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The Hidden Dangers of Cheerleading

Decades ago, cheerleaders led crowds at sporting events with pom-poms, clapping and toe kicks. Those days are gone. Today, cheerleading is a competitive, physically demanding activity that takes place year-round. Complex stunts, pyramid building and athletes tossed high in the air have taken the place of the splits, and the injuries show it.

In fact, cheerleading accounts for more than 65 percent of all catastrophic injuries suffered by female high school athletes during the past 25 years. The catastrophic injuries from the sport may cause permanent brain injuries, paralysis or death.

$2 Million Settlement After Fall At Cheerleading Class

In one California case, a 12-year-old girl sustained severe and permanent injuries while attending a beginning cheerleading class. During an unsupervised cheerleading stunt, a lawsuit later claimed, the girl did not have enough spotters to support her. She was lifted by her ankles, lost her balance and fell backward over the shoulders of a spotter.

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Protecting Our Aging Loved Ones

Thankfully, Americans are living longer, fuller and more productive lives. As our population ages, however, there comes an increased dependence on caregivers, whether they are in an assisted living facility, residential care center or in our home. While the great majority of those providing a much-needed helping hand to the elderly are honest, trustworthy, skilled and caring, some use their position as a caregiver to take advantage of their weaker and more vulnerable charges.

Types of Abuse

Vulnerable or infirm senior citizens are subject to any number of abuses, ranging from physical assaults to mental intimidation and from theft to sexual abuse. The types of abuse, and the effect the abuse will have on the victim, vary widely. That is why it is particularly important that you, as loving family members and friends, stay on the lookout for potential warning signs. By remaining vigilant, you can prevent harm to your loved one and others who may be in the same situation.

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Paying Better Attention to Distracted Driving

The automobile industry is attempting to lead the way in dealing with the problem of distracted driving. While 34 states currently have laws on the books making it a crime to use handheld cell phones or text while driving, and 95 percent of Americans agree that it is a very dangerous practice, just knowing it is dangerous and illegal isn’t always enough to compel drivers to stop. Analysis of crash data has shown that texting and driving distracts drivers and does cause car accidents.

That’s where the automobile industry and a number of private companies come in – by offering alternatives to help curb distracted driving accidents.

Private companies and makers of technological applications are addressing this problem by creating apps, phones and other devices that allow users to communicate hands-free. For example, the new SIRI voice-recognition system offered to Apple iPhone 4S users converts speech into text and sends and read text messages – allowing drivers to text while driving without taking their eyes off of the road or using their hands to type.

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New Hope for Those Living with Spinal Cord Injuries

Motorcycle accidents generally occur because other drivers do not see motorcycles until it is too late. Because motorcycles weigh significantly less than cars and offer much less physical protection in an accident, car-motorcycle collisions are often fatal for the motorcyclist.

Even worse is the situation when the accident involves a car and a moped. A moped is smaller, slower (usually no faster than 25 mph) and quieter than a motorcycle, and offers even less protection than a motorcycle in the event of a collision.

Moped safety is an increasing problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says annual moped fatalities doubled – from 48 to 96 -between 2005 and 2009. Despite the increasing problem, the NHTSA still exempts most electric mopeds from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

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Neighbor’s Dogs Bite, Severely Injure 10-year-old Antioch, California Boy

The California press has widely covered the story of a young Antioch boy on a visit to a neighbor child to play video games when the guest was badly bitten on the right side of his face and head, and on his arm, allegedly by the neighbor’s two pit bulls. The frightening August 2013 incident that occurred on a staircase resulted in the need for more than 100 stitches to close severe wounds on the boy’s face, including those involving a partially severed ear and damaged eyelid. He also received a skin graft.

In addition to his physical injuries, the boy reportedly experiences anxiety and bad dreams since the incident. Indeed, younger victims of dog attacks are known to sometimes suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

The boy’s young friend was also injured trying to remove his family’s dogs during the attack.

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