Safe Kids Coordinator Warns Against Driveway Dangers

Women looking in her cars mirrorMADISON - There's a blind spot right in your own driveway.

According to Safe Kids USA, back-over incidents in driveways and parking lots kill at least one child a week and injure more than 2,400 kids every year. Safe Kids USA sponsors the nationwide "Spot the Tot" prevention program.

"As the Spot the Tot program points out, vehicle back-overs are preventable by investing a few extra seconds in safety," said Nan Peterson, Safe Kids Coalition coordinator and clinical nursing specialist at American Family Children's Hospital.

According to the Spot the Tot program, 50 percent of kids injured or killed by driveway back-overs are between 1 and 4 years of age. They are vulnerable to what has been called "bye-bye syndrome."

"They see mom or dad putting on their coat while the other parent is busy doing something. Before you know it, the child slips out the door to run after the parent who is leaving. It can happen so fast," said Peterson.

Kids and Cars, a national organization that tracks child safety issues, reports that 60 percent of vehicle back-over victims are hit by one of their parents or a close relative.

"It's such a needless tragedy that can be prevented with patience and education," said Peterson.
She notes that 80 percent of back-over incidents involve SUVs, trucks or vans.

Peterson and Safe Kids USA's Spot the Tot program recommend:
  • Drivers should walk completely around their vehicle before getting in
  • Teach children, starting at a very young age, never to play in the driveway or around cars, SUVs, vans and trucks
  • Remind drivers to be on the look-out for children and pets in the driveway
  • Roll down windows so you can hear what is happening outside your vehicle

Consumer Reports says camera systems and back-up warning sensors may be used to prevent back-over incidents, but sensors may not always be sensitive enough to detect the presence of a child around the vehicle.


Date Published: 06/15/2009

News tag(s):  safe kidschildrenparenting

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