Articles Posted in Injuries to Children

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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four-wheelin-1365184One of the best things about Arizona is the wide variety of its landscape from east to west and north to south. Depending on what you like to do, you can find a place in the state to enjoy it – whether you like to swim, boat, ride a bicycle, go hiking, or even go for a run.

Many in Phoenix like to go to more desolate areas of Maricopa County or neighboring counties to enjoy the outdoors while riding on all-terrain vehicles. These ATVs can be a great way for friends to spend some time enjoying the scenery and getting a few thrills at the same time. But few people realize how quickly an ATV ride can turn from fun to a nightmare.

Now, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of more than 133,000 Polaris RZR 900 and RZR 1000 ATVs with model years from 2013 through 2016. The recall is in response to 160 reported fires that have involved those ATVs, several of which have caused injuries and one which claimed the life of a 15-year old passenger.

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4216Some types of car accidents garner a lot of media attention. Rollover collisions, drunk driving crashes, and wrong-way head-on accidents are all heavily covered by news outlets in the greater Phoenix area, and as a result, most drivers are aware of how dangerous these incidents can be. However, accidents that happen at slow speeds tend to get less publicity so many people think that they do not cause a lot of damage or cause injuries.

The truth is much grimmer. Tragically, any type of collision can cause serious harm, and among them, accidents involving children or minors are particularly devastating. Children of all ages, but especially those under five years old, are at an unusually high risk for being involved in a backover car accident while in Maricopa County.

Backovers are so prevalent that an average of 50 children are involved in these collisions each week in the United States, causing an average of 13,000 injuries annually and approximately 232 deaths.

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32916Warm weather has finally descended in Maricopa County and the sunshine is once again strong in the area. With temperatures in the 90s making their appearance, many in the Phoenix area have already taken to swimming pools to relax and cool down for an hour or two.

It is also the time of year when children start having birthday parties that involve a pool or when adults relax in the water at a neighborhood event. If you plan to swim soon or if your children may be in the water, make sure you put safety first and address any water-related concerns before they arise so that everyone can enjoy themselves without a swimming pool accident taking place.

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120514(2)How do your kids get to school? Do they walk, ride their bicycles, or take a scooter? Do you drive them in your personal car or in a neighborhood carpool? Or do they take a school bus or another designated school transportation vehicle? You may be surprised to realize that regardless of their personal means of transit, your children are at risk for being involved in a school bus accident – even if they never set foot on a school bus.

The kids who live in the greater Phoenix area face safety threats daily as part of their normal lives. And the fact is that a large number of school bus collisions that take place involve only one school bus and either another vehicle, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. This places anyone near a bus at risk for a crash, and as children often spend a lot of time in and around schools where buses tend to be located, they bear a greater risk than a typical adult.

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3316(2)In the last year, hoverboards have made a big splash among American consumers. They were one of the hottest gifts over the holiday season and they have become internet sensations thanks to videos posted by several celebrities as they road hoverboards.

But with all the fanfare has also come concerns about the functionality and safety of these devices which have been particularly population among children and teenagers. Reports from 24 states have been sent to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) alleging 52 hoverboard-related fires that caused an estimated $2 million in property damages between December 1, 2015 and February 17, 2016. In those incidents, two homes and one car were destroyed.

The causes of these fires have not been determined definitively but the CPSC suspects that lithium-ion batteries may be playing a part. To that end, the CPSC has promulgated new voluntary safety regulations related to these hoverboards, often called self-balancing scooters, and has sent the new standards to several major manufacturers. In the interim, CPSC continues to test various models and analyzes these products to determine what risks they pose to consumers as well as what can be done to reduce, if not eliminate that risk.

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22216What kind of rules and regulations should new and teenage drivers face in Arizona? Should they be the same as older, more experienced motorists or should the requirements vary? These are important questions that have an impact not only on teen motorists but also on their families, friends, and anyone who happens to drive near them on a roadway – put simply, everyone in Phoenix is affected by teen driver limitations.

Like most states in the nation, Arizona recognizes that teens pose a unique risk to the safety of all and therefore their ability to obtain a driver’s license is regulated to a greater degree. To make this happen, the state has instituted a graduated driver’s license program and it applies to teens who are at least 16 years old but younger than 18. To be eligible for a graduated driver’s license, a teen must have held a permit for a minimum of six months prior to the licensing and must have completed a driver’s education program that was approved by the State of Arizona. Further, a parent or guardian of the teen must certify that the teen has completed at least 30 hours of supervised driving and that at least 10 of those hours happened at night.

On its face, this approach to licensing teens may seem strict but when compared to other states, it is clear that Arizona is more lax in its licensing of new drivers and experts believe that safety may be threatened as a result.

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11216Recently, a lot of attention has been focused on safety issues related to sports played by young children. Whether it is football, soccer, wrestling, basketball, or baseball, injuries can happen in almost any sporting event, leading many parents to worry about their children when playing these games and other parents to forego sports altogether. In fact, the number of participants in several youth sports has plummeted in recent years in what is believed to be a response to safety issues.

But the fact remains that children between the ages of five and 14 are more likely to be hurt in a bicycle accident than they are in a sports accident which means that parents who are concerned about safety should not overlook bicycling, especially if their kids ride in Phoenix.

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122115A study compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission is revealing the dangers associated with inflatable amusements, like moon bounces, and the numbers are shocking the public. In 2013 alone, there were an estimated 17,377 injuries related to these attractions in the United States that caused those who were hurt to seek emergency medical treatment. It is likely that an even higher number of children were harmed on inflatables but suffered minor injuries that could wait some time before treatment. At a minimum, it appears than an average of 47 people were treated every day that year in hospitals or other critical care settings due to the harm that they suffered in an inflatable.

The 2013 year saw more than three times as many serious injuries from inflatables as 2003 and this significant increase is a trend that continues today. More and more children and adults are injured annually and yet inflatables and bounce houses continue to be popular toys, leading some to question why the injuries are happening and why the inflatables keep getting used.

There is some inherent risk associated with inflatable toys that may be difficult to avoid in their entirety. Often, children want to play on these inflatables together but the presence of more than one individual can mean that collisions among them will happen, potentially leading to harm. In other cases, though, an inflatable may be improperly used or designed and that may lead to harm. Failing to tie down an inflatable or otherwise secure it, failure to place the inflatable on level ground, placing an inflatable near a dangerous surface like concrete, using an inflatable that is in poor repair or condition, or failing to follow the safety precautions that come with the inflatable can all lead to injuries.

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121615(2)Right now, many vehicles on American roads are equipped with backup warning systems, a type of indicator that makes either an audible warning or a vibration when an object is sensed behind a car and the car is in reverse. Unlike a backup camera, there is no view of the obstruction broadcast to the driver’s attention; instead, sensors detect the presence of a hazard and alert a driver who should then investigate further.

Backup warnings can be the difference between a close call and an accident as the reminder they issue can alert an otherwise distracted driver to the conditions behind her car. In other instances, a driver may be paying as much attention as possible while backing up but may be unable to see something in the blind spot behind a car. Or there are situations where a child may run into the path of a backing vehicle without a driver’s ability to see the child due to the height of a rear windshield and the relative height of the minor.

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