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Parents urged to take extra steps when backing out a vehicle

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Every year in Utah, more than 50 children are injured when a car rolls over them. Child advocates say even with technology, such as backup cameras and extra-wide mirrors, parents can never be too cautious. They say nothing is more effective than walking around your car, and it takes just seconds.

**Major Risk Factors**
• Children under 5 years of age (account for 76% of victims under age of 10) • High-profile vehicles such as SUVs, vans and trucks (have significantly larger blind spots) • Vehicles traveling in reverse (account for 69% of deaths) • Rushed and distracted drivers *- Primary Children's Medical Center and Utah Department of Health*
"It really gives me a lot of peace of mind," says Groll After hearing about child backovers on the news, Cherie bought the mirror to help her see more of her driveway. She walks around her car, but this is an extra precaution she takes.

"Really, this height, to not be able to see from this far down is very dangerous, so this incredibly opens up the view," says Groll.

Every six days a Utah child is run over in a driveway or parking lot. -Primary Children's Medical Center

Cherie Groll uses her wide-angle mirror every time she backs her van out of the garage. Janet Brooks is a child advocacy manager at Primary Children's Medical Center. She says mirrors and backup cameras can be helpful. The best way to prevent child backovers is to walk around the car before you get in; a message Brooks promotes with the Spot the Tot Campaign.

"This is something we see recurring over and over again, and it's something we know we can prevent with all of us working together," says Brooks.

In just the past couple months, there have been three incidents.

**Prevention Tips**
• Before driving, check the street, driveway and area around your vehicle • Drivers of SUVs and trucks should be extra careful • Children should be taught not to play in, under or around vehicles • Supervise children when a driver is leaving the home • Whenever possible, use current technology such as backup cameras and sensor devices • Adjust driver's seat as high as needed to see clearly out of rear window • Roll down windows to hear children • Adjust side and rear mirrors to reduce blind zone *- Primary Children's Medical Center*
In April, [an 18-month-old boy]( died when his Uncle pulled into the garage and ran over him. On [July 31, a 4-year old Orem boy ]( lying on the driveway to get warm. His aunt didn't see him, backed out of the driveway, killing him instantly.

Sunday night, a 2-year-old boy in Sandy was killed when his father backed out in a pickup truck.

Brooks says tragedies like this happen so fast, but they can be prevented with supervision.

"When this occurs it is a devastating event, not only for the child, but for the driver and family."


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Anne Forester


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