VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A 3-year old boy is improving after he was run over by a float during the Valdosta Christmas Parade on Saturday.
Officials said the young child is stable and no longer in critical condition.
On Monday, he was eating for the first time, according to the executive Director of the school that operated the float.
Webster and Patterson Street is the intersection where the tragic events unfolded.
Now, cars are driving up and down the street and sidewalks are empty. But just days ago, the sidewalks were crowded with parade goers.
About halfway through the parade route, a fun family outing quickly turned into a parent's nightmare.
A 3-year old boy riding on the Coastal Plain Head Start float fell off and was run over.
According to the school's executive director, the boys jacket got caught on the float, causing him to fall.
"Our focus here is the child and the family," said Executive Director Randall Lane with Coastal Plains Area E.O.A.
The young boy was airlifted to another hospital.
Parade officials said this is the first time something like this has happened in the 20 years the parade has been around.
"Safety is our prime concern. Always is and always will be," said Parade Chairman Robert Cosby.
With more than 100 parade entries, every organization receives guidelines they must follow in the parade.
There is no minimum age to ride on the floats and each float is checked as it hits the parade route.
"We watch as they pull out. We walk up and down the street and on bicycles keeping an eye out for anything that may go wrong," explained Cosby.
Roughly 10 to 12 kids were on the float.
The school's executive director also said there was an adult with each of the kids.
They are reaching out to all the children at school and their families to help.
"We're providing them with mental health counseling for the students that were on the trailer, their parents, and also the young man that was injured and his family," said Lane.
Now, officials say that looking forward, they will continue to find ways to make the parade even safer.
"We will improve, or look at ways to improve each and every year," said Cosby.
The school's executive director said the safety of the students is the number one concern.
Therefore, they will no longer allow them to ride on floats in the parade.