Spring is in the air and the weather is great this time of year in North Texas, and more kids are playing outside near busy residential streets. Unfortunately this means more chances for children to get seriously hurt or killed by drivers who are speeding or inattentive.
More than 300 children reuired medical attention at local hospitals because of auto-pedestrian accidents in Tarrant County in 2011, an alarming statistic that officials hope to change.
Many of these accidents are preventable according to experts, especially those involving drivers who are inattentive because of cell phone use or texting.
According to WFAA.com, Dmajay Perry aged 7, survived after a driver plowed into him and his friend Kiela Hayes aged 5, as they crossed the street in Fort Worth earlier this month. Sadly Kiela did not survive.
The accident was the fifth this month, and the 42nd time in a year that MedStar has responded to a life-threatening pedestrian crash with a child under the age of 14.
According to MedStar paramedic Macara Trusty, "it is very emotional for us; it's traumatizing for us; but more so for the families involved."
"Kids are invisible in their own mind. They don't have a concept of death or true traumatic injuries or pain, so it doesn't cross their mind," she said.
In 2011, Cook Children's Medical Center treated 345 children who were hit by vehicles; eight of them died.
Hospital officials strongly recommend parents to walk with their children and teach them street safety, and that until a child is at least 10 years of age that they don't cross the street on their own.
Other safety tips for kids include:
look left, right, and left again before crossing a street
never chase a ball or a pet into the street
always walk or ride a bike on the sidewalk
And for motorists, there are two key words of advice: Slow down and never use the cell phone or text on busy streets.
Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a Texas Medical Doctor (retired) and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.