Every year after the Super Bowl commences, people talk about more than just the debatably unfair ref calls and result of the game. Viewers analyze everything from the outfits worn during the half-time performance to the quality of the year’s outrageously expensive commercials—and this year is no different.
During the NFL championship game yesterday, Nationwide aired a controversial commercial (ICYMI, watch it below) meant to raise awareness about the leading cause of childhood death: preventable injuries. The ad promoted the “Make Safe Happen” campaign with a young boy narrating all the things he wouldn’t do, before finally announcing that the reason…is because he’s dead.
Preventable injuries around the home are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America. Most people don’t know that. Nationwide ran an ad during the Super Bowl that started a fierce conversation. The sole purpose of this message was to start a conversation, not sell insurance.
We want to build awareness of an issue that is near and dear to all of us—the safety and well being of our children. We knew the ad would spur a variety of reactions. In fact, thousands of people visited MakeSafeHappen.com, a new website to help educate parents and caregivers with information and resources in an effort to make their homes safer and avoid a potential injury or death. Nationwide has been working with experts for more than 60 years to make homes safer. While some did not care for the ad, we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen for children everywhere.
While the ad may not be what you expect (or want) to see while devouring hot wings with family and friends, it doesn’t mean Nationwide went too far. Nationwide intended to provoke thoughts and start a conversation, and they succeeded in doing just that.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a new warning Tuesday about the dangers of laundry gel packets, saying that if children bite or even handle them, serious health problems may result. This new report follows a similar warning issued in September, which expressed concern for children because of the packets’ similar appearance to toys and teething products.
“In 2012 alone, CPSC staff has learned of about 500 incidents involving children and adults who were injured by the product. Children have required hospitalization from ingesting the product due to loss of consciousness, excessive vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing (requiring intubation). Eye contact with detergent from ruptured packets has also resulted in medical treatment for severe irritation and temporary vision loss due to ocular burns.
Because these packets dissolve quickly and release highly concentrated toxic chemicals when contacted with water, wet hands, or saliva, consumers are strongly urged to always handle laundry packets carefully and with dry hands.”
“On average, we’re still seeing a child every six minutes rushed to an emergency department in this country because of a stair-related injury,” a 10-year study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital has found.
The silver lining to the stark findings is that the number of injuries has actually fallen by 11 percent over the decade researchers have been following injury data. But one million children under the age of five visited emergency rooms during the study period, more than three-quarters of whom had head and neck injuries.
A notable finding was that many children were hurt while being carried up the stairs, and those children were three times more likely to require hospital care than those who had fallen while climbing stairs on their own.
Not every home can accommodate the wall-mounted safety gates that are recommended at the top of every flight of stairs, said Dr. Brian Smith, director of the Center, in a statement. And in many older homes, staircases are not straight, meaning that some stairs might be slightly shorter or deeper than others, causing a tripping hazard.
“Much more attention should be paid to making stairs safer and user friendly, especially through building codes,” said Smith in a statement.
What can parents do to safeguard their stairs? Smith offers these safety tips:
Never let children play on stairs
Always keep stairs free of toys and clutter to prevent tripping
If you carry a child down the stairs, always keep one hand on the handrail for balance, and never carry anything else at the same time, and install safe handrails.
Rails that are less than 6¼ inches around are safest, because they make it easier for you to put your hand around the entire rail with a firm power grip.
Avoid wider, decorative handrails that are difficult to firmly grasp.
The Chicago Tribune reports that a two-year-old girl is in serious condition after being injured by a falling television and dresser last week. She is the fifth child in the Chicago area to be struck by a falling television since October.
The toddler was trying to climb up the dresser when the television fell on her, police reports said. The child’s mother was in another room with her son when she heard a crash. The child was rushed to Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago, and her condition was upgraded from critical to serious over the weekend.
But in the four other cases in the Chicago area, all four children died of their injuries. There’s been a wave of similar accidents nationwide: Hospitals saw 40 percent increase in the number of children treated at emergency rooms for “furniture tip-over” injuries from 1990 to 2007, said Dr. Gary Smith, president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, in a previous Tribune article.
From the Tribune:
Televisions account for nearly half of those cases, and young children are the most common victims, Smith said. Nine out of 10 children killed in tip-over accidents from 2000 to 2010 were 5 or younger, according to a study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“They are actually, unfortunately, common. There is a real need to do something about this,” Smith said.
There appears to be no clear reason for the rise in injuries, Smith said, though it is theorized that more children are being injured by televisions because people tend to put flat-screen televisions in places that are easier for children to reach.
To keep chidren safe, Smith recommends securing all heavy furniture, including televisions and dressers, to walls with attachments such as straps and anchors.
Click here for more from Parents.com on keeping your toddler safe at home.
U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis has issued a statement urging vigilance, zero-tolerance, and action in honor of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Three American women reportedly die each day from violent abuse, she said, adding that partner violence has far-reaching consequences for women and children:
As the chair of the president’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, I’ve seen how intimate partner violence is the number one cause of family homelessness in America. It puts our young women and men in danger of long-term physical and emotional harm. And it puts their children at greater risk of substance abuse, emotional disorders and becoming abusers themselves later in life.
To those who have been victimized by domestic violence, it’s crucial you know that there is support and shelter available to help you break the cycle of violence. And to those who perpetrate this cowardly act, know that we will not relent in our efforts until you are brought to justice. Let’s be our brother and sister’s keeper, help those who need it and lock up the perpetrators of these awful crimes.
Solis says anyone who witnesses domestic violence of any kind should call 800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit http://www.TheHotLine.org.