Tag: Safety

Trampolines Are More Dangerous Than Fun

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As the continued growth of indoor trampoline parks in Wisconsin seems to indicate, children love jumping on trampolines. The challenge is this: thousands of people are getting hurt on trampolines.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, from 2002 – 2011 more than 1 million trips to the ER were due to trampoline accidents; in 2009, nearly 100,000 trampoline-related injuries occurred among children.




The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) notes that common trampoline injuries include: broken bones, sprained or strained muscles, concussions, head and neck injuries, bruises, scrapes and cuts.

In fact, the AAP “recommends that mini and full-sized trampolines never be used at home.” If you do own a trampoline, the AAP recommends the following safety precautions: set the trampoline on level ground, cover the springs with a trampoline pad, install a safety net around the perimeter of the trampoline, and check the trampoline frequently for damaged parts and replace as needed.

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It’s also important to set rules for its use. Only one person allowed to jump at a time (most injuries occur when more than one person is on the trampoline according to AAP). No flips or somersaults. Keep the safety net zipped closed when on the trampoline and adults must be present.

As an owner of a trampoline, it’s important you have proper insurance coverage. Some home insurance policies allow you to add trampoline coverage — some specifically exclude coverage for trampoline injuries.

If your policy does not include trampoline coverage, consult your insurance agent to asking about adding umbrella liability coverage to protect against injuries and accidents that occur on your property.

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Children who live in the home where a trampoline is used cannot usually file a claim against their parents’ homeowners insurance, but neighbor and visiting kids can.Without insurance coverage, you may be personally responsible for the injuries.

Without insurance coverage, you may be personally responsible for the injuries.

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Giro’s Latest Ski Helmet Mimics Your Brain’s Own Protection

Helmets are far from the brain buckets (basically shells) of times past.

Advancements in the use of foam and other insulations have come a long way in better protecting the brain, but it remains a challenge to engineer against high velocity impacts coming from different angles.

It takes more than just adding padding; in fact, more padding can cause more damage as the material packs out over time, creating more space between the shell and head.

Enter MIPS, which stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection Systems.

MIPS started in Stockholm, Sweden by five biomechanical specialists at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in 2001 to create the most cutting-edge brain protection system.




With the help of neurosurgeon Hans Von Holst, who was fed up with patients still getting traumatic brain injuries despite wearing helmets, and researcher Peter Halldin, the MIPS technology was developed into a helmet that supports energy dispersion and absorption, rather than just buffering against direct impact.

MIPS utilizes a “slip plane” concept that uses a low friction layer under the shell that slides relative with the head during an impact.

This motion redirects the energy in a crash, mimicking the brain’s own protective structure — the cushion of cerebrospinal fluid just inside the skull — ultimately reducing damage to the brain.

MIPS also has been revolutionary in its testing methods, evolving from head-on impacts to the angled impacts that simulate accidents more accurately.

California helmet company Giro was one of the first brands to widely adopt the MIPS technology in its line-up. Together, Giro and MIPS have been making more advancements, the latest resulting in MIPS Spherical.

The brain-saving tech works similarly to previous generations of MIPS by absorbing rotational violence with a low friction layer, but is made up of two EP-Premium foam layers that work as two parts, rather than a ball-and-socket style slip plane.

This new tech can be found in Giro’s Avance ski racing helmet, the first to use Spherical MIPS.

The Avance will make its debut on USST racers Andrew Weibrecht and Travis Ganong as they race in the FIS World Cup Downhill Race held next week at Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada on November 26.

Giro can use 3D scans of the wearer’s head to custom sculpt the Avance’s interior so it can fit precisely without pressure points.

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Uber Video Shows The Kind Of Crash Self-Driving Cars Are Made To Avoid

The police have released video showing the final moments before an Uber self-driving car struck and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street, on Sunday night in Tempe, Arizona.

The video includes views of the human safety driver and her view of the road, and it shows Herzberg emerging from the dark just seconds before the car hits her.

And based on this evidence, it’s difficult to understand why Uber’s self-driving system—with its lidar laser sensor that sees in the dark—failed to avoid hitting Herzberg, who was slowly, steadily crossing the street, pushing a bicycle.

And if Herzberg had approached the car at a different angle, she might have confused the system’s algorithms that classify obstacles and instruct the vehicle to behave accordingly.

The situations that are more difficult is moving at odd angles to the vehicle or moving back and forth, and the vehicle has to decide, ‘Are they going into my path or are they not moving into my path?’” says Shladover.




But Herzberg and her bicycle were at a 90-degree angle to the vehicle, fully visible—and clearly heading into the car’s way.

Shladover says an obstruction, like a parked car or a tree, might also have complicated matters for the car’s sensors, and the software charged with interpreting the sensors’ data. But maps of the area show Herzberg had already crossed a shoulder and lane of road before the car struck her in the right lane.

This is one that should have been straightforward,” he says.

That means the problems could have stemmed from the sensors, the way the sensors were positioned, how the sensors’ data was created or stored, or how Uber’s software responded to that data—or a combination of all of the above.

The video also shows the safety driver, 44-year-old Rafaela Vasquez, looking down and away from the road in the moments leading up to the impact.

Uber’s drivers are charged with monitoring the technology and keeping alert, ready to take control of the vehicle at any moment. It is true that Herzberg and her bike appear suddenly from the shadows, and Vasquez may not have been able to stop the car in time to avoid hitting her.

But it’s worth asking whether Uber’s safety driver would have been ready to respond even if she had not.

This raises questions about Uber’s safety driver training. Today, potential Uber safety drivers take manual drivers tests and written assessments. They then undergo three weeks of training, first on a closed course and then on public roads.

The dynamics of the ‘operator’ are very different from that of a normal manually-driven vehicle,” says Raj Rajkumar, who researches autonomous driving at Carnegie Mellon University. “Besides identifying and fixing the technical issues, Uber must train the operators very differently.

And it raises questions about the efficacy of safety drivers in general. Can any human—even a highly trained one—be expected to pay perfect attention for hours on end, or snap out of a reverie to take control of a vehicle in an emergency?

The Tempe Police Department’s Vehicular Crimes Unit is still investigating Sunday’s incident. After its conclusion, the department will submit the case to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, for possible criminal charges.

An Uber spokesperson says the company is assisting authorities, and its self-driving fleets all over the country remain grounded.

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Shocking Video Shows 12-Year-Old Boy Nearly Struck By Lightning

A mother in Argentina captured the moment her 12-year-old son was almost hit by lightning while playing in the rain.

The unnamed boy is seen in the video playing with his umbrella under a downspout before walking out into a grassy area near his home.




Just then, a powerful bolt of lightning strikes just feet from where the boy is standing.

The boy’s mother says her son survived the incident, according to multiple reports.

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Just How Dangerous Are Winter Olympic Sports?

Pyeongchang has witnessed its fair share of thrills and spills, but which events result in the most injuries?

Dramatic crashes, spectacular spills and high-profile injuries – if anything, a week and a half of action in Pyeongchang has proved Winter Olympics events carry with them a fairly high degree of risk.

Australian snowboarder Jessica Rich competed at the Games just a month after tearing her ACL, and revealed she had previously broken her back, and twice broken her collarbone.

Her team-mate, Cam Bolton competed in the snowboard cross with a suspected broken wrist, while Jarryd Hughes, who won silver, has had five knee operations over the course of his career.




British speed skater Elise Christie was injured in a dramatic crash in the 1500m, and snowboarder Katie Ormerod broke her heel during training.

Australian snowboarder Tess Coady also sustained an injury during training, blaming strong winds. There have been numerous other examples.

So, just how dangerous are the various Winter Olympic sports?

We don’t yet have the final injury statistics from Pyeongchang, but journal articles detailing injury records are available from the 2010 Games in Vancouver, and 2014 in Sochi.

The relatively new events of slopestyle snowboarding and skiing are both in the top five, with snowboarding having a particularly high rate of injuries at 37 per 100 athletes.

The aerials skiing event also results in a high rate of injury, particularly during the Sochi Games, where the injury rate was 48.8 per 100 athletes, a staggeringly high figure.

The reports also looked at how severe injuries were by measuring the rate of injuries resulting in recovery times greater than a week.

The moguls, slopestyle (snowboard) and cross (both ski and snowboard) all had higher rates of more severe injuries at Sochi, with all these events having a severe injury rate of 14 or higher.

Overuse injuries were also quite common in bobsledding and cross-country skiing, while contact with the ground was the most common cause of injury for slopestyle, halfpipe and cross events.

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Video Captures Moment When Kid Is Nearly Hit By Lightning

An Argentine mom filming her 12-year-old son fooling around with an umbrella ended up capturing his brush with death as a lightning bolt struck just feet away.

The video shows the unidentified pre-teen standing under a roof drainpipe, with water pouring out onto the umbrella.

Seconds later, he walks out into a garden in the city of Posadas, in the northeastern Argentine province of Misiones.

Then out of nowhere, a powerful bolt of lightning strikes down just steps in front of the boy — causing a nearby fence to erupt in flames.




The boy’s frightened mom, Carolina Kotur, shrieked and quickly dropped her phone.

It was morning, I was with my daughter in the room calming her, because she is scared of lightning,” Kotur told local media.

Then the lady who works in my house told me that my son was walking in the rain and I started filming because I was making a joke, and right next to him the lightning struck. Thank God nothing happened to him.”

Others in the region were not so fortunate during the fierce storm, Central European News reported.

 

Brothers Sinforiano Venialgo Vazquez, 43, and Simon Venialgo Vazquez, 41, were killed when lightning struck near their home in the Paraguayan town of San Pedro del Parana — 68 miles from where the young boy was nearly hit by the bolt.

The cause of death in both cases was electrocution, though no further details were available, according to the report.

Lightning strikes reportedly killed animals in the Santa Rosa area, on the Argentine side of the Parana River, the outlet reported.

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How To Test For Lead In Your Home Water Supply

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, may have you asking, “Does my home’s water contain lead?”

It’s possible. The Environmental Protection Agency says between 10% and 20% of our exposure to lead comes from contaminated water.

It’s even worse for the youngest and most vulnerable: Babies can get between 40% and 60% of their exposure to lead by drinking formula mixed with contaminated water.

Lead “bio-accumulates” in the body, which means it stays and builds up over time, so ongoing exposure, even at extremely low levels, can become toxic.




While the EPA says you can’t absorb lead through the skin while showering or bathing with lead-contaminated water, you certainly don’t want to drink it, cook with it, make baby formula with it or use it to brush your teeth.

Just like in Flint, lead can enter your home when lead plumbing materials, which can include faucets, pipes, fittings and the solder that holds them all together, become corroded and begin to release lead into the water.

Corrosion is most likely to happen when water has a high acid or low mineral content and sits inside pipes for several hours, says the EPA.

While homes built before 1986 are the most likely to have lead plumbing, it can be found in newer homes as well. Until two years ago, the legal limit for “lead-free” pipes was up to 8% lead.

As of January 1, 2014, all newly installed water faucets, fixtures, pipes and fittings must meet new lead-free requirements, which reduces the amount of lead allowed to 0.25%.

But that doesn’t apply to existing fixtures, such as what is found in many older homes and public water suppliers.

Here’s a guide to assessing whether you’re at risk.

Start by calling your municipal water supplier. (If your water comes from a private well, look for information from www.epa.gov/privatewells.)

Ask for a copy of their Consumer Confidence Report, which lists levels of contaminants found during tests, which federal law requires be run on a regular basis.

Many public suppliers put yearly reports online, so you can also find it yourself by typing your ZIP code into the EPA’s web site at www.epa.gov/ccr.

You’ll want to see lead levels below the EPA’s action level of 15 parts per billion. If you discover a lead reading at or above that level on the report, take action.

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Vendors May Be Selling ‘Fake’ Solar Eclipse Glasses. Here’s How To Make Sure Yours Are Real

If you’re going to watch a solar eclipse, you need to wear special glasses.

There’s not anything different about the sun or its radiation during the eclipse — it’s just that our moms were right when they told us not to stare at the sun because it will hurt your eyes.

If you’re one of the millions of people who will be staring at the sky Aug. 21, you gotta get those shades. They filter out nearly all of the incoming light so you can actually see the moon covering up the sun without damaging your eyes.

Earlier this week, the American Astronomical Society said it revised some of its eyewear advice “in response to alarming reports of potentially unsafe eclipse viewers flooding the market.”




The main issue here is the certification. Since you’re going to be using them to stare at the sun, they need to filter out more light than the standard sunglasses pinned to your visor.

The lenses should block out the majority of light to keep your eyes from being damaged. The certification process allows a manufacturer to include a special label, the ISO stamp, so you — the buyer — know it’s actually going to protect your eyes.

Three weeks away from the greatest solar eclipse of most of our lifetimes in the United States, you don’t have to look far online to find hundreds of glasses manufacturers. In one of my recent searches, Amazon listed seven pages of results.

All of the products describe themselves as having met the standard, but it would be difficult for the average buyer to ascertain whether the glasses have actually been approved.

Given the massive influx of vendors and manufacturers, “it is no longer sufficient to look for the logo of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO),” the American Astronomical Society wrote.

There appear to be a number of issues — hundreds of online manufacturers, rapidly increasing sales and giant piles of certification paperwork — all of which add up to chaos in the eclipse-glasses marketplace.

One manufacturer told Quartz that its sales are increasing at a rate of 400 to 500 percent as the eclipse approaches. Given that kind of market, it’s not surprising that some companies may decide to skip the certification hoops before taking their product to storefronts.

But “uncertified” doesn’t necessarily mean “unsafe.” It just means they haven’t been officially tested by a certification organization.

In fact, Quartz reports that in cases where the IP number is being used without certification, the glasses themselves are not harmful.

Given all this — and in an effort to reduce your level of anxiety and prevent thousands of perfectly fine eclipse glasses from winding up in the landfill — there is a simple way to test whether your solar eclipse glasses are safe.

You shouldn’t be able to see anything through a safe solar filter except the Sun itself or something comparably bright, such as the Sun reflected in a mirror, a sunglint off shiny metal, the hot filament of an unfrosted incandescent light bulb, a bright halogen light bulb, a bright-white LED flashlight , or an arc-welder’s torch,” the AAS wrote in its press release.

All such sources should appear quite dim through a solar viewer.

If you can see anything else through the film, toss the glasses and find a pair that works.

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