Summer is an exciting time for Kiwi families. With the cold winter months a fading memory, parents are eager to get the kids out of the house. Summer however is also known as the “Trauma Season” due to the sharp rise in hospital admissions for unintentional injuries or accidents. The season brings with it a number of injury risks, and they include Quad Bike/ATV injuries and Driveway Run Overs.
National figures gathered by Starship Children’s Health shows that 2 children are killed on average and a further 29 others are hospitalised due to quad bike related injuries each year. In 53% of the cases, children were identified as the drivers of an adult-sized quad bike (over 90cc).
“Children are particularly vulnerable as they do not have the body size, weight, perception and coordination skills to actively ride these machines,” said Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids. And according to Safekids, every two weeks a child is hospitalised with serious injuries after being run over on a private driveway in New Zealand. A further five children are killed annually on average.
“The children at risk of driveway run overs are aged between 1 and 3 years old. Sadly parents and close relatives are most often at the wheel,” Ms Weaver added. These injuries are however preventable. During the summer months, Safekids asks parents and caregivers to be vigilant and aware of the dangers to children associated with quad bikes and driveways.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Quad Bike Injury Prevention
- Keep children under the age of 16 OFF adult-sized quad bikes. This safety message is supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, ACC, Safekids and quad bike manufacturers.
- Quad bikes/ATVs are machines - not toys.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Driveway Run Over Prevention
- Watch for the warning 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.
- Check for children before getting into the car; Always actively supervise children; Separate play areas from driveways.
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