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Painted paver fun with a serious message

AVOIDING driveway tragedies was the main aim of the SafeSquares workshop at Bunnings on Saturday.

Parents and children were invited to paint a concrete paver as a safe space for children to stand while vehicles operate in driveways.

After the first Parent to Parent SafeSquares initiative in March, Bunnings partnered with the organisation to promote the cause.

Volunteer Allison Namana helped out at the event because she thought her experience would fit in nicely with SafeSquares.

“In 1997, when my daughter was two, she was hit by a car. She saw her dad coming home and was excited to see him so ran outside as he was slowly coming up the driveway . . . somehow they collided.

“We took her straight to the doctor and we were told she only had bruising and would be fine. We were so lucky.”

Mrs Namana said SafeSquares was a great topic and this initiative was a good way of raising awareness.

“Parents were saying how good the event was and the kids loved painting their own square,” Mrs Namana said.

Parent to Parent chief executive officer Jane Bawden said now was the best time to send parents a reminder about the importance of driveway safety.

“As we head into the summer holidays the fun workshops are a timely tool to re-educate communities on the best ways to keep their kids safe near driveways.

“By inviting families to decorate their very own SafeSquare and then place it in a safe space behind a fence, or a gate when vehicles are in operation, we hope we can help keep these tragedies a thing of the past in New Zealand,” Ms Bawden said.

In New Zealand, almost half of all child driveway injuries occur during summer, with December accounting for 24 percent of the yearly total.

Parent to Parent is a nationwide not-for-profit organisation formed in 1983 by parents and professionals to support the families of babies, children, teens and adults with any type of disability or health impairment.

Porsha Hillman (left), 6, and Phoebe McIntosh, 5, paint their pavers in bright colours during a SafeSquares workshop at Bunnings on Saturday.
SafeSquares: Avatah Kahukoti, 10, with Bunnings activity organiser Matt Tomlinson-Moulds. The pavers are used as “SafeSquares” on which children can stand while vehicles operate in the driveway. Pictures by Liam Clayton