Articles Posted in Injuries

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.

Defective products lawsuit; photo of white powder puff and talcum powder on black surfaceA Missouri jury recently ordered pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.14 billion in punitive damages to 22 defendants who claimed use of the company’s talc products led to their development of ovarian cancer. This comes on top of an award of $550 million in compensatory damages, for a grand total of $4.69 billion ordered by that jury, making this the 6th largest jury verdict in U.S. history in a defective products case.

This is the latest in a series of cases against J&J claiming a correlation between extended use of the company’s talc products, including baby powder, and ovarian cancer. A small number of those cases, including the Missouri case cited above, contend that the company’s talc products are contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen.

A spokesperson for the company stated that J&J, which has been successful in getting past verdicts related to this issue reversed, plans to appeal this latest verdict on grounds that it was the result of a “fundamentally unfair process.” To learn more about this ongoing court battle, read “Johnson & Johnson told to pay $4.7 billion in baby powder case.”

bike-safety-400-09030790d-300x263Each year as summer approaches, more and more bicyclists hit the road to take advantage of the warmer weather and longer daylight hours. Whether you are riding on a major street or on a back country road, sharing the road with other motor vehicles presents a risk for serious injury. According to the most recently available statistics, there were more than 800 bicycle fatalities on U.S. roads in 2015. That number represents over 2% of all U.S. traffic deaths for that year.

New Jersey has laws about sharing the road designed to make it safer for both motorists and cyclists. The laws for cyclists cover everything from safety equipment to where on the road they should ride. To learn more about how to keep yourself and your family members safe while bicycling this summer, read “NJ Bike Laws and Safety – Here’s What You Should Know.”

Photo of woman's legs and hand as she falls from ladder, one of the most dangerous items found in most homesMost people like to think of home as their safe haven, yet each year millions of Americans suffer from injuries caused by common, everyday items found in their homes. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that last year approximately 14 million people in the U.S. were treated for injuries caused by household objects; some 9,000 of those injuries proved fatal. This risk is compounded if the items in question are defective or not used as intended.

The list of household items most likely to cause injury ranges from the obvious (ladders and cutlery) to the more obscure (ceilings and tables).  To see the list of the top 20 most dangerous items in the home and who is most at risk from each, read “11 dangerous everyday things in your home that cause the most injuries.”

car-seat-safety-400-04204763d-200x300For decades now parents have understood that, when traveling by car, the best way to protect their young children from injury in the event of an accident was to make sure the children were properly secured in their car seats. But questions relating to the proper use of car seats still plaque parents and caregivers today: What type of car seat does my child need? Have I installed the car seat correctly? At what age should I turn the car seat around?

New Jersey is one of eight states to have laws stipulating that children under the age of two years be placed in rear-facing car seats. Studies have shown that these seats offer the most protection for very young children in front- and side-impact collisions. Now, a new study reveals this is true for rear-impact accidents as well. To learn more, read “Don’t turn around: . . .”

accidenti-fatalities-400-07681738d-300x162In 2015 New Jersey joined several other states in adopting a traffic safety strategy to cut the number of traffic accident-related deaths in half by the year 2030, yet traffic fatalities in the State continue to rise.

A recent report by the New Jersey State Police revealed there were 46 accident-related deaths in the State this past January, one more than in January 2017 and four more than in January 2016. Distracted driving was identified as a major contributor to this increasing fatality rate, leading some to believe that the eventual introduction of self-driving cars could play a major role in reducing the number of accidents and related injuries and deaths in the State. To learn more, read “NJ Counting on Self-Driving Cars to Cut Traffic Deaths by Half.”

Photo of flashing emergency lights; NJ's law requires motorist to move over when they see flashing lights to avoid injury to emergency personnelWhat do you do when you’re driving and you see emergency lights flashing on the side of the road? What does the law say you should do?

In New Jersey, the law requires motorists to switch lanes, provided they can do so safely, and reduce their speed when passing emergency vehicles pulled off to the shoulder of the road. This law is intended to help protect emergency responders and those they are assisting from potential injuries from passing motorists. Emergency responders, however, are concerned that too many motorists either are unaware of the law or choose to ignore it. To find out more about motorists’ reactions in emergency situations, read “Do you follow NJ’s Move Over law? Cops don’t feel safe.”

toy-safety-400-06429095d-300x207Could the toys on your child’s holiday wish list be hiding the risk for potential injury? Before you fulfill those wishes, you might want to check out this year’s “Top 10 Worst Toy” list issued by the consumer safety group, World Against Toys Causing Harm, also known as WATCH.

This group has been issuing such lists for more than 40 years to alert consumers to the potential hazards hidden in some of the season’s “must-have” toys. Conversely, an industry trade group known as The Toy Association has criticized WATCH for failing to test the toys on its lists and needlessly scaring parents.

According to The Toy Association, toys must meet stringent safety requirements before they can be sold in the U.S.  WATCH, however, questions the adequacy of these standards, noting a high number of recalls. To learn more about this safety debate and to see which toys made this year’s list, read “Safety Group Unveils Top 10 Worst Toy List for 2017.”

vehicle-technologies-400-04836694d-300x200Car buyers today are hard-pressed to find vehicles that aren’t equipped with technologies designed to make things easier and safer for drivers, but do these technologies actually accomplish that? Not according to recent research by the AAA Foundation. In fact, the research has shown that voice-activated programming takes drivers’ attention away from the road for longer than they realize, increasing the risk of crashes and injuries.

One of the problems is that drivers often find the in-vehicle “infotainment” systems complicated and frustrating. Is the technology at fault or is it the way in which drivers use the technology that causes the problem? Read “Deadly distractions? . . .” and decide for yourself.