Baby swimming lesson

A media report explores whether swim lessons actually reduce the risk of injury. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says children should not start lessons until age 1. Previously, the AAP’s recommendation was not before age 4.

Swimming lessons have certainly changed over the years. Parents are signing children up earlier, as young as 6 months old, to get them used to the water. A recent WBUR report explored whether this is all for fun or if children in today’s swim lessons are actually learning enough to reduce their risk of drowning.

As a parent, ask your child’s swim instructor about their goals. Experts interviewed by WBUR said the goal should be water survival and broader pool safety skills.

After a Massachusetts restaurant's food poisoning outbreak, friends eat a meal which has been safely prepared.

A food poisoning outbreak has closed a Massachusetts restaurant in the middle of the summer season, raising concerns for diners.

A North Reading restaurant has been closed indefinitely after 39 diners filed complaints related to a salmonella outbreak. The source may be the antipasto salad, but the local board of health is still investigating.

The North Reading Board of Health shutdown Kitty’s Restaurant on Main Street on July 3. The board investigated the food poisoning, which may have initially occurred on June 23. After a thorough cleaning, the restaurant was allowed to re-open – though not for long. The restaurant has been closed again following a new report, this time from a June 25th visit.

man riding bicycle in mountains

Cyclist on vacation in Massachusetts wearing a helmet but not using bike lights

Fireworks are lighting up spectacular skies this week. All the color makes us think about bike lights. If you are a cyclist, are you lighting up the road this summer? Are you using bike lights and wearing bright colors to stay visible to drivers?

Whether you are commuting to work or enjoying a leisurely ride on vacation, bike lights are essential to preventing bicycle accidents. And many cyclists don’t realize this, but bike lights are required by law in Massachusetts.

We encourage you to buy yourself bike lights as soon as possible. If you already have lights, please check to make sure they are working properly. Bicycle accidents have risen in the U.S., reaching a 25-year high in 2016, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The majority of accidents happened between 6 and 9 p.m. The second peak time was 9 p.m. to midnight.

Massachusetts Law
Under Massachusetts law, cyclists are required to use bike lights if they ride after dark. The law is M.G.L c.85 § 11B.

Bicycles must be equipped with a white light facing forward and a red light facing backward. These lights must be in use from thirty minutes after sunset until thirty minutes before sunrise. The white light must be visible from at least five hundred feet away. The red light on the back must be visible for at least six hundred feet. Reflectors on both pedals facing front and back are also required. If a cyclist has no reflectors, they can wear reflective material around their ankles.

Plan
If you have your own bike, buy your own lights now. You can buy them online or at a local store for a few dollars. For everyone else, if there is a chance you may ride, purchase some small bike lights. They pack neatly in your work bag or travel luggage.

There are many different types of lights available. When you purchase lights, take note of the size, battery type and battery life and if they are designed for day or night use. Remember that lights are required for the front and back of your bike. Attaching lights to your helmet or other parts of your bike are helpful for safety, but are considered extra under the law.  Here is an article about bike lights to help you get started.

There is good news for Boston commuters. There are built-in lights on the rental Blue Bikes in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. 

Stay Visible
Don’t stop at bike lights. Purchase a neon reflective safety vest, tape and any other clothing to help drivers see you. Amazon is full of ideas.

Know Your Bike Route
Before you ride at night, plan your route. Choose areas which are well lit and have clearly marked bike lanes. Travel the route during the day before you go at night.

Stay Informed
Monitor social media accounts for local police departments and bike committees which serve the area. Sign up for the newsletters offered by bike committees. Cyclists write these newsletters specifically for other cyclists and their experience is invaluable, especially when riding and making decisions at night.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to celebrate the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Partnership today. Attorney David W. White joined a gathering at the State House which recognized schools for outstanding work in teaching children critical skills, how to walk and bike to school safely. The ceremony was a nice opportunity to learn about Safe Routes’ work over the past year and get a preview of what’s ahead.

Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign have supported Safe Routes’ work for the past four years. Wearing a bicycle helmet is one of the first lessons Safe Routes teaches children. We donate 400 bicycle helmets each year to help Safe Routes reach as many children as possible. 

We make the donation, but Safe Routes’ coordinators choose which communities receive helmets, based on their unique knowledge of the communities. The program’s coordinators work all over the state, from Boston and Cambridge to Martha’s Vineyard to Western Massachusetts.  In some cases, helmets are given to an entire class. In other cases, a Safe Routes coordinator will send a few helmets as needed.

We want to mention the volunteers from Highrock Church in Arlington, Grace Chapel in Lexington and the East Arlington Livable Streets Alliance, which recently organized a bike safety day in partnership with the Arlington Housing Authority. Volunteers gathered in early June, tuning up 65 bikes to help residents from Menotomy Manor ride safely.

The law firm of Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign sent along 25 helmets for children who participated.

child in Arlington wearing a bike helmet donated by Breakstone, White & Gluck's Project KidSafe campaign child in Arlington wearing a bike helmet donated by Breakstone, White & Gluck's Project KidSafe campaign Volunteers who held a bike tune up event for Arlington Housing Authority residents in June 2018 (Arlington, Mass.) Arlington volunteers at bike tune up event

 

 

Quincy, MA police officers with kids' bicycle helmets donated by Boston law firm

Attorney David W. White with members of the Quincy Police Department Bike Patrol: Officer White, Officer Whedbee and Lieutenant Bina.

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Attorney David W. White and Lieutenant Bina of the Quincy Police Department.

As part of our Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to make a donation of 200 bicycle helmets to the Quincy Police Department this year. Attorney David W. White visited Quincy Police Department headquarters on June 14th and had a nice opportunity to speak to members of the Quincy Police bike patrol.

Doctor and patient in medical office

Patients should be aware of medical errors at Rhode Island and Massachusetts hospitals before they book their next procedure.

When you visit a hospital, you expect to be treated, then leave on your way to recovery. But two recent stories out of Massachusetts and Rhode Island should raise concern among patients. As medical malpractice lawyers, we hear about these stories too often, but the general public is not always informed.

When you book your next medical appointment or surgery, we urge to remember that any type of medical treatment is serious. Please take time to ask questions, even if you have to make an extra appointment with your doctor.

swimming poolYour swimming pool is your backyard oasis, a fun and refreshing place to beat the heat. To keep children and others safe this summer, we urge Massachusetts property owners to secure and properly maintain pools at all times. Take these steps now to help prevent injuries and drownings:

Secure your pool. In Massachusetts, pool owners are required to have fencing which stands at least 48 inches tall. Openings in the fence must be less than 4 inches in diameter. All doors to pool areas must have self-latching and self-closing devices. Homes with doors which open into the pool area must use pool alarms.

Walk around your pool fence now to look for areas which have been damaged. Make repairs right away.

For the fifth year, Somerville 5th graders have met our challenge. Our lawyers are pleased to send 370 students into summer with a free bicycle helmet from Project KidSafe, our campaign to encourage safe cycling and prevent head injuries.

The students earned the helmets by completing the CYCLE Kids curriculum, which teaches bicycle safety fundamentals. CYCLE Kids is offered as part of physical education classes at Somerville public schools. Through CYCLE Kids, some students in Somerville learn how to ride a bicycle for the first time. Others gain valuable experience or take other cycling firsts – such as riding with friends for the first time or their first ride on the Somerville Community Path.

Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to participate in Boston’s Bike to Work Festival on May 18, 2018. The City of Boston organizes this event each year to encourage and celebrate cycling. Cyclists can ride right into City Hall Plaza and enjoy a free breakfast and vendor tables. Our attorneys have participated in this event for the past few years and it’s always a fun way to close out Bay State Bike Week and Bike Month. This year, we set up our Project KidSafe tent and fit 70 free bicycle helmets for cyclists who needed one.

If you missed this year’s event, you can learn more on the City of Boston’s website. Read more about our Project KidSafe campaign on our website.

Here are a few photos from the event:

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