Park and Playground Safety

Time spent at the park allows children to socialize, get some exercise, and explore and engage with age-appropriate challenges in a supervised environment. Even with an adult supervising the fun, accidents can still happen– bruises, falls, scraped knees and elbows, and other risks and injuries are all possible on the playground. According to the Canadian Public Health Association, “An analysis of playground falls between 1994 and 2003 estimated that each year 2,500 children below 14 years of age were hospitalized for serious injuries. Of this total, 81% had suffered a fracture while 14% were admitted for a head injury…”. Teaching kids about the importance of playing safe and the rules of the playground is critical in avoiding injuries and maintaining fun. Here are some things you can do to ensure your child remains safe.

Remain Alert

Enjoying the carefree energy your child has is important to healthy growth and development, but it can be dampened by an injury that could have been avoided. As a parent or guardian, you are responsible for remaining aware of potential risks such as unsafe climbing or running, arguments on the playground, and any dangers in the environment. If you or your child has experienced an injury obtained at a park or playground you may be eligible for compensation. Contact the professionals at Dye & Russell for your free claim assessment today.

Look For Potential Risks

Even if you keep your eyes on your kids as much as possible, an accident can happen before you have time to react. Preparing before enjoying the many fun activities, like the slide and swings, take a look at the playground park area for any potential risks. The play equipment and play spaces must meet the CSA (Canadian Standards Association) requirements for safety. Shock-absorbing materials such as woodchips, synthetic shredded rubber or sand should be used for a safer and softer area to play in. All equipment should also be free of breakage or sharp and dangerous areas.

Glass, nails, bolts, or bottles are all things that can be left behind by careless people and have the potential to injure your child. Take a thorough look around before playing in the sand or grass in the park and playground area.

Proper Maintenance

If you believe there are safety issues with a playground reach out to your park’s local operator. An unsafe play area can be avoided with proper maintenance– if you or your child has been injured due to negligence, contacting a personal injury lawyer like the ones at Dye & Russell is the right step on the road to recovery.

Review The Rules

Go over the rules of the playground and ensure your child understands the risks that come with playing on any park structures. Make sure they stay or play in age-appropriate areas that are meant for them specifically.

 

Looking after your child’s safety while they run around and enjoy the excitement of park activities is a hard job, and sometimes an injury can happen. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident at a park or playground, contact the professionals at Dye & Russell today for your FREE Claim Assessment and more helpful resources.

Reach us toll-free at 1-877-883-6171 or visit us online to speak with a live agent. Your road to recovery is important to us.

 

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Skye OliverPark and Playground Safety
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Tips & Tricks: Bike Safety Basics

Cycling is a great way to get around—it gets you from point A to point B all while keeping you fit and helping the environment. Some studies have even shown that it is the safest mode of transportation, particularly for young adults. Even so, around 7,500 cyclists suffer severe injuries every year in Canada, while 70, 000 are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to cycling, according to the CBC.

Over half of the Toronto population cycles, that’s 54% of Torontonians. Luckily, the Toronto Cycling Network Plan is working on making Toronto a more bike-friendly city. Hopefully, Canadian cities will one day be as welcoming to cyclists as European cities, where cyclist injury and death rates are substantially lower. As this eco-friendly method of transportation becomes more popular, cyclists and drivers will become more aware of their places on the roads and fewer accidents will occur.

Until then, there are many things cyclists can be aware of to ensure their safety on the roads. Here are some bike safety tips and tricks based on facts from the CBC and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation:

Where you can and cannot ride

  • Cyclists must stay as close to the right side of the road as possible, especially if you’re slower than other traffic.
  • Cyclists cannot ride on controlled-access highways, such as Ontario’s 400-series highways
  • Cyclists are only allowed to walk their bikes through pedestrian crossovers.

Where and when it’s best to ride

If cyclists aren’t planning to ride to and from work, they should avoid riding during the afternoon rush hour—17% of cyclist deaths and 23% of cyclist injuries occur during this time.

The worst time for a cyclist to ride is at night—30% of cyclist deaths occur at this time. Avoiding busy cities and intersections is ideal for a cyclist’s safety—despite traffic control signs, cyclists are more likely to be injured in an area with these features. Cyclists should also avoid rural areas where the speed limits are 80km/h or more—44% of cyclist deaths happen on these roads.

Wearing a helmet

It is illegal for any cyclist under the age of 18 to ride without a helmet.

For any cyclist under the age of 16, a parent or guardian must ensure that they are not riding without a helmet. Adults are not required to wear a helmet, although it is strongly recommended, as it lowers a cyclist’s chance of injury by 90%.

Additional cycling laws 

The following are changes made regarding cycling law after the passing of Bill 31- Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act , effective September 1, 2015: 

  • All drivers of motor vehicles are required to maintain a minimum distance of one metre, where practical, when passing cyclists on highways;
  • Persons who improperly open or leave opened the doors of motor vehicles on highways face increased penalties (commonly known as “dooring”).
  • The fine for non-compliance with bicycle light, reflector and reflective requirements will increase; and
  • Cyclists are permitted to use lamps that produce intermittent flashes of red light.

 

For more information on Ontario bike laws, visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website. If you know of a cyclist who has been in an accident, have them contact us at our Ajax (905-427-2000) or Barrie offices (705-726-2146) for their free consultation.

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Brain Injury Awareness Month: Preventing Injuries

June is an exciting month. Spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner. It’s also Brain Injury Awareness month and with that comes a number of opportunities to shed light on brain injuries and ways to help prevent them.

Did you know that more than 20, 000 people each year are admitted to the hospital with serious brain related injuries? In 2016 – 2017 alone approximately 46, 000 children went to the emergency room and were diagnosed with a concussion.

Making sure situations such as sports or recreational activities are safe for everyone helps reduce the risk of injury. The key being prevention and awareness. You’re the first line of defense!

Here are 4 things you should know about preventing brain injuries.

  1. Seat Belts

When you’re in the car, no matter how far the drive may be, wearing your seat belt is a top priority.  A significant number of injuries and deaths happen as a result of car accidents and about 50% are prevented thanks to seat belts.

  1. Reduce Distractions

Cell phones are the number one cause of distractions among drivers. When you’re behind the wheel staying focused on the road should be the only thing that’s important. Put the phone down, whatever it is can wait. Your life is more important than the text you just got.

  1. Child Safety

Kids are always getting hurt and bumping their heads on whatever is around. Take steps to prevent trips and falls by installing safety gates around stairs, using non slip mats in bathtubs or putting up window guards to prevent a potentially fatal injury.

  1. Helmets & Safety Gear

Both adults and children are susceptible to head injuries whether at work or during recreation. Make sure you wear a helmet during sports activities like baseball or football or the appropriate safety helmet on construction sites. Keeping your brain protected is one of the smartest things you can do!

 

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Getting back to green: economic recovery after injury

Personal injury can seriously impair your personal finances. Injuries can upend all areas of life, including your career and finances. While much focus is given to physical recovery, financial recovery is crucial as well.

Your financial situation can tie into your mental and emotional recovery and, in turn, your physical recovery. Here are some tips for getting back to green after a personal injury:

  1. Consider a new line of work

An injury may make you unable to return to your past line of work (if it’s too unsafe or demanding). This can be very frustrating, especially if you were very passionate about your previous line of work or if you have been very successful in your career. However, there are other career possibilities ahead that may be better suited to you post-injury.

You may even find a new career that you love even more. If you’re able to work in any capacity it can do more than bring you increased financial stability and momentum. Working can also give you a new sense of identity, personal achievement, social contacts, skills development and a sense of structure—all of which can help with your mental health and in turn your physical health.

  1. Ask for help

If you have family or friends that would be able to help you financially consider asking them for help. You might be surprised by their willingness to help, especially if they have seen the effects of a personal injury on your life.

  1. Budget wisely

Recovering from injury can tighten up your finances. Budgeting is vital and can reduce risk of debt or insolvency. If this task seems monumental, ask for help from a family member or friend. Find unnecessary expenses, that you made prior to injury, and eliminate these.

Budgeting creates a solid financial basis for later success. It’s important, when budgeting, to assess your needs and wants differently and to be ruthless and honest with yourself and your finances.

  1. Get legal help

If you’ve been injured, damages may be owed to you. It’s crucial to ask for legal help. A personal injury lawyer can help you to navigate the best course of action. Further to this, they will be able to get you more money than an independent inquiry. These extra funds can be critical for seeing you through recovery.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment. Find out what you’re owed and start your journey back to green.

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Brain injury and memory

Strategies to improve memory after a brain injury

Brain injuries can radically impact your quality of life. One of the areas that can be most affected by a traumatic brain injury is memory. Conversely, memory is a critical function for daily life.

“Memory is your brain taking in, keeping, recalling and using information,” says BrainLine. “A brain injury can affect any of these areas of memory. A brain injury can also make it hard to learn and remember things.”

If your memory has been damaged as a result of a brain injury, or a brain injury has exacerbated existing memory problems, how do you recover what was lost?

Here are three steps to strengthen your memory after a traumatic brain injury.

1. Write it all down

For some, this means keeping a journal or calendar and writing down detailed descriptions to help them throughout the day. For others, this is simply writing cues or prompts to help them remember tasks or objectives. It is helpful, however, to have all of your prompts concentrated in one place to guard against loss.

Other ways to use writing to help you throughout the day are creating checklists, labelling items in shared spaces, making ‘cheat sheets’ for your wallet or cue cards for where items are located.

2. Make smart purchases

If you take medication, a pill organizer can be hugely helpful for those with memory problems. Purchasing appliances that shut off automatically can be helpful to ensuring home safety. If you’re opening a bank account, specify automatic bill payment or authorize a protective payee on your behalf.

3. Use PQRST

PQRST is a technique to help attain and retain information. First, preview the material, casually reading it over to understand what it is about. Second, question it by making a list of queries that you need answered to fully grasp the subject. Third, read! Read the material over again carefully, referring back to the questions list you generated. Fourth, state it in your own words. This could be out loud or on paper. Would you be able to

teach someone this material? Fifth, and finally, test yourself or ask someone else to test you. Repeat as necessary until you are confident you have fully retained the information.

Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

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6 tips for adjusting to life after a brain injury

Most victims of brain injury and members of their family face a gamut of new and unfamiliar challenges on the road to recovery. Knowing how to navigate life and how to deal with the challenges recovery presents can be unbelievingly challenging. To help victims of brain injury Brainline developed a guide for adjusting to life after brain injury.

1. Redefine success

When your life changes after a brain injury it is likely your definition of success will also need to change. Comparing yourself and your progress to how you performed before your injury can be very limiting. Focusing on what you can do and how you can improve can help you change your definition of success. Explore ways you can be successful and set standards for yourself. No matter what state you are in you can improve yourself, enjoy relationships and live a meaningful life.

2. Ask for help

Asking for help can he a surprisingly difficult task. The fear of seeming like a burden or being turned away often stifles us from trying to get the help we need. But everybody needs help at some point or another. Don’t let a situation become a crisis before asking for help, and make sure to return a favour and thank those who have helped you.

3. Be kind to yourself

Immediately after a brain injury you begin your road to recovery. Taking time to heal and respecting the fact that your body needs time to mend itself mentally, physically and emotionally is very important. Being hard on yourself right now will only make things more difficult on you and those around you. Instead try to be kind and compassionate to yourself taking into consideration where you are in your recovery journey.

4. Set manageable goals

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the hurdles ahead of you in your recovery. To manage this, break down the large goals in your recovery into small reasonable steps—ones you can do day-to-day to accomplish those bigger goals. Focusing on what you can do today and tomorrow can make the prospects of achieving big goals much less daunting. Even beyond recovery, breaking down your life goals in the same way can make them more manageable to achieve.

5. Create a support system

Social interaction is extremely important for recovery. After a brain injury receiving support and understanding is extremely comforting and helps stave off feelings of loneliness. Reconnecting with friends who have become distant after your brain injury, helping those in your circle of friends and family, as always showing care is important to maintain those relationships. If you don’t feel like those around you are able to understand what you are going through perhaps consider joining a support group to meet people who have similar experiences.

6. Practice patience

Patience is an essential skill to have while recovering from a brain injury. You will likely need to be persistent over time to reach recovery, but it can be difficult to keep your cool when faced with a difficult journey to get there. When you feel yourself losing your cool or becoming frustrated find a way to take a step back and relax yourself, whether that’s taking a deep breath or repeating an affirmation. Find what works for you.

Navigating the road to recovery after a brain injury can be difficult. We help brain injury victims during recovery as a part of the Circle of Care.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Do I have a concussion?

How to check and know what to do next.

Summer is a great time to be outside soaking up the warm weather and playing sports.

Picking up your favourite game like soccer or football can be great fun, but the fast pace and contact (intentional or unintentional) in these sports means it can be easy to get an injury while playing. A heading mishap or a bad hit could leave you with a concussion.

Reframe Health Lab, an educational health care resource has a guide to help guide you in knowing whether you’ve had a concussion and what to do next:

Concussions:

Concussions are a traumatic brain injury where the brain moves rapidly within the skull, causing bruising. They can be caused by a number of things, from falls to blows, and are followed by symptoms that can affect your physical abilities, thought abilities, emotions, and ability to sleep.

You can have suffered a concussion even if you didn’t lose consciousness, didn’t get a direct hit to the head and didn’t feel symptoms immediately. Getting hit elsewhere on your body can still shake your head and it can take up to 48 hours for symptoms to appear.

Signs and Symptoms:

There are a wide range of symptoms you should look for after a suspected concussion.

Physical symptoms can include headache, pressure in the head, neck pain, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, balance problems, sensitivity to light/noise, fatigue, drowsiness and trouble falling asleep.

There are also mental and emotional symptoms of a concussion including feeling slowed down, feeling in a fog, not feeling right, difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering, confusion, being more emotional, irritability, sadness and nervousness/anxiousness.

Immediate Steps:

If you suspect you have a concussion you should immediately remove yourself from the game and rest.

If you experience a sudden change in symptoms or have severe headache/neck pain, repeated vomiting, seizure, slurred speech, confusion or unresponsiveness you need to go to the ER immediately because there may be a more serious problem that requires immediate attention.

However, even if you don’t have a sudden change in symptoms it’s a good idea to get a baseline assessment and general advice from a medical professional.

Going forward it’s important to take it easy by limiting stimulation, taking time off of work or school and using a diary to track what you do and how it feels. You can gradually build your activities back to what they were but being honest about how you feel is important as others cannot see that you have a concussion.

Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

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June is Brain Injury Awareness Month – Everything you Need to Know

The arrival of the summer season isn’t the only notable thing that’s happening this June. In fact, the sixth month of the year is brain injury awareness month. This type of injury occurs in higher incidences than breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and HIV/AIDs put together. However, while brain injuries are strikingly common, they go largely unnoticed by the general public.

Within the brain disorder community, a heavy emphasis has been placed upon the importance that public knowledge has on reducing the incidences of these traumatic injuries. Therefore, organizations from the grassroots to provincial level have dedicated their time to work towards increasing awareness.

So what is a Brain Injury?

Aptly put, an acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that is not caused by genetics. Since these injuries can be caused by lack of oxygen, traumatic blows to the head, and severe neck rotation or whiplash, even concussions are classified as brain injuries.

While concussions are a mild form of traumatic brain injury, the symptoms can have serious effects on the sufferer’s health. According to Brain Injury Canada, these include:

  • Amnesia
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired vision
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Feeling foggy or lethargic
  • Feeling increasingly irritable

Just how Prevalent are they?

Approximately 1.5 million Canadians live with this type of injury, with 160,000 new sufferers each year, yet the public knowledge of brain injury related deaths and disabilities is low. In reality, there are 451 people who suffer from new brain injuries each day. Falls and motor vehicle accidents cause around 50% of these injuries, and it’s been reported that 30% are sustained by children. Brain injuries are additionally the top killer and disabler of individuals younger than 44-years-old. Furthermore, sufferers are two times more likely to be men, while the recovery process takes longer for women.

Seeking Treatment

 Brain injury Canada advises that if you suspect you may be suffering from a brain injury, it’s imperative that you receive treatment as soon as possible. After a sudden sharp blow to the head, the brain requires time to recover, which can typically involve prescribed bed rest and limited stimuli.

However, brain injury Canada insists that identifying a concussion can involve a handful of steps. It’s typical for doctors to conduct a neurological exam that involves testing of the memory, concentration, balance, coordination, and vision. If additional tests are necessary, they may involve a CT scan or MRI to rule out any additional brain injuries.

In some cases, neuropsychological testing is necessary to pinpoint any subtle changes to memory function. Furthermore, additional balance testing can be helpful for sufferers.

How to Lower your Risk

Participating in high-intensity sports and recreational activities can increase your risk of brain injury. Therefore, it’s imperative that protective body and headgear are worn, so that your equipment, as opposed to body, absorbs the impact of any potential blow. Furthermore, it’s essential when playing sports, that you take all the necessary cautions to avoid any contact between your head and other objects and players.

In addition to sports-related injuries, many brain injuries are caused by motorized vehicle accidents. Due to this, ensure that you always wear a seat belt and that any children are safely secured in a booster seat in the back of your car.

Furthermore, slip and fall accidents pose a serious risk of injury. To prevent falls, you can install handrails on staircases and bathroom walls, discard any area rugs, adequately light your home, de-clutter your floors, place a non-slip mat in your shower, and go for regular eye exams.

If you have children, there are many ways you can lower their risk of injury as well. By installing safety gates by stairways, visiting playgrounds that have shock absorbing materials on the ground, and using window guards to prevent falls, you can dramatically reduce your child’s chances of suffering an injury.

This June, the work that is being done to raise brain injury awareness is crucial for the public understanding of this otherwise silent epidemic. Brain injury does not discriminate, and can occur to individuals across all cultural and economic backgrounds. Similar to many disabilities, brain injuries do not only affect sufferers, but can dramatically affect the lives of their loved ones.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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