Vanderbilt hospital responds to large number of children hit by cars during summer

Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, Monroe Carrell jr.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Pediatric emergency experts at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt say they are concerned about the number of children who have been hit by cars since school let out in the Nashville area.

Last summer, the Pediatric Emergency Department reported treating 31 children who were hit by cars.

The circumstances vary but often occur when children run in the middle of the street or are backed over by a car because the driver did not see them.

“Many believe that when you drive at low speeds, you won’t cause significant injuries,” said Cristina Estrada, M.D, associate professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine. “However, many of these are preventable collisions and some of the worst cases I have witnessed have been ones that occur in parking lots and driveways.”

Doctors say families need to know that children under the age of 10 are too young to cross the street alone, play or walk near street traffic without parental supervision.

Drivers should also be extra alert and careful now that school is out, and watch for children at all times especially in their own driveway and neighborhoods, Estrada added.

Here are some of the tips from the pediatric emergency team to avoid such a tragic accident:

  • Walk; do not run across the street.
  • Teach your child to never run out into a street for a pet, ball or any other reason.
  • Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Do not assume that because you can see the driver, they can see you.

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