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Parenting magazines are fairly popular, especially among new parents. They offer great articles on the latest research into raising happy and healthy children. They offer reviews of the latest toys and gadgets. What they aren’t doing, though, is depicting children in a safe manner.

A recent study of two of the best-selling magazines for parents shows that one in six advertisements depict children doing things that are unsafe or not utilizing recommended safety equipment. What are we talking about?

According to Dr. Michael Pitt of the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis says that just about every sixth ad in a parenting magazine has a violation of American Academy of Pediatrics policies. For example, children may be depicted boating without a life jacket. Babies are pictures in cribs on their stomachs and not on their backs. Toddlers are seen snacking on popcorn even though the food isn’t recommended for children under the age of 5 due to the possible choking hazard.

Researchers are not calling for a major revamp of these magazines, but they are hoping that they will take the time to review the images that they are including in their pages. Doctors and other health officials also want parents to understand that these photographic images are often edited for style, and they do not necessarily reflect best practices. Read them too often, and you may think that the behaviors shown, or not shown, in the magazines are normal.

No matter what you see in the glossy pages of your favorite parenting magazine, health officials caution that recommendations from the AAP should be first and foremost in your mind. You know your child should wear a helmet when riding a bike. Life jackets are essential while riding in a boat. Sleeping on the back is what is recommended for infants.

Do not let photographs in magazines confuse you. They are stylized to sell a product, even if that product is the magazine itself.

If your child has been hurt in an accident, you need a personal injury attorney on your side. Whether by a defective product or someone’s poor judgment, your child does not deserve to suffer with pain or ill health. Call our offices today and let us help you get the compensation you may be entitled to by law.

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A forum was held in Florida recently. The topic? Boat safety. It makes sense that Floridians are concerned with boating safety, as the state has 1,197 miles of coastline. In addition to ocean waters, Florida is home to more than 11,000 miles of lakes, streams and rivers. As people turn to these waters in record numbers, boating safety is a hot topic.

People in North Carolina should sit up and take notice of this forum. With miles of our own coastline, boating has become increasingly popular in recent years. Not only do we have boaters who live right down the road, but we have tourists who flock to our waters to enjoy vacations and weekend getaways. Safe boating should be important to any person in any state with access to water.

Let’s take a brief look at what was discussed at this recent meeting that was attended by legislators, law enforcement officers, and citizens alike.

Staffing
One of the biggest concerns is a lack of staffing in law enforcement agencies. This is an issue across the country. There is simply too great an amount of water to patrol effectively. Law enforcement officials urge anyone who will be spending time in the water to know how to swim.

Age Limits
Law enforcement officials want to be sure that no one under the age of 16 is permitted in a boat without an adult present. Any minor who will be going out in a boat should be required to fill out a form. This would give officials a record of children on the water alone.

Boating Licenses
Another suggestion was to have separate boating licenses for lakes and the ocean. Driving on each is a very different experience, and separate licenses would require separate and specific training courses.

Legislation
One thing that was agreed upon is that the focus does not need to be on new legislation. Instead, monies should be put towards education and funding for law enforcement. Boating safety courses, safety equipment giveaways, and routinely updated safety information were also discussed.

If there is any certainty, it is that today’s boats are faster and more powerful. They are also being enjoyed by more people than ever before. When it comes to safe boating, no forum or piece of legislation is going to give people a dose of what is really needed: common sense.

It is your responsibility to operate your boat safely. Use your head when you are behind the wheel. Drive slowly, operate your vessel according to current conditions, and outfit your boat with safety equipment. When every boater acts responsibly, accidents are greatly reduced.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, reach out to our personal injury attorneys today. We are here for you and will review your case at no cost to you. Call us now.

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download (6)Going out and enjoying nature is fun, but nature can be unpredictable. Accidents can happen when you least expect it. That is what happened when a U.S. Navy veteran was taking a nap under a large tree in San Francisco. A 16 pound pine cone fell on his head and caused him a traumatic a brain injury.

According to a recent story in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sean Mace was visiting the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park as a part of Fleet Week on Oct. 12, 2014, to watch the Blue Angels air show. During the festivities, Mace decided to take a nap under a tree. He was awakened by an unbelievably large pine cone weighing 16 pounds that landed on his head.

The force of the impact from the pine cone crushed Mace’s skull. He was transported to an area hospital where he underwent surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain due to internal bleeding. Mace’s attorney said in a statement that Mace has suffered irreversible brain injury, for which he has already undergone two surgeries and will require a third surgery.

Mace has now filed a lawsuit naming as defendants the U.S. government, the National Park Service, the Department of the Interior and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Mace is suing for $5 million. The lawsuit further states that there should have been warning signs posted or measures taken in order to ensure that no one was hurt by the hazard that the tree’s falling cones could cause.

The tree that caused Mace’s injury is a coniferous Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwillii) tree. The cones of this tree, usually native to Australia are much larger than other pine cones. The cones of the Bunya pine can grow up to 16 inches in length and weigh as much as 40 pounds!

After the incident involving Mace and the pending lawsuit, the park has fenced off the grove where the tree is located and placed signs stating: “Danger: Giant seed pod falling from tree.”

No one can foresee a potential accident. What looks like an idyllic place to enjoy nature and take a rest, as in the case of Sean Mace, a serious accident can happen when you least expect it. That’s the time that having an attorney working on your side is important.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident, no matter what the circumstances, contact the law offices of Auger & Auger. We can help you and your loved ones after the accident and you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries that could include covering any medical, rehabilitative or ongoing expenses that occur as the result of your accident.

After an accident, you need to get legal advice from qualified and experienced attorneys. At Auger & Auger, we can tell you what your case is really worth and fight for your rights for just compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation initial consultation and legal analysis.

You pulled out of port, intent on a tranquil day sailing the high sea. What you ran into was anything but. Every skipper must understand that they may run into unexpectedly rough waters. Whether from a mild rain storm or a hurricane, choppy waters are common enough that a good boater knows how to handle them.

Remember that your safety and the safety of those aboard your vessel is solely up to you. Knowing how to handle any kind of water you run into is important. So…what do you do when the calm seas turn to rough waters? Read on.

Head Seas
When waves are coming straight at you, you may be able to meet them head on. When waves are moderate, slow your boat and ride over the waves. What you want to avoid is driving down into them, or falling off the top of a wave. If you are unable to safely ride over the waves, slow and angle your boat at a 45-degree angle to the swells.

The Trough
If the way you are heading force you parallel to the waves, be cautious. You boat will bounce up and down, and you may lose control. Do your best to change course, and aim your boat at a 45-degree angle toward the waves. Move your boat broad on the bow and then run in broad on the quarter. Doing this forms a sort of zig-zag pattern that keeps you out of the worst of danger.

Running Away
When waves are behind you and pushing you forward, being swept away is your concern. Experts suggest that in this situation, you may do best to tow a drogue. This will slow your vessel and help you control the stern.

Heave To
In violent conditions, you may have no choice but to heave to. You will keep the bow slightly off of the wind and waves. Use enough power that you can make bare steerage while wasting as little fuel as possible.

Knowing the intricacies of your boat is another responsibility. Every boat reacts differently in rough waters, and each vessel responds differently to your steerage. Get to know your boat and, if at all possible, avoid severe weather. If you do not know what to do when the waves are beating against your bow, you can take a class for weather handling techniques. Knowing what to do can help make sure you and your guests make it back to port.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, call our experienced team of personal injury attorneys today. We will fight by your side in court to get you the compensation you may be entitled to by law. Call now.

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download (24)In an unusual case, a woman from Manhattan is suing her now 12-year-old nephew for breaking her wrist at his birthday party four years ago.

The plaintiff, Jennifer Connell, claims that her nephew, Sean Tarala, who was 8 years old at the time of the accident, broke her wrist in an over enthusiastic hug at his party. Connell claims that Tarala should have known better when he jumped into her arms four years ago.

Connell is suing the 12-year-old Tarala for $127,000.

Connell told the judge in the case that although she loves her nephew, Tarala, but said he should be held responsible for the injury.

She said she didn’t mention the injury at the party because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

Connell is now claiming that the injury caused by Tarala has had a negative impact on her life. She said that at a recent party it was difficult to hold her hors d’oeuvre plate.

The Tarala family have not commented on Connell’s lawsuit.

There is no doubt that children can be enthusiastic and sometimes what they regard as play can hurt other people – including relatives. In spite of good intentions, accidents can happen, especially when children are involved.

If you have been involved in any kind of an accident, you need an attorney to give you sound advice. An experienced attorney will fight on your side and can give you a better idea of how to handle your specific situation. Before you talk to an insurance claims adjuster or anyone else after your accident, make a call to the law offices of Auger & Auger.

The attorneys at Auger & Auger are focused in all areas of both accident and personal liability law. They know just what needs to be done in a personal injury or accident case. Have someone on your side that will fight for fairness and get you the settlement you deserve. Call us today.

Cruises are popular vacations. The ability to float about the ocean in a vessel that amounts to its own city is exhilarating, and it is the holiday of choice for many Americans. When a cruise ship is involved in an accident or has a mass illness on board, it always makes news. But what really happens when someone falls overboard, and how common is it? Not as common as you may think.

According to statistics, there were only 245 reported “man overboards” in the last 10 years. Of those, most were not accidental slips and falls. The majority of these people were not following safety protocols or were pushed overboard, either accidentally or intentionally.

To prevent these falls, cruise lines have safety features in place. There are minimum railing heights, minimum balcony heights, and barriers that are built onto decks to prevent anyone fooling around from falling off. No matter how many safety protocols are in place, some people will act recklessly, especially when there is alcohol involved. Should you take a cruise and find yourself treading water in the ocean, here is what will happen:

  1. The captain of the ship will be notified as soon as the incident is known.
  2. Sailors on the cruise are sent to the nearest deck to quickly assess the situation.
  3. The ship will be slowed down and, in almost all cases, turned around.
  4. The nearest local authorities are notified.
  5. Lifeboats are deployed to search for the party.

The issue is rarely how fast people act or how quickly rescue boats can move. It is the time that it takes a large cruise ship to slow and turn, and how fast people notice that you have gone missing.

When you take a cruise, your safety is your responsibility. If you consume alcohol, do your best to behave appropriately. If you want to have a good time, don’t do it on the deck. Do not put yourself in a situation where you could fall overboard. While most people are found, some are not…you don’t want to be the one who isn’t.

If you have been involved in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and monetary losses. Call our expert team of personal injury attorneys today for a free case evaluation. We will tell you the best way to proceed and, if appropriate, will fight by your side in court. Call now.

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Every car on the road should contain an emergency kit, but very few do. Does yours? If not, now is the perfect time to put one together. As the fall and winter creep upon us, making sure that you are prepared for an accident or any other emergency situation is as important as ever. Use this article as a sort of refresher on getting yourself prepared for anything the road can throw at you.

As you begin to prepare your kit, you will want to gather the essentials. A pair of jumper cables, a first-aid kit, flares, antifreeze, a blanket, and a flashlight are must-haves. You may also want to toss in extra fuses, a tire inflator, a tire pressure gauge, and a multi-purpose tool. Don’t forget a few bottles of water and some granola bars for yourself.

You may want to include more items, depending on where you live and how far you drive. Keep your items in a large cardboard box or a rubber tote in your trunk. They will be out of the way but within reach when you really need them. If it makes it easier for you, buy a pre-assembled roadside emergency kit, and put that in your trunk. It’s an easy way to make sure you are safe.

It is not enough to pack a good kit. You’ve got to know how to use the items you include. If there is any type of tool you aren’t familiar with using, practice. If you don’t know how to change a tire, have someone teach you. Not sure how to light a flare? Give it a go in your driveway. Your emergency equipment isn’t going to do a thing for you if you can’t figure out how to use it when you need it.

Keep in mind that no matter how good your kit, there are still other precautions to take should you have an emergency on the road. Pull off to the side when you can, and stay in your vehicle. Turn your flashers on to signal that you need help or, if the sun is still shining, raise your hood.

Never accept a ride to any location from a passing motorist. Instead, politely decline. While there are still good Samaritans out there, there are also people who have nothing but bad intentions. Stay safe and ask the person to call for help if that’s what you need.

Clearly, this is not an all-encompassing guide to staying safe during an emergency, but it should serve as a reminder. The better prepared you are to handle a situation, the more likely you will have a positive outcome.

If you have been injured in a car accident, call our personal injury attorneys today. We are here for you and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free case evaluation.

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We have talked frequently about power boats and larger vessels. We have discussed safety and the equipment you need to have on board. But what about smaller boats? Small craft boats like canoes and rowboats can be as dangerous as their more powerful cousins. If you think that riding in a non-motorized boat means you are free to goof off, you are wrong.

It is important to remember that water is water. It doesn’t matter what type of vessel you fall out or off of. If you hit the water, you stand just as much chance of drowning if you fell out of a canoe as if you fell off of a speedboat. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when paddling down the river.

  1. Stay centered. Keep your center of gravity low in the boat. Avoid standing and moving about. Your shoulders should be kept between the gunwales at all times.
  2. If you do need to move back and forth in the boat, keep three points of contact. That means that either both feet and a hand or one foot and both hands should maintain contact with the boat at all times.
  3. Keep weight distributed evenly. Keep in mind that the weight in the boat includes all passengers and equipment. Do not store the equipment in one area and then have a person or two sit with it. Spread the weight out so that it is evenly disbursed throughout the boat.
  4. Do not jump from the boat unless there is an emergency. Jumping suddenly shifts weight and could cause the boat to tip. This could be dangerous for everyone on board. If you want to swim, find a pier or dock to launch yourself off of. Your boat is not a diving board.

If someone should fall overboard, you need to react as quickly as possible.

  1. Stop paddling and throw the person a personal flotation device. Even if the person is wearing a life jacket, an extra something to hold on to is never a bad idea.
  2. Pull alongside the victim. You’ll want to approach into the current or downwind, whichever is stronger at the time.
  3. Stop the engine if your boat is equipped with one. Grab onto the victim and pull them over the stern. Do your best to keep the weight in the boat balanced as you pull the person back onto the boat.

Never think that you are safer simply because you are in a boat without a motor. This is both foolish and risky. When you think that you are safe, your defenses are lowered. Always treat any boat as the powerful tool or machine that it is.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, our personal injury attorneys are here for you. Call us today for your free case evaluation. We are here to get you the compensation you may be entitled to by law.

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Take a look at your cell phone’s photo gallery. How many pictures of yourself do you see? If you are addicted to taking selfies, you may want to stop and give your habit some consideration. People in Russia are being injured in such record numbers that the entire country has kicked off a campaign to put a halt to the trend of snapping one’s own picture. To date, more than 100 people have been hurt, and 10 people have died.

The campaign is an interesting one. Full of pamphlets, signage and graphic images, “Safe Selfies” is taking over the country. Whether it will catch on and see life in the United States remains to be seen, but we can all learn a lesson from what Russia is telling its people.

  1. “Selfie on railroad tracks is a bad idea if you cherish your life!”

This sign was inspired, for lack of a better word, by a teenager who tried to take a photo of himself on railroad tracks. Instead of getting the selfie, he was electrocuted and fell off a bridge. He later died in the hospital.

  1. “Selfie with a weapon kills!”

A 21-year-old woman shot herself, but not purposely. The woman wanted to take a selfie with her weapon of choice, a gun, and ended up shooting herself in the head.

  1. “Selfie under voltage? It isn’t worth it!”

A young teenager was attempting to take a selfie. While trying to take the picture, he grabbed exposed voltage wires.

Other signage advises against taking selfies with animals, on roofs, on top of trains, or on the water. A final sign encourages people to take selfies of themselves only in safe situations. Russia is thousands of miles away, but their issues with selfies hit close to home.

If you can’t seem to put your phone down, and selfies are your photo of choice, think about what you are doing. There is absolutely no reason to put yourself in danger to share a photo of yourself with others…they already know what you look like. Be careful and choose the right situations to capture yourself.

If you have been injured and need an experienced lawyer, our personal injury attorneys are here to help you. Call us today to discuss your case at no cost to you. Call us now and let us assist you as you put the pieces of your life back together.

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Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the more popular activities taking over the water. In fact, as a water sport, it is the fastest growing in the world. Unfortunately, many people standing and paddling are so new to the activity that they aren’t aware that it requires safety precautions. Here are a few tips for anyone new to paddleboarding or anyone who needs to brush up.

One of the first things you should know is that according to the U.S. Coast Guard, a paddleboard may be considered a vessel. If you are using the board on your own pond, a lake or a river, you are good to go. If you take the board beyond the limits of a “swimming, surfing or bathing area,” it is considered a vessel and subject to the same laws and restrictions.

No matter where you are paddleboarding, it makes sense to follow the same safety rules. Water is water, and you can have an incident on a shallow river as easily as on the open lake.

  1. Always wear a life vest and a whistle. The life jacket can prevent you from drowning, and a whistle can allow you to sound for help.
  2. Know how to swim. Even with a life vest, you need to know how to swim before you participate in any water sports.
  3. Know how to rescue yourself. There are ways that you can prevent yourself from drowning, providing you are conscious. Know how to perform these skills.
  4. Learn how to tow someone else on their board. If you are paddleboarding with friends or family, you will need to know how to do this in case of an emergency.
  5. Be a defensive operator. This is especially important if you are sharing the water with other vessels. Never assume that anyone will get out of the way for you. Be on the defensive at all times.
  6. Take a safety course. If you plan on making paddleboarding a regular activity, be sure to take a safety course available from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Paddleboarding is a fun sport and a fantastic workout. Like any other sport, the potential for injury and accident is always present. Follow these tips to stay as safe as possible on the water.

If you have been injured in a boating accident or any other type of incident, please contact our offices as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys are here for you. Call now for your free case evaluation.

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