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Number of Kids Hurt in Driveways on the Increase

Number of Kids Hurt in Driveways on the Increase

Posted - Aug. 12, 2004 at 9:58 p.m.



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Nadine Wimmer ReportingThe number of children hurt or killed in their own driveways is a growing trend in Utah, and alarming enough to have health officials concerned.

Parents in big trucks, vans or SUVs back down the driveway and can't see kids behind them. But a few simple precautions will help your kids stay safe.

Heather Willits, mom of four, is about to show us why big cars and little kids are a deadly combination. Daughter Ali stands five feet in back of mom's SUV. From the rearview mirror mom sees nothing.

Ali moves about 12 feet away. Still nothing. She walks 16 feet away, then 20 and it's not until the four-year old moves more than 25 feet away from the car that her head finally becomes visible in the rearview mirror.

Heather Willits, Mom: “I knew it was bad, but I was really surprised by how far. I was really surprised.”

Health officials are seeing incidents like these now almost every other week. They're not all fatal, but doctors say injuries can be even more serious than a higher speed hit.

Dr. Douglas Nelson, Primary Childrens Medical Center: "The type of injuries that are incurred when a several thousand pound motor vehicle is rolling slowly over a small body are not the kind of injuries that can easily be fixed."

So they encourage these precautions: supervise your kids, know where they are before you leave, actually walk around your car. Talk to your kids about the dangers of driveways. You can even have warning devices installed in your car.

They’re simple steps that could save a lifetime of grief.

Heather Willits: “Obviously when I run out to the car I look, but i don't do that double check. Now I'm going to start doing that."

A lot of times kids just want to run out and say bye to mom or dad, so take that extra five seconds and get out and look.

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