bounce-house-400-05289821d-200x300Summer brings a number of reasons for family and friend outdoor get-togethers: graduations, birthdays, holiday celebrations, family reunions. If you’re plans include renting a bounce house to entertain the kids – both the little ones and the older ones – be aware of the potential dangers these structures present and how to avoid injuries to your guests.

News reports earlier this month disclosed that five students suffered injuries when a bounce house featured at a high school event was lifted 20 feet in the air by a strong gust of wind. Unfortunately, this wasn’t an isolated incident. There have been a number of injuries reported in recent years from bounce house accidents in which high winds caused the houses to become untethered and blow away. For tips on how to avoid this from happening at your next outdoor celebration, read “Bounce house flies away . . .

baby-walkers-400-06876419d-300x200The past couple of decades has seen a significant reduction in the number of baby walker-related injuries thanks to stricter safety standards, but is that enough? Not according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and at least one New Jersey lawmaker who want to see a ban on the sale of these items.

Baby walkers are used by very young children full of curiosity but totally unaware of the potential dangers around them. On top of that, these devises allow babies to travel at surprisingly quick speeds – up to 4 feet per second. This combination leads to thousands of injuries each year

Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex) recently introduced a bill that would prohibit anyone in the State from selling baby walkers and impose fines of $10,000 for first-time offenders and $20,000 for subsequent violations. Although the bill was endorsed by the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee this past February, it does not have a companion bill in the Assembly nor a sponsor other than Greenstein. What’s more is that opponents claim such a State ban may be prohibited under Federal law. To learn more read, “New Jersey senator wants baby walkers removed from stores.”

cosmetics-warning-400-06517381d-300x200Do you know what’s in the cosmetics you or your children are using? Many people probably don’t take the time to investigate the ingredients in their cosmetics unless they experience some kind of reaction to a particular product. Even if you don’t have a visible reaction, though, your cosmetics could contain unsafe ingredients that could cause injury or illness over the long-term.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has urged Congress to update rules regarding cosmetics safety after issuing an alert advising consumers against using three cosmetics products sold through Claire’s Stores Inc. after tests showed these products contained asbestos, a recognized cancer-causing agent. The accessories company has disputed these claims. To learn more read, “FDA Warns of Asbestos in Claire’s Cosmetics; Company Disputes Claim.”

toy-car-recall-400-05686527d-200x300Children love playing with cars, especially ones they can “drive” themselves. Toy vehicles present children with a great introduction to the rules of the road and the importance of mechanical upkeep. As adult drivers, we’re familiar with vehicle recalls for everything from airbags to tires and any number of other mechanical defects that could lead to injury. While some defects are more serious than others, adult drivers know the best response to a recall is to get the vehicle to the dealer or mechanic as soon as possible for repairs. That’s another lesson children can learn from one of the most recent recalls currently making the news.

Fisher-Price recently recalled thousands of one of its Barbie trademarked vehicles due to a faulty pedal. According to reports, the car continues to run even after the gas pedal has been released. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported as of yet due to this defect, but the toy manufacturer is urging parents to take the car away from their children until repairs can be made. For more details and information on how to have your child’s Barbie car repaired, read “Fisher-Price recalls 44,000 Barbie toy electric cars over faulty pedal.”

winter-driving-400-08199838d-300x200When weather forecasts call for accumulating snow or even a wintry mix, drivers should take precautions. Wintry weather reduces the friction of the roadway as well as a driver’s ability to control his or her vehicle, leading to an increased risk for accidents and injuries.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, 24% of weather-related motor vehicle accidents take place on roadways covered by snow, slush or ice, and 15% occur while snow or sleet is falling.  Many of these accidents occur when drivers panic and make sudden, jerky movements behind the wheel. Turning the wheel too quickly, slamming on the brakes or stepping too hard on the accelerator can cause your vehicle to lose what little traction it has on a slippery road, leading to a loss of control.

The best advice, of course, is to stay off the roads during a winter storm, but that isn’t always practical. For tips to help reduce your risk of an accident if you must drive through a winter storm, read Car and Drivers’How to Drive Safely in Snow.”

winter-sports-injuries-400-05046539d-300x199Winter is just around the corner. For some people that means dusting off the skis or snowboards and dragging out the sleds; and then there are others who can only hope they make it through the season without slipping and falling in the snow and ice. Whichever camp you fall into, the main objective is to keep yourself and your children safe.

Just being outside in the cold for long periods can be hazardous unless you take the necessary precautions — wearing appropriate clothing, warming up cold muscles before exercise, and not pushing yourself when tired are just a few examples. There are further measures you can take to prevent injuries depending on the specific activity you engage in. To learn about the most common injuries associated with various winter sports, and for tips on how to prevent them, read “Common Winter Sports Injuries.”

Thanksgiving-400-04479479d-e1542302027664Thanksgiving is a special time for many of us. It kicks off the holiday season, but it doesn’t hold the same pressures a lot of us feel at Christmas and New Year’s. It is simply a time to get together with family and friends, watch a parade and some football, eat, and pause to reflect on those things for which we are grateful.

Did you know, though, that on average there are more home fires resulting from cooking on Thanksgiving than any other day? It could be because so many people are in the kitchen trying new recipes; or because there is so much activity going on that even those who cook all the time are easily distracted. Whatever the cause, this year keep your home safe and your family free from injury by keeping some basic fire safety tips in mind as you prepare your holiday meal.

For a review of some tips that can help keep you safe, read the National Fire Protection Association’s article on “Thanksgiving safety.”

traffc-fatalities-rise-400-04617293d-300x200Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that, on a national level, traffic accident deaths decreased by 1.8% in 2017, but that wasn’t the story in New Jersey. In fact, 624 people lost their lives on New Jersey roads last year, representing a 3.7% increase in traffic fatalities from 2016.

The NHTSA report further indicated that deaths from alcohol-related accidents in the State were down last year. So, what’s behind the increase motor vehicle accident fatalities? Read “Traffic deaths continue to increase in N.J. Experts cite 3 main reasons” to find out.

new-car-seat-guidelines-400-05271727d-300x191Riding in automobiles is one of the most dangerous things children in the U.S. do on a daily basis, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Injury. However, the the Academy points out, using the right car and booster seats correctly can help reduce risk of serious injury to a child by more than 70%.

With this in mind, the Academy recently revised its guidelines on car seats, urging parents to keep their young children in rear-facing seats even longer than previously recommended. This position, the Academy says, offers better protection to young children’s heads and necks in the event of an accident. To learn more about how to protect your child while riding in your car, read “Experts drop kids’ age limit for rear-facing car seats.”

school-safety-400-07818606d-300x200In just a few short weeks children in our area will be returning to school. The transition from the more relaxed routine of summer vacation to the hustle and bustle of fall activities can be chaotic. In the rush to get everyone out the door on time, it’s easy to overlook minor details. Now might a good time to review some safety tips to help ensure your kids enjoy an injury-free school year.

Planning a travel route to and from school is a good place to start. Whether your child walks, bikes, or takes a school bus, reviewing basic traffic rules can help them get there safely. But travel isn’t the only area that poses a potential risk for injury. In her article, “Back to School Safety Tips,” Terry Hurley offers tips on such issues as backpack safety, bullying awareness, and even packing safe school lunches.