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When most people think about summertime safety, they think about driving, boating, the heat and even swimming pools. One of the things that people don’t often consider is something that we take for granted: The backyard swing set. Full of hidden dangers, these “toys” need to be inspected at least once each season to be sure that they are as safe as possible for little ones.

While it’s true that public playgrounds can be just as dangerous, more children are injured on their own jungle gyms. The reason behind this is likely to be that children are more likely to stay in their own backyards than to walk to the local park. No matter the cause, knowing the risks that your backyard swing set poses can help you keep your children safe.

1. Surfacing

What does your swing set stand on? If the surface under the set is simply ground and grass, your child could easily be injured if they fall off of the equipment. The best surface is one of wood or rubber chips that is at least nine inches deep and extends from the swing set in every direction.

2. Pinching

Any piece of equipment can potentially cause a pinch injury, but children are most often pinched on bridges. If your set is equipped with any type of bridge or walkway, take a good look at it and make sure there are no areas that could potentially pinch little fingers or toes.

3. Maintenance

When is the last time you inspected your swing set? It’s something that few people do. Each spring, before your children start playing outdoors, check the set for any look bolts, fraying ropes or rusty chains. If you discover any issues, make the necessary repairs.

4. Head and Limb Entrapment

One of the most serious risks is entrapment. Look for any openings in the equipment that would allow a limb or, worse, a head to slip through and potentially become trapped. Openings should be small enough that a child is not at risk of becoming stuck.

5. Guard Rails

If your swing set has an upper level or some type of bridge, there should be guard rails installed. Even a thick rope can help keep your child inside the boundaries of the equipment.

In most cases, children are perfectly safe on swing sets beyond the typical falls. It is important, though, to know that there are risks and how you can help avoid them. Take a good look at your child’s swing set today and see if there is anything that need to be repaired.

If your child is injured in Charlotte, you may be able to receive compensation for medical bills and more. Reach out to our team of personal injury attorneys for a free case evaluation today. We are here to assist you and your family.

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Golf carts are one of the best ways to get around Charlotte, especially in the suburbs. They are usually electric, requiring zero gas. And gas-powered models are pretty fuel-efficient, making them a cheap form of transportation. They don’t require the same maintenance of a car, and they are often safer. However, there are many dangers associated with golf carts, and these risks should not be overlooked.

Golf cart accidents occur in Charlotte and the rest of the state nearly every day, especially during the warm months. More often than not, negligence and recklessness lead to these wrecks, and children are the most common victim. At high speeds, golf carts can tip, and riders can fall out. Both on and off the links, golf carts can be highly dangerous. Sharp turns and other factors can lead to disaster. Learn more about golf cart accidents in Charlotte, and how you can easily prevent them:

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Mother Nature has turned up the heat across much of the country. With many states experiencing record highs and an unusually long stretch of humidity, people are wondering if it is safe to continue exercising outdoors. The good news for runners is that it is perfectly safe to continue your program, provided you make a few changes to your routine. Here is how to run safely in the summer.

1. Avoid High Temps

It is nearly impossible to avoid high temperatures right now, but you would be doing yourself a favor if you ran early in the morning or later in the evening. Try to avoid running between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun begins to climb high in the sky and remains at its most direct.

2. Sunscreen

While we would like to tell you to wear pants and long sleeves, we know that is unrealistic. Instead, be sure to slather your body in a sport sunscreen. These tend to resist wearing off due to sweat. Look for an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen on all exposed areas. Don’t forget your neck and ears.

3. Hydration

Staying hydrated is important when you run, but even more so in the summer. Take a drink of water every 15 minutes, even if you aren’t feeling thirsty. Sweating can trick your body into not feeling as if you need a drink and you can become dehydrated easily. Your muscles will thank you later.

4. Light Yourself

If you choose to run in the early morning or late evening, be sure to light yourself up. You can carry a small flashlight, a glowstick or even keep your cell phone in your hand with your flashlight app turned on. Place a strip of reflective tape on your back, chest and the heels of your shoes. Making yourself as visible as possible helps to reduce your risk of having a vehicle-versus-pedestrian accident.

5. Tell Someone

Don’t leave home without telling someone you are going running and advising them of your route. Make a plan to check in with your friend or family member when you are done running so they know you are okay. If you don’t send a text letting someone know you are done with your run, they should know to come looking for you.

Running in the summer isn’t vastly different from running during any other time of the year, but you do have to keep a few extra safety tips in mind. Keep up with your exercise program while making your health and safety a priority.

If you are injured in an accident in Charlotte, call our office. We are here to provide you with the assistance you need. First consultations are held at no cost to you.

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https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7400/27541296473_1f91ef4461_b.jpgYou know that you shouldn’t drink and drive. You’ve probably also heard that you shouldn’t eat, text or get ready for your day while you drive. But what about Pokemon? The latest gaming craze to sweep across the nation has become a very real concern for law enforcement and drivers alike. Chasing virtual creatures while driving has already caused some major headaches.

What Is Pokemon Go?

In case you haven’t heard of it, Pokemon Go is an app that users download to their tablets or cell phones. Once signed in, players “chase” the Pokemon that they or their children grew up with. Instead of simply staying within the bounds of the virtual world, players walk, hike, bike and, dangerously, drive to chase and catch Pikachu and his fellow characters.

The Benefits

While many adults were quick to scoff at the game, minds are being changed. The app encourages kids and, in fact, any player to get out and get some exercise. The game is calibrated to be played at a walking pace. Parents report children who have not so much as stepped outside are walking for miles for the thrill of the chase.

The Dangers

Like any new fad, the good is coupled with a bit of negative. In the case of Pokemon Go, it is the thousands of players that don’t chase Pokemon on their feet, but in their cars. Because the game is calibrated as it is, drivers are creeping along at a slow pace and causing accidents.

It’s not only the slow driving that is causing crashes. Drivers are so intent on their screens that they aren’t paying attention to the road ahead. Drivers have crashed into trees, utility poles and even police cars. Driving while distracted is dangerous. Driving while chasing Pokemon is even more so.

If you have been involved in a car accident in Charlotte, call our team of attorneys. We will provide you with a free case evaluation and advise you of your options. We know that this is a stressful time for you, and we are here to help. Call now for assistance or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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It seems that any time a famous person is killed in a car accident, we say that they were taken too soon. The same can be said of the “non-famous” people who are killed every day on America’s roadways. When it comes to famous women who have died in car crashes, Princess Di may be the most remembered. Here are other notable women who have died in accidents.

1. Jayne Mansfield

On June 29, 1967, Jayne Mansfield, her boyfriend, driver and three children were involved in an accident on Interstate 90, just east of New Orleans. The car the group was riding in hit the back of a semi truck. The three adults died in the accident were killed, but the three children riding in the backseat survived.

2. Grace Kelly

The Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, died on September 14, 1982 when she was 52 years old. She was driving down a road in Hollywood when she plunged off a cliff. The thought is that Kelly suffered a stroke behind the wheel. Her daughter, Princess Caroline, survived the crash.

3. Linda Lovelace

Linda Lovelace led a troubled life that ended tragically. The adult film star was in a car accident in Colorado. She was subsequently transported to the hospital and placed on life support. She was taken off support on April 22, 2002 at the age of 53.

4. Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes

The rapper, popular for her membership in the group TLC, was visiting Honduras in 2002. She was reportedly driving down the road in an SUV when she swerved to avoid a collision with another vehicle. She veered off the road and rolled several times. Lopes was 32 on April 25, 2002, the day she died.

5. Dottie West

The famous country singer made a name for herself despite being a part of a strongly male-dominated industry. She was still going strong when she was involved in an auto accident in 1991. The vehicle she was riding in took an exit too fast and hit a pylon. West believed she was uninjured in the accident, but died a few days later as doctors were trying to repair her lacerated liver and ruptured spleen.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team for a free case evaluation. We will advise you of your options under current law and help you make the best decision for you and your family.

Only a monster would leave a child to suffer in a hot car, right? You may think that, but you would be wrong. Every summer, there are dozens of children that are left in the backseat of hot cars only because their parents are distracted and operating outside of their normal routine.

On average, there are 37 children who die each year as a result of heat stroke sustained in a vehicle. The tragic accident can happen to the most loving, competent parents and guardians. No one thinks it will ever happen to them, but it does. here are ways that you can prevent such a tragedy from happening to you.

1. Put Something in the Back Seat

When you buckle your child into the backseat, leave something that you will need with them. It may be your purse, your cellphone or even your employee I.D. badge. Choose something that you would have to go back to your car for if you forgot.

2. Keep a Bear in the Child Seat

It doesn’t have to be a bear, but it should be something brightly colored. Keep it in the child seat and, when you buckle your child into the seat, move the object to the passenger seat. This will serve as a reminder that your little one is in the back.

3. The Buddy System

Find someone you trust and ask them to call you. The key is to have them call you between 5 and 10 minutes after you are expected to arrive at your destination. The purpose for the call? To ask you if you remembered to take your child out of the car.

4. Take Off Your Shoe

If you drive an automatic, you drive with your right foot. Take off your left shoe. Set the shoe next to your child’s seat. You won’t walk very far with only one shoe on.

5. Check the Backseat

Make a habit out of checking your backseat, even if your child is not with you. Once you practice this enough, it will become second nature. Always checking the backseat as you get out of the car will help to ensure you don’t lock your child inside.

It’s important to remember that none of these methods are foolproof and that accident do happen. The more vigilant you are and the more ways you can trick yourself into getting into the backseat, the less likely you are to become the victim of this horrendous type of accident.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in Charlotte, call our office. A member of our team will discuss the details of your accident with you at no cost. Let us help you determine the next appropriate steps. Call now for assistance.

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You are driving down the street and someone pulls out in front of you, cutting you off. Not only do they cut you off, but they travel just below the speed limit, hampering your progress. How do you react?

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, if you are like the nearly 8 out of 10 drivers in the country, you express anger. You may yell, honk, follow to closely, cut them off in return or perform any one of dozens of other behaviors that are displayed by those with road rage. The foundation conducted a study and found that more Americans than ever admit to having some form of road rage.

Men between the ages of 19 and 39 were more likely to admit to the negative behavior. Men of any age are more likely to confront another driver than women. And men are more likely to ram into another vehicle deliberately to express their displeasure.

Half of the respondents to the survey admitted to tailgating another vehicle. A quarter of respondents said that they had purposely blocked another vehicle, and 12 percent told researchers that they had cut off another vehicle. All of these actions were the result of road rage.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that two-thirds of all fatal accidents are caused by aggressive driving. There were 35,200 traffic fatalities reported in 2015 alone. The high number of accidents has experts looking hard for a solution. Some think that part of the problem is that people find it generally acceptable to participate in these behaviors from the relatively anonymous confines of their cars.

Experts are also worried that new technology available in vehicles could make the problem of road rage worse. How will people react when a self-driving car makes a mistake? Will they drive more aggressively out of frustration or will they be more forgiving? It is difficult to guess.

If you have been the victim of a car accident in Charlotte, call our office. A member of our team will review the details surrounding your accident at no cost to you. After our conversation, we will advise you of your options and help you make the best decision for you and your family. Call now for assistance.

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sunburn on neckIf you have never suffered with a burn, you may think that they are rare. The truth is that burns are one of the most commonly incurred injuries in households across the country, especially for children. The accepted characteristic of a burn is the dying of skin cells due to severe skin damage.

Many people who are burned recover without consequence. Serious burns can result in complications and, worse, death. Knowing general information about burns can help you understand how to treat them and how to heal.

Levels of Burns

There are four levels of burns, although most people are only familiar with three. Each level of burn has to do with the damage done to the skin. First-degree burns are considered minor, and fourth-degree burns the most severe.

  • First-degree burns: Skin is red but not blistered.
  • Second-degree burns: Skin is blistered and has some thickening.
  • Third-degree burns: Skin is thickened, white and has a leathery appearance.
  • Fourth-degree burns: The same symptoms as third-degree burns, but the symptoms extend into bones and tendons.

Causes of Burns

Burns can happen due to any number of causes. The most common include:

  • Hot liquids
  • Electricity
  • Chemicals
  • Fires
  • Excessive exposure to the sun

Treatment and Care of Burns

First-degree burns are superficial and require little care. They typically heal on their own in less than two weeks. If you choose to, you can treat the burn with an aloe vera gel. It is recommended that you seek medical attention if the burn is on a joint or if it covers more than three inches of skin.

Second-degree burns do not always require medical attention, but care should be taken to keep the area clean and bandaged if possible. Most second-degree burns  heal within three weeks, but can take longer if the blisters are more severe. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be helpful, as can the application of an antibiotic cream. Like with first-degree burns, seek medical attention if the burn covers a large area of the body or the face, feet, hands, buttocks or groin.

Third-degree burns are the most severe, even though they can be the least painful. This is because nerve damage may occur. The way that a third-degree burn looks often depends on the cause. A third-degree burn always requires medical attention. No one should attempt to treat this type of burn on their own. Call emergency services immediately if you or a loved one has been burned severely. After-care instructions will be given by your doctor. This also applies to fourth-degree burns.

If you or a loved one has been injured in North Carolina, call our office. A member of our team will speak to you at no cost. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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Slips and falls occur every day in the workplace, in the retail industry and even on private property. Some falls are due to environmental hazards, and other accidents are due to a lack of balance or attentiveness. While you can’t prevent every fall or injury, there are things you can do to reduce your chances of taking a tumble.

Balance Exercises

If you exercise regularly, add a few moves that will increase your ability to balance. If you don’t exercise regularly, now is the time to start. Movements that focus on balance, strength and gait can help you stay on your feet. Look for tai chi, yoga or even kickboxing classes. Walking regularly is also a great way to stay fit and improve your balance.

Medications

Some medications can have a negative impact on our ability to maintain proper balance. If your medication is causing you to have headaches, experience dizziness or make it hard to maintain your balance, speak with your doctor. You may be able to have your dosage lowered or switch to a medication that works better with your body chemistry.

Correct Hazards

Effective fall prevention often starts with ensuring that slip and fall hazards are removed from the environment. Whether at the workplace, in the home or on your property, eliminating these hazards can help to ensure that people are less likely to fall. Pick clutter up off of the floor, make sure rugs are secure and update your lighting if necessary. Things like this can go a long way to making sure your employees or family is safe.

Other things that you can do to prevent falls is to wear properly-fitting, flat shoes, keep your eyeglasses or contacts prescription current, and stay alert while you are walking. If you believe that your workplace presents hazards that can be eliminated, speak with your supervisor. Preventing falls is not always in your control but reducing your risk is.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall injury in Charlotte, call our office. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your options. Call now for assistance.

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Food poisoning, or foodborne illness, is a danger at any time of year, but especially when the heat rises. According to the USDA, foodborne illnesses peak during the summer months for different reasons. If you are planning on enjoying the summer weather with a cookout this year, pay close attention to the rest of this article.

Natural Causes

Natural causes of foodborne illnesses are common. Specifically, bacteria present in water, air, soil, water and the bodies of people and pets. The bacteria that is always present grows faster during the hot weather of summer. Hot and humid weather is perfect for bacteria that grows fastest when temperatures reach 90 to 110-degrees Fahrenheit. When bacteria on food grows at such a rapid rate, it can easily make anyone who ingests it sick.

Outdoor Activities

With summer comes an opportunity to take part in all sorts of outdoor activities. People are cooking outdoors on camping trips, at picnics and at celebrations. Having a full kitchen outdoors is a rare privilege. This means that food isn’t contained like it should be, typically isn’t kept at cool temperatures and may not be cooked thoroughly. Additionally, people have fewer opportunities to wash their food or their hands.

Most people have a healthy immune system that allows them to eat food with some level of contamination without issue. Unfortunately, people who do not have optimal immune systems are at the highest risk. Children, the elderly and those who are already sick may have difficulty fighting off this bacteria.

If you plan on cooking outdoors this summer, be careful how you prepare, cook and serve your food. Keep a cooler full of ice for food that needs to be kept cool, cover food that sits out, and throw food away that isn’t eaten after a couple of hours of sitting out.

If you have suffered with food poisoning in Charlotte due to contaminated or recalled food, call our office. A member of our personal injury team will review the details of your illness and advise you of your options as far as seeking compensation. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm and the assistance we can provide you and your family.

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