799px-Played_with_Tonka_toysNow that Thanksgiving has come and gone, many parents in Carlsbad and throughout San Diego County are beginning to think about holiday gifts for children. With considerations for children’s toys often come concerns about toy safety, product defects, and the risks of child injury. According to a recent article in WebMD.com, a safety group has just released its “annual dangerous toys” list just in time for the holiday season. What toys should parents avoid when purchasing gifts for young children?

WATCH Releases List of Dangerous Toys

Each year, World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH), a consumer watchdog group, releases a list of dangerous toys. As WATCH emphasizes, “since January 2015 there have been recalls involving more than 800,000 individual products, including 500,000 this year alone.” As such, it is important to be careful when selecting toys for children. Just because a toy says that it is intended for a child of a certain age group does not mean that the product is free of safety defects.

TW20130206_38th_Dupont_House_Fire_0075_(15239776124)According to a recent report from The San Diego Union-Tribune, a student at UC San Diego suffered critical burn injuries in a fire at an apartment complex traditionally housing transfer students to the university. When home fires start in an apartment complex, many apartments can be at risk of sustaining fire and smoke-related damage, while residents in other apartments, too, can be at risk of suffering serious burn injuries. How often do fires and burn injuries impact college students and other young adults? What can we do to prevent injuries related to house fires?

Details of the Fire Near UC San Diego

As the report explains, the fire in this instance was relatively small, but the student involved did suffer critical burn injuries. The fire began at around 1:25 p.m., and it began in a ninth-floor apartment at The Village at Torrey Pines. On the La Jolla campus, this is an apartment complex where transfer students typically reside. Currently, investigators suspect that the injured student set the fire herself. What do investigators know thus far? Some type of flammable liquid served as an accelerant and played a role in setting the fire.

600px-Mri_brain_side_viewIf your child currently plays tackle football in San Diego County, you might want to think twice before agreeing to let your child attend another practice or play in another game. Indeed, according to a recent article from NBC News, a new study suggests that head injuries of all sorts—including but not limited to concussions—may irreparably alter a child’s brain. The study was conducted by a team of researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, who were interested in exploring the wider effects of head trauma on kids who play football. Unlike several other recent studies, these researchers wanted to broaden their study to include more brain injuries than just concussions. In so doing, they learned that various types of head injuries can change the way a child’s brain works.

Details of the Recent Study of Youth Football Players

Currently, about three million kids across the United States play in tackle football programs. Up until now, research has primarily looked at the effects of concussions and has explored ways to prevent mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). However, the recent study from Wake Forest suggests that we need to be worrying about more injuries than just concussions.

800px-Los_angeles_charter_bus_(323-373-3085_)When we board tour buses or other modes of public transportation in Southern California, most of us do not immediately worry about the risk of a serious bus accident. However, as a recent article in CNN News emphasizes, bus accidents can happen almost anywhere and without warning. A tour bus that had been carrying passengers to Los Angeles from a casino crashed into a large truck, resulting in 13 fatalities and 31 serious injuries.

How did the bus accident happen? What causes most public transit accidents in Southern California?

Details of the Fatal California Bus Crash

Beat-Pitbull-fotomorgana-pasja_fotografijaMany Southern California residents know that they live in a part of the country where dog bites and animal attack injuries tend to occur with some frequency. A recent report from CBS News alerted readers to a pit bull attack that occurred in Van Nuys. The victim sustained serious injuries, including cuts and bite marks to his hands and face. As a result of his injuries, the victim required hospitalization. According to the report, the incident occurred shortly before 5:15 p.m. on a Thursday evening in a local business parking lot. This is not the only dog attack in recent memory. A recent article in the Castro Valley Patch reported that a woman was attacked by a dog late last month, and she required hospitalization to treat the multiple bite wounds she sustained. That incident occurred just before 10:00 a.m. on a Monday morning near a local golf course.

Are dog attacks actually this common in Southern California? What can we do to prevent them?

Recalling a Deadly Dog Bite Incident in San Diego Last Spring

Quarterly_Child_Passenger_Safety_Seat_Check_held_at_MCX_parking_lot_140519-M-IY869-018Beginning on January 1, 2017, residents of San Diego County will have to abide by a new law concerning child injury prevention and auto accident safety. According to a recent article in the Benito Link, as of the first of the year—just a few months away now—California residents will have to pay close attention to a new law that requires children who are under the age of 2 to ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are only a couple of exceptions to the recently passed law. If the child weighs 40 pounds or more, or if the child is 40 inches tall or greater, then the child is not subject to the terms of the new law, even if she or he is under the age of 2.

What else should you know about this law? And will it help to prevent child injuries in serious car accidents?

Comparing California’s Car Seat Laws and Child Seat Safety

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

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

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

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 HealthyChildren.org, 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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