This is the most horrific thing we can imagine. Anawia Boney, 1, was accidentally run over and killed by her mother on Mother's Day!
Anawia was playing with two cousins (ages 7 and 8) in the yard of their grandparents' apartment complex in Ogden, Utah. The girls ran inside to get a blanket for the toddler to sit on. At that time, Anawia's mother decided to drive her SUV closer to the apartment. She didn't realize that the toddler was sitting on the grass, and accidentally ran the little girl over.
According to the safety advocacy group Kids and Cars, more than 2,400 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year after being struck or run over by a vehicle; at least two are fatally injured each and every week. (This is known as "bye-bye syndrome," because it's often kids who are saying "goodbye" to a relative as they leave who are run over.) More than 60 percent of these incidents involve a larger-size vehicle such as a truck, van or SUV -- like the one little Anawia's mom was driving.
Kids and Cars' recommendations for keeping children safe include:
- Walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it.
- Know where your kids are. Make children move away from your vehicle to a place where they are in full view before moving the car, and make sure that another adult is properly supervising children before moving your vehicle.
- Teach children that "parked" vehicles might move. Let them know that although they can see the vehicle, the driver might not be able to see them.
- Consider installing cross-view mirrors, audible collision detectors, a rear-view video camera and/or some type of back-up detection device.
- Measure the size of your blind spot behind the vehicle(s) you drive. A 5-foot-1-inch driver in a pickup truck can have a rear blind zone that's approximately 8 feet wide by 50 feet long.
- Be aware that steep inclines and large SUVs, vans and trucks add to the difficulty of seeing behind a vehicle.
- Hold children's hands when leaving the vehicle.
- Teach your children to never play in, around or behind a vehicle.
- Keep toys and other sports equipment off the driveway.
- Trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure that drivers can see the sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out. Pedestrians also need to be able to see a vehicle pulling out of the driveway.
- Never leave children alone in or around cars -- not even for a minute.
- Keep vehicles locked at all times (even when they're in the garage or driveway), and always set your parking brake.
- Never leave keys and/or remote openers within reach of children.
- Make sure all child passengers have left the car after it is parked.
- Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during holidays, busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis.
Our thoughts go out to Anawia's family in this tragic time.