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June 2015 Archives

Laundry Detergent Pods Can Cause Serious Injury To Children

There is a scary new warning about detergent pods. A newly released report estimates about 30 children a day seek medical attention after accidentally swallowing a pod. The detergent pods were first released onto the market in the United State back in 2012. Despite changes made to packaging and labeling, poisonings and other accidents involving concentrated laundry-detergent packets remain a serious problem in the U.S.

Flesh Eating Bacteria Takes The Life Of Florida Resident

As parents, many of us have seen news reports of a flesh eating bacteria found in the Gulf of Mexico.  We were dismayed to read on foxnews.com that a Florida man died on June 16th after contracting this disease/bacteria.  Surprisingly, the state health department has yet to issue a warning. According to an article (sited below), Cason Yeager, 26, of Fruitland Park, Fla., died June 16, two days after he and family went swimming in the Gulf of Mexico south of Pine Island. He contracted a flesh-destroying type of bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus, which belongs to the same family of organisms that cause cholera. Vibrio vulnificus, a bacterium that lives in warm salt water, can be transmitted through contaminated seafood or an open wound exposed to seawater, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When the bacteria infect the skin via open wounds, they release a toxin that can cause skin breakdown and ulcers. Illness usually begins within one to three days of exposure, but up to a week later for a small percentage of cases. Symptoms include fever, swelling and redness of skin on arms or legs, with blood-tinged blisters, low blood pressure and shock. Even an ant bite or any tiny wound can allow an entry point for the bacteria. Ingestion of the bacteria can trigger vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Walton County Sheriff's OfficeTeaming Up With Technology

A new technology feature is now available to residents of Walton County - they can receive emergency services through text message. Since March, the Walton County Sheriff's Office has been putting the finishing touches on their new program 'Text 911.' Citizens who are deaf, hearing impaired, or have a speech disability can now send a "short message" or text 911 during an emergency. Also, if you are in trouble, and a voice call might be dangerous or otherwise impossible, texting to 911 is now a safe alternative. When making a voice call dispatchers will receive your phone number and your approximate location automatically. However, in most cases when you text 911 from a wireless phone, the dispatcher receiving the information will not know the texting party's location. Because of this, be sure to text your location as quickly as possible. Residents should check with their wireless phone company before using this new program. Generally, you must have a text-capable wireless phone and wireless service subscription or contract with a wireless company with a "data plan". The Walton County Sheriff's office is the first in Northwest Florida to introduce this new technology.

Drowning in Liability: Residential Swimming Pool Safety

According to the Florida Department of Health, drowning is the leading cause of death in Florida among children between ages one and four. Thus, you can imagine my dismay when I read about two children who recently died as a result of drowning in a residential pool. One of the drownings happened in Bay County. WJHG reports 911 dispatchers received a call from a mother in the north end of the county (Southport area) who said she could not find her two-year-old son on Monday morning. Just before help arriving, however, one of the deputies learned that the child had been found in the pool. Family, friends and the deputy performed CPR until paramedics arrived. They then pronounced the child dead at the scene.  Sheriff's deputies have not yet released the name of the boy or the family.

Motorcycle Accidents: Fatalities On The Rise

Channel 7 WJHG reports that the FHP has released more information pertaining to the fatal traffic crash that happened Sunday afternoon on Back Beach Road. According to the report, around 2:30 p.m a 58 year-old male and his passenger were traveling eastbound on U.S. 98 on their motorcycle. At the same time, 51-year-old female was traveling down the same road, but slowed down to take a right hand turn onto Le Grand Drive. Officials say the motorcycle failed to slow down as the car was turning, and the motorcycle collided with the car. Both the driver and passenger of the motorcycle fell off, and were taken to Bay Medical Center. The passenger died at the hospital. Authorities are investigating if alcohol was a factor and at this time charges are pending. No one on the motorcycle was wearing a helmet.

Beach Safety: Know Your Flag Warnings and Colors

With summer here, safety officials in Florida are urging beach-goers to stay safe in the water. After a near-drowning incident recently, one Dothan man saw the dangers high waves can bring, first-hand. It's a moment retired Dothan Police Officer, Keith Gray, won't soon forget. "I saw a group of people and I ran as fast as I could without thinking. I jumped in the water and swam to where they were, and there was this unconscious female face up. They were holding her above the water, but you could clearly see there was no life in her body," said Keith Gray, Dothan resident.Gray and another man performed CPR on the 14 year old Texas girl before EMS officials arrived. "Thank God she came back," said Gray. What is unfortunate is that drownings are a recurring problem. Why? We have so many people that come into our area and they are not familiar with their swimming ability or the flag system and how to read it. With only four rescuers on duty this summer, Carol Wagner, Beach and Surf Patrol Supervisor in Panama City Beach, says it can get overwhelming with the large amount of tourists in one area at one time. She urges vacationers to not only take a look at the flag colors, but also learn their meanings before even coming to the beach. Flags range from green to double red. Green, being the best conditions. While double red means the water is closed to the public. Wagner also says it's important to know your own swimming ability before getting in the water.

Heath Alert: Flesh Eating Bacteria Is Back

It is that time. As the weather heats up, it is common to find a rare form of flesh-eating bacteria (Vibrio Vulnificus) in Florida waters. As of now in 2015, eight people in the state have contracted Vibrio Vulnificus. Two of those people have died from the bacteria. Currently, there is no reported cases of the bacteria in Escambia and Okaloosa counties and just one in Santa Rosa. It's rare to contract the bacteria, and it can be cured with antibiotics if caught in time, but in some cases it can lead to death. WEAR Channel 3 interviewed Doctor John Lanza with the Escambia County Health Department regarding the bacteria. According to him, Vibrio Vulnificus has been around for years and he sees cases of the bacteria spike in the warmer months. Due to the warm waters of the Gulf and the Atlantic, the bacteria is always here. How do you get it? People can contract the bacteria from consuming raw oysters, swimming with an open wound in warm, brackish, or salt water, or getting a scratch from something in the water that has the bacteria growing on it. How would you know that you have the bacteria? Dr. John Lanza says that a person would have symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea from the ingestion of water containing Vibrio. With a wound infected with the bacteria, you would see redness, oozing , pain, fever, and with a scratch you would see that also. If exposed, the bacteria could find its way into your blood stream. If the infection is caught in time antibiotics can treat it. But, if you have a compromised immune system, it can be deadly. So, what should we take from this article? Don't consume raw oysters, and if you have an open wound - stay out of the water.

Jet Ski Accident Claims A Young Man's Life

Channel 7 WJHG reports that FWC has confirmed that a 17-year-old male was killed this past Wednesday after his jet ski collided with a 20-foot boat in Grand Lagoon. The young man was heading east in Grand Lagoon, while the 20 foot Sea Fox , carrying five people on board from Alabama was heading towards the campground area at St. Andrews State Park. The incident occurred just before 6 p.m. Wednesday. Officials say the 17 year old worked for Sunshine Water Sports PC and was leading a jet ski tour during when the accident happened. After the accident, he was taken to a local hospital and later pronounced dead. As of now, officials are still investigating how and why the male collided with the boat.

Car Accidents Rev Up On The Emerald Coast

According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, there was a 5 car collision on Us. Highway 98 east of Edgewood Drive around 8 a.m. The cause of the accident was failing to stop for traffic conditions which unfortunately happens in this area, especially during the summer months when there are more vehicles on the road. According to the FHP report, A 2002 Dodge pickup driven by 27-year-old male from Milton failed to stop for traffic and rear ended a 2012 Toyota car driven by 57-year-old male from Miramar Beach. The impact forced the Toyota into a 1995 Chevy Tracker that was being towed behind a 2013 Ford RV driven by a 72-year-old male from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Tracker was forced forward into the RV, the release said.

Bicycle Accidents: Know How To Protect Yourself

During the summer, we all see more people biking. It is well known that bicycling is one of the best ways to stay in shape, see the sights, save money on gas and reduce pollution. Even though there are so many benefits, there are also a lot of risks and people must take extra precautions when they ride. They often share the road with vehicles, which creates a host of hazards, but injuries can happen even on a designated path. The National Safety Council reports that bicycle riding caused more injuries over all age groups than football in 2013. According to Injury Facts 2015, 531,340 people were treated in emergency rooms in 2013 after being injured riding a bicycle. The only sport resulting in more injuries overall was basketball, at 533,509. Football was third, at 420,581. This organization also reports that about 1,000 deaths and 120,000 injuries resulted from cyclists colliding with motor vehicles in 2013. With about 80 million bike riders sharing the road with millions of motorized vehicles, the importance of safety precautions in traffic cannot be emphasized enough.

Making Boat Safety A Priority

The Northwest Daily News reports on how important water safety is, especially this weekend during the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival. This is a big weekend for us here in Northwest Florida. Many families look forward to this weekend all year. Although the annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival takes place on land, thousands celebrate on the water. That makes for a crowded Santa Rosa Sound and puts area law enforcement on high alert. This year's festival, which will be held June 4 to June 6 at Fort Walton Landing, is no different. Officials are already urging the public to obey marine laws and adhere to basic water safety rules. A Michele Nicholson, spokesman for the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office told the Northwest Daily News, "Slow down, keep your head on a swivel and slow down on the alcohol consumption. If people do those things, that will have a major impact on everyone's enjoyment and safety." Like many law enforcement agencies, the Sheriff's Office will have marine units patrolling the sound during the festivities. Also on the water will be the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "Our special operation command team will be patrolling the interior areas," spokeswoman Bekah Nelson said. "That's where the heavy crowds are. ... People want to make sure they have a sober (boat) driver." Although the Billy Bowlegs Festival happens at the Fort Walton downtown landing, many revelers boat to the area and party on the water for hours. Some also boat in for the fireworks on Friday night after Capt. Billy Bowlegs captures the city. On land the Fort Walton Beach Police Department will deploy extra officers to deal with the increased number of visitors to downtown, said Sgt. Tracy Hart. "It's summertime and it's extra people who don't often visit the area," he said. "And we want to make sure everyone is safe." Officers also will support the Sheriff's Office and FWC as it deals with medical calls, boating under the influence and other incidents. "What happens on the water comes on land," Hart said. "We'll be there to assist with that."

Water Sports And Safe Practices

Summer is here for many of us, and many of us who live here in Northwest Florida we spend the summer on the water. We own boats, paddle boards, surf boards, etc. We love the water. This is why it was alarming to see this investigation on the Today Show. According to Rossen Report, last year there were more than 4,000 boating accidents, resulting in 610 deaths. Now the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation, safety entity of Boat Owners Association of the United States, is issuing a new warning. "When you're tubing, you're going about 18 to 25 miles per hour," said Chris Edmonston, president of BoatUS Foundation. "And when you fall off, it can almost be like hitting concrete." To demonstrate the jarring affect, NBC national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen went tubing, with Edmonston operating the boat towing him. When he hit the boat's wake, Rossen flipped over, slamming into the water as his tube flew into the air.

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Our legal team consists of attorney Wm. Dennis Brannon and his son C. Paul Brannon. We work together as a father and son team to provide our clients with exceptional service and solutions in motor vehicle accident claims and other personal injury matters.

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