Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

A Five-Second Walk around the Car Could Prevent
More Than 200 Deaths per Year to Children

Safe Kids Kansas reminds parents to spot their tot before starting the engine

Topeka – Kan.  It’s springtime, and that means more children are playing outside.  Unfortunately, in that rush to get to the store before it closes, or in the frenzy of getting the entire family in the car to go to Grandma’s house, the focus is often on what is in the car – not what is around it. Safe Kids Kansas encourages anyone driving a vehicle to walk completely around it to check for children, pets, or toys before getting in and starting the engine.

In the United States in 2007, it was estimated there were 5,000 injuries and 205 deaths to children under age 14 as a result of being hit by a vehicle in a driveway or parking area. These incidences are known as “backovers” or “frontovers,” depending on direction.

“We believe these injuries and deaths are preventable as too many result from a driver not seeing children who might be playing, running after, or standing near their vehicle,” says Cherie Sage, State Director of Safe Kids Kansas.  “What is truly tragic about these stories is that oftentimes, the drivers are friends or even family members.”

Parents and caregivers can follow these simple, low-tech tips to help make sure that children remain safe around vehicles:

“Every vehicle has blind zones, in front and in back, regardless of how large or small that vehicle is.  So, no matter how important it is at that moment for you to get to your destination on time,” says Sage, “taking a five-second walk around your car to make sure that children are not in harm’s way could save your family and your child from a lifetime of physical and emotional pain.”

To learn more about keeping your children safe in and around cars, visit www.usa.safekids.org.  and search for “Spot the Tot”.

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14.   Local coalitions and chapters cover Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, and Wilson counties, as well as the city of  Emporia and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.)  Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org.