Driveway-related motor vehicle injuries in the paediatric population: a preventable tragedy
The aim of this study was to describe the incidence and demographics of children injured by slow-moving vehicles in Auckland driveways in order to develop preventative strategies. The authors retrospectively reviewed all children less than 15 years, 76 in total, who were injured by a vehicle in a driveway within Auckland between January 1998 and October 2001. Patient demographics and risk factors were identified by clinical note review, contacting the parents, and inspecting the driveways involved. Results showed that these injuries occur most commonly in children less than 4 years old (86%), usually boys (58%), who are reversed over by a relative (68%) at the home driveway (71%). There were six deaths within the study period. Head and thoracic injuries predominated and were typically associated with lower limb injuries. Maori and Pacific Island children represented 74% of all the cases. Nineteen drivers saw the child immediately prior to reversal in a presumed safe position. None of the driveways had any fencing to separate the driveway from rest of the property.
In conclusion, a combination of targeted public health messages to increase awareness, safer driveway design and the fencing of domestic rental properties will prevent these injuries.
Murphy, Feilim;White, Sarah;Morreau, Philip
The New Zealand Medical Journal
115(1160), 23 August 2002
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