Tools such as reversing cameras are a counter measure, but are not the only answer. We all need to be aware that this could happen to anyone at any time, and that there are a number of things we can do to help prevent an accident, especially at our own homes.
We want to change people’s mind-sets, so everyone will think about how safe your driveways and garages are, as they do about pools – that these are dangerous places for toddlers and children need to be supervised, and they should have physical barriers in place eg. fences, to help prevent children from accessing them when adults are not within reach.
More information on Driveway Safety can also be accessed at:
Kidsafe (Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia) www.kidsafe.com.au
Motor Accidents Authority http://www.maa.nsw.gov.au/default.aspx?MenuID=151
Kids and Traffic (for early Childhood Educators) www.kidsandtraffic.mq.edu.au/
Most cars have poor rear-ward visibility for toddlers, and reversing cameras can dramatically improve the field of view.
Many new cars have reversing cameras installed, but if your car does not have a reversing camera, consider installation of one, especially if you have small children. Go to your local auto-electrical supplier and discuss the options best suited to your vehicle.When looking at purchasing a vehicle, the NRMA have reversibility and blind spot ratings for vehicles.
Are You Reverse Alert
On average, Eight Children Every Year across Australia Die in a Home Driveway Runover, and at least Three Children per Week are Injured. (Source: Kidsafe)
In the majority of cases, the vehicle is reversing and is being driven by the victims parent or close friend of the family who is not aware the child has run behind the vehicle.
Reverse Alert is activated when the driver selects reverse gear. This automatically switches on the unit and activates the sensors mounted on the rear of the vehicle.
If the sensor detects an obstruction behind the vehicle an alarm sounds, alerting not only the driver but also anyone in the vicinity of the potential imminent danger.
If the vehicle continues to reverse toward the obstruction, Reverse Alert automatically applies the vehicles brakes, stopping the vehicle.
The system has been developed to be a superior alternative to existing reversing sensors and should be commercially available later this year. Working units have been installed on a variety of vehicles already, and the system is entering the final stage before it is officially launched.
For a demonstration of Reverse Alert in action, press below to play video
Kids And Cars.org
KidsAndCars.org are an American organisation who do similar work to Kidsafe here in Australia.
Every day, children are left unattended in or around vehicles – a danger most people greatly underestimate. Hyperthermia, power window strangulations, and low-speed high severity crush injuries like backovers and frontovers typify what happens when children are left alone in or around motor vehicles on private property. This emerging public health issue causes death and injury due to the dangerous social practice of leaving children unattended in or around vehicles.
KidsAndCars.org has worked diligently to document the dimensions of the problem through their unique data gathering techniques. KidsAndCars.org focuses attention to these tragedies with education and public awareness campaigns to this previously unrecognized public safety problem. Successfully passing state laws, proposing Federal policy change and working towards the redesign of motor vehicles to make them safer for children are of paramount important to reduce or eliminate these predictable and preventable causes of injury and death.
KidsAndCars.org has conducted extensive research on how often children are injured, abducted, disabled, or killed because they are left unattended in or around vehicles. To date the organization has captured information about almost 10,000 children whose lives have been endangered because they were left unattended in or around vehicles on private property. KidsAndCars.org has documented over 2450 child deaths and knows these data vastly underestimate the true magnitude of this problem. The statistics from this growing database is what is being used to create a social norm change in the United States so children will no longer be left unattended in or around motor vehicles
Around The Home
Fencing of driveway and/or backyard play areas can help separate children from where cars are.
Things to consider when designing or renovating your home:
* Is the play area separate from where vehicles are?
* Can the driveway be fenced, with pool-style fencing, and self-closing, latching gates?
* When reversing (or moving forward) out of the driveway, can the footpath and pedestrian area between your property and the road be easily seen (eg no bushes or plants blocking the view)?
* Is the garage easily accessible to toddlers and infants?
* Does the door between the house and garage have:
· a heavier, inward-swinging door (so that it will swing shut properly, and children cannot push the door open into the garage)?
· a door handle at a minimum height of 1500mm (so toddlers cannot reach)?
· a self-closer?
These things can help to create a physical barrier between the area where children play, and where the car is.
Cut-off Switch for the automatic garage roller door
Another safety tip:
Peter came up with an idea on how to stop the automatic garage roller door from opening when the internal access door into the house is opened.
A device is fitted to your roller door, and your internal access door is fitted with a magnetic field device, so when this is no longer connecting within the internal door, the roller door will not open.
Please see the picture or for more further technical advice on how this is can be easily achieved in your home please call Colin Gilchrist at Young Safes and Locks on 02 6382 7073 or mobile 0438 590 581 or send him an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young Shire Council – DCP (Development Control Plan)
Young Shire Council recently voted to accept changes in the DCP including those listed above for the doors, for new homes applications from October 2012.
Section 2.1.5 of Young Shire Council’s Development Control Plan indicates what is acceptable when building a new house or renovating.
For more information on safe housing design, go to:
Kidsafe NSW Inc :Safer Homes for Children- Design and Construction Guidelines
Are you currently renovating or extending your home? Maybe you have plans to do so in the future?
Check out our article on the Web Child website for some tips on what you can do before and during renovations and extensions to ensure your kids are kept safe:
QLD Government- Dept. Housing & Public Works: Smart and Sustainable Homes Design Objectives
Safekids NZ : Signs of a Risky Driveway: For further information and helpful tips about your driveway click here
Homesafe Group – The Homesafe Group was established to improve the quality of life of Australian families through home safety, good design and wise investment. They have a section on Homesafe Kids, which was established in conjunction with Kidsafe, to help people create safer homes for their families, relatives and friends.
Kill Switch for the garage roller door