You can be healthy and eat what you want, just eat in moderation. We don’t have to eat a vegan diet to be healthy. We just need to make sure we are getting what we need to fuel our bodies the right way. There are thousands of diets and dietary recommendations out there. Every body is different and how you consume your calories is your choice. But, always try to eat from every food group if possible. If you want that ice cream, you can have it. But, in moderation and watch portion sizes.

Exercise. Here again routine is important. Realistically, most of us don’t have a lot of time in our lives to dedicate to the gym or log all those miles running down the road. It may take getting up a little earlier in the morning (yes, some of us actually get up at 4 a.m to run). But, finding moments to work out or move is a lot easier. For your children, this can mean going outside to play. Getting on a bike, walking the dog, hiking a trail are healthy activities for all of us. While you’re at work, take the stairs or park farther away. Also, take time out from your job during the day to work in some exercising or even stretches. There are a lot of mini workouts online (or apps) to help you find a way to move during the day. Wait until lunch or the end of the day, and jump on to a treadmill or exercise bike; catch up on emails and sneak in a work out. Yoga is also a great way to workout at work without needing any weights, gym or extras. By following some of these tips, there are ways that all of us can remain healthy at any age.

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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.

www.civiljusticefoundation.org


7 STEPS TO

lifestyle&leisure

fighting addiction Steps to battle back against temptation When we think of addiction, our first thoughts are of alcoholics or those with drug problems, but really, there are many types of addictions. You have workaholics, TV watchers, obsessions to clean and videogamers, for example. Whatever the addiction, these steps to fighting addiction will help you start down the right path. 1 regain power Many addictions are undermined because we believe we are powerless to change the situation. This is not true. You have the power to make change. It may be slow and painful. It may result in times where you fall backward, but you have the power to pick yourself up, wipe yourself off and go forward again. Use your power to take one minute at a time, one hour at a time, and one day at a time. As you move forward, use your power to look one week into the future, one month into the future. 2 decide to make a life change The first step to fighting addiction is to make a decision that it is time to make a life change. That life change will reflect your desire to quit your addiction. Your life change may require one or many changes be made to accomplish your goal. 3 take inventory No more secrets; it’s time to clean out the closet and take inventory. No hiding because of shame. No hiding because of fear. You are not alone in

by Eric West

your addiction. Thousands of others have fought the same battle. Now is the time to list your good qualities, the things you like about yourself and want to keep. It is also the time to list your bad qualities, your habits and addictions you wish to overcome. Writing is a powerful tool for the brain. Writing the inventory list will help your brain to help you overcome your addiction. You will be more attune to your strengths and weaknesses and better able to use your strengths to overcome your weakness.

find a similar addiction in past generations.

4 seek help There are many groups and organizations available to help you overcome your addiction. Once you have set your mind to beating your addiction, you can seek help to help you accomplish your goal. Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous or Debtors Anonymous are trained to work with you to successfully beat your addiction. They are a mentor, a crutch and a friend in a time of need.

6 explore your feelings As you take your journey to fight your addiction, you will need to re-explore your feelings. One side effect of substance abuse is often the freezing of one’s feelings. As you begin to beat your addiction, your feelings will begin to unthaw and you will need to re-identify with them. You will need to once again learn to understand your emotions, your feelings and your reactions to these emotions.

5 involve your family Your family needs to be involved in your journey to fight your addiction. Only you can accomplish this important task, but you need to ask for the support and help of your family. You may think you are the first family member with an addiction, especially substance abuse, but if you carefully examine your family history you may

7 acupuncture For more than a century, acupuncture has been used to treat addictions in other parts of the world. For nearly a half-century, it has been used in North America. Acupuncture has had some studies conducted and the results conclusively show that acupuncture is an effective tool for fighting addiction especially cocaine addictions. @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 19


recovering addict?

4 tips for staying sober by Diego Avila

i

f you have chosen the new way of life that is recovery, smile and give yourself a break. If you’re reading this and you’re a recovering addict, you know all too well there are plenty of articles, books and reports about the nature of addiction. Here’s just a little bit more on the wisdom of recovery.

fear, guilt, regret, resentment, shame and loneliness. Pick a person you have trusted and share with him or her all the things that lead you to have these feelings. When you learn—and if you do this regularly, you will learn—to share your negative feelings, you no longer have to use over them.

1 connect socially The nature of addiction is very secretive and isolating. The nature of recovery is fellowship and community. As you venture into a sober life, it is important to stay connected to those who share this new way of life with you. Clean places to hang out and sober friends to spend time with are important. Attending your meetings regularly your counseling regularly, or whatever group you attend is going to mean more for you than you imagine. Alone, you drink and use; together, we stay clean and sober.

3 embrace your imperfection It surprises many people in recovery to learn that being sober does not mean you don’t have thoughts (sometimes intensely strong thoughts) about using! You are not perfect. You will never become perfect. But that is OK, you are worth recovery anyway. You will have tough days, days when it feels like you do everything wrong, when everyone is mad at you, where everyplace you go seems to be the wrong place. What you cannot do is allow yourself to have the “eff”-its. If you’re an addict or alcoholic, you know what I mean. Day has gone from bad to worse, your late morning turns into speeding ticket, turns into lost job, turns into upset spouse. Your natural inclination will be to say “eff it” and drink or use drugs. Guess what? That thought of drinking or drugging you have on your tough days (or easy days) is perfectly normal. It’s still no reason to flush your sobriety down the toilet.

2 share those negative emotions People use drugs and alcohol to escape their negative emotions. If you are an addict or alcoholic, you know this very well. I’m here to tell you a secret. Your feelings will not kill you, even though your disease tells you they are unbearable. Pick your favorite meeting and decide to share these feelings as often as possible: 20 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

4 stay in today Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift—that’s why it’s called the present. Kung Fu Panda may be the source of this quote, but its wisdom will get you through your toughest days. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that you cannot do (like stay sober) for one day that would otherwise seem impossible if you had to do it for a lifetime. Keep your focus razor sharp on today. If you find yourself worrying about your promotion coming up, about your court dates coming up or about that next time you have to see your family—close your eyes and come right back to today. Whenever you spend a little too much time lamenting the past, obsessing about your past mistakes or fuming over how people wronged you in the past—close your eyes and come right back to today. It can be as simple as saying a prayer or counting your breath four times. It can be done over and over again, as many times as you need to get back into today. Recovery is a wonderful gift. It will give you a new lease on life. Just remember to share with others the wisdom that has been freely given to you.


money talks by Jay M. Fisher

How to teach financial literacy to your kids

A

recent study revealed that, while 51% of moms and dads give their children an allowance, only 4% require them to deposit that money into a bank account. And, just 27% take their kids into a bank to make monthly transactions. Most parents will admit they are not doing a good job teaching their children about finance, because, let’s face it, many are not very good at it themselves. In fact, 56% of adults don’t have a budget and one-third of Americans don’t pay their bills on time. But here’s some good news about the current recession—it’s the perfect opportunity to start talking to your children about money. Chances are, if

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you have teenagers, they are already well aware of the increased financial hardship the recession has caused, whether it is in their own family or that of a friend. Because of this, 64% of teens say they are more grateful for what they have, and more than half have a greater appreciation for their parents’ hard work. So, seize the day. As a parent, you not only can, but you need to promote financial education and awareness with your children. You are the first and often the only example they will have. Prepare them for one of life’s most important responsibilities by talking to them about basic financial decisionmaking, how to earn, how to save and sticking to a budget.

Here are some tips for how to teach principles of finance to young children: Saving Grace Though the urge may be to run out and spend it, have your child save some or all of any money he or she receives, whether it is from an allowance or birthday gift. If it sitting in a piggy bank is too tempting, use different envelopes to divide the money for future use. Take It to the Bank Go to the bank and open a savings account with your child. Explain how earning interest works and encourage him/her to set goals and make regular deposits.


Kids who are driven to earn money through things, such as doing extra chores, mowing lawns or washing cars, are more likely to be goal-oriented and successful in business.

Involve Your Child in Budgeting The grocery store is a great place to introduce them to budgeting and making choices about what they want versus what they need. Teach the Basics of Investing Start with lessons about the stock market and interest rates. Websites, such as TheMint.org, offer tools like a compounding calculator where your kids can see how to turn $100 into $10,000 over time using things like a savings account, CD, money market account, bonds or stocks. Cultivate Entrepreneurship Encourage them to earn their own money. Kids who are driven to earn money through things such as doing extra chores, mowing lawns or washing cars are more likely to be goal-oriented and successful in business. Be a Role Model As any parent knows, our kids learn by example. Children watch how you spend, save and splurge. Ensure that

you are also making the best choices for your family, sticking to a budget, and not overspending. Investment 101 for Older Kids If you enjoy investing (or even if you don’t), take proactive steps to teach your children the principles of investing. In the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” the author writes that most people struggle financially because they don’t know the difference between an asset and a liability. Simply put, the former puts money into your pocket, while the latter takes money out of your pocket. “Rich people acquire assets. The poor and middle class acquire liabilities, but they think they are assets. ”The distinction can be muddy sometimes, but it’s a critical one to understand. If you do nothing else but teach your child this principle, they will make smarter decisions. Use your own mortgage as an example. The home can be an asset, but the expenses of maintaining the home can make it a much greater

liability. The concept of a house being a liability, especially in today’s housing market, is an appropriate conversation to have with your older child. The point to make is: if you want a house someday, you must first buy assets that will generate the cash flow to pay for the house and the expenses, such as insurances, taxes, utilities and maintenance that come along with it. Tell them to invest in their minds and learn how to acquire assets. By demystifying the idea of money and investing, you can encourage them to take the first small step. Offer Incentives Incentives work well especially for older children saving up for, say, that first car. Work out a deal, such as matching dollar-for-dollar what your teen earns on his or her own. Or, help them buy that first stock. Watch and track it with them. Not only will they be learning, it’s a good way to sneak in some precious, invaluable time with your teen.

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Live longer & healthier—

with a pet by Eric Chaffin

n February 2004, National Geographic News reported on so-called “seizure alert dogs.” These animals are able to alert people with epilepsy of an oncoming attack minutes to hours before it occurs. So far, however, this isn’t a talent that can be taught. Seizure dogs are born with the innate ability to detect subtle changes in human behavior or scent before an episode occurs. Service or “therapy” dogs can also benefit people with visual or hearing deficits, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and disabilities from traumatic injuries or strokes. More recently, some dogs are even trained to assist people with autism. They may lower the likelihood of the person bolting across a busy street, provide a source of comfort or alert others to potentially dangerous situations, such as when a child is up in the middle of the night. The benefits of pet ownership, however, reach far beyond specialized circumstances. According to recent studies, the everyday, ordinary cat or dog can help even ordinary people live longer and happier lives.

Pets Make You Healthy A study from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute showed that human-pet interactions raised levels of the hormone oxytocin in humans, which is linked with reducing blood pressure, increasing tolerance to

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pain, and reducing anxiety. A study at Cambridge University also found that owning a pet produced improvements in general health in as little as one month. Pet owners suffered fewer ailments, such as headaches, colds and hay fever. More recent research in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who lived in a home with a pet during their first year of life were more likely to be healthier, compared to kids who didn’t live in a pet-owning household. Specifically, kids who had a dog during the first year of life had 31% fewer respiratory tract infections than those who didn’t and 44% fewer ear infections. Researchers believed it had something to do with stimulating the immune system. The benefits of pets is also reported to be beneficial to the health of the heart. A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that male dog owners were less likely to die within one year after a heart attack than those who didn’t own a dog. Another study by Karen Allen, Ph.D., found that owning a cat or dog could help normalize blood pressure and heart rate during periods of stress.

Bringing Your Spirits Up The benefits don’t stop there. Other studies have found

that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home. People in nursing homes reported less loneliness when visited by dogs than when they spent time with other people. Men with AIDS were less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a pet. A study out of Australia even found that dog and cat owners made fewer annual doctor visits.

Exercise & Pets Scientists are so intrigued by the health benefits of the pet-owner interaction that they are continuing to study the possibilities. According to the New York Times, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is examining the effect of pet ownership on childhood development and behavior. Perhaps most exciting is the research on pets and exercise, considering our nationwide obesity epidemic. A Canadian study found that dog owners walked nearly twice as much per week as those who didn’t own dogs. If you don’t already own a pet, but are considering it for the health benefits, be sure to take the time to learn about the kind of pet that will best fit your lifestyle. A dog will play and walk with you, but will need daily exercise. A cat can keep you company in the house, but may present an allergy problem. With a little research, you can find the perfect companion with whom to share a long, happy and healthy life.


guns:

surviving the unexpected by Garret Machine Norway. Aurora. Littleton. You know these names because all three are locations that have experienced mass shootings and casualties. What makes these people kill men, women and children? It’s a combination of emotional instability, frustration and fanatics. Unfortunately, shooters are rarely diagnosed in advance. Because of this, our problem is not in identifying them, but in preparing ourselves for such a horrific and traumatic event should it ever occur.

dealing with active shooters Of the initial assault, many victims have stated, “I didn’t think it was real.” Real or not, it doesn’t matter, react anyway. This is not the time for taking things lightly. Get your family out, take cover or start to move to cover. If it’s just firecrackers or a loud backfire from a truck, it will have been good practice. Gather Information—Suddenly, you hear gunfire. Gather information immediately. Everything you see and hear is important. The following information is important to the police and your survival: »» Where is the gunfire coming from? »» Is there a direction of travel (to you or away from you)? »» How close are they to you? »» How many shots are being fired? »» How far away or how close is the shooter(s)? »» Can you tell how many shooters there are? »» What kind of firearms or weapons are the shooter(s) using? »» Are the shots the same sound shotgun, handgun, rifle? »» Is it rapid fire or single fire? »» Who is the shooter targeting?

Move Away from the Sound of Gunfire—When you hear the shooting, lock the doors to the room you are in. It is imperative you put a barrier between you and the shooter. Make the Decision to Stay or Evacuate—Time is of the essence. You must know in advance where the potential exits and points of ballistic cover are. If you decide to stay, barricade the door. The shooter only has a little time before the police arrive. If you are armed, this is the time to deploy your firearm. If you decide to leave, take as many people with you as you can. Get away from the shooter. Create distance from yourself and the gunshots. He is shooting at random without a plan. You have a plan. Be aware of a potential stampede or the crushing effect of a crowed, all trying to exit a single entryway. Do Not Challenge the Shooter—Use a diversion and move. It is difficult to shoot a moving target, but if you cannot run, do not challenge him or confront him (Unless, of course, you can use lethal force). Stand still and at the last moment prior to him pulling the trigger, move, throw something at him, drop to the ground, charge him but don’t just stand there and take the shot. You must keep moving! If You Don’t Move or Attack, You Could be Hurt—You have no chance for survival if you do nothing. At the last moment, become the aggressor; the best defense is a strong offense. If there are others around, charge the shooter together. Remember, his hands are occupied and you have the advantage of surprise. Once you have him down, others will come and help you. Motivate others by taking action to save the lives of the ones around you. When the Gun is Empty, Attack or Run—Basically, there are two types of handguns: a revolver or semiautomatic @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 25


pistol. The cylinder holds the bullets in a revolver and in a semiautomatic handgun, the bullets are contained in a magazine. Most revolvers hold five or six rounds where the Glock semiautomatic pistol could hold anywhere from 15 to 17 rounds. When he is out of ammunition and the shooting stops, the gun’s slide and barrel will lock to the rear. That means the gun is empty. The shooter will have to drop out the magazine and place a new one in the gun. Now you need to make a decision, fight or flight. Learn Some Basic Self-Defense or Get a Defensive Weapon—When the shooter is reloading, this is your opportunity to attack or move. One important note: if you have not received close quarter combat or other tactical training, do not attempt to subdue or physically control the shooter. This type of training is specialized, dangerous and takes years to master. It might be better to move or run.

The Moment of Truth—If you hear gunshots and they are close, it’s decision time. You will have less than five seconds to make a decision and you have five choices: »» E xit immediately and save yourself. »» Leave immediately and take someone with you. »» Stop and hide and hope he does not find you. »» Take cover and wait for the prime opportunity to attack the shooter. »» From wherever you are, take the offensive and immediately attack the shooter with whatever weapons you can find. Know the Difference between Concealment and Cover— Concealment offers little or no protection from bullets. It only takes you out of visual sight of the subject. He cannot see you and you cannot see him. Create a Diversion and Ask a Question—If confronted by the

Learn some basic self-defense or get a defensive weapon.

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Get your family out, take cover or start to move to cover. If it’s just firecrackers or a loud backfire from a truck, it will have been good practice.” shooter, do not talk to him or make eye contact. If you are going to be shot, create a short diversion. Ask him a question prior to him pulling the trigger. Or toss something at him, such as your keys. When he asks you, “Do you believe in God?,” respond with a question that is so off the wall that for a brief moment he has to stop and think.

Learn Some Basic Self-Help First-Aid If you have been shot and help is on the way, you will have to wait. It could be 10 minutes or several hours before you receive medical treatment. You have got to administer self help to


whose life can be saved. When fire and rescue gets on the scene, time is critical. They will not initially send enough trucks to cover the massacre. If there are more than 15 to 20 shots fired, rescue trucks will be arriving from all parts of the city. There will be a delay time in their arrival. Prior to fire and rescue arriving, try to identify students whose injuries are life threatening and can be saved. Those who are shot and will die anyway should not be treated at this time. It is a very difficult decision, but every second counts. Do the best you can with your limited knowledge until the paramedics get there.

Interaction with the Police: You Could Be the Shooter

Garret Machine Former Israeli Defense Force Soldier

QUICK FACTS The homicide rate, which hit a peak in the early 1990s at about 10 per 100,000 people, has been cut in half to a level not seen since the early 1960s. The United States experienced 645 mass-murder events—killings with at least four victims— from 1976 to 2010, according to Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox. Since 1982, there have been at least 61 mass murders carried out with firearms across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii.

Garret Machine is a former soldier in an undercover unit for the Israeli Defense Force. While serving in the unit, not only was he a soldier, but also a medic and firearms tactics instructor for his army unit. After earning a master's degree in homeland security and counterterror warfare from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, he returned to the U.S. where he now provides security consultation.

yourself until the paramedics get there. To survive, your number one priority is to stop the loss of blood. One method is direct pressure on the wound or just above the wound. Use your belt if nothing else. If you are going to lose consciousness, find a hard object and place it under your body above the wound and lay on top of it. When you pass out from the loss of blood, your body weight and the hard object will constrict your arterial blood flow. The pressure on the wound will continue even after you have passed out due to the loss of blood. Remember: if possible elevate the wounded area.

Learn Basic First-Aid to Help Others The Red Cross offers these classes. When the shooting stops and the injured are screaming for help, you will have only seconds to make a decision on a wound. Who can I save and who can’t I help? Every second counts when someone has been shot and bleeding profusely. On the island in Norway, there were more than 80 victims who had been shot at close range. Triage takes over and it’s the paramedic’s job to identify

Again, this is critical. As you exit the building, do exactly what the police tell you. You will be treated as if you are a suspect or even the gunman until you have been positively identified as a victim. Many times, hostage takers dress like their hostage or victims in an attempt to confuse the police.

What You Saw is Important The police will ask you for a description of the gunman and if there are other shooters. They will ask you who is still on the island or inside the building. The police will need diagrams of what happened and where. Who is the shooter, who has been shot and what weapons were used by the shooter(s)? Try to compose yourself so you can give the police the most up-to-date, complete and factual information as possible. You have survived and will be emotionally and physically traumatized. Describe to the police what has happened and your observations.

Educate Yourself Active shooters may not be terrorists, but what they do is. Mass or active shooters and terrorism are a worldwide problem. Intelligence is important in preventing terrorist attacks and preparation is the key to survival. @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 27


winter’s coming: Think snow and safety by Linda Chalat After a record dry season at America’s mountain resorts in 2011-12, skiers and snowboarders are praying for snow, and itching to hit the slopes. While we are all looking forward to that secret powder stash or cruising on wide open runs, here are a few things to think about to avoid a ride in the ski patrol’s toboggan.

1 Wear a Helmet There are no more excuses. Helmets are as common on the slopes as they are on a football field, and as important to skiers and boarders as they are to motorcyclists. A fall on hard-packed snow and ice can be just as damaging as blacktop. Even though head injuries only make up 5-15% of all ski injuries, they are the leading cause of serious injuries and death among snow riders, and helmets make a big difference. From 1982-1998, before helmets became as ubiquitous as they are today, one ski area neurosurgeon kept track of how helmet use affected injury outcomes. Out of 400 Colorado skiers with head traumas serious enough to warrant a trip to a level I trauma center, only five were wearing helmets, and all five made full recoveries—including one young snowboarder who fell 40 feet off a cliff and landed on his head. His helmet split in half, but his wellprotected noggin went on to attend college. 4 Don’t let things go from bad to worsE If you or your ski buddy is injured, or if you’ve been involved in a collision, plant your skis in a cross (or your snowboard vertically) in the snow uphill from the accident. This will signal to other skiers that there is a hazard below. Ask a passing skier to alert patrol. At most resorts, every on-mountain employee has a radio. If the slope is empty, ski to the nearest chair lift and call patrol yourself, then go back to the scene.

28 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

2 look before you leap Just because you’re not supposed to stop in a blind spot below a terrain change doesn’t mean no one will. If you can’t see below a terrain change, it’s a bad place to practice for the next X-Games. Assume there will be someone there. Slow down until you can see that the coast is clear, or, send your ski buddy down ahead of you to scout the landing and be sure you’re not putting others in danger. Of course, the best practice is to keep your aerials to the park. Be sure to take a “dry run” through and familiarize yourself with the features. When you’re ready to fly, wait for the athlete ahead of you to clear the landing before taking your turn.

5 need a lift? Getting up the mountain safely is just as important. Sitting on an approaching chair should be simple enough, and the ski area has a responsibility to run their lifts safely. That means keeping the loading and unloading areas well maintained and free from obstacles, or stopping the lift if an danger (like a fallen skier) develops. If you need the lift slowed to board or disembark, don’t be shy, just ask the lift attendants. Finally, in lift lines, always remember to alternate at merge points to avoid the most easily preventable ski injury—a snowball to the face!

3 know the code Just like for drivers on a road or sailboats in a regatta, there are rights-of-way on the slopes. Skiers don’t have eyes in the back of their heads, so the uphill rider is expected to yield to those below. When passing, make sure to give a wide berth—you never know if the person you are about to pass is going to make an unexpected turn, stop or throw a spontaneous Backside Chickentwist McFlipperstein so that he has something to tweet about later (#imadangertoeveryone). It’s helpful, especially on crowded runs, to make yourself known by shouting your location: “passing on your left, thanks!” Skiing and boarding can be physically demanding, and you might need to stop and rest. Make sure you stop where you can be seen from above, preferably on the side of the slope, and never below a terrain change. Ready to get going again? Look uphill first and yield to skiers and boarders in progress.


Ladies Night GREAT TIPS FOR GETTING OUT by Stephanie Gelber

Generally speaking, when women get together—especially as they get older—they are less adventurous. They may have a book club, bowling, scrapbooking, dinner, a movie or, of course, shopping. The types of nights men enjoy while away from their wives, girlfriends and/or families has historically been different. But why? Well, for starters, it’s a lot less complicated for men to go out. They don’t deal with the “what do I wear?” debate; they can typically get ready in a short time frame and are much more laid back on the details. Women, generally speaking, are the polar opposite. But, more than the dress, hair and locale, women are also concerned about the age-old issue of safety. After all, you don’t often hear about men getting attacked or “roofied” while out for drinks. Women feel more comfortable in these situations when they’re in groups, as there are more of them to look after one another. However, not every situation is that simple. Here are some basic rules for women—or anyone, really—to live by when you decide finding the dress, doing your hair and making the plans are all worth it:

Always have your cellphone. Make sure it’s charged and with you at all times. Decide on a designated driver before you enter a bar or club. Look after your friends. If someone you know looks like they could have been drugged or are in an unsafe or compromising position, step in and make sure they are OK. If necessary, get help. Make sure someone who is not with you knows where you going.

you don’t see the drink being made, because someone could easily slip something into it. The date-rape drug is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, so you won’t know what’s wrong until it’s too late. It can be dangerous stepping out of your car either at home or in isolated areas, and also walking to your car, so be cautious. Be very careful using an outside ATM at night or in unfamiliar surroundings.

Make sure to call (or text if it is late) that person when you get home to let them know you are safe.

Carry an emergency kit in your car, including a flashlight, flares, fix-a-flat, comfortable warm clothing, first-aid kit, empty gas can and a white cloth to tie to antenna to signal distress.

Do not accept open drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) from others who you do not know, especially if

Trust your instincts. If you sense something is wrong, get away from the situation. @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 29


keep your kids moving

inside or outside , living an active lifestyle is key by Stephanie Andre The childhood obesity rates in the United States are abysmal. Our kids need to be moving and active—whether it’s sunny, rainy or snowy outside. The season should not dictate your child’s activity. In addition to one hour of structured exercise, kids should have at least one more hour of unstructured playtime. Ideally, kids should get the following three kinds of exercise throughout the week: »» Some sort of aerobic activity—perhaps walking or bike riding »» Muscle-strengthening exercise—like gymnastics or push-ups »» Bone-strengthening exercise—jumping rope or running are good ideas If you would rather have the kids stay close to home, here are some ideas for indoor exercise, courtesy of Metrokids, that won’t wreck the house or break the bank.

Toddlers & Preschoolers »» Play games with movements, such as Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes; Ring Around the Rosie; or I’m a Little Teapot. »» Listen to music and dance. Try a freeze-dance. »» Play with toys like hula-hoops, soft balls and scarves.

School Age & Tweens »» Find a soft place for tumbling. »» Set up an obstacle course. »» Create a scavenger hunt.

Teens »» Strength training with weights. »» Home gym equipment like treadmills or elliptical machines. »» Find a good yoga or aerobics video.

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

30 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

Visit www.ATVsafetynet.org for more information.


G

NG A

YO U R

TI

E TO GE D T UI

by Kurt Arbuckle Tattoos are popular, but because they involve puncturing skin 50 to 3,000 times per minute, there is a big risk of injury, infection or disease. Do a lot of research before you get a tattoo; make sure safety is the top priority for the establishment that will be doing the work. The more you know about the process beforehand, the better the questions you can ask. It is a big subject, so here is only a brief summary of things to know and look for. Starting Out »» Tattoo materials must be sterilized with an autoclave; a pressure cooker is not effective. The instruments are placed in a bag and a strip on the bag indicates when the sterilization process is complete. Make sure the bag is opened in front of you at the beginning of the tattooing. »» Plastic bags should be placed over sprayers to prevent crosscontamination. »» The artist should have washed and disinfected his or her hands, inspected them for cuts and wear rubber gloves after inspecting them for pinholes or tears. »» Ink and other products must not be poured back into containers to use again. Even though they may not have been used, they can become contaminated.

»» Nozzles and other equipment must not be allowed to touch unsterilized surfaces, such as a tabletop. »» The area must be clean, organized and disinfected with a viricide. »» Some inks have metal in them. This can cause problems if you later need an MRI, which uses magnetism. The ink can interfere with images or even cause pain during the MRI. Preparing You »» The area where the tattoo is placed should be shaved, cleaned and disinfected.

weeks to heal.) »» Leave the bandage that the artist puts on the wound for at least two hours. Your friends will just have to wait. »» When you remove the bandage, gently wash the wound with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap. Do not use a washcloth, but gently wash it with your hands to remove any blood and sliminess. »» As the wound heals, let the scabs fall off naturally. Do not try to pick at them.

»» The area where the tattoo is placed will have an effect on how much pain you will have. Bony areas, such as ankles and ribs, are more painful than arms or thighs.

»» No swimming, sunbathing, direct shower water during healing. It is OK to let the tattoo get wet, just don’t soak it. Pat dry, do not rub. Even after healing, you must protect your tattoo from the sun. The sun’s rays will fade a tattoo quickly.

»» The procedure should be fully explained to you. Do your research and make a list of questions in advance. Do not proceed until your questions are answered, and do not be afraid to walk out.

»» You should put an antiseptic ointment on the tattoo during healing, but get advice on what brand to use. If you are allergic to the ointment, red bumps will form. When they are gone, so is the ink.

»» Make sure you are getting what you want; it will be difficult to change later, if possible at all.

»» MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, at the first sign of any infection, go see a doctor.

Caring for the Wound »» Do not let the artist put plastic wrap on your wound. (Yes, a fresh tattoo is a wound and will take one to three

There is more to know, so read up on tattoos before you take the plunge.

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 31


coverfocus


the

Rise of

more

H

concussions

injuries

or

more

awa r e n e ss ?

by Stephanie Andre

ave you noticed an uptick in

The ABCs of Concussions

the number of concussions

To understand a concussion, we have to start with the most basic question: What is a concussion and what causes it? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define a concussion as “a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works.” However, concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung” or what seems to be mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. A hard tackle to the ground or helmet-to-helmet hit—in football, for example—would certainly fall to this category. But, keep in mind, concussions are not just relegated to football. Concussions can occur in any sport or recreational activity. In fact, female high school soccer and basketball players consistently suffer more concussions than their male counterparts. What’s more, concussions occur most often as a result of player-to-player contact and are more than twice as likely to happen in competition than in practice, according to an epidemiological study published in January in the American Journal of Sports Medicine by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The one exception was cheerleading. Cheerleaders were 10 times more likely to be hurt in practice than while performing at games or competing in competitions.

we’re seeing these days? Is the

number really higher, or is it simply a matter of heightened awareness? As modern medicine continues to evolve and push forward, injury and death are understood more now than ever before. But we’re not there yet. With the popularity of sports—football, in particular—education and awareness (for both players and coaches, and even parents) is vital toward identifying potential symptoms related to concussion and other sports-related injuries. Here, we take a look at the prevalence of concussions in sports—specifically in youth athletics—taking a deeper look at the who, what, when, where and why these incidents are gaining conversation momentum...and how we can protect our players.

The Stats Don’t Lie Despite the warnings, concussions are a prominent and concerning part of sports. In fact, of 14,635 high school sports injuries reported during the 2008-10 school years, 1,936 (13.2 percent) were concussions, the study found.

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 33


And not unexpectedly, more than half of concussions were from football (56.8 percent). Girls soccer followed at close to 12 percent, according to researchers at both Children’s Hospital’s, Boston, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The good news is that, for most, concussion symptoms seem to clear within a week. Here’s the breakdown:

recommends that no adolescent athlete who sustains a concussion should return to play on the day of the injury.” (See more on page 36)

»» 27 percent had symptoms resolve in less than 24 hours

As medicine pushes forward, there are new and innovative ways of detecting and testing for concussion, including computerized neuropsychological testing. While newer to high school sports, such testing has been used in collegiate and professional sports for some time. According to the Boston researchers study, computerized neuropsychological testing was used to assess close to 40 percent of cases—although injured football players were less likely to have this testing in evaluating their concussions than athletes injured in other sports. In situations in which computerized testing was used, they noted that there was a more conservative approach taken in returning to play. Athletes evaluated using computerized neuropsychological testing were less likely to return to play on the same day, and less likely to return to play within a week of their injury, than the three out of four injured athletes who did not undergo such testing. Why a more conservative approach? For starters, despite reporting that their symptoms had cleared, the athletes’ performance on the tests revealed deficits in neurocognitive function, a finding that provides further proof of the benefit of such testing in the management of sports-related

»» 36.2 percent between 1 and 3 days »» 20.2 percent between 4 and 6 days »» 15.1 percent had symptoms lasting more than a week but less than a month »» 1.5 percent were still experiencing symptoms more than a month after injury According to the AJSM study, most players returned to practice within a few weeks and some—25 percent— returned to practice in a day or two, at the discretion of doctors. However, what was most concerning was this: in 2 percent of cases, the athlete resumed play on the same day he/ she suffered the injury--something researchers believe is unacceptable. “This improper practice [of returning from concussion] was widespread,” noted researchers Mallika Marar, Natalie McIlvain, Sarah Fields and R. Dawn Comstock, who found it in 12 of the 20 sports they studied. “This clearly violates the consensus statement on sports-related concussion, which

Concussion Assessment and Returning to Play

Watch out for post-concussion problems Is a concussion in an 11-year-old the same as a concussion in a 25-yearold? Will they recover more quickly? Perhaps their younger brain is simply tougher? According to research, most kids who suffer mild concussions will bounce back quickly. However, some 20 percent—not a small number by any means—may still feel the effects a year after the injury, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio. Lingering symptoms included fatigue, headaches, forgetfulness and difficulty paying attention. According to the Mayo Clinic,

34 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

“somatic” symptoms—such as fatigue and headaches—were more likely to fade away, while, cognitive symptoms like forgetfulness and attention problems tended to persist. The Mayo Clinic’s research didn’t address whether children continued to show symptoms for longer than a year, but parents with an active child should have cause for concern. Concussion in children can pose serious health risks, ranging from temporary memory lapses to fatal brain swelling. It is important to be mindful of this condition as it can sometimes goes unrecognized in

children, as symptoms may not be noticed right after the injury. After a head injury, a child risks other complications if he or she returns to sports and other activities before his/ her concussion has healed. Another blow to the head while the initial concussion is healing can occasionally result in fatal brain swelling—a condition known as second impact syndrome, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also, a young athlete who sustains a concussion is at risk of developing post-concussion syndrome— characterized by persistent concussion


concussion shown in previous studies. What’s more, this testing is used more often in cases of severe concussion. In turn, athletes deemed to have more severe injuries were more likely to undergo neurocognitive testing.

Long-Term Prognosis? Despite all the talk, there have been virtually no long-term studies done on brain functionality as related to concussion. To that end, Chris Giza, M.D., a neurology specialist at UCLA, has teamed up with professionals across the U.S. to form the National Sports Concussion Outcome Study (NSCOS) to examine the long-term effects of contact on athletes. Giza and his colleagues are looking at the effects of concussions, but also at the impact of all biomechanical force applied to an athlete, as first reported in Sports Illustrated. According to Giza, any type of registered biomechanical force—force applied to the body that registers in the brain—can affect the brain’s ability to function. NSCOS will follow athletes through their sports careers and beyond in order to gauge what happens to an athlete’s brain after years of contact. “If there is a cumulative consequence for participating in contact athletics, are there ways we can mitigate these problems?” Giza pondered. “We don’t really have good information to answer that question. There are a lot of gaps in our understanding of the relationship between contact

sports and long-term problems.” Still, results of these studies are decades away. For now, the concern remains focused on the increasing number of retired athletes diagnosed posthumously with a degenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Researchers at several centers around the country are studying this disease, its cause and progression. According to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy in Boston, CTE is the only preventable form of dementia. What’s more, 90 percent of confirmed cases have been in retired athletes and athletes who have a history of multiple concussions have a higher incidence of dementia and dementia-related diseases later in life.

Be Proactive At least in the short term, there is no cure or even equipment sturdy enough to fully prevent concussion. If you see a teammate, classmate, friend or family member get knocked around, help them out. Use the checklist provided (see sidebar) to help you assess whether or not you could be looking at a concussion. Then proceed from there. If you suspect a concussion, be sure to get him/her the right medical attention as soon as possible. It may not seem like much at the time, but one hit in the head could be all it takes to change someone’s life forever. Be smart—know the signs, whether it’s for yourself or someone else.

did you know? symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, irritability and difficulty with thinking skills, such as memory and attention. These symptoms can be particularly confusing for a child, as well as his or her family and teachers, if the child doesn’t realize he or she has had a concussion. Researchers continue to study other potential long-term effects of concussions. Once a child has sustained his or her first concussion, he or she is at a higher risk of sustaining another. The effects of multiple concussions over years can be cumulative.

FOOTBALL IS THE NAME OF THE GAME

High School Football Rules

concussion By the Numbers

Despite well-

In 2011-12, nearly

An estimated

established health

1.1 million American

67,000 diagnosed

risks and an increasing

boys played on an

concussions occur

number of former

11-player high school

during high school

NFL players suffering

squad, compared to

football games each

memory loss, the

just 575,628 athletes

year and at least 50

number of high school

who pounded the

youth football players

football players

track and 535,289 who

from 20 different

continues to dwarf

played basketball,

states have reportedly

participation in other

according to the

died or sustained

sports—namely track

National Federation

serious head injuries

and field, basketball

of State High School

on the gridiron since

and baseball.

Associations (NFHS).

1997.

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 35


38

million+

APPROX. 3.5 million

children play organized sports each year in the u.s.

will suffer some type of reportable injury each year.

by the numbers

After the Concussion:

returning to play by Larry E. Coben

A

concussive brain injury.

tidal wave of publicity

driven in an attempt to destroy more

about the long-term chronic

physical sports, such as hockey and

neurological problems

football, while others think that the safety

experienced by former NFL

of our youth trumps the interests of any one

football players has ignited a nationwide

sport and change is needed.

interest and concern for the millions of kids

Here, we lay out the facts; you make your

who play sports.

own judgment.

Everyone has an opinion: parents, school officials, the governing boards of sports

Writing the Rules

organizations and elected government

A decade ago, the 1st International

officials. Some folks think this publicity

Conference on Concussion in Sports was

36 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

held in Vienna, Austria, and a consensus statement was published, setting forth the recommendations that physicians, coaches, trainers and other health professionals should follow in diagnosing and treating athletes suspected of suffering concussions. These recommendations have been revised three times in the past 10 years. Ignored by most sports organizations for close to a decade, in the past two years, more than half of the state legislatures have enacted youth sports regulations to reduce the risk of complications caused by

The Breakdown The Consensus Statements issued by the 3rd International Conference on concussion provides detailed standards and practices for both the diagnosis of concussive events and the procedures that must be followed before allowing return to play. Here are just a few examples: 1. A student shall be removed from the sport when he or she exhibits signs,


x 12

among children,

those aged 15 to 17 experience the highest number of emergency room visits.

symptoms or behavior consistent with a concussion or is suspected of sustaining a concussion. 1. Concussion can occur without any major loss of consciousness. 2. The signs and symptoms of concussion can include any of the following: problems with vision, headache, amnesia, irritability, slow to react, confusion, drowsiness, feeling like in a fog, issues with balance. Instructions for Sideline Evaluation: 1. Concussive events occur in practices and in games. Trained personnel must be in attendance at both events. 2. Sideline evaluation of cognitive function is essential for the assessment of concussion. Include in this evaluation the following inquiries: orientation to time, place and person but these inquiries alone are not sufficient. “Maddocks questions” and the Standardized Assessment of Concussion procedure must be used.

there were 120 reported sports-related deaths of young athletes in 2008–2009; 50 in 2010; and 40 in 2011.

3. When an athlete shows any features of concussion, a. Evaluation on the field using standard emergency management principles must be provided. b. The athlete should not be left alone. 4. No student shall participate in any athletic event or practice the same day he or she is suspected of suffering a concussion.

sensitivity to light, nausea, sensitivity to noise, fatigue, numbness/tingling, visual problems, vomiting, balance problems, dizziness, irritability, sadness, feeling more emotional, nervousness, drowsiness, extended sleep periods, trouble falling asleep, mentally foggy, problems concentrating and/or memory problems. 5. These symptoms should also be considered during periods of controlled exertion during the day.

Instructions for Return to Play:

6. A team review of each student’s performance in classes must be obtained.

1. Require, not simply suggest, that a licensed physician with training in concussion management be seen.

7. Balance and coordination assessments including performance of specific tests, such as the SCAT 2 or Romberg Test.

2. Define a cognitive rest period, limiting both physical and mental exertion while symptomatic. 3. Publish a Medical Clearance Checklist for Gradual Return to Sports following Concussion, which must be used by the examining physician. 4. The following must be assessed and found to be non-existent: headaches,

The CDC has also published information and tools to help with on-field recognition and management of concussion. (see next page) Every sports program should have this information and follow it. No doubt this sports epidemic must be addressed to minimize acute and chronic neurocognitive disorders.

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 37


It Starts at Home

parents are key to helping prevent concussions You can’t protect your children 100 percent of the time in 100 percent of situations, but you can certainly do everything in your power to make sure they are as protected as possible. Here are some tips, courtesy of the CDC, to set your kids on the right path to prevent concussions. Gear up. When children are active in sports and recreation, make sure they use the right protective gear for their activity, such as helmets, wrist guards, knee or elbow pads.

Use the right stuff. Be sure that sports protective equipment is in good condition and worn correctly all the time—for example, avoid missing or broken buckles or compressed or worn padding. Poorly fitting equipment may be uncomfortable and may not offer the best protection.

Practice makes perfect. Have children learn and practice skills they need in their activity. For example, knowing how to tackle safely is important in preventing injuries in football and soccer. Have children practice proper form—this can prevent injuries during baseball, softball, and many other activities. Also, be sure to safely and slowly increase activities to improve physical fitness; being in good condition can protect kids from injury.

Pay attention to temperature. Allow time for child athletes to gradually adjust to hot or humid environments to prevent heat-related injuries or illness. Parents and coaches should pay close attention to make sure that players are hydrated and appropriately dressed.

Be a good model. Communicate positive safety messages and serve as a model of safe behavior, including wearing a helmet and following the rules.

Educating Athletes Did you know the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have started a national campaign to educate coaches, parents and athletes involved in youth sports about the dangers of concussion and what measures can be taken to ensure maximum health? Called the Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports initiative, the platform provides important information on preventing, recognizing and responding to a concussion. From downloadable posters (see sample, next page) and palm cards to online training and fact sheets, the CDC offers an entire toolkit available free on its website at www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/youth.html.

38 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4


SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS These signs and symptoms may indicate that a concussion has occurred. SIGNS OBSERVED BY COACHING STAFF

SYMPTOMS REPORTED BY ATHLETE

Appears dazed or stunned

Headache or “pressure” in head

Is confused about assignment or position

Nausea or vomiting

Forgets sports plays

Balance problems or dizziness

Is unsure of game, score, or opponent

Double or blurry vision

Moves clumsily

Sensitivity to light

Answers questions slowly

Sensitivity to noise

Loses consciousness (even briefly)

Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy

Shows behavior or personality changes

Concentration or memory problems

Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall

Confusion

Can’t recall events after hit or fall

Does not “feel right”

ACTION PLAN If you suspect that a player has a concussion, you should take the following steps:

1. Remove athlete from play. 2. Ensure athlete is evaluated by an appropriate health care professional. Do not try to judge the seriousness of the injury yourself. 3. Inform athlete’s parents or guardians about the known or possible concussion and give them the fact sheet on concussion. 4. Allow athlete to return to play only with permission from an appropriate health care professional.

July 2007

It’s better to miss one game than the whole season. For more information and to order additional materials free-of-charge, visit:

www.cdc.gov/ConcussionInYouthSports

U.S. D EPARTMENT

OF H EALTH AND H UMAN S ERVICES

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 39


DID YOU KNOW?

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 NODD.org 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.

web:

nodd.org

twitter:

@NODDorg


home&family TROUBLE-MAKER CHILD:

BAD PARENTING OR HEALTH ISSUE? by Roopal Luhana

Karen’s son, Jack, was having problems in school again. His third-grade teacher had sent another note home, stating that Jack was misbehaving in class, causing disruptions and failing to stay in his seat. She suggested that Karen come in for a consultation, and hinted that Jack may have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Karen sighed as she read the note. It was the fourth one she had received in one year, and she was growing concerned. Jack never had such problems before. Did he really have ADHD? Or was she doing something wrong in how she was raising him to cause these behavioral issues? Parents like Karen who notice behavioral problems in their children for the first time should first discuss these issues with the child’s doctor. Many medical conditions can mask themselves as ADHD, learning disabilities, aggression or hyperactivity. Sometimes, even an early traumatic brain injury, potentially caused during birth or by medications, can affect behavior later on.


Behavior Problems Often Mask a Medical Condition According to health experts, many health problems can create symptoms that are similar to those associated with ADHD. These may include thyroid problems, allergies, hearing or visual problems, iron deficiency anemia, sleep problems, neurological conditions, and changes in blood sugar levels. Only by a thorough doctor’s examination can parents rule out a specific medical cause of behavioral issues. Certain types of birth defects can also create behavioral problems later in life. Heart defects, for example, can cause children to experience difficulties in school. They may be more likely to have behavioral issues, to possess poor social skills and to suffer language or speech problems. Scientists at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (August 14, 2002) that premature babies are more likely to have significant learning 42 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

and behavioral problems after the age of five years than babies born full term. They may also be more likely to be aggressive or withdrawn, and to suffer from ADHD. A study of more than 7,000 pregnancies by Dutch researchers (Archives of General Psychiatry) found that women who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy were more likely to give birth to babies with smaller heads—a condition linked with reduced brain growth and potential behavioral problems as the child grows. Other birth defects and injuries that affect the heart and brain can also lead to later problems down the road.

Diagnosis and Treatment Fortunately, parents can take steps to help their children cope with birth defect and birth injury-related behavioral issues. The diagnosis, treatment and management of the symptoms will likely require a team of professionals, which may include the primary doctor, psychiatrists,

neurologists, occupational therapists, speech and language tutors, vision and hearing specialists, dieticians and other professionals. This team of experts can provide parents with needed support, as well as help create a more structured home and school life for the child to help everyone cope. Getting the child’s teacher involved in his or her treatment can also help the child improve. Take the doctor’s recommendations to the teacher and discuss what steps can be taken to help the child perform better in school. Dietary changes, both at home and at school, may be prescribed, and in certain situations, medications may also be helpful. The important thing is not to assume that the child’s behavior is a result of “bad” parenting. A thorough medical diagnosis will help you rule out any other potential causes of your child’s behavior, helping you to better manage the problem and increasing your odds of creating a happier, healthier life for you both.


THIS IS WHAT THE “BAR OF JUSTICE” HAS COME TO MEAN TO MORE AND MORE AMERICAN CONSUMERS AND WORKERS

“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 www.publicjustice.net or call us at (202) 797-8600.


Is Your Child Ready for

social networking? by Mark Bello

today’s society, parents often struggle with what to permit their children to be exposed to, how to protect them from dangerous outside influences. There is a fine line between protecting and smothering, between allowing them room for independence and individuality and stifling their freedom, between having fun and being in danger. Not too long ago, parents worried about when their kids could walk to school, stay home alone or whether a particular TV show or movie was appropriate. Too many parents face new concerns. Now, we must worry about the dangers of social networking. Social networking sites have made the world a much smaller place. Tools such as cellphones, tablets, computers and the Internet­— with sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Pinterest, Twitter and more—allow us to access almost anyone, anywhere. It influences all of our lives, but how can we make sure these communication tools are positive influences, especially for our young children? Here is today’s parental reality: Social media will continue to grow as a major part of the way we communicate; it will be major part of our children’s lives. It creates a way to stay in touch with family and friends who live far away. 44 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

It may strengthen existing relationships and build new ones. As children become more tech savvy at a younger age, it’s harder for parents to monitor their social media usage. When children enter the world of social media, it can create a new world for them. On social networking sites, children are granted access to create user profiles—online identities—in which they have the freedom to post whatever they want, tweets, status updates, provocative photos, videos and even hate messages. The problem with social networking sites allowing them that much freedom is the fact that it can result in very harmful side effects.

Since almost anything goes on these social networking sites, it can create a plethora of safety concerns for parents. So the question for many becomes, what age is appropriate for children to engage in social networking? Here are some basic considerations that will help you decide if, and when, your children are ready for social networking.

1

Are you familiar with social networking sites to adequately teach your kids how to safely participate?

2

Are you ready to educate, supervise, and guide your kids to help them understand how social media can be both positive and negative?

3

Are you ready to be actively involved? Allow them to take those first steps under your supervision and guidance.

4

Are you ready to help your kids understand the potential risks and dangers, such as cyberbullying and sexting, so they are well informed and prepared?

5

Are your kids emotionally mature and responsible enough?


Is Your Child old enough

for a cellphone?

No matter what age you deem appropriate for your children to partake in social networking, it is important that you, the parents, are actively involved. Once you decide your kids are ready to begin tackling the world of social media, educate yourself on a few Internet safety tips to help your kids safely engage in social networking.

1

Keep computers in common areas where you can watch while your children use them. Be clear about the rules for using the computer.

2

Teach your child about identity protection. Never share names, schools, ages, phone numbers, or addresses. Keep passwords private (except to parents).

3

Teach children that there is a healthy balance between real life and virtual life.

4

Consider installing security software that can block websites, enforce time limits, and monitor the websites visited.

5

Be involved. Talk to your kids often about what they are doing online and who they are meeting and interacting with online.

6

Teach them to self reflect before they self reveal; once they post something online—good or bad— it can be open to anyone’s eyes.

Social media has exploded and parents have no choice but to embrace it in order to keep the lines of communication open with their kids. Don’t let your fear stymie your kids’ use of tomorrow’s technology. Start by educating yourself so that you can guide your kids through the “digital waters.”

by Mike Bryant

Who doesn’t have a cellphone these days? All you have to do is look around—a busy street corner, in a car or at the store—and you will find people on their cellphones. By now, the image has become such commonplace that kids—as young as 6 or 7—wonder when their cellphone will be arriving. This begs the question, what is the appropriate age to give your child a cellphone? The first question involves what type of phone does a child need. A very basic phone (simply used as a way to call home) can be purchased for younger children, while staying away from the additional smartphone options. Providing this basic phone for a young child also minimizes the expense if they lose it.

she clearly needs to be educated about the dangers of using it. Teach your child not to communicate with adults or individuals they and/or you do not know. Finally, parents should set the example. If parents are texting while driving, on their phone all the time or constantly distracted by their phones, that is the message they are going to send to their children. Good, responsible use of the phone can have an impact on what your child sees concerning his or her own use. Education with regular family discussions can make a big difference on how your child uses his or her phone and the effect all phone use has on you and them. Locators on the phone can

about 75%

of 12- to 17-year-olds in the uniteD states own a cellphone,

up from 45% in 2004, according to an April study by the PEW Internet & American Life Project, part of the PEW Research Center.

According to industry experts, children are getting cellphones at earlier ages. A PEW study, for example, found that 58% of 12-yearolds now have cellphones, up from 18% in 2004. When you make the decision to give your child a cellphone, he or

be helpful in knowing where they are. Responsible use can make a child safe and even enhance communications between you and your child. This advanced communication can make a big difference in how your child develops into an even better adult. @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 45


youth suicide

What to Look For and What to Do by Bret Hanna


On average, 4,000 teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 commit suicide in the United States each year. However, statistics show that clear warning signs exist before four out of five such suicides. That means if parents, teachers and others in the community are aware of the warning signs, steps can be taken to prevent the vast majority of those suicides. The key is to look for both warning signs and indications of a suicide plan, and then focus on prevention.

!

Warning Signs

»» Changes in sleep patterns »» Loss of interest in or struggles with school/work »» Changes in responses to positive reinforcement »» Increases in risk-taking behaviors »» Loss of interest in recreational or extracurricular activities »» New or increased behavioral problems »» Declining grades and loss of interest in school work »» Lack of interest in personal appearance and hygiene »» Noticeable changes in eating and sleeping habits »» Withdrawal from family and social circles »» Decreased attention span and ability to concentrate »» Development of substance abuse issues with alcohol or drugs—illegal or prescription »» Increased complaints of boredom »» Increase in complaints of physical complaints because of emotional distress In all but the most extreme cases, it will be some small combination of these signs that come to the surface, rather than all of them. The key is to look for two or three of them that develop with a particular person and then follow up on them.

!

Indications of a Suicide Plan

»» Expressions of radical, unsettling thoughts or plans »» Verbal cues that indicate the person won’t be around for long or that troubles will end »» Discarding or giving away important possessions »» Creation of suicide notes »» Statements specifically referring to suicide, death wishes or killing self »» Periods of depression followed by extreme cheerfulness »» Giving away favorite possessions to family and friends

»» Connectedness of individuals and their families to community organizations

Connectedness to community organizations, such as schools, universities, recreational and athletic clubs, churches and other religious or fraternal organizations, and workplaces, can help people think they are part of something bigger than themselves; from that, they can draw self-affirmation support. Connectedness with social institutions means being aware of and taking advantage of institutional resources available in the community, such as suicide screening programs and suicide prevention hotlines. Connections to these institutional resources can often be found through involvement with community organizations. The connectedness prevention model is something that can be promoted and developed over the long term as people become more aware of prevalence of youth suicide. In the short run, however, it is critical that you know how to help those who have been identified as immediate suicide risks.

»» Connectedness among community organizations and social institutions

Additional Resources

All of the above are cries for help from people who are often not yet in a place to know how to process and handle their feelings and emotions in a mature way. Many also do not know where to turn for help even if they acknowledge that they need it. This makes it all the more important to know how to recognize and to respond to the signs that someone may be in trouble.

!

Prevention

If warning signs are observed or the indications of a suicide plan become apparent, the focus must immediately turn to prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a prevention model that focuses on promoting connectedness at several levels, including: »» Connectedness between individuals

When it comes to individual connectedness, those finding themselves contemplating suicide can directly and quickly access social support from those they are connected and close to.

For immediate help, call the National Suicide Hotlines at 800-SUICIDE (784-2433) www

Visit suicidehotlines.com for a detailed nationwide directory of suicide hotlines.

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 47


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 KidsAndCars.org

LOG ON TO DONATE: http://kidsandcars.org/donate.html

FOLLOW US: @KidsAndCars


E

PROTECT

YOUR CHILDREN FROM PEDOPHILES by Kevin W. Ryan

arlier this year, the news media brought us the trial and conviction of Jerry Sandusky on charges of child molestation. We don’t see many trials that bring pedophiles to the public’s attention, but they are a type of criminal well-known to law enforcement. Pedophiles know at an early age they are sexually attracted to children. To satisfy that attraction, they want access to children so they can choose their targets. Some children are more attractive targets than others. Gaining access to children can be obtained by a vocational choice­— becoming a teacher, coach, clergyman, youth counselor, social worker, scout leader, even a school janitor or a groundskeeper at a camp. Access may also be gained by volunteer activities or family contact. To do what they want, they know they need to hide their motives. They don’t wear signs and they don’t act or look like monsters. Trust and caring for children are their camouflage. In her book, “What Cops Know,” Connie Fletcher quotes Sam Christian, who was a sergeant and watch commander in a Special Investigations Unit in Chicago: “Everybody knows a pedophile. They just don’t know that he is one.” What makes a child an attractive target? Pedophiles listen to children, learning their strengths and weaknesses. The child who feels unloved, unwanted or uncared for, who is missing one or both parents, the child who feels alone—these children are more easily manipulated and subjected to the pedophile’s desires. While building a relationship with the child, the pedophile gets the child to keep the sexual relationship a secret by buying gifts for the child and/or his or her parents, taking him or her

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 49


out to do things like go to the movies, football games, concerts, trips to the park or camping, letting the child play computer games at the pedophile’s house or hang out there and watch movies, play games, have soft drinks, smoke or use drugs. It’s about building trust, breaking down resistance, making the child feel special and giving the child reasons to keep the pedophile’s secret. The first line of defense is to love your children and to show them you love them. The second is to be present in your children’s lives. Don’t give the pedophile the opportunity to be alone with your child. Stay at soccer practices and dance classes. Be a chaperone at school dances, field trips, slumber parties or sleepovers. Help supervise children in childcare while parents are attending Bible classes. You can’t be with your children all the time, but giving your child the love and attention he or she needs reduces the likelihood of him/her becoming a target. If a pedophile has frequent or regular access to your child, however, your child may still be targeted. For this reason, it is important to talk to your children about their bodies. Whether you use the words “penis,” “vagina,” “pee pee,” “butt” or “breasts,” be sure they know the parts covered by their bathing suits are private parts. There are “safe touches” of these parts by a doctor or nurse when mommy or daddy is in the doctor’s office, or when mommy is giving them a bath, and these touches are OK.

50 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

But when someone else wants to touch their private parts, that is an “unsafe” touch, no matter if the person is acting nice, says it’s a game or that “secret touching” is fun, if the person gives them candy or a gift, or even if the person makes them promise not to tell or threatens to hurt them, their pets or their family. Whenever anyone tries to do “unsafe touching,” the child needs to tell you as soon as they can after it happens so you can make sure it doesn’t happen again. And if you are not around for some reason, tell your child the names of one or two other people they should tell of any “unsafe touching.” If steps are not taken to terminate a pedophile’s access to a child, the molestation can go on for months and years, and the child’s silence may last for years like a number of Jerry Sandusky’s victims. Child molestation causes suffering that can last a lifetime and destroy a person’s life. When a child comes to you and tells you about “unsafe touching,” listen. Don’t think “it couldn’t be him” because of the perpetrator’s status or authority. Believe the child. Remove him or her from the situation and the person involved in the unsafe touching. Do not blame the child. Let children know they did not do anything wrong, and they are not to blame for what happened. It is their job to let you know when “unsafe touching” happens and it is your job as a parent to protect them from the grownup who wants to do this to them.


Raising an

Only Child by Brittany Monbarren

S

ince the average size of the American family has been shrinking, it is no surprise that more couples are turning to a three-member family. When couples choose to have one child, they can be faced with many concerns since there are so many negative stereotypes about the only child.

The term “only child� has a very negative past. Only children were considered different, hence the term Only Child Syndrome. If a child developed OCS, they were known for being bratty, selfish, spoiled, loners. However, there seems to be a shift in the way society views only children. Raising an only child is not that different from raising a child with siblings. The one thing parents raising an only child need to recognize is that there is only one of them, so parents must be a good influence for them at all times. Parents raising an only child should consider these tips to help decrease the chances of their child developing the negative characteristics of an only child.


Teach your child good social skills. Since he is only with you at the beginning of his life, it is important that once he goes go to daycare or grade school that he understands how to share, respect others, be friendly and play fair.

Teach him age-appropriate behaviors. Parents who have an only child have to recognize that since the child is around adults more than other children; their child may develop and mature faster than most children their age.

Although your child may be growing up with only adults, if you follow these tips for raising an only child it will help develop them into a respectful, independent and rational individual.

Teach responsibilities. Like any other child, set rules. Have weekly chores, no play time until homework is finished and teach him how to save money. Teach him to have reachable goals. Only children can be over-achievers and perfectionists. Make sure that if he attemps to do something, he sets realistic goals. However, always encourage him to reach his goals. Teach independence. Since your child is with you a lot, he can start to depend on you for everything. Show him he can accomplish things without you doing it for him.

Police chases kill at least

Allison

Johnny

Desiree

3

Brandon

innocent bystanders every week.

Tabatha

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 pursuitsafety.org 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 • www.pursuitsafety.org 52 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4


Why You Need a

PORTABLE

F RE EXTINGUISHER by Alan Perkins

When a fire starts, it is usually small enough to put out quickly if you have the right portable fire extinguisher and know how and when to use it. Which One Should You Buy? Not all fire extinguishers are alike. Letter(s) indicate the type of fire they can put out:

A

type

b

type

C

type

“A” type extinguishers work on fuels, such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber and plastics. “B” type extinguishers work on flammable liquids, such as gasoline, kerosene, oil, paint and kitchen grease. “C” type extinguishers work on electrical fires, such as overheating electrical wires and computer equipment.

Purchase a multipurpose extinguisher that is designed to work on more than one fuel type. Select one with an “BC” or “ABC” rating for typical home use. Purchase only those extinguishers with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Manual (FM) label. Avoid extinguishers that resemble aerosol cans. They can be dangerous when used.

Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep Most fire extinguishers have a 1 locking pin that prevents the handle from moving. To use the extinguisher, pull the locking pin. 2

3

4

Aim at the base of the flames. Aiming is important as the contents of most household extinguishers last less than 10 seconds. You won’t have much time to correct your aim. Squeeze the handle. Sweep back and forth over the burning area.

Storing Your Extinguisher Mount the extinguisher according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. The most important place to have a fire extinguisher in your home is the kitchen. It is also wise to have one in your garage, workshop or near and room with a fireplace or open-flame heater. Check the Pressure Check the pressure gauge periodically to see if it needs to be replaced or recharged. Disposable extinguishers can be used only once and must be discarded and replaced even if they have been only partially discharged.

Rechargeable extinguishers must be tested and serviced professionally. Refill or Replace Immediately Always refill or replace an extinguisher immediately after using it. Never put it back empty. Consult a professional for filling and recharging. QUICK facts In the U.S., there is a fire code requiring maintenance of fire extinguishers once per year to make sure they are charged and in working order. Most extinguishers only carry a small amount of fire-suppressant material, which can be used up in a matter of seconds.

You can refill a fire extinguisher once its contents have been discharged. Source: http://earth911.com/ recycling/hazardous/fireextinguisher/facts-about-fireextinguishers/

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 53


Understanding the individual personalities of each child is an important factor for positive relationships. Role Model: Your children see everything you and your spouse do. The way you handle conflicts can influence how your children resolve problems. It is important that as parents, you realize that if you don’t resolve problems in a respectful, productive and non-aggressive way, then your children won’t either. Be a positive role model for your children and set a good example.

LIVING IN A WAR ZONE? Don’t let sibling rivalry cause problems in your house

by Brittany Monbarren

H

aving multiple children can be a wonderful experience, especially when they are getting along with one another. However, the times they aren’t, it can seem like a war zone in your house. When your children hit certain stages of their lives, they can develop a rivalry towards one another. If they develop a sibling rivalry, it can be very heartbreaking to hear or watch. One minute your children will be best of friends and the next they are trying to pull each others hair out. To avoid living in a war zone, parents need to promote peace and encourage their children to have a positive relationship with one another. It is important that parents understand why a sibling rivalry develops and what to do if a fight breaks out.

54 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

Why Siblings Fight Jealously and competition between humans is only natural. However, it becomes a problem when it causes fights between your children. Along with jealously and competition, kidshealth.org suggests additional factors that may also contribute to sibling rivalry. Evolving Needs: Children go through many different stages as they develop; that also means their needs and identities develop along with them. The development process can also influence the individual temperaments—including mood, disposition and adaptability—of each child. One might become more needy and the other may be more independent.

How to Handle Fighting Allowing your children to resolve a fight on their own is important to the development of their sibling relationship. However, if the fight worsens, you can intervene. If you do step in, kidshealth.org suggests that you, Give Space: Separate the children until they are able to calm down. If they are upset and emotional, the fight can worsen which can be even more difficult to resolve. Waiting until they are calm can be used as a learning experience. “Win-Win”: Understand that it takes two children to cause a fight. Don’t focus on figuring out who started the fight. Treat it as a “win-win” situation. Put an emphasis on how they are both gaining something. To prevent your children from fighting, it is important that you set rules for acceptable behaviors, recognize their individual needs and encourage them to respect one another. Eventually, your children will develop a close relationship with one another and be able to establish understanding of each others point of view. Until then, as a parent, you must provide them with resources for solving their disagreements in a positive way.


smarttravel STUDENT DRIVER

driver’s education Why it’s important for teenage drivers

Freeway and Night Driving

by Brittany Monbarren

and night driving is next. During the driver education

Getting behind the wheel can be a very intimidating experience for teenage drivers, especially if they don’t have a solid foundation of driving knowledge. To help build knowledge on safe driving, parents should enroll their teenage drivers in a driver’s education course. According to AAA, enrolling your teenager in a quality driver education program can help develop and improve the following:

Once your teenager has developed basic vehicle control and traffic maneuvers, learning about freeway program, your teenager will be introduced to driving on the freeway, night driving and coping with fatigue.

Hazard Recognition Before hitting the roads alone, your teenager needs to be prepared for anything. The driver education program will heighten your teenagers awareness for hazardous driving situations. They will be educated on how to spot hazards and will practice driving in varying conditions.

STUDENT DRIVER

A solid foundation of driving knowledge is a continuous

Basic Vehicle Control

Basic Traffic Maneuvers

Developing knowledge about basic vehicle

After your teen has established basic

control is one of the most important

vehicle control, the course will teach

aspects of safe driving. Driver education

your teenager the skills they need for

courses will introduce your teenager to

understanding basic traffic maneuvers

basic vehicle control skills such as adjusting

like communication, entering and leaving

the car seat, steering wheel and mirrors.

traffic, changing lanes, using turn lanes,

The program will also introduce starting

adjusting speeds and angled parking. They

the engine, moving, turning, stopping and

will also learn how to identify different

parking the vehicle.

traffic signals and pavement markings.

learning process that can take time to build. Enrolling your teenager in a driver education program can make the learning process a lot easier. It will also help you feel at ease knowing that your teenager has established basic safety skills to help reduce risk while on the road.

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 55


Travel Time Whether you’re flying, driving or traveling by rail, always be sure to keep an eye on your belongings. If in a public place, watch for staged accidents, such as someone bumping into

Time to Check In

you or spilling coffee.

After you’ve arrived at your hotel,

Someone could be trying

remember these easy steps: never leave

to distract you while

your luggage unattended and keep all

another person steals your

hotel doors and windows locked.

bags, your laptop, your purse, etc.

Learn the locations of all fire exits, elevators and public phones, in case of an emergency. You’ll want to keep all

Another Day,

of your valuables, such as jewelry, cash,

Another City

etc., in the hotel safe. A better idea is to keep your valuable jewelry at home.

Quick tips for the busy business traveler by Jon Lewis

It Starts at Home If you’re leaving an empty house, take a few steps to give yourself peace of mind while you are away.

Traveling Overseas

»» Think about a professional alarm system and make sure you advertise you have it. It provides additional safety, plus it will ward off potential burglars.

is one thing; flying overseas is another.

»» Don’t have newspaper pileup in the driveway. Ask a neighbor to pick them up for you.

know what to do if you are injured.

»» Make the house look as though someone is home. Have your sprinkler system and lights set to a timer so they turn on and off while you’re away.

Traveling in the United States or Canada Be prepared. Check with your health insurer before you leave so that you

Also, make sure you consult your cellphone carrier regarding charges and coverage when traveling. You want to be able to communicate with people in the

Quick Tips for the Busy Traveler 1

2

3

4

event an emergency arises.

For female travelers: wear a wedding ring, even if you’re single. A ring can help with deterring criminals and unwanted advances.

Finally, if you are traveling with others,

Travel with a small, high-powered flashlight in your briefcase when you’re out and on your bedside table at night for emergencies.

separated.

Use laminated business cards as luggage tags. This will keep anyone from knowing your personal information.

these easy steps, they will go a long way

Never volunteer you are traveling alone.

free business trip.

56 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

decide where to meet if you are ever

Surprises happen. But, if you follow in ensuring you have a safe and worry-


how do I buy an electric car? Read the steps, know how to stay safe

by Brittany Monbarren

B

efore you jump in and decide to buy your new electric vehicle, it is important to distinguish the different types of electric vehicles. There are two main kinds of electric vehicles: the Plug-in Hybrid (PIEV), which uses energy but also uses gasoline to extend its range, and the All-Electric (EV), which runs strictly on energy. Consider these helpful tips on purchasing an EV to help make your decision an easier one. Like any purchase, always do your research, it will help you decide what make and model EV you want. Today, there are many different options of plugin electric vehicles from which to choose. According to Plug in America,

in the United States alone, there are 30 plug-in vehicles for sale. After deciding on the particular EV you want, next is to decide which vehicle is right for you. Learning basic information about the vehicle, such as costs, miles per charge and extra details about the vehicles.

purchasing an EV, you may also qualify for government incentives such as exemption from insurance surcharges, refunds or income tax credit depending on what state you live in or buy the vehicle in.

How many miles you drive per day can help you decide if it’s the right vehicle for you. The EV is typically geared toward individuals who drive less then 50 miles a day.

Costs like charging and recharging will vary depending on how you drive and how often. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, EV only runs 100-200 miles before requiring a recharge, verses gasoline vehicles that can run over 300 miles before refueling. Make sure you also research the local plug-in stations in your area.

The purchasing cost of a vehicle is also something important to think about. Some EV can be considerably less expensive than other vehicles, depending on the vehicle. When

The next step is to contact the dealership to reserve a day and time for a test drive. Be sure to ask questions about how to maintain the vehicle and any safety concerns you may have.

$

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 57


COMMENTARY

The Misconception about Cruise Ships What you need to know before you board by Brett Rivkind

i

n recent times, the cruise ship industry has been bombarded with adverse publicity about disappearances on cruise ships, sexual assaults, fires and, of course, no one can forget the pictures of the Costa Concordia completely on its side, almost totally capsized; the images of thousands of passengers and crewmembers frantically evacuating the ship as it lay on its side—after the captain allegedly delayed evacuation for hours. He is accused of deliberately navigating the mega cruise ship dangerously close to the Island of Giglio, off the coast of Italy. It turns out that the cruise ship company did not have procedures in effect that required lifeboat drills to take place before the cruise ship sailed. Can you imagine if the airlines did the same? Experts are dumbfounded as to how this could happen on a modern-day cruise ship. Was it simply an isolated 58 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

act of a bad captain or is there a real problem with safety on cruise ships—something that would require intervention and corrective measures?

Big Problem or Blown Out of Proportion?

While most people have no worries when boarding a cruise ship for a fun-filled vacation, they should be educated on safety measures, says Arizona resident Kendall Carver. Carver formed the group International Cruise Victims, a nonprofit whose sole purpose is to demand greater safety on cruise ships. His entire website (internationalcruisevictims.org) contains stories related to cruise ship incidents.

We are not saying don’t cruise. We are saying let the public know the truth, and make it safer for the public.” — kendall carver founder, international cruise victims

Cruise ship safety is also a big concern for Congress, which passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) several years ago. It was signed into law by President Obama on July 27, 2010. However, with its passage, there is now a new problem: the number of crimes, including disappearances/overboard cases, disclosed to the public is less than what it was before the bill was signed into law. According to Carver, the reason for the decrease is a last-minute change to the proposed legislation that made disclosure of crimes to the public dependant on whether or not there is a case that was opened and then closed by the FBI. Because the cruise lines police themselves, which Carver says creates a conflict of interest in preserving evidence and accurate reporting, very few cases actually get opened by the FBI, including sexual assaults.


Reporting of Crimes

Policing Themselves

As for crimes, Carver believes an accurate number of reported crimes is closer to 100 per quarter, a much higher number than is published for the public under the CVSSA. In fact, according to Ross Klein, a professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland who has been studying and compiling cruise industry data for years, there have been 368 disabling events, such as fires, 185 persons overboard, 75 groundings and 27 sunken ships since the year 2000 alone. Klein publishes his findings on his own website, www.cruisejunkie.com. As of press time, it was reported that a passenger on the Carnival Fascination was seen jumping from the cruise ship and a search was being conducted. The truth about the incident will be interesting.

So, what’s the answer? Don’t cruise? Not necessarily, says Carver. Just be careful. “There are statistics that state that sexual crimes occur on a cruise ship 50% more than in a city. Why? Number one, there are no police and there is a lot of alcohol consumption.” says Carver. In fact, he says he’s even seen some cruise lines now offer “unlimited alcohol” packages. “Cruise lines take the attitude of ‘have fun, drink, almost anything goes,’ and employees know there is little likelihood of getting caught or prosecuted,” he says. “Cruise lines say we have no duty to investigate and their employees are in charge of investigations. [In turn], you have a bad formula for safety to the passengers.”

What’s more, Carver says, cruise lines continue to police themselves and spend millions of dollars lobbying Congress to resist passage of legislation. “They make it part of their business plan to host functions with those who regulate them, and even employ ex-Coast Guard employees and ex-FBI employees, leads to the inescapable conclusion that safety is not the number one priority of cruise lines,” he says. Final thoughts? “We are not saying don’t cruise. We are saying let the public know the truth, and make it safer for the public.”

a Closer look at the facts Since 2000, there have been 368 disabling events, such as fires, 185 persons overboard, 75 groundings and 27 sunken ships.

The average cruise ship carries approximately 2,700 passengers and 800 crew

The cruise line industry generated more than $35 billion to the U.S. economy in 2009.

Cruise lines operate within a legal framework under which international, federal and state authorities investigate crimes on board cruise ships. Unlike most instances of shore side crime, the FBI has the authority to investigate and prosecute alleged crimes in international waters involving Americans.

@THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 59


When It’s Time to Give Up Your Driver’s License

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here’s no set age or event that occurs to signify when it’s time to give up your driver’s license. For most, they’ve been driving for decades. There’s an immediate sense of loss: independence is gone; the ownership of a vehicle is no longer needed; you can no longer help others with a vehicle if needed. The list goes on and on. It can be a depressing time for many. After all, a driver’s license signifies more than the ability to drive a car; it is a symbol of freedom and self-sufficiency. Understandably, driving is not a privilege that anyone wants to relinquish willingly. That said, safety must come first. Some older drivers may be aware of the changes in front of them—loss of sight or concentration, for example. However, they’re still reluctant to give up driving completely. In this case, another person’s concerns may force the senior driver to act. They may even feel relieved to have someone else help make the decision to stop driving. Worse yet, some seniors even forget that they aren’t supposed to drive. If that is the case, it is even more important to remove the car or the keys immediately. If you find yourself in the position of talking to an older person about their driving, remember the following, courtesy of helpguide.org:

Be respectful.

For many seniors, driving is an integral part of independence. Many older adults have fond memories of getting a driver’s license. At the same time, don’t be intimidated or back down if you have a true concern. 60 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

by Stephanie Andre

Give specific examples.

It’s easier to tune out generalizations like, “You just can’t drive safely anymore.” Outline concerns that you have noticed, such as, “You have a harder time turning your head than you used to” or “You braked suddenly at stop signs three times the last time we drove.”

Find strength in numbers.

If more than one family member or close friend has noticed, it’s less likely to be taken as nagging. A loved one may also listen to a more impartial party, such as a doctor or driving specialist.

Help find alternatives.

The person may be so used to driving that they have never considered alternatives. You can offer concrete help, such as researching transportation options or offering rides when possible. If your family member is reluctant to ask for help, it can lead to isolation and depression.

Understand the difficulty of the transition.

Your loved one may experience a profound sense of loss having given up driving. Don’t dismiss their feelings but try to help with the transition as much as possible. If it is safe, try slowly transitioning the senior out of driving to give them time to adjust. For example, your loved one may begin the transition by no longer driving at night or on the highways, or by using a shuttle service to specific appointments, such as the doctor’s.


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. EndDD.org (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 info@EndDD.org

endDD.org @end_DD EndDistractedDrving


rental car

RoULETTE

be on the lookout for recalled vehicles by Brett A. Emison

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hough you might not be aware of it, rental car companies, such as Hertz, Enterprise, Avis, Budget, etc., can legally rent you a vehicle that has been recalled for a safety defect. In fact, a 2011 National Highway Traffic Safety Authority (NHTSA) study showed that Avis and Budget repaired only 53% of recalled vehicles within 90 days. Hertz was even worse, with only 34% of recalled vehicles repaired within 90 days. Rental car companies have been lobbying heavily in order to keep renting defective vehicles to their customers. Hertz, however, was the first rental car company to reach an agreement with safety group Consumers for Auto Reliability, calling on Congress to grant NHTSA authority to prohibit rental car companies from renting, leasing or selling recalled vehicles until the vehicles are repaired. After substantial public outcry and years of opposition, Enterprise said in February 2012 that it would formally support legislation “to oversee the way car rental companies manage the safety recall process for vehicles in their fleets.” The agreement to support commonsense regulations prohibits rental companies is a good start to enhance 62 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

safety for unsuspecting customers. In 2011, these two rental car companies—Hertz and Enterprise— had nearly 184,000 vehicles recalled. In 2010, those same companies had 350,000 vehicles under recall (many of them subject to Toyota’s sudden acceleration recall). Part of the public’s outrage over this issue comes from a 2004 crash in California, in which Rachel and Jacquie Houck rented a defective PT Cruiser from Enterprise. The company knew about the defect, but chose to rent the vehicle without having it repaired first. As they drove down Highway 101, the defective PT Cruiser caught fire in the engine compartment. The vehicle filled with smoke. The girls could not see. They could not steer the vehicle. The car swerved across the median strip and was hit by an oncoming truck. Both girls were killed. Enterprise refused to accept responsibility for the tragedy and instead attempted to blame the girls. In depositions, an Enterprise manager even admitted he never considered the possibility that the company should not rent defective vehicles to the public even after receiving recall notices. Despite this tragedy and Hertz’s agreement with Consumers for Auto Reliability, the American Car Rental

Association (representing 105 car rental companies, including Hertz) is still lobbying against this commonsense rule. The car rental association doesn’t want NHTSA to say car rental companies cannot rent you a defective vehicle, so that the car rental companies can and will rent you defective vehicles if they want to. As quoted in USA Today, Consumers for Auto Safety President Rosemary Shahan said, “The rental car companies have been playing rental car roulette with their customers’ lives. When they run out of safe vehicles, they want to be able to rent ones that are unsafe.” Until Congress stands behind this common-sense requirement, be sure you’re prepared. Ask your rental car company to verify that the vehicle they rent you is not subject to any recall.

By the Numbers Avis and Budget repaired only 53% of recalled vehicles within 90 days. Hertz was worse, with only 34% of recalled vehicles repaired within 90 days. Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Authority (NHTSA) 2011 Study


all aboard!

tips for train travelers by Brittany Monbarren

Safety at the Station/Stop

ON

a daily basis, individuals board public subways and other train systems for transportation, whether it be for professional or personal reasons. At times, the traveling process can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you don’t know the common safety tips and guides associated with public transit. Most individuals who travel via train are usually unaware of the

Personal Safety It is important to stay alert and awake. Do not sleep on the train or become too engrossed in a book. Try to keep personal audio players at a low volume; this will help with alertness and is also courteous to fellow passengers. Always be wary of noisy passengers arguing or causing a commotion.

Keep yourself and your belongings safe. Always keep your belongings close to you. Conceal your expensive electronic equipment and jewelry so you do not draw the attention of others to those items. Remember to carry wallets in your front pants pocket.

common hazards associated with public train stations. While at the station or on the train, unexpected events can happen. Do you know the safety procedures that could help you avoid these unexpected events? To help make your journey across town a bit easier, The Chicago Transit Authority has provided a list of simple safety tips for you to consider.

Before boarding, prepare for your trip. It is important that you know your route ahead of time. If you need more information about your route or need to check its status, contact the station for travel information. Also, make sure to have your fare cards ready or purchase them ahead of time to avoid confusion.

While waiting on the rail station platform, always stand away from the edge of the platforms. Never attempt to retrieve an object on the tracks. If you need something, ask for help. Once aboard the train, if you are standing, hold on to vertical bars or grab handles. Never lean against doors because they could accidentally open. If the door is closing at the platform, never insert yourself or other items, such as a bag, purse or stroller to keep it from shutting. To keep from falling out of a moving train, do not cross from car to car or stand between the rail cars. To avoid accidental falling or tripping, keep large items, such as strollers, shopping carts and luggage, clear of aisles and doorways. This will ensure the safety of yourself and other passengers. If you are traveling with children, always allow yourself extra travel time. While in the station, carry small children in your arms or hold their hands as you pass through and never let them get too close to the platforms. Aboard the train, never leave children unattended. If traveling with a stroller, to avoid congestion, use the wheelchairaccessible gate to enter and exit the stations if available. Traveling via public transportation can be a hassle, especially if you don’t know the ins and outs of the station. If you understand these helpful safety tips, traveling via train or bus will be a breeze. @THESAFETYREPORT / THESAFETYREPORT.COM / 63


the

Dos & Don’ts of...

Social DRINKING

Do

Don’t

Do

accept drinks from people you don’t know.

know your limits.

try to figure out your night in advance so you have a plan.

Don’t think you’re OK to drive— get a ride.

Don’t

make sure you always have your ID and money with you.

64 / THE SAFETY REPORT / VOL 4 ED 4

take medication of any kind if you are going to consume alcohol.

Do

make sure you always eat.

Don’t

Do

Do

­­­by Stephanie Andre

always have your cellphone with you.

drink alone.

Don’t leave with anyone you don’t know.

Do stay with the person/ people you arrived with.


Driving While Texting Should Be Banned By David Bernstein

A

ccidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Some are preventable. Others are not. Distracted driving would fall into the preventable category. That is why more and more states are making it illegal to send text messages while driving. In fact, at least 30 states have banned text messaging for all drivers. In addition, at least eight states prohibit all handheld cellphone use while driving. The federal government has also banned texting while driving by federal employees on duty and by all commercial truck and bus drivers. According to the Kansas Transportation Department, texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision. To put this number in perspective, drunk drivers are seven times more likely to be involved in a collision. There are three types of distractions while driving: (1) Visual (eyes off of the road); (2) Manual (hands off of the steering wheel) and (3) Cognitive (mind off of driving). Texting while driving involves all three types of distractions. A new bill was introduced in Oklahoma this January to prevent all drivers from texting and driving. Hopefully by the time this issue of The Safety Report is published, the Oklahoma legislature and governor will have passed and signed this new bill into law. At press time, Oklahoma law only prohibits drivers 18 and under who have a learner’s permit or intermediate driver’s license from using a cellphone to talk or text while driving, except in case of emergency. In addition, the governor previously signed an executive order prohibiting state employees from texting while driving on state business in

When you have been injured, there are laws that protect your rights and interests. At Whitley Law Firm in North Carolina, we have a great respect and concern for the law, for the concepts of fairness and justice, and for our seriously injured clients. We have offices in Raleigh, New Bern, Jacksonville, Kinston, and Greenville represent clients throughout the entire state in all types of civil matters, including personal injury cases (auto accidents, slip and fall injuries, motorcycle accidents, dog bites), workers’ compensation matters (workplace accidents and injuries) and Social Security cases. We are committed to the highest quality client service and one-on-one attention to each of our clients as we help them through this difficult time.

state-owned or personal vehicles. If the proposed bill has not been passed by the Oklahoma legislature when you read this article, I strongly recommend that you contact your representative and encourage him or her to support this bill making texting while driving illegal. Texting while driving is a serious problem. The proportion of drivers distracted at the time of fatal crashes increased from 8 percent in 2004 to 11 percent in 2008, when nearly 6,000 people died and more than a half million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. And those statistics don’t even tell the whole story. The problem may be even larger since driver distractions may be vastly underreported to law enforcement. There is good news, though. As mentioned above, more and more states are implementing bans on texting while driving. Accidents caused by texting are entirely avoidable. Drivers need to understand that certain distractions are preventable. Writing or reading a text while driving can be delayed until the car is stopped. No text is worth risking your life as well as the life of other innocent families traveling on the roads. With the help of laws prohibiting such behavior, the roads should become substantially safer.

Both of our attorneys Robert E. Whitley and Robert E. Whitley Jr. “Whit”—are—AV Preeminent rated by the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating service. The AV rating is the highest rating an attorney can achieve, and it denotes the highest level of ethical standards and commitment to professional excellence in an attorney’s field of practice. The Martindale-Hubbell peer review ratings are generated from lawyers, other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada. The AV Preeminent rating is a significant rating of accomplishment—one that is a testament to the fact that an attorney’s peers rank him or her at the highest possible level of professional skill and competence.


PROMOTING SAFETY. PROTECTING RIGHTS. GIVING BACK. FOR OVER 30 YEARS. CONTACT US TODAY whitleylawfirm.com Call us at 800-598-0456

The Whitley Law Firm Safety Report - Fall 2012  

From health and wellness to home and family, each issue of The Safety Report covers topics important to you and your loved ones -- all in th...

The Whitley Law Firm Safety Report - Fall 2012  

From health and wellness to home and family, each issue of The Safety Report covers topics important to you and your loved ones -- all in th...

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