Drive­way run-overs can hap­pen in au­tumn, too

SAFETY MES­SAGE

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Par­ents of tod­dlers and young chil­dren are be­ing re­minded to be vig­i­lant around drive­ways dur­ing the shorter days and longer nights.

Safekids Aotearoa says an aver­age of four to five chil­dren are killed ev­ery year by be­ing run over by a ve­hi­cle driv­ing on a pri­vate drive­way in New Zealand.

Ev­ery two weeks a child is hos­pi­talised af­ter suf­fer­ing se­ri­ous in­juries in the same way.

A 23-month-old boy was killed by a re­vers­ing car in Auck­land last week.

‘‘While drive­way run-overs oc­cur more fre­quently dur­ing spring and sum­mer, it can also eas­ily hap­pen dur­ing au­tumn and win­ter when it gets dark ear­lier,’’ Safekids Aotearoa di­rec­tor Ann Weaver says.

Chil­dren aged be­tween 1 and 3 years old are most at risk from be­ing run over in pri­vate drive­ways.

Par­ents and close rel­a­tives are most of­ten at the wheel.

‘‘Of­ten the in­juries chil­dren sus­tain from run-overs are so se­vere that they die on the scene,’’ Weaver says.

‘‘For chil­dren who do sur­vive, they of­ten have per­ma­nent disability or long-term in­juries.

Safekids Aotearoa has iden­ti­fied some of the com­mon fac­tors that can make a drive­way dan­ger­ous for chil­dren.

‘‘Drive­way run-overs can be pre­vented if par­ents can iden­tify a risky drive­way and fol­low the safety mes­sages.’’

Be vig­i­lant: An aver­age of four to five chil­dren are killed ev­ery year af­ter be­ing run over by a ve­hi­cle driv­ing on a pri­vate drive­way in New Zealand.

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