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June 2011 Archives

Keep the Fourth Fun Through Fireworks Safety

Every July, millions of Americans end their Independence Day celebrations with a display of fireworks. Most of us have great memories of fireworks -- sitting on a blanket under a canopy of color or using a sparkler to write our names in the air with glowing letters. However, every year the holiday also brings with it injuries and damages related to fireworks. In 2008 alone, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported seven deaths and around 7,000 injuries from fireworks. Of those injured, 40% were children under the age of fifteen. More than half of the injuries were burns, with hands and eyes the most reported areas of injury. Also in 2008, approximately 22,500 fires were caused by fireworks, resulting in $42 million in property damage. With these staggering numbers, it becomes evident both handlers and spectators must take certain precautions with fireworks.

Illinois Ruling Reduces Liability for Underage Drinking

Parents face a number of challenges in raising their children. Teenagers, in particular, seem to present a conundrum – raising them to be independent and self-sufficient, while also protecting them. For instance, allowing your teen to drive away on a weekend night to a party requires you to have faith he or she will make smart choices about dangerous situations like underage drinking. However, you can still make certain your teen is attending parties you deem safe and appropriate by knowing who your teen’s friends are, and by opening a line of communication with those friend’s parents. But what about when a person who should be your ally, another parent, steps over that line of trust by allowing underage drinking to take place at their home? You likely assume those parents can be held both criminally and civilly liable if the drinking they allow results in injury or death. But parents in Illinois may be shocked to learn that a recent ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court may actually protect certain parents who knowingly allow underage drinking in their home.

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