You and Your Car: Control Your Surroundings Around Your Children

Close calls on the road can be a scary thing, especially when they involve children. This morning, while dropping my children off at school, I had one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. After my youngest son got out of the car, he turned to wave, and ran off towards the building at full speed, anxious to meet up with his friends. He wasn’t paying attention, and ran quickly around the back of another car dropping off their own children. He ran right through their blind spot right as they began to back out, coming very close to getting hit by the rear end of the car. I could only look on in horror, and thankfully, he was fine. While I know my son is very aware of the danger of vehicles, and how to act around them, there are still many uncontrollable factors that lead to terrible accidents involving children. However, there are also many factors which are controllable, which if addressed, can prevent thousand of accidents each year. Below is a list of safety ideas to help keep your young children safe in and around vehicles.

Please follow the following recommendations to keep children safe:

1. Walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it.

2. Know where your kids are. Make children move away from your vehicle to a place where they are in full view before moving the car and know that another adult is properly supervising children before moving your vehicle.

3. Teach children that “parked” vehicles might move. Let them know that they can see the vehicle; but the driver might not be able to see them.

4. Consider installing cross view mirrors, audible collision detectors, rear view video camera and/or some type of back up detection device.

5. Measure the size of your blind zone (area) behind the vehicle(s) you drive. A 5-foot-1-inch driver in a pickup truck can have a rear blind zone of approximately 8 feet wide by 50 feet long.

6. Be aware that steep inclines and large SUV’s, vans and trucks add to the difficulty of seeing behind a vehicle.

7. Hold the child’s hand firmly when leaving the vehicle.

8. Teach your children to never play in, around or behind a vehicle and always set the emergency brake.

9. Keep toys and other sports equipment off the driveway.

10. Homeowners should trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure they can see the sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out of their driveway. Pedestrians also need to be able to see a vehicle pulling out of the driveway.

11. Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.

12. Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway and always set your parking brake.

13. Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children.

14. Make sure all child passengers have left the car after it is parked.

15. Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays.

These precautions can save lives.

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What Every Citizen Should Know About the Nursing Home Industry: A background

Deciding whether to put a loved one into a nursing home is the one of the most difficult decisions we must all face. In today’s fast paced society, however, it has become increasingly difficult to care for the elderly at home. Even more daunting, is choosing the right nursing home. Indeed, making a decision on a facility is difficult; with more and more nursing homes going up every year, the number of available options seems endless, even in some of the more remote sections of the country. Although on the surface many nursing homes may appear to be the same, there are dramatic differences between nursing homes, and unfortunately, many shortcomings. In order to have a better understanding of how nursing homes can be so dramatically different in quality of care, and to help you choose which nursing home might be best for your loved ones, you should first have a basic understanding of how nursing homes function in the United States.

First and foremost, it is important to constantly be aware that more than 80% of nursing homes in the Unites States are for-profit, publicly traded, corporations. This is in direct contrast to hospitals in the Unites States, which 87% of are non-profit operations. So how does this affect you and your family? Simple. In any publicly traded corporation, the final goal will always be profit. The Profits must come first. This is not just common practice, it is written into law. By law a publically traded corporations the most important, if not the only, obligation is to increase the profits of their shareholders. This set up has helped drive industrial and technological advancements at a staggering pace. However when it is applied to the practice of nursing homes and long term care, a problem arises.

By nature, medicine and long term care are extremely expensive. The cost to run hospitals and long term care, and nursing homes can reach staggering figures. In fact, it is estimated that at least $180 billion is spent on critical care alone in the United States each year. Although cost cutting is always a simple and desirable way to boost profits in any corporation, the nature of health care and long-term care simply does not allow for it. When dealing with the lives of human beings, there are large and unavoidable costs connected to providing their patients with the care they need to stay healthy with an acceptable quality of life. Unfortunately, this does not stop these corporate nursing homes from doing whatever they can to minimize their spending.

This cost cutting rears its ugly head in many forms in corporate nursing homes. Most apparent however, is the effect it has on the staff. Many for-profit nursing homes are dramatically under staffed, many of whom do not have the proper training to manage their positions in the first place. Lack of training, oversight, and personnel immediately translates into health risks to the patient. This includes, but is not limited to: bed sores, falls, under and over medicating, mixing up patients’ medications, unacceptable poor hygiene, physical abuse by staff, and lack of response to emergency situations. Incidents such as this are a daily occurrence. Fortunately however, you have the power to choose where to place your loved ones, and when the worst happens, you have the legal power to do whatever you can to rectify the situation.

When the worst happens to a loved one in a nursing home, contact an attorney immediately. The status quo of dramatic cost cutting in the nursing home industry will not change until it is no longer profitable to continue cutting costs and quality of care. By bringing a suit against a nursing home or long term care facility, you are demanding they change their way of business by punishing them financially for their neglect. By contacting an attorney who specializes in nursing homes, you are doing your part to make sure what terrible things happened to your loved ones do not happen to someone else.

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