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Summertime Beach Safety Tips for Vacation

Beach safety is so important to remember during these hot summer months. A trip to the beach is a great vacation, but it can get dangerous quickly if you aren’t careful. Follow the posted rules regarding when it’s safe to swim and other beach concerns. Always remember to wear your sunscreen and lather up any children as well. Watch your kids at all times and never let them be unsupervised in the water. And finally, know how to identify riptides. You can enjoy your vacation to its fullest by being water-aware and safe while spending time at the beach.

Summertime Beach Safety Tips for Vacation: Protect Your Family

Follow the Rules

Beaches have rules posted, just like pools and other recreational areas. A big part of beach safety is knowing these rules and following them. Beaches often have flags indicating the threat level for riptides. Green indicates a low chance, while double red flags mean the water is not safe for swimming. Only swim in areas safe for swimming and it’s best to make sure a lifeguard is near. Drinking alcohol while swimming is not safe.

Sunscreen

Another important aspect of beach safety is remembering your sunscreen. The sun’s powerful UV rays can cause skin damage and even cancer. It’s best to stay out of the sun altogether when it is the hottest from 10 AM to 4 PM. However, when you do go in the sun make sure that you’re wearing sunscreen. Try to find one that is SPF 30 or above. Make sure and completely cover children as well, and reapply every few hours as needed. It’s also good to bring along umbrellas, hats, and sunglasses.

Watch Young Children

The most important thing for parents to remember about beach safety is to watch young children at all times. Drowning can happen in a minute, and often doesn’t have the splashing and noise that TV makes us believe. Children can go under the water and be nearly invisible and silent. If you are with a large party, designated a “lifeguard” to keep an eye on children at all times, and put phones away. Pass off lifeguard duty so everybody gets a break. It’s also a good idea to have a verbal command like “your children now” that is answered by “my children now” so that everybody is on the same page. Keep a hand on young ones in the water at all times.

Riptides

Finally, another part of beach safety that shouldn’t be ignored is the dangers of riptides. It’s really best to do some research on how to spot riptides so that you’re aware of what they look like. A general rule of thumb is that rip currents look like areas of water where the waves aren’t breaking. There might be foam or debris floating back into the ocean as well. The current is under the water’s surface and can pull you out to sea. But it won’t pull you under the water. If you get caught in one, remain calm, call for help, and attempt to swim parallel to the beach until you can follow waves that are crashing on land.

Beach safety is absolutely imperative if you’re vacationing with children in tow. Even if you are by yourself, it’s important to know the dangers of the ocean. Make sure that you follow all posted signs on the beach and stay where others can see you. Always have a buddy when swimming in the ocean. Wear sunscreen to protect your skin and reapply throughout the day. Always keep a close hand and eye on young children. And finally, be aware of what rip currents look like, and know the steps to take if you get caught in one. Hopefully, your trip to the beach will be fun and safe!

Car Seats: Child Safety

Car seats help to keep your children safe in case of a car accident. However, many people are unaware of what kind of seat is the best choice for their child. Knowing what kind of seat your child should be using can help make sure your child is as safe as possible in the car.

Car Seats: Avoiding Child Injuries in Car Accidents  

Rear-facing seats

Rear-facing car seats are the first kind of seat a child should use. These variations are the recommendation for children who are infants up to 3 years old. These seats help reduce the stress of an accident on the child’s head and spinal cord.

Generally, rear-facing seats are mainly intended for newborns and infants.  

Most children will outgrow these seats at about 8 to 9 months. However, it’s important to not move up to the next type of car seat until a child meets the required height and weight limits.

Forward-facing seats

Forward-facing car seats are the next option available for children. These seats are best for children ages 1 up to 7. These seats also tend to come in convertible variants, which allows you to switch from rear-facing to forward-facing when needed.

Forward-facing seats make use of a harness to keep your child in place. This harness helps to distribute the impact of a crash more evenly over a child’s body. Furthermore, the tethers and anchors help keep the seat in place during an accident.

Booster seats

Finally, the last car seat option is the booster seat. Booster seats are intended for children age 4 all the way up to age 11. As with the forward-facing seat, you should move your child up to a booster seat only when they meet the height and weight requirements.

Booster seats also come in two common variants. Booster seats with backs add more neck and head support for the child. Generally, these are good choices if your car lacks head rests or high seat backs. If your car does have these features, then you can opt for a backless seat instead. Make sure to check your vehicle and make the best decision accordingly.

Good car seats help keep your child safe when in the car…

These seats give added protection to the child’s weaker body that normal seat belts can’t provide yet. Make sure to also follow the manufacture’s instructions for installing these seats to ensure they’re being used properly.

Injury on Friends’ Property? Save your friendship, wallet, and health

If you face an injury on your friends’ property, you might find yourself in an awkward situation. After all, you didn’t mean to get injured, especially at your friends’ house. But, accidents do happen, as they say. So, what can you do when your health is at stake, you need medical attention, but you also want to do right by your friend? This situation is tricky, but we’re here to help…

Injury on Friends’ Property? How-to save your friendship, your wallet, and your health

Seeking medical attention

First things first, you need to decide whether or not you need medical attention. If you’re experiencing a lot of pain, or a visible injury, you might want to see a doctor as soon as possible. But, even if you don’t experience one of these two factors, but still feel like something isn’t quite right, go to a doctor and have them check it out. By doing this, you can get a gauge on your injury and decide who is responsible for the injury.

Homeowner’s insurance

If you decide that your friend, or the condition of that friends’ property, is at-fault for your injury— that’s where homeowner’s insurance comes in. Your friends’ homeowner’s insurance can cover the cost of accidents on the property. As for you? It is technically not your responsibility to cover the cost of an injury that isn’t your fault. While you are aware of this, it can be difficult to ask a friend to compensate for an injury. No one likes to talk money with their friends, but in the event of injury— it can be necessary.

Talking to your friend

One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with an injury on your friends’ property, is coming to them and asking that they compensate for the injury. This could lead your friend to feel betrayed, or that you’re doing this for personal gain. However, you must make them understand that you only need their homeowner’s insurance to cover medical costs. While this might be a difficult conversation to have, and an awkward one at that, it is absolutely necessary when facing injury. Remember that you are not targeting their personal funds, but merely expecting their insurance to assist with cost.

Receiving Assistance

As much as you may not want to handle this situation with your friend, your expenses may demand it. The cost of treating your injuries may become expensive, and affect your livelihood. In that instance, that homeowner’s insurance is not only important, but completely necessary. If you run into the scenario where your friend might not want to help at all, you might have to consult with an attorney. While we hope our friends would do what they can to help, in some cases, that might not be the case. So, we offer our services if you unfortunately might need them. Lastly, we offer our condolences for your lost friendship and injury.

Common Childhood Accidents and Prevention Tips

Kids are always getting hurt. They’re rowdy, playful, and clumsy. Therefore, it’s pretty inevitable.  But, as parents, we’re always trying to prevent injury where we can. So, we’re here to tell you what to watch out for. We’re going to lay out some of the most common childhood accidents, as well as a few tips to minimize their chances of happening. This is obviously not to say that accidents won’t happen… they are kids after all. But hey— why not give it a shot?

Common Childhood Accidents and Prevention Tips That Aren’t Bubble Wrap

Burns

Burns of all kinds are extremely common for kids. Sunburn, touching a hot stove, spilling hot liquid, hot steam…The potential for burns is quite high being that hot things are all around us. So, what can we do to minimize risk? Start with the water heater! Set it to a temperature that’s hot enough for washing dishes, and bathing, but no higher. Other than that, make sure not to leave cooking food unattended and uncovered. Also, don’t forget to turn pot handles in!!!

Drowning

Drowning is, unfortunately, one of the most common childhood accidents leading to fatality amongst kids even into their teenage years. Whether it be in a bathtub, a pool, or the ocean— the possibility for this is all too common. So, what can you do to make sure it doesn’t happen to your family? Obviously, you can make sure not to leave your child unattended around water. But, we all know that things can happen, so let’s go a bit further than that. You can start parent-child swim classes as soon as 6 months after their born. Teaching your child as early as possible how to swim is a leading way to prevent drowning accidents.

Falls

Every kid is going to fall down. From the time they can stand up, they’re going to hit the ground multiple times a day. But it’s the tough tumbles that can do the most damage. A fall off the swing set, a roll off the changing table, a slick floor in the grocery store. Unfortunately, slips and falls are some of the most difficult childhood accidents to prevent. To keep from those bad falls, such as the ones off the changing table, consider adding high guards to every side of it. Also, make sure to gather your gear before putting them onto the changing table. That way, you won’t have to leave them unattended. Other than that, stay prepared! Bandaids, disinfectant spray, plenty of kisses— and a safe playground.

You can only do so much to protect your babies as they grow. Be prepared for accidents to happen, but also prevent them where you can. You have a tough job, but it’s nothing you can’t handle!

School Bus Accidents | Child Injury Cases

Child Injury from School Bus Accidents School bus accident attorney

A recent survey found that there are approximately 23 million children who travel on school buses during the school year. Of those 23 million children, nearly 17,000 are injured every day in school bus accidents. Although they transport our children and travel on all types of roads, from rural country roads to interstate highways, school buses are not required to have seatbelts, airbags, or other safety systems that are now routinely found in automobiles. While the overall design has improved over the years, children still remain very vulnerable in a school bus accident.

The theory is that buses are large trucks, and passengers are placed high above the road. In the event of an impact, the offending car will strike at a lower level than the children. Also, by painting them bright yellow and installing lots of flashing red lights and even strobes on the back, the hope is other drivers on the road will see the school bus and take heed. Of course, the best plans can always be defeated by an inattentive car driver or overly fatigued school bus driver. And who pays the highest price in a school bus accident? Our children do.

Child injury attorney Robert J. Reeves has personally handled serious school bus accident cases. A few years ago, a Charlotte school bus overturned on the interstate. Because the children were not restrained in seat belts, many were injured when they were tossed in the air while the school bus was rolling over. Fortunately, most of the kids were fine with just a few bruises. However, our client who was initially cleared by the emergency room had to be rushed back later that night for emergency brain surgery from an undiagnosed serious head injury. When he became lethargic and starting vomiting, his parents knew something was wrong and took immediate actions that ultimately saved their child’s life.

The lesson to be learned here is that in an accident, but especially in unrestrained school bus accidents, you have to make sure your child is medically fine. If there is even a hint of a head impact, an MRI or CT scan should be actively pursued. Broken bones are easy to spot, but head injuries may not be evident in the initial period after an accident. After you are certain your child is going to be alright, you should then contact an experienced child injury attorney to see what legal options are available. You’ll feel better knowing you have done everything to protect your child when others do not.

Child Injury at Summer Camp

Child Accidents at Summer Camp Child Injury

As children, we all enjoyed going off to summer camps. We would make new friends and learn new things. Parents would enjoy a little time away from the kids and trust that all will be well for a few days or a week. Camp programs today are fairly expensive, and you expect your children to be well cared for. However, there are still so many ways for small kids to get hurt if not properly supervised or if the camp equipment is not well maintained. This is where a moment of inattention or neglect can result in a serious child injury or even worse. Playgrounds must be set up correctly when first installed and then regularly inspected for wear and loose parts. Mulch underneath swings or other areas where children will be playing must be replenished and spread evenly to prevent injury from expected falls. To be safe, the camp employees must be on constant watch for unsafe conditions or dangerous play. If they do not do their job properly, child injury can occur. Camp counselors and their assistants must also know basic first aid and how to properly care for and treat injuries. And, if they see something getting out of hand, they must act quickly to prevent harm. Certainly, we want everyone to have a great summer and have those childhood experiences that will last a lifetime. But above all, we want everyone to be careful and head back home safe and sound to their parents and friends. Don’t take safety for granted. It is up to everyone to stay aware and watch out for each other.

Children Are Treated Differently

The law says children are more vulnerable, and thus, are treated differently than adults. A young child cannot be contributorily negligent (NC) or comparatively negligent (SC). Consequently, their injuries can still be compensable even if they engage in activities that might be considered unsafe. After all, “kids will be kids.” This is not an excuse, but rather, a warning to those persons charged with their care. This is precisely why we have to watch out for their safety more than others, because “kids will be kids.” If a camp is willing to take your money, they should be held accountable if they don’t also take care of your children.

Waivers of Liability

One last thing about summer camps. Private companies who operate camps routinely present parents with extensive “waivers of liability” forms which purport to hold themselves harmless from lawsuits if their children are injured while away. In many cases, these forms are not worth the paper they are written on. Such waivers cannot absolve liability where equipment is not maintained, where there are insufficient or insufficiently trained staff, or activities are too dangerous to involve children in the first place. And as we discussed above, children cannot legally enter into such contracts and are not held to the same legal standard in negligence claims for child injury cases. I would caution parents about sending their children to such camps if presented with such a waiver. All we really want is for the camp to take care of our kids and focus on having a great summer.

Be Safe. Get Home.