joao-victor-xavier-304057-copy-300x169If your teenager plays contact sports or engages in other activities in San Clemente that increases his or her risk of a concussion, is it better to avoid these sports altogether? Do the benefits of team sports and individual recreational activities outweigh the potential harms associated with a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI)? According to a recent report from NPR, teens may be sustaining concussions at a higher rate than most parents would like to believe. The report cites a research letter that was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA, which indicates that “approximately 20 percent of teens . . . have been diagnosed with at least one concussion.”

What is causing teen concussions at such a high rate? What steps can parents take to reduce the risk of a TBI altogether, and to ensure that their child heals properly after sustaining a head trauma?

High School Students Surveyed About History of Head Injuries

bethany-legg-14229-copy-300x200Many Valley Center residents have heard about the risks of distracted driving. Indeed, as a report from ABC News 10 discusses, on January 1, 2017 additional cell phone laws took effect that prevent California drivers from holding a phone or doing anything more than making a single tap or a single swipe. While drivers are still permitted to use cell phones as GPS devices, provided that they are mounted somewhere in the vehicle, the change to the law aims to prevent distracted driving accidents. What about distracted walking? While the term might sound like an odd one, it is becoming a relatively serious problem in California and throughout major urban areas in the country.

According to a recent report from KEYT News 3, a local official is proposing a change to the law. In short, in order to improve public safety, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa is hoping to institute a distracted walking law that “would make it illegal to use the crosswalk while using your cell phone.” Is such a law likely to pass? Is it necessary to prevent pedestrian accidents?

Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise Due to Smartphone Use

michael-mroczek-199379-copy-300x200For parents and their neighbors in Rancho Bernardo, it is important to understand important school bus safety laws as kids throughout California return to school. We can all take steps to prevent bus accidents. However, according to a recent report from CBS News, many drivers do not always obey school bus safety laws simply because they do not know them. Now is the time to learn because the California Highway Patrol (CHP) plans to conduct pedestrian safety enforcement operations along the California coast in the coming school days.

What are School Bus Laws in California?

In short, it is important for motorists to know how to behave around a school bus (and how to obey the law). In particular, if you are driving behind a school bus that is picking up or dropping off children, or if you are approaching such a bus from the opposite direction, what does the law require you to do? The report emphasizes the importance of understanding and abiding by the following laws to prevent child pedestrian accidents and fatalities:

jakob-owens-169886-copy-300x205When parents in Poway and throughout Southern California buy food products for their kids, they should be able to expect that these items will not result in unexpected injuries. Unfortunately, however, foods we buy at the local grocery store can contain product defects that lead to serious injuries. According to a recent article in The New York Times, boxed macaroni and cheese products made with powdered cheese could be causing harm to your kids. Could this popular food, especially among children, be the potential basis for product liability claims in California?

Are Boxed Macaroni and Cheese Products Harmful to Your Child’s Health?

As the article explains, it looks as though the powdered cheese contained in many of these boxed products contains high amounts of phthalates, chemicals that “can disrupt male hormones like testosterone and have been linked to genital birth defects in infant boys and learning and behavior problems in older children.” Are these chemicals found naturally in cheese? In short, the answer is no. Rather, phthalates can “migrate into food from packaging and equipment used in manufacturing.” Young children and pregnant women should be particularly concerned with the risks associated with these chemicals.

dan-gold-227951-copy-300x169Leaving your car in an Escondido parking lot during the summer months for even a few minutes without the vehicle running typically leads to a very hot car. While hot cars are not a problem when they are unoccupied, hot cars can cause the deaths of children who are left in vehicles even for a few minutes. According to a recent report from CNN News, hot car deaths have reached a record high” as of July. 29 kids across the country have suffered fatal injuries as a result of heatstroke after being left in a hot car. California, along with Texas and Florida, had the highest number of heatstroke-related child deaths this summer.

You might think that you would never forget a child in a vehicle, but the article suggests that even the most diligent parents need to take precautions to prevent hot car deaths, particularly during the summer months.

July Hot Car Deaths Reach Unfortunate Record

joao-victor-xavier-304057-copy-300x169Is high school football in San Marcos really as dangerous as scientists and physicians have been suggesting? Does playing high school football increase young athletes’ risk for sports-related concussions and more serious traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), in addition to placing them in danger of developing the degenerative brain condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)? Most physicians would say, in general, yes. However, according to a new study published in JAMA Neurology, not all high school football players appear to have sustained long-term damage from playing the sport in their youth. High school football players in the 1950s did not, on the whole, show signs of cognitive impairment.

This study appears to call into question some of the recent research on TBIs and high school football. What are the key takeaways from this study, and should this research change the way we manage the risk of brain injuries in contact sports?

Study Explores Link Between Youth Sports-Related Concussions and Long-Term Cognitive Health

nabeel-syed-2856-copy-300x200Pedestrian accidents happen a lot more frequently than they should in Encinitas, according to a recent article in The San Diego Union-Tribune. The city recognizes the particular risks for pedestrians who walk along El Camino Real, and the city is taking steps to try to make this stretch safer for anyone who is on foot. The city recently hired an expert to conduct a “walking audit” of El Camino Real with a group of participants and to make recommendations for preventing a pedestrian accident and improving safety in general for pedestrians in the area.

What can the city do to make Encinitas a more pedestrian-friendly place?

The “Walking Audit” and its Outcome

david-cohen-249124-copy-300x160Could a multi-vehicle accident caused by road rage and aggressive driving happen in Vista, California? According to a recent report from ABC News, a motorcyclist’s road rage and aggressive driving caused a serious crash around Santa Clarita. The collision involved a sedan and a pickup truck, and that pickup truck overturned as a result of the crash. The motorcyclist—who was caught on film by other drivers, fled the scene of the car accident. The incident should alerts drivers throughout Southern California to the serious risks associated with road rage and other forms of aggressive driving.

Details of the Road Rage Accident

According to report, the accident happened at approximately 5:45 a.m. on a recent weekday morning. While witnesses could not say precisely what started the altercation, those heading southbound on State Road 14 managed to film a motorcyclist who “appears to try to kick the sedan” the approaches on his right. As a result of the motorcyclist’s behavior, the “sedan veers to the left and briefly collides with the motorcyclist before losing control and crashing into the highway divider wall.”

EastlakeAccident-300x225Chula Vista – It appears that a big rig truck parked illegally on Eastlake Parkway early this morning, July 11th, has caused the death of a 20-year-old man named David Cabrales. Early reports show that the truck driver parked illegally on the road in front of a Jack in the Box restaurant, apparently to walk into the store to get some food. If true, then it would be a remarkable case of negligence on the part of the driver of the big rig truck.

The investigation is ongoing.

Walton Law Firm represents truck accident victims and their families in cases of serious personal injury and wrongful death throughout San Diego and Chula Vista. All case consultations are free, and cases are taken on a contingency fee, meaning the clients pay nothing until the case is completed. To speak with a lawyer about your rights, call (760) 571-5500, or (866) 607-1325.

aaron-burden-60068-copy-300x212For families living in Carlsbad, it is extremely important to ensure that your children are wearing seatbelts and are properly restrained in the event of a car accident in Southern California. According to a recent report from NPR, 43% of kids who die in motor vehicle crashes are not properly restrained, which means that these children either were not wearing seatbelts at all or were not wearing seatbelts or other safety harnesses in the proper manner. What can parents learn from this information? It is extremely important to require your kids to wear seatbelts whenever they are in the car, and it is also necessary for parents to educate themselves about the proper restraints for children of all ages.

Traffic Accidents on the Rise

As the report explains, deadly traffic accidents are on the rise in the U.S., and many of them are preventable. In particular, in fatal crashes involving children, the simple act of properly restraining your child could prevent deadly injuries. We do know that some parts of the country have higher rates of child fatalities than others. All in all, however, more than 18,000 children across the U.S. were involved in car accidents between the years 2010 and 2014, and of those children, 15.9% died as a result of the car accident.

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