Child car safety is certainly worth knowing.
It was every parent’s nightmare. It was 2005 and former Australian Wallabies skipper, Phil Kearns was backing out of his driveway in his Sydney home when he felt his 4WD hit a small bump.
He said, at the time, it felt like he had hit a newspaper. It wasn’t until his son started screaming at him that he realised what had happened.
The father of four had run over his 19-month-old daughter.
Little Andie was rushed to Hospital with severe abdominal injuries. After three weeks in intensive care the little girl made it home to her family in time for Christmas.
”It had a huge impact on me,” ‘ he told Fairfax Media, “how could it not? It took a long time to come to terms with.”
Andie Kearns was one of the lucky ones. Driveway fatalities are believed to be second only to backyard pool drownings for childhood deaths.
Experts say as many as three children a week are hit in low-speed run-over accidents, with at least seven of them killed in any year and 60 more seriously injured.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Nissan. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.
We can’t be there for our kids every single second, and while some of us would like to, we can’t wrap them up in cotton wool either. But there are some things we can do to make our children safer around cars.These 5 child car safety tips are a good starting point.
Child car safety tip #1: Driveway awareness
There’s a couple of interesting measures being undertaken to improve driveway awareness. A great aid to drivers are those reversing cameras. The cars in the upper echelons are generally fitted with them these days, but if you aren’t in the market for a new vehicle just yet there are also a number of after market companies that can provide them for under $200.
Some car companies, such as Nissan, even go as far as providing 360 degree Around View Monitors that offer a bird’s eye view from four cameras. We all know it isn’t sensible to just rely on this kind of technology, but it sure is a step in the right direction.
Queensland University of Technology did a study that showed 77 per cent of parents surveyed said the driveway was a safe space, with more than half sometimes using the driveway as a children’s play area.
The other measure underway is a Commonwealth Government discussion paper out at the moment with a proposed framework to make driveway designs safer.
With over 90% of the fatalities children under five the key seems to be making sure to always supervise our kids around driveways.
But it’s obviously not just driveways where we need to watch our children.
Over eighty children are killed in cars every year on our roads and 1500 are seriously injured. There is stuff we can all do to help lower these statistics.
Child car safety tip #2: Buckle up properly
This seems pretty obvious, but what I didn’t realise was that just as important as buckling up is buckling up correctly.