September is an exciting time for Kiwi families. Spring is in the air and Father’s Day is also celebrated this month. September however brings with it a number of injury risks‐‐one of the most serious is driveway run over injuries.
“Every two weeks a child is hospitalised with serious injuries received from a vehicle driving on a private driveway in New Zealand. A further five children are killed annually, on average. Children at risk are aged between 1 and 3 years old,” said Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids Aotearoa.
“Most child driveway run overs happen in spring and summer, and sadly fathers are most often at the wheel,” Ms Weaver added.
Child driveway run overs are however preventable. This spring and in celebration of Father’s Day, Safekids Aotearoa asks parents to be aware of the risks by identifying the signs of a risky driveway, and what home improvements you can make to prevent run overs from happening.
Driveway Danger signs:
- A long driveway
- A driveway in a quiet road or cul‐de‐sac
- A driveway that also provides pedestrian access to house (no separate pedestrian pathway)
- A driveway leading to lots of parking– cars need to be moved around to make room or allow vehicles to leave
- No physical barrier (i.e. fence) between driveway and outdoor play area.
What you can do: CHECK, SUPERVISE and SEPARATE
- Look out for small children and pets before moving the car. Walk around the car and look underneath.
- All vehicles have tear‐drop shaped blind zones—at the front, side and longer at the rear.
- Driveway run overs can happen driving forward and reversing.
- Don’t let children use driveways as play areas.
- Ensure a responsible adult, not a group of kids, is actively supervising babies and toddlers.
- Late afternoon and early evening are particularly risky times. Special efforts are needed then to make sure children are safe.
- If you have babies or toddlers, consider installing a childproof gate at exits that lead to driveways.
- Children should have a safe, fenced play area.
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