Are you watching your kids in the parking lot?

Parking lot dangers

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A new study shows parents need to pay extra attention to their children in a parking lot.

"You know we parents are busy. We’ve got a lot going on. We might want to look at our phone. We might be in a rush to get into the building. But I think we need to step back and think,” said Dr. David Schwebel, Director of UAB Youth Safety Lab.

That’s the message behind a study conducted by UAB researchers. They found that younger children are at particular risk for pedestrian injuries in parking lots.

“We were astonished by our findings. 67% of children, and these are 2 to 10 years olds, 67% crossed the parking lot, without careful supervision by an adult,” said Schwebel.

That’s not all. The study also found that 89% of children were outside of the reach of an adult. And 50% exited a vehicle prior to a grown up.

“Older children have a tendency of getting out of your line of sight or your reach,” said Captain Johnny Evans, Vestavia Hills Police.

Evans said it’s important to keep eyes on your kids and don’t let them get out of reach. He also adds there is an aspect of driver accountability.

“If the child is smaller than the hood of the car, you can’t see over them. So your vision is limited. So you have to assume someone is coming out and drive slower in the parking lot,” said Evans.

“Our child is in a place with moving vehicles. We really need to protect our children,” said Schwebel.

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