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Samsung_Galaxy_Note_7_on_display_(29179352184)Residents of the San Diego area who recently purchased a new smartphone should take note of a serious product safety defect. According to a recent article in The Washington Post, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices sold over the summer due to the risk of fire and burn injuries. As the article explains, this is Samsung’s “highest-end smartphone,” but it poses significant personal injury risks to consumers. It has already been known to cause a number of fires and related burn injuries.

What is wrong with these devices? How can you determine whether you own one of the recalled products? And what should you do if you currently have one of the recalled Samsung smartphones in your possession? We understand that consumers are likely to have many questions, and we would like to address them to help prevent injuries.

Lithium-Ion Batteries in Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Can Cause Fires

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800px-Motorcycle_AccidentGenerally speaking, the rate of deadly motorcycle accidents has been declining in the United States over the last decade. However, the rate of fatal motorcycle accidents actually has been rising in California, according to a recent article in Health Canal. While the cumulative rate of motorcycle accidents declined by about 7% in 2013, the rate of motorcycle deaths actually rose by 13% in California. Concerned about the spike in crashes and deaths, Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) looked at motorcycle accident rates between 2003-2012 and determined that fatal crashes increased by 23% across the state.

Why do the numbers make it seem as though motorcycling is more dangerous in California? Are motorcyclists at greater risk of suffering a serious or fatal injury in an accident in our state?

Highest Increases in Motorcycle Accident Fatalities in Southern California

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800px-Interior_school_busLast year, the tragic death of a student in a school bus accident prompted California legislators to take action. Late last month, according to a recent article in the Whittier Daily News, a 19-year-old autistic teenager was left unattended in the back of a bus on a particularly warm day. At that time, no protocols were in place to require school bus drivers to check individual seats to ensure that no children were present on the bus. At the same time, school buses were not required to have alarms to help ensure that no kids are left unattended on hot school buses. Given the frequent high temperatures in Southern California, it is extremely important to have standards in place to ensure that children are safe when they take the bus to school or to school-related activities.

Now, as the article explains, Senator Tony Mendoza’s proposed legislation, S.B. 1072, passed the California State Senate unanimously at the end of last month, and now the bill is just waiting for a signature from Governor Jerry Brown.

School Bus Safety for Students

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Orthopedic_cast_Vincent's_Gips_ArmTypically, when we think about overuse injuries, we imagine office workers who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or construction workers who sustain overuse injuries to the back or shoulder that result from lifting heavy objects. Yet it is not only adults who are at risk of overuse injuries. Children can sustain overuse injuries, particularly as a result of playing sports. According to a fact sheet from, kids may in fact be at greater risk of sustaining overuse injuries than adults.

What should you know about preventing overuse injuries among children? What responsibilities do youth coaches have to help kids avoid these injuries?

Learning More About Overuse Injuries

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Car_Emergency_Brake_symbol_2484096111_oDo automatic emergency braking systems actually prevent car accidents? In other words, if you purchase a new vehicle with an automatic emergency braking system, can you simply stop worrying about paying attention to the car that is in front of you on the freeway or in your neighborhood? According to a recent news release from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, not all self-braking cars are made in the same way, and they do not all work at the same levels as one another. In other words, not all automatic braking systems have the same rates of success, and thereby the same accident-prevention abilities. The news release indicates how “new test results from AAA reveal that automatic braking systems—the safety technology that will soon be standard equipment on 99 percent of vehicles—vary widely in design and performance.”

What else should drivers in San Diego know about the recent AAA test and the future of automatic braking systems?

What Drivers Think Versus What Automatic Braking Systems Actually Do

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If you have a child who plays contact sports, chances are you already have some concerns about the risks of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussions. But what happens when the safety gear that is supposed to be protecting our kids—such as youth football helmets—is not actually safe for use? In other words, do we also need to be worried about defective products that are intended to prevent our children from sustaining serious injuries while they are playing sports? According to a recent report from ABC News, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall for a series of youth football helmets that may crack. What happens when a football helmet cracks? In short, young athletes may sustain severe yet preventable head traumas.

Details of the Recent Youth Football Helmet Recall

As the report explains, the CPSC has issued a large recall for potentially dangerous products that could cause serious child injuries. The federal agency has not recalled just a small number of these potentially dangerous helmets. Rather, the CPSC issued a recall for 6,000 helmets due to the risk of serious head injury. And multiple helmets are impacted by the recall, including:

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4104830230_8176dd136fWhether you are feeling tired on your drive home from work or are fatigued from having been on the highway for hours, drowsy driving can lead to serious and fatal car accidents. Many residents of San Diego get behind the wheel of an automobile when they are too sleepy to concentrate properly, and this practice can be hazardous to other drivers and passengers on the roads, as well as to cyclists and pedestrians.

According to a press release from the National Sleep Foundation, about 96% of Americans surveyed believe that “it is unacceptable for someone to drive when they are so sleepy they have trouble keeping their eyes open,” but more of us drive in such a state than you might think. Around 33% of those surveyed admitted to having driven when they were extremely fatigued at least once in the last 30 days. What else should you know about drowsy driving and how to prevent it?

Learning More About Sleep Safety

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Moving-2When we are on neighborhood roads or highways in Southern California, should we be concerned about the risk of a car accident caused by road debris? Most of us are typically on the lookout for other drivers who are not obeying the rules of the road or distracted pedestrians who might inadvertently step into traffic, but according to a recent report from CBS News, dangerous road debris causes far more car crashes than you might expect. Between 2011 and 2014, more than 200,000 collisions have been attributed to debris already in the road or to debris falling from unsecured truck loads. What else should you know about crashes caused by debris, and what can you do to prevent them?

AAA Study Highlights Severity of Crashes Caused by Debris and Unsecured Loads

The CBS News report cites a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which determined that approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths on the road between 2011 and 2014 resulted from debris. According to Tamra Johnson, a spokesperson for the AAA Foundation, “the really troublesome thing about all this is a majority of these crashes are preventable, if drivers would just take the necessary precautions to secure their load or maintain their vehicle properly.”

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waterbottlesFor many San Diego residents, ensuring that our children stay properly hydrated during a day at the beach is a top priority. But are the water bottles our kids are using actually safe? According to a recent article in Fortune Magazine, the federal government has issued a recall for a number of water bottles designed for children and sold by the popular company L.L. Bean because of the lead content in these dangerous products. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported the product defect and indicated that five styles of L.L. Bean’s water bottles were not safe for children to continue using.

What else do you need to know about this recent product recall? What are signs of lead poisoning that can result from the type of dangerous product involved in the recall?

Learning More About the L.L. Bean Recall

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IMG_0036Whether you are swimming in a pool at your San Diego home or are visiting a neighbor’s house, do you need to be worried about your child’s safety as well as your own? According to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report, swimming pools can become death traps more frequently than most of us would like to believe, especially for young children. As that article explains, around 18 millions homes in the U.S. currently have swimming pools, but drowning is actually the leading cause of accidental death among children 1 to 4 years old. As the article emphasizes, a majority of those unintentional deaths occur in home swimming pools.

While kids under the age of four are at a higher risk of drowning than children in other age groups, it is important to remember that drowning can result in the death of anyone, at any age. For kids under the age of 15, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death. As such, it is important to take precautions to prevent your pool from becoming a death trap, as the article warns.

Supervision and Swimming Lessons for Your Kids