12315(2)If you make your home in Maricopa County, there is no doubt that you realize how hot it has been this week. Unfortunately, today is going to be the coolest day over the next week and a half and it is still expected to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Everywhere you turn, people are looking for ways to cool down and to catch a break from this heat that is not only oppressive but is also downright dangerous to human health.

Officials in the State of Arizona expect a larger than typical number of motorists to take to the roadways this weekend and to head north, out of the Valley and away from the worst of the heat. Odds are high that Flagstaff could see a large influx of people this weekend due in part to the horrendous Phoenix weather but also due to the fact that Flagstaff is hosting two music festivals, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Blues and Brews is happening on Saturday and promises to have several live bands and a wide selection of beers for adults. Saturday and Sunday will see the Flagstaff Folk Festival with more than 100 musical acts and activities both indoors and outdoors.

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61416All this week, a large portion of Arizona is under an excessive heat warning as issued by the National Weather Service. The entire Phoenix area is covered by this heat warning and temperatures are expected to remain above 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the majority of the week. Saturday could see a high of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

These temperatures are nothing new if you have lived in Maricopa County for a while though it may seem like they are starting a little early in the year. However, it is unwise to be lulled into a sense of familiarity simply because Arizona has high temperatures every year. Rather, it is a good idea to review some of the safety issues that accompany these extreme temperatures so that you can take any steps necessary to keep your family safe.

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6916If you have young kids and you call the Phoenix area home, the abundance of splash pads and water parks may be one of your favorite summertime perks. When the temperatures spike to unbearable levels, cooling down at a neighborhood splash pad can seem like a great idea. Your kids can burn off energy while staying cool and being as loud as they want. On the surface, it seems like a winning situation for everyone involved.

While splash pads are a wonderful asset to many communities, they can also pose a number of very serious safety risks that far too few parents understand. Regardless of your children’s ages, if you plan to visit a splash pad or water park in Arizona this summer, keep the following issues in mind.

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31416(2)Baseball season is well underway in Arizona and across the rest of the country and it brings with it the fun and excitement that only America’s pastime can conjure. Whether you are an avid baseball fan, a casual fan who may catch a statistics or two from time to time, or just someone who loves the hubbub surrounding the games, odds are that you are happy when the Arizona Diamondbacks are playing in the spring, summer, and fall.

The Diamondbacks are Arizona’s professional baseball team in the National League West division. They call downtown Phoenix home and play their home games at Chase Field. Though the Diamondbacks are less than 20 years old, they have had significant success and brought one World Series title to Phoenix during that time, letting the entire city celebrate the successes of this hard-working MLB franchise.

With so many positives surrounding the D-backs, it may be hard to step back and realize that the presence of baseball also has some safety concerns for those who are near Chase Field on game days. Specifically, the risk of pedestrian accidents in the area remains high when the D-backs are in town as unfamiliar drivers and confused motorists are present on our roadways.

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11516(2)There are many widely held misconceptions when it comes to automobile safety in the Phoenix area. Among these misconceptions, one of the most common is that rear-end car accidents are minor and never cause serious harm. The basis for this belief often comes from a mixture of personal experiences, an exposure to local news, and even a misguided belief that cars are designed so well that they prevent injuries in a rear-end crash.

Of all the car accidents that happen in Arizona, roughly 25-50 percent of them are rear-end collisions, depending on the area of the state at issue. Fortunately, many of these accidents are, in fact, minor and only cause damage to the vehicles involved. The drivers and passengers inside those cars are able to escape unharmed and can move on with their daily lives without too much of an inconvenience.

Unfortunately, though, there are thousands of rear-end collisions every year that lead to injures and some even lead to death when these accidents prove to be serious. In those instances, victims may be forced to bear the burden of a collision for months or years to come as they struggle to recover from their injuries and return to their pre-accident lives. If a loved one is killed, that loss can never be undone and a family can never fully recover.

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53116(2)What are your family’s plans this summer? Will you be spending time at home in the Phoenix area, or will you be taking a trip? If you are like a typical Maricopa County resident, odds are that you will leave the Valley at least once this summer and will travel by car or by plane to another part of the state or the nation.

Many people look forward to this time of year so they can enjoy some fun on a lake with their friends and family. Boating is a very popular pastime in Arizona and there are some great bodies of water in the northern part of the state for people to enjoy. Others head to Nevada or similar neighboring states with some water so they can enjoy time off work while relaxing in the sun.

Now that school is officially over for many children in Phoenix, the boating season in Arizona has begun in full force. If you will be participating this summer, though, make sure you do so with safety in mind so that you can avoid any boat accidents or water-related incidents that may lead to harm.

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smoke-1522300Americans have heard for decades that smoking and using other tobacco products are harmful to their health. In response, e-cigarettes and other electronic devices arose to mimic the sensation of smoking but to reduce the harm presented by the activity. Reports now indicate that the e-cigarette industry brought in more than $2.5 billion in sales in 2014 alone in the United States, making it a serious factor in the lives of millions of Americans. The use of e-cigarettes, often referred to as vaping, has now become more popular among teens than actually smoking.

But as these devices have seen a rise in popularity, so has the number of accidents and injuries associated with them risen. Reports from all across the country have concluded that e-cigarettes and vape pens have a tendency to explode or combust when users least expect it, often leading to harm to an intended user or that user’s property.

Now, a new incident has been reported involving an e-cigarette that left a man blind in one eye and with severe damage to his face.

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120514(2)Right now, many school districts across Maricopa County are winding down for the year. Some are celebrating their final day of classes today while others are wrapping up in the days and weeks to come.

For countless children around the Valley, this is one of the most exciting times of the year. They are looking forward to time off from school to go to camps, play with friends, swim all day, or run at the park. They cannot wait to be done with homework and the strict rules that often come with a full day at school and instead are anticipating a summer of fun and play.

While there are many positives about the end of a school year, unfortunately there are some risks as well, including an increased risk for a pedestrian accident taking place.

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52316(2)Many people who live in the greater Scottsdale area drive in one part of the Valley on weekdays and other parts on the weekends. Regular routines including work, school, and errands may dominate the weekday schedules but things are more open on the weekends, allowing for some flexibility in scheduling and some impromptu fun. If you are one of those people, make sure you know that the southbound Loop 101 was closed this weekend and will remain closed through today between 90th Street and Chaparral Road.

The affected portion of the Pima Freeway is in Scottsdale and will be undergoing rubberized asphalt paving through the early morning hours today. Officials anticipate the full reopening of the area by late morning and are hoping for as little of an impact on rush hour traffic as possible. Yet to be safe, motorists are being encouraged to avoid the area and to look for alternative routes so that they will avoid the headache of possible congestion. Official detours are available by State Route 51 or Interstate 17.

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12916(2)National estimates indicate that between 70 and 80 million dogs are kept as pets in households across the country, and many of those canines live right here in Arizona. Dogs can be a wonderful addition to many families and can provide anything from entertainment to security to a home but there are certain risks that come with owning a dog that are often overlooked.

Dog bites and animal attacks are a significant issue in Phoenix. It is the duty of anyone who owns a dog to ensure that the dog does not bite others or harm individuals in any manner, and failing to do so may make that owner liable for any injuries that result. Surprisingly, Americans are about twice as likely to be injured in a dog bite incident every year as they are to be hurt in a car accident yet little attention is paid to these attacks until one affects someone you love.

Now, new information from the Insurance Information Institute concludes that dog bite claims in Arizona are more expensive to resolve than those in any other state with a high number of claims.

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