Oklahoma Law Injury Blog

Look left, right, left again: Pedestrian Safety Tips

Noble McIntyre on May 20, 2014

The sun is out, the air is warm and Memorial Day is right around the corner. But, the spring season is about more than just barbecues and parades. It’s also a great time to get out and walk — shaking off the dust from being inside all winter feels great, and it’s a healthy way to get some exercise. However, pedestrians have to be just as cautious as drivers or cyclists when out on the road, and perhaps even more so. Continue reading

National Safety Month Week 3: Safe Teen Driving

Noble McIntyre on June 16, 2011

School is out for summer. The freedom from the classroom. The lazy days at the pool. The opportunity to make money at a job. All of these mean one thing – more teenage drivers out on the road. Unfortunately, car crashes are the leading killer of teenagers, with the summer months being the deadliest. Around twice as many teens die in car crashes in June, July, and August compared to the rest of the year. On average, 422 teens die in car crashes during each of these months, compared to 363 teens during the non-summer months. Continue reading

National Safety Month Week 2: Preventing Overexertion

Noble McIntyre on June 9, 2011

Sometimes “less is more.” This familiar and well-known phrase originated in the 1855 poem “Andrea del Sarto” by Robert Browning. While the majority of us are not scholars of Browning’s work or poetry in general, we can take a lot out of those three simple words. In particular, we can apply the phrase to our lives every day, whether you are trying to meet deadlines at work or are training for a personal best in your next 5k. Continue reading

Hot Weather Safety Guidelines Kicks Off National Safety Month

Noble McIntyre on June 2, 2011

June is National Safety Month, and the National Safety Council has outlined a theme for each week to spread awareness of important safety issues. In particular, the Council would like to prevent unintentional injury and death by informing people about safe and healthy practices. Unintentional injury and death is a pressing issue in the United States and is on the rise. In 2009, unintentional deaths reached an estimated 128, 200, the highest on record. The 2009 estimate is 47% greater than the 1992 estimate of 86,777. Along with unintentional deaths, the financial burden is very staggering. The cost of these injuries to Americans and their employers exceeds $693 billion nationally, which comes out to $5,900 per household.  Statistics, however, cannot measure the immense amount of suffering that is affiliated with these deaths and injuries. Continue reading

Tornado Safety Precautions

Noble McIntyre on June 1, 2011

One of the biggest weather risks that Oklahomans face is the threat of tornadoes. Last week’s outbreak of tornadoes across the state serves as a reminder of how damaging and deadly these weather forces can be. According to, an Oklahoma man attempted to beat the storm home when he was caught by a tornado that took him off his motorcycle and dragged him 15-20 feet across a lawn and pavement. Fortunately, he only suffered some cuts and bruises to his back. The man was aware of the storm, but did not realize there was a tornado until it him. Continue reading

The Truth About Space Heaters

Noble McIntyre on March 30, 2011

On January 31, 2009 a young mother in Healdton, Oklahoma put her two year old son and one year old daughter to sleep. It was a cold night and the rental home had recently experienced lost heat and the situation had not yet been repaired by the landlord. In order to keep her young family warm, the children’s father had purchased a space heater at a local Wal-Mart. At 9 o’clock a fire broke out in the family living room. The small home was quickly engulfed in flames. The young mother and her two young children were tragically killed in the fire. Continue reading

The Danger of Drop-Side Cribs

Jeremy Thurman on August 10, 2010

It is common knowledge that you should always lift with your legs, not with your back to avoid injury. But where are the guidelines to picking children up and out of cribs?   It’s almost impossible to lift without using your back when carrying a child out of a crib. That’s why drop-side cribs were invented. Drop-side cribs have been considered one of the most popular models in the crib industry. They have three stationary sides and one that lowers, parents can pick up a child more properly. But while these types of cribs may make life easier for parents, there is concern that drop-side cribs can create a safety hazard for children.

Even though drop-side cribs have been used for many years, consumer advocates say today’s drop-sides are not as sturdy as those of the past. Many newer models have plastic tracking guides for the side that drops down — made of materials that critics say are more prone to breaking. Also poor or incorrect assembly of the cribs can affect their stability and functionality.

According to, Pottery Barn Kids has recalled 82,000 drop-side cribs adding to the total of 9 million cribs that have been recalled in the past 5 years. Drop-sides have been blamed in the deaths of at least 32 infants and toddlers since 2000 and are suspected in another 14 infant fatalities.

Crib-makers have already started phasing out drop-sides and big retailers such as Babies R Us don’t even carry them in stores. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission is working to address issues with drop-side cribs and to strengthen crib safety standards in general.

Considered a safer alternative, drop-gate cribs have become more popular. In drop-gate cribs, the top five or six inches of one side can fold down to allow parents easier access, but still offer protection for the infant.

It is still recommended that you purchase a new crib instead of a used one since safety requirements are much more stringent today than in years past. Older cribs may present entrapment risks and other hazards, or contain lead paint or other toxic materials. If you do consider a used crib, make sure it hasn’t been recalled by checking with the Consumer Product Safety Commission: Baby Crib Safety Recalls.

Here are some additional tips from the CPSC about crib safety:

There should be:

  • A firm, tight-fitting mattress so a baby cannot get trapped between the mattress and the crib.
  • No missing, loose, broken or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or mattress support.
  • No more than 2 3/8 inches (about the width of a soda can) between crib slats so a baby’s body cannot fit through the slats; no missing or cracked slats.
  • No corner posts over 1/16th inch high so a baby’s clothing cannot catch.
  • No cutouts in the headboard or foot board so a baby’s head cannot get trapped.

Cribs that are incorrectly assembled, have missing, loose or broken hardware or broken slats can result in entrapment or suffocation deaths. Infants can become strangled when their head and neck become entrapped in gaps created by missing, loose or broken hardware or broken slats.

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