#childsafety | Cook Children’s Treats 5 Children Struck by Vehicles


Story by Eline deBruijn Wiggins. Video by Tom Riehm.

From Aug. 22 to Aug. 28, Cook Children’s treated five patients who were struck by vehicles in separate incidents.

As the new school year gets underway for many districts across North Texas, it’s crucial that drivers look out for children, especially in school zones.

Injuries treated:

  • 3 patients (pedestrians) struck by vehicles
  • 1 patient (pedestrian) struck by an ATV
  • 1 patient (bicyclist) struck by a vehicle

Drivers should eliminate distractions and pay attention to their speed, especially in school zones. Always look out for pedestrians and don’t text and drive.

Dan Guzman, M.D., pediatric emergency medicine physician with Cook Children’s Medical Center, says that it’s important that parents also teach their children safety precautions for walking near a road, including paying attention, using sidewalks and crosswalks, and always looking both ways before crossing a street.

“It’s really important to teach your kids and make sure they understand that we need to pay attention because this is your life, there’s only one you and there’s no way to get this back if something bad were to happen,” Dr. Guzman said.

Dr. Guzman says the emergency department sees more children this time of year as kids walk or ride bikes to school and are, unfortunately, struck by vehicles.

“We want our children to be safe and no one wants to hurt a child,” Dr. Guzman said. “We all need to slow down close to school zones and neighborhoods. Make sure we take care of our kids.”

Elementary school children are very active and impulsive. Although they’re learning and growing, school-age children 10 and younger still need guidance and supervision when playing and walking near traffic, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Pedestrian tips:

  1. Children less than 10 years old should not be crossing the street without an adult.  All kids are different, but developmentally until they are about 10 years old they don’t have the cognitive ability to judge the speed of an oncoming car.
  2. Don’t be distracted while walking.  Stay off your phone and if you HAVE to use headphones, only use one. You have to be aware of your surroundings!
  3. Look left, right and back left again before crossing the street. 
  4. Only cross at the light, corner or crosswalk. Never cross the street between parked cars.
  5. Walk on the sidewalk. If there isn’t a sidewalk walk FACING traffic.
  6. Be alert for cars pulling into parking lots and driveways as well as cars backing up.
  7. When there is a car approaching or even stopping, make eye contact with the driver and wait for them to motion for you to cross the street. Often times you may think the driver is looking at you but they may be in a “daze” and not truly see you.
  8. More than 80% of pedestrians die when hit by a car going 40 mph or faster, and less than 20% die when hit at 20 mph or less. As a driver, SLOW DOWN.

School Zone tips:

  1. Slow down and follow all speed limits.
  2. Pay attention and look out for pedestrians.
  3. Cell phone use is prohibited.
  4. Obey crossing guards.
  5. Stop for school buses.

Tips for Drivers:

  1.  Always stop for pedestrians.
  2.  Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
  3. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
  4. Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you can’t see.

Media partners: If you are interested in telling this story, please contact Public Relations Manager Kim Brown at Kim.Brown3@cookchildrens.org or at 682-885-1080, 817-266-3728

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