The dan­ger of care­less re­vers­ing

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — Paramedics have sent out an im­por­tant mes­sage to driv­ers: be alert when re­vers­ing your ve­hi­cle.

This comes af­ter sev­eral in­ci­dents in which paramedics have had to at­tend to mo­torists re­vers­ing into chil­dren.

In one in­ci­dent, the paramedics at­tended to a one-year-old who was fa­tally in­jured when a ve­hi­cle knocked him over while re­vers­ing.

ER24 spokes­woman Chi­tra Bo­das­ing said the in­ci­dents were at­tended to both at peo­ple’s homes and in public ar­eas such as park­ing lots.

Para­medic Cameron Horner at­tended to three in­ci­dents that in­volved tod­dlers be­ing run over in re­cent weeks.

He said it was im­por­tant to make sure chil­dren were out of harm’s way at all times.

“Put them in the ve­hi­cle first or make sure some­body is hold­ing them a safe dis­tance away from a mov­ing ve­hi­cle.

“If you are in an area where you know there are chil­dren, make sure you look around be­fore re­vers­ing,” he said.

Life-threat­en­ing in­juries Dr Ver­non Wes­sels said in­juries to an in­fant or tod­dler could vary from slight bruis­ing to se­vere soft tis­sue in­juries, frac­tures and in­ter­nal or­gan in­juries.

Liver rup­tures, pelvis frac­tures and head in­juries were some of the life-threat­en­ing in­juries chil­dren can sus­tain.

“In­juries can lead to loss of blood, in­abil­ity to breathe ef­fec­tively and loss of life,” he warned.

“Non-life-threat­en­ing in­juries can lead to loss of func­tion of the af­fected part, of­ten per­ma­nently, am­pu­ta­tion of in­jured limbs and po­ten­tial in­fec­tion af­ter the in­jury which could, in turn lead to var­i­ous com­pli­ca­tions in­clud­ing threat to life.”

Net­care spokes­woman Santi Stein­mann said it was hard to get statis­tics on how of­ten the in­ci­dents hap­pened.

“They’re re­ported as pedes­trian ac­ci­dents,” she said.

“There have been a cou­ple in park­ing lots, but there are no statis­tics.”

Red Cross Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal’s Pro­fes­sor Se­bas­tian van As said they re­ceived at least 10 cases an­nu­ally of chil­dren be­ing reversed over.

“It’s a big prob­lem in­ter­na­tion­ally as well, es­pe­cially in the UK,” he said. “It has in­creased over seven times there.”

Van As said the prob­lem was worse now with peo­ple driv­ing 4x4s.

“Peo­ple look into their mir­rors but can’t see and the cars have big spa­ces un­der­neath mak­ing it even harder.

“The bot­tom-line main mes­sage is peo­ple who have small chil­dren must never re­verse if they do not know where their chil­dren are,” he said.

Loss of trust Psy­chol­o­gist and Coun­sel­lor Sarah Co­hen-sch­warz said chil­dren lost their trust for their par­ents in in­ci­dents where their par­ents were the cause of the ac­ci­dent.

“Chil­dren of­ten feel like it is their fault. The adults will have to re­work their trust and apol­o­gise to their chil­dren.

“They have to set safety rules with the chil­dren so they feel safe,” she said. — The Star

IT is im­por­tant to make sure chil­dren are out of harm’s way at all times.

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