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Byron Shire
May 14, 2021

Watch out, kids about

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I’ve been thinking about this for over a month now and I really feel I should share my story in the hope nothing like this could happen again. It’s a scary story but thankfully not a tragic one.

My partner and I have had a casual stall at the Bangalow market for 2½ years now, and we always bring our five-year-old and more recently our now one-year-old baby.

It came to pack-up time at the end of a busy day at the market. My daughter was told to come into the stall and be close to me as there were cars coming onto the site. I was busy with a customer and didn’t realise that she had sat back down just across from my stall off to the side of the road where she was playing just moments before. Only minutes later I heard a scream and a screech of breaks and ran to the other side of the road to find my daughter screaming in my partner’s arms. A 4WD truck had tried to reverse into the stall next to me, clipping her across the back and hip, badly grazing her back, her leg from knee to ankle, and also spraining her ankle.

We quickly packed up and took her to hospital, where she stayed for 24 hours. Just before we left, I thought to report the incident to the managers of the market. I was very disappointed in the response I received. All I wanted to do was to advise them of the incident as I felt it was important. They were not interested in my suggestion to give the stallholders, many of whom are parents, a friendly reminder to be extra careful, but stated ‘you should have been watching your kid’. I was then interrupted by another manager stating, ‘your child was in the middle of the road’. I felt there was no room for discussion; I then walked away feeling that they were more concerned with insurance than a little girl who had been hurt or with preventing it happening again.

They never asked about my child’s welfare the day of the incident nor the following month when I had hoped they would have a change of heart and let the other stallholders know what happened to prevent it happening again. So I’ve had to take the matter into my own hands and write this letter.

Parents, please be extra careful at set-up and pack-up time and be 100 per cent sure you know where your children are at all times; and drivers, please drive slowly and cautiously in the market and never reverse without someone spotting you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Jacqueline Sirianni, Brunswick Heads

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