A father and son were talking on the front lawn with the little boy’s aunt. Dad walked across the street to talk with a neighbor, thinking the two-year-old was with the aunt. The aunt had gone inside the house thinking the boy was following her. He wasn’t. The boy had started across the road to his father, when they heard a loud thud and the screeching tires. A gray Mitsubishi pickup, driven by a suspected drunk driver, hit the boy in the street. (Later tests showed that although the driver had been drinking, he was under the legal limit). Just like that, in the blink of an eye, a potentially fatal accident occurs.
The accident occurred at around 9:00p.m. in an Aurora, Colorado neighborhood. Luckily, a neighbor, Jennifer Elder, a special education teacher at Gateway High School, was there to help.
“We were outside of our condo on our deck when I heard a loud thud, and then screaming,” Jennifer said. She looked over to see the man cradling his son in the middle of the street amidst a crowd of onlookers.
The father was holding his son, obviously distraught, shaking the boy and telling him to “wake up.”
Jennifer went over to offer assistance. She stated that the boy, who had bruises on his face and was bleeding from his nose, didn’t have a pulse and wasn’t breathing when she got to him. She performed CPR, and after mouth-to-mouth breathing and several chest compressions, the boy regained a heartbeat and regained consciousness.
“I started talking to him. I told him everything was going to be OK, and that help was on the way,” Elder said. The boy was taken to a local hospital for treatment and then airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Denver.
This story is very typical of the circumstances in which most children are struck by cars. We teach kids to look both ways, but most accidents occur during lapses of forgetfulness, either on the part of the adult or the child. There are two books which will help parents avoid such a scenario: ‘How NOT to get Runned Over,’ which teaches kids extra rules that help them avoid common child-auto accidents, and ‘What Bigger Kids Can Do,’ which
teaches older siblings, even ones as young as 3 or 4, how to be extra eyes and ears for safety, so there is an extra level of security around when parents have little lapses such as these. This story should also be an extra testament to why all citizens should take the time to become CPR and first aid certified.