Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Know where your kids are: driveway campaign:

Spending an extra second checking where your children are before hitting reverse could be the difference between whether they live or die.
Date: July 26 2012
Editor Rating:

That is the stark message of a new campaign aimed at reducing the number of accidents involving children hit by cars in household driveways.

Fourteen children have died in Victoria and 81 have been treated at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) for serious injuries suffered in driveway accidents since 2000.

Benjamin Gauci was 15 months old and had just started walking when he was accidentally hit while his father was moving cars in the family driveway to be washed one Saturday.

"As I backed the car out I felt the front wheel go over something and immediately I knew it was Benjamin," Shane Gauci told reporters on Tuesday.

"He started screaming at the time so it was a bit of a relief - at least we knew he was alive because I instantly thought the worst.

"That moment when I felt that wheel go over his body, it's just a horrible, horrible feeling."

Benjamin suffered minor injuries including a fractured foot, swelling and bruising.

"We really encourage people to take care and know where their children are at all times - not everyone is as lucky as we were," Mr Gauci said.

RCH director of emergency medicine Simon Young said driveway accidents often happen at low speeds early in the morning or at night, which are typically busy times around the home.

Driveway accidents can happen to any family with children but people with larger cars, such as four-wheel drives, vans and utes are at higher risk due to low visibility, as well as those with children aged under six, he said.

"These accidents occur at low speed, it's all because of the weight of the vehicle and the fragility of the child," Dr Young said.

The `Just because you can't see me, doesn't mean I'm not here' campaign, to be broadcast on radio and through social media, is a joint initiative involving the Office of the Child Safety Commissioner and other bodies.

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