Driveway runovers: 3 - 4 years

How big a problem is this?

While playing outside is important, making sure your children are safe from serious injury is just as important. It is only a decade ago that every year in New Zealand, an estimated five children were killed from a driveway run over, and 20 more are hospitalised. 

Deaths from driveway run overs are infrequent these days but nonetheless still an avoidable tragedy.


Who does it affect?

Young children are at risk because they are often too small to be seen behind a vehicle and can slip unseen through an open gate and into the path of a moving car. The risk is even greater if the driveway is long, shared, in a quiet road or cul-de-sac or leads to an area where there is lots of parking space.


Top tips

  • Keep children well away from driveways, as they are not play areas. 

  • Fence off the driveway from the main play area. Make it difficult for children to access the driveway by installing security doors or gates. 

  • Always check around your vehicle before moving and know where your child is before getting in. 

  • If you need to leave your vehicle make sure it is always switched off and hand brake engaged. 

  • If you are around cars, hold your child’s hand and keep them close. Have a designated safe area where children learn to wait when a vehicle is leaving your driveway, and where drivers can see them.

 

REMEMBER:

  • CHECK for children before driving off

  • SUPERVISE children around vehicles – always

  • SEPARATE play areas from driveways


First Aid

Bleeding

If your child has very serious bleeding including spurting blood, or they feel faint or light headed then call 111 immediately.

Self-care for cuts or grazes

  1. If your child has a cut or graze, follow these steps to help it heal well:

  2. wash your hands with soap and water before and after cleaning any wound

  3. if necessary use direct pressure to stop bleeding

  4. clean the wound with tap water- use sterile saline solution if you have some in your first aid kit

  5. leave clean, loose flaps of skin in place to form a natural dressing

  6. apply antiseptic ointment (such as Savlon or Betadine) only if the wound is dirty – do not use for longer than 2 weeks

  7. cover with a non-stick dressing

  8. keep dry for 24 hours if possible during initial healing

  9. replace the dressing if it becomes dirty or wet

  10. check whether your child needs a tetanus injection. A booster tetanus injection is recommended if it is more than 10 years since your child's last tetanus injection, or 5 years if the wound is dirty, contaminated or deep.

When to seek help for cuts or grazes

See your doctor or nurse if:

  • you can't fully clean the wound

  • the bleeding won't stop

  • the wound is deep and the skin is gaping

If you have managed to clean and dress the wound, keep an eye on it and see your doctor if:

  • your child has any new loss of feeling, numbness or inability to move the limb

  • there is increased redness, swelling, tenderness and/or it becomes warm to touch

  • red streaks develop

  • there is a coloured or smelly discharge

  • the wound has not healed after 2 weeks

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 if you are unsure what to do.


Puncture wounds

A puncture wound is when something penetrates layers of skin, such as a knife, nail or tooth. Bacteria can be carried to the tissue under the skin. Puncture wounds usually close very quickly and need to be cleaned thoroughly to prevent infection.

Self-care for puncture wounds

If your child has a puncture wound, follow these steps to help it heal well.

  1. wash your hands with soap and water before and after cleaning the wound

  2. flush the wound with running tap water to remove all dirt

  3. check whether a tetanus injection is needed

  4. a booster injection is recommended if it is more than 10 years since your child's last tetanus injection or 5 years if the wound is dirty, contaminated or deep

When to seek help for puncture wounds

See your family doctor or nurse if:

  • there is something stuck in the puncture wound

  • your child has any numbness or tingling below the puncture

If you have managed to clean and dress the wound, keep an eye on it and see your doctor if:

  • your child has any new loss of feeling, numbness or inability to move limb

  • there is increased redness, swelling, tenderness or it becomes warm to touch

  • red streaks develop

  • there is a coloured or smelly discharge

  • the wound has not healed after 2 weeks

    Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 if you are unsure what you should do.


First Aid

If you think your child has been injured by a run over or is in pain or for any of the following reasons, call 111 immediately. Do this if your child:

  • is, or has been, unconscious (can’t be woken up)

  • is being sick or seems sleepy

  • has trouble breathing

  • bleeding and you can’t stop the bleeding

  • there is bleeding from an ear.

 

If the situation is less serious there are also some things you can do straight away:

Fractures First Aid

  • Keep the injured arm or leg still. Someone who knows how to might use a splint to keep it still.

  • You can support the injured arm or leg with a pillow or sling.

  • Raise the arm or leg higher than the heart to help reduce swelling.

  • Your child will need pain relief.

  • If your child does not need ambulance-level care, take them to the nearest hospital Emergency Department.


Loss of Consciousness First Aid

Follow Drs ABCD for start CPR

D Dangers? Check for any dangers to yourself such as electricity or traffic.
R Responsive? Check responsiveness by calling loudly and shaking the child's arm.
S Send for help. Dial 111 and confirm an ambulance is on its way. Use the appropriate emergency number in other countries.
A Airway. Open the airway by moving the head into a neutral position and lifting the chin. Do not tilt the head back too far.
B Breathing. Look and feel for movement of the lower chest and stomach area. Listen and feel for air coming from the nose or mouth.
C CPR. If the child is not breathing, start CPR - 30 compressions to 2 breaths. Put the child on a firm surface. Place 2 fingers of one hand (for a baby) or the heel of one hand (for a child) in the centre of the chest just below the nipples. Push down hard and fast 30 times in about 15 seconds (push down one-third of chest depth).
Once you have completed 30 compressions (pushes) on the chest, breathe into the baby's mouth 2 times. Seal your lips around the baby's mouth and nose. For a child over 1, you may need to breathe into their mouth and pinch their nose closed. Gently puff into the child until you see their chest rise.
Continue with the cycle of 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths until the ambulance arrives.
D Defibrillator. Attach defibrillator as soon as it is available and follow prompts.


Link to Safekids’ resources

Driveway Run Over Injury Prevention Resources

Links to other organisations’ resources

NZTA - Feet First

Kainga Ora (HNZC)

Pedestrian Planning and Design Guide

Acknowledgement: Most of First Aid advice on this page is taken from the Healthline resource online at the Ministry of Health website.