In­fant cheats death

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Alexis Gill­ham alexis. gill­ham@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

AN 18-month-old tod­dler was hit by a car in the fam­ily’s drive­way and has mirac­u­lously walked away rel­a­tively un­scathed.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened in Char­ters Tow­ers at 8.30am as mo­torists were on their way to work.

The child was taken to Char­ters Tow­ers Hos­pi­tal as a pre­cau­tion but showed no ob­vi­ous in­juries.

The ac­ci­dent has sparked a po­lice warn­ing for par­ents to en­sure they know where their chil­dren are be­fore re­vers­ing.

In Queens­land, two chil­dren are run over ev­ery week in the drive­way of their home, ac­cord­ing to Kid­safe QLD. Four of these chil­dren are killed and this type of in­jury is the sec­ond lead­ing cause of in­fant death be­hind drown­ing.

The School of Pop­u­la­tion Health at the Univer­sity of Queens­land is con­duct­ing a de­scrip­tive an­a­lyt­i­cal study of trends in deaths associated with Low Speed Ve­hi­cle Run Overs to iden­tify rec­om­men­da­tions for their preven­tion.

The Royal Chil­dren’s Hos- pital Burns and Trauma Res e a r c h G r o u p i s c o - or­di­nat­ing the 10-year ret­ro­spec­tive re­view of fa­tal and non-fa­tal run overs in the 0 - 1 5 y e a r a g e g r o u p i n Queens­land.

Nurse re­searcher Bron­wyn Grif­fin said most of these ac­ci­dents hap­pened in the 1-2 year age group and with mum or dad driv­ing.

She said it was hoped their re­search would lead to leg­is­la­tion to im­prove the sta­tis­tics.

‘ ‘ There are t hree main things that need to be done be­fore re­vers­ing out of a drive­way,’’ she said.

‘ ‘ N u mb e r o n e , a l w a y s su­per­vise chil­dren and when mov­ing the car make sure kids are ei­ther in it or that you are hold­ing them.

‘‘ Two, sep­a­rate the drive­way from the play area with a fence and self-clos­ing gate, sim­i­lar to a swim­ming pool.

‘‘ Num­ber three is see . . . make sure you walk a cou­ple of laps around the car be­fore mov­ing it.’’

Ms Grif­fin said the small stature of tod­dlers made them more sus­cep­ti­ble to these types of low-speed ac­ci­dents but also caused more se­vere in­juries.

Ms Grif­fin’s re­search has run 18 months and has six months be­fore find­ings are taken to par­lia­ment.

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