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Low Speed Run Over Mortality

Low Speed Run Over Mortality - Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee

The Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee (CYMRC) has released a report examining deaths from low speed run overs and ways of preventing them.

The report, Low Speed Run Over Mortality, is available on the Health Quality & Safety Commission's website at www.hqsc.govt.nz. CYMRC operates under the Commission's umbrella and reviews the deaths of children and young people.

CYMRC Chair Dr Nick Baker says people often don't realise how lethal cars can be around young children.

"We know from recent media coverage about small children who have been run over just how quickly these things can happen, and how devastating it is for families," he says.

On average four to five children die in non-traffic pedestrian events in New Zealand each year. For every child killed by a vehicle moving at low speed, approximately 12 are hospitalised.

"The good news is that we can take specific actions to reduce the number of children dying or being injured in low speed run overs," says Dr Baker.

For example:

* always 'count the kids' before you manoeuvre a vehicle, and make sure they are belted safely in the car or are in a safe place away from the car

* keep cars locked, windows closed, keys out of the ignition - and don't let children use vehicles as a play area

* slow down on driveways

* understand just how big the blind area is around your vehicle - your line of sight may be less than you think

* actively supervise children but also have other ways to keep them safe, such as a fenced off play area or a childproof doorway gate

* teach children to be cautious around vehicles

* encourage visitors to park on the road outside of your house instead of in the driveway.
Dr Baker says most deaths happen in driveways and involve children under six years old.

"These deaths can happen in a blink of the eye so we need to change the way we act around vehicles."


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