Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

July 27, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Five Seconds Could Save the Life of a Child

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

Topeka, Kan. — In that rush to get to the store before it closes or in the frenzy of trying to get to the airport before your flight leaves, the focus is often on what is in the car – not what is around it. Safe Kids Kansas encourages anyone driving a car to walk completely around it to check for children before getting in and starting the engine. This applies even to drivers who do not have children but may have kids in the neighborhood.

In 2007, it is estimated that 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 in the United States. 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 often, the drivers are friends or even family members.”

Parents and caregivers can follow these tips to help make sure that children remain safe around cars:

“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

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, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey,  Johnson, Kiowa, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, and Sumner 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.

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