AAP Issues Updated Pool Safety Guidelines

Summer is upon us as pools opened this weekend and boating season has begun.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), has issued new guidelines for water safety and drowning prevention.

According to the AAP, drowning rates have fallen steadily from 2.68 per 100,000 in 1985 to 1.32 per 100,000 in 2006. But drowning continues to be the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 19, claiming the lives of roughly 1,100 children in 2006. Toddlers and teenaged boys are at greatest risk.

Despite these improved statistics in water safety, there is always room to improve, so the AAP has issued the following guidelines: 

  1. Never – even for a moment – leave small children alone or in the care of another young child while in bathtubs, pools, spas or wading pools, or near irrigation ditches or standing water. Bath seats cannot substitute for adult supervision. Empty water from buckets and other containers immediately after use. To prevent drowning in toilets, young children should not be left alone in the bathroom.
  2. Closely supervise children in and around water. With infants, toddlers and weak swimmers, an adult should be within an arm’s length. With older children and better swimmers, an adult should be focused on the child and not distracted by other activities.
  3. If children are in out-of-home child care, ask about exposure to water and the ratio of adults to children.
  4. If you have a pool, install a four-sided fence that is at least 4 feet high to limit access to the pool. The fence should be hard to climb (not chain-link) and have a self-latching, self-closing gate. Families may consider pool alarms and rigid pool covers as additional layers of protection, but neither can take the place of a fence.
  5. Children need to learn to swim. AAP supports swimming lessons for most children 4 years and older. Classes may reduce the risk of drowning in younger children as well, but because children develop at different rates, not all children will be ready to swim at the same age.
  6. Parents, caregivers and pool owners should learn CPR.
  7. Do not use air-filled swimming aids (such as inflatable arm bands) in place of life jackets. They can deflate and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
  8. All children should wear a life jacket when riding in a boat. Small children and nonswimmers should also wear one at water’s edge, such as on a river bank or pier.
  9. Parents should know the depth of the water and any underwater hazards before allowing children to jump in. The first time you enter the water, jump feet first; don’t dive.
  10. When choosing an open body of water for children to swim in, select a site with lifeguards. Swimmers should know what to do in case of rip currents (swim parallel to the shore until out of the current, then swim back to the shore).
  11. Counsel teenagers about the increased risk of drowning when alcohol is involved.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a pool accident  or Chicago car accident , then call Chicago accident attorney  Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website www.BLGCHICAGO.com

Memorial Day Weekend Draws Busy Highways

Memorial Day weekend is upon us and many people here in Chicago and throughout Illinois will be hitting the roads for weekend getaways and family visits. The Chicago Sun Times has reported some interesting statistics about the number of travelers and car accidents  that traditionally occur over this weekend what the Chicago and state police are doing to protect drivers.

Nearly 32.1 million Americans will be traveling this weekend nationwide –1.74 million of them in the state of Illinois, according to a release from AAA Chicago.

On the roads, 1.5 million people will be driving from Illinois, according to AAA Chicago.  Gas prices across the state are averaging $2.97 per gallon which is $.50 more than last year.

Last year, there was an average of nine fatalities per day with a total of 30 people who were killed in 17 crashes over the entire weekend, according to IDOT.

To help prevent the number accidents this year, local and state law enforcement agencies are cracking down on drivers not wearing seat belts. 

IDOT’s Click It or Ticket campaign began May 14 and have planned for hundreds more safety belt enforcement zones and other patrols, IDOT said.


Illinois State Police is focusing on speeding, seat belt use, driving under the influence, improper lane usage and following too closely as they monitor traffic, according to a release from ISP.


In Chicago, police are conducting DUI Strike Force Patrol in the Deering District which patrols parts of the Near South Side, from 7 p.m. Friday through 3 a.m. Saturday, according to a release from police News Affairs.

Have a fun Memorial Day weekend, and always remember to be safe on the roads.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident , then call Chicago accident attorney  Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com

Chicago Hosts Silent Ride For Fallen Bicyclists

There is no doubt that Chicago is a “bicycle friendly” city, with bicycle dedicated lanes on almost every major street. On warm weather days you will see dozens cyclists biking their way to work for their morning commute. Despite the biking lanes and Mayor Daley’s focus on making Chicago as biker friendly as possible, there are still hazards to bicycling around town.   According to the Illinois Department of Transportation 15 cyclists have were killed in crashes between 2006 and 2008. 

Chicago hosted its’  annual “silent ride” this week in the memory of area bicyclists who have been killed riding in Chicago.“It’s a celebration of these people’s lives,” said Elizabeth Adamczyck, the organizer of Chicago’s Ride of Silence. “It’s a celebration of this activity that we all love to do, of the fact that we’re all still out there doing this.” 


The annual Chicago Ride of Silence was one of more than 310 such rides world-wide this year. Adamczyck said the event was as much about spreading the message of respectfully sharing the roadways as it was about remembrance.

“It’s important that we’re all there to make this stand,” Adamczyck said, “to ride in camaraderie with our fellow cyclists and to respect those who have gone before us. I like to think they’re looking down upon us and smiling saying, ‘Right on! Thanks for being there for me, and helping to advocate that those of us still alive have a right to share these roads.”

Below are safety tips for bicyclists from Mayor Daley’s Office:


  • Before you pull over, put on your turn signal, then look over your shoulder to check for bicyclists. If you see any bicyclists, yield. Let them pass before you pull over.
  • When you stop tem­porarily, put on your hazard lights so bicy­clists know it’s safe to pass.
  • To avoid a “dooring,” check over your shoulder for bicyclists before exiting your vehicle on the driver’s side.
  • When bicyclists merge in front of you, let them in and don’t follow too closely.
  • Don’t honk at a bicyclists unless it is a case of extreme danger.
  • If you can, you should change lanes before passing bicy­clists. Always slow down and pass them with at least three feet of space. Then wait until you can see them in your mirror before going back into the lane.
  • Avoid a drive-out. Before exiting an alley or drive­way, stop, sound your horn, and look for bicyclists and pedes­trians on the sidewalk and street.

  • When entering the bike lane to turn or parallel park, always:
    • Yield to bicyclists.
    • Use your turn signal.
    • Pull all the way into the bike lane so bicyclists will pass on the left.

If you or someone you know has been involved in Chicago car accident or Chicago bicycle accident , then call Chicago accident attorney  Aaron Bryant for a free consultation  at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website www.BLCHICAGO.com









Maclaren Baby Strollers Recalled

Other than the Toyota fiasco, I have not written very much about product liability or product recalls in the past. I think it is important to point out to parents that late last year, England stroller manufacturer, Maclaren, recalled  their Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, Techno XLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno and Easy Traveller stroller models.

They recalled over one million strollers sold in the United States between 1999 and 2009 after 12 reports of childrens’ fingertips being cut off.  MSNBC reported the apparent issue: “A side hinge mechanism poses a hazard to children’s fingers when the umbrella stroller is being opened or closed, the company says.”

Even something simple items like a stroller hinge can be dangerous to babies and toddlers if not manufactured correctly and safely.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Maclaren stroller accident  or a Chicago car accident , then call Chicago accident attorney  Aaron Bryant for a free consultation  at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com

Arizona Teen Issues PSA Against Texting And Driving

I have written here numerous times about the dangers of texting and driving and the numerous campaigns against this practice. Oprah has jumped on board and now an Arizona teen has created her own public service announcement.  Arizona high school sophomore Bethany Brown prepared an anti-distraction public service video titled “There are no RE-DO’s in real life,”  and was recently released the National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF).

“I started noticing distracted driving a lot more. I saw my friends doing it. I saw drivers in other cars doing it. They’re texting or talking on their cells, and they’re, you know, swerving all over. And they think they’re being perfectly safe!”

“So then I began to look into it,” she says, ” and I couldn’t believe how many teen deaths are related to texting or being on a cell and driving. It was really eye-opening.”

Congratulations to Bethany for her initiative on this serious issue. Click here  to view her video.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accident  or Chicago truck accidents , then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation  at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website www.BLGCHICAGO.com.

Oprah Releases No Phone Zone Video

I wrote in January about Oprah’s campaign against texting and driving called the “No Phone Zone.”  Oprah has now released the video for this campaign. Who knows if this is will, but Oprah’s name on anything has to be effective.

You can view the video here.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accident  or Chicago truck accident , then call Chicago accident attorney  Aaron Bryant for a free consultation  at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website www.BLGCHICAGO.com

GHSA Report Shows Motorcycle Deaths Down In 2009

I have written the past few weeks about motorcycle safety, proposed helmet legislation in Illinois and Illinois’ motorcycle awareness month. It appears the 2009 trend of fewer vehicular deaths also occurred with motorcycles. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), has preliminary data showing that in 2009, 38 states and the District of Columbia reported a drop in motorcyclist fatalities from 2008 and 12 states reported an increase. About half the state counts for 2009 are reported to be final or very close to final. The rest are preliminary to varying degrees, with some final except for December and others incomplete for two or three months. Judging from each state’s reported totals and completeness, it is expected that the final data will confirm a decrease for almost all the states currently reporting one. This means that motorcyclist fatalities will have decreased in about three-quarters of the states.

My initial thoughts were that the recession and economic downturn could be the reason for the decrease in motorcycle deaths. The GHSA reports agrees but also lists several other reasons reasons:

1) Reduced motorcycle travel due to the economic recession
2) Fewer beginning motorcyclists
3) State motorcycle safety programs
4) Other motorists awareness of motorcyclists
5) Warmer, drier weather in 2009

Regardless, it is good to see that the roads were safer for motorcyclists in 2009. We will see if this trend continues the next few years as the economy rebounds.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accidenttruck accident  or motorcycle accident , then call Chicago accident attorney  Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com />

Road Rage Viewed As Possible Cause Of CTA Bus Crash

A CTA bus crashed into an unoccupied school building this week, which injured twelve (12) passengers.

According to CTA spokesperson Wanda Taylor, “A westbound No. 66 (Chicago Avenue) bus was involved in a collision with a car that resulted in the bus striking the building.”

The accident occurred at approximately 4:05 p.m. in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. A 74-year-old SUV driver was reportedly following a slow-moving car when he became fed up. The driver, James Vaughn, subsequently sped up into the same lane as a CTA bus was traveling in.

Upon doing so, the bus steered away from the SUV to avoid a collision. According to 45-year-old witness Richie Driver, “The bus driver tried to keep from hitting him, and she (the bus driver) wound up hitting another car.” The bus then veered off the roadway and slammed into the Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy.

Click here  to read the entire artlcle.

Road rage is a scary phenomenon. I think we have all viewed or experienced it at some point. Remember to keep your cool while on the road, even if you are following an unreasonably slow driver. You never know what the ramifications will be.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accidentChicago truck accident  or CTA bus accident , then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation  at 312-588-3384 or visit the firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com

FMCSA Issues Motorcycle Safety Tips

As I mentioned before, May is motorcycle awareness month in Illinois. Motorcycle accidents are a serious issue that concerns riders, drivers and pedestrians alike. Although injured victims of motorcycle accidents can file a claim with the help of a motorcycle lawyer, our goal is everyone’s safety. To follow up with my recent posts, I found some safety tips recently issued by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is was created in 2000 by the federal government to promote commercial vehicle safety on the highways. Below are the safety tips:

Never hang out in a truck’s blind spot or “No-Zone.” Trucks have large No-Zones on both sides, the front and behind the truck. Truck drivers cannot see you when you ride in these blind spots, which allows for a greater chance of a crash. The front blind spot is particularly dangerous if you need to stop quickly. Because of their lightweight and braking system, motorcycles can stop much faster than trucks. A truck may not be able to stop as quickly as you do, so you need to take special precautions to avoid crashes before they happen.

Make sure to always wear a helmet. Beware of helmets that do not meet U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. Check for the DOT label inside your helmet. Helmets are the most important piece of equipment you can wear when riding your motorcycle. A helmet could be your only source of protection in a serious crash.

Motorcycles are the smallest vehicles on the road. Unfortunately they provide virtually no protection in a crash. Other drivers may not see you on your motorcycle, so you must be aware of everything on the road. Be extra cautious, paying attention to the signals and brake lights of other vehicles, especially trucks. However, you still need to be prepared in the event their signals or lights don’t work. Ride with caution and drive defensively. Even though your motorcycle may be small, you must adhere to the laws of the road. Never ride in between lanes in traffic or share a lane with another vehicle. Don’t instigate aggressive driving with other motorists; you will only increase your chance of a car crash .

Conduct a safety inspection of your motorcycle before each ride, and wear protective clothing including gloves, boots and a jacket. Proper maintenance and protective clothing will help reduce your chance of an crash or the severity of injury if you are involved in a crash, especially with a large truck or bus.

Of all vehicles, motorcycles accelerate the fastest, while trucks and buses are the slowest. Please watch your speed around trucks, especially in bad weather or at night. Colliding with the back of a truck will end your riding days.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accidentChicago truck accident  or Chicago motorcycle accident , the call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation  at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com.<br<></br<>

Illinois House And Senate Pass Pedestrian Safety Bill

There is a good news out of Springfield this week as a new law recently passed by the Illinois General Assembly and now awaits Governor Quinn’s signature, that will give greater protection to pedestrians. The legislation that will require drivers to come to a complete stop for pedestrians and bicyclists in all crosswalks, regardless of whether they’re marked with stripes or signs or nothing at all. The bill will become law as soon as Gov. Pat Quinn signs off on it.

In mandating complete stops at all occupied crosswalks, the measure tightens up and clarifies previous laws that required drivers to stop and yield to pedestrians only when necessary.

Click here  to read the entire story from the Suburban Beacon Journal.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accidentChicago truck accident  or pedestrian accident , then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation  or go to the firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com