Posts Tagged ‘ Safe Kids Worldwide ’

How Safe Is Your Home, Really?

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

family in front of houseCan you guess the leading cause of deaths in children under 10? It’s not cancer or disease. It’s unintentional injuries, and half of them happen in or around the home, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the summer, kids break away from the order and control of classrooms and get the chance to let loose at home, often without direct supervision. By making your home as safe as possible, you can let your kids enjoy maximum freedom.

Nationwide Insurance partnered with Safe Kids Worldwide in hopes of preventing unintentional injuries through Make Safe Happen, an initiative that educates parents on creating safe environments.

This summer, Make Safe Happen is stopping at fairs and festivals across the country to spread the word about unsafe scenarios in the home. You can walk around in a simulated home, with each room featuring a dangerous condition, like household chemicals left in plain view or TVs that could be knocked down. With an iPad and Nationwide’s mascot, Nate the Eagle, you’ll learn how to make the space safer for your kids. Plus, you’ll get tips like how to make sure water temperatures aren’t too hot and how to make a fire escape plan. The tour will hit Iowa, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Arizona; click here for a full schedule.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital also recently teamed up with CDC experts to launch a Make Safe Happen smartphone app that helps you create a safe environment for your little ones. Safety expert Dr. Lara B. McKenzie, PhD, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, was inspired to develop the app after having triplets, for whom she needed to babyproof her home in a major way.

“For the first time, we began implementing the safety advice I had been giving as an injury researcher for more than a decade,” Dr. McKenzie has said. “I had the willingness to make my house safer, and the knowledge to do it. I’d been researching ways to prevent injuries in and around the home for years and gave interviews about it, so how was this still so hard?”

Dr. McKenzie has said her smartphone is the one thing she always has, which is why she figured it’d be the best tool to guide home safety measures. After entering the ages of your children into the Make Safe Happen app, you can explore room-by-room lists of safety steps. The app tracks your progress, letting you make to-do lists of how you could make your home even safer. Make Safe Happen can also set seasonal reminders, such as when to test smoke alarms or change the batteries, directly into your smartphone’s calendar. Plus, in-app links let you make shopping lists of products you might not own, like toilet seat locks, then head straight to Amazon to buy them.

“It’s fair to say that [my] triplets don’t care a whole lot about safety themselves,” Dr. McKenzie has said. “But they’ve pushed me to think about it in a different way. And I hope that the tool that my triplets inspired can help you.”

Marissa Laliberte is an Editorial Intern at Parents magazine who loves running, baking, and drinking coffee. Follow her on Twitter: @mjlaliberte

Babyproofing Your Home: Living Room
Babyproofing Your Home: Living Room
Babyproofing Your Home: Living Room

Image via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

Is Your Home as Safe as You Think?

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Nearly 9 million children end up in the emergency room each year.

Roughly 8,000 children die each year from unintentional injuries.

In fact, preventable injuries are the leading cause of death for children in the U.S.

And among children up to 12 years old, their injuries often happen at home.

This is what prompted Nationwide Insurance to embark on an ambitious campaign called Make Safe Happen. The goal is simple: to reduce the number of preventable injuries in and around the home. Through the web site and free app—both called Make Safe Happen—parents and caregivers can learn exactly how their child is at risk. Both methods are impressively user-friendly; you can sort the info based on your child’s age, the various parts of your home and yard, and injury types.

One of the most helpful features of the app is the product recommendations. Say you’re looking at a checklist of steps to take to make your toddler’s bedroom safer: Among them will be to install window locks and guards. In addition to the tip, you’ll be prompted to immediately shop for the items and can be directed straight to Amazon to buy them.

Also key: Automatic reminders imported into your calendar, which are perfect for precautions like testing your smoke alarms every month and replacing their batteries.

All of the information has been created and vetted by experts from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and Safe Kids Worldwide in Washington, D.C. Among the main contributors was Lara B. McKenzie, Ph.D., principal investigator for the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s—and mother of 3-year-old triplets! (I’m exhausted simply typing that phrase.) Though she’d already been working in the injury-research field by the time she became a mom, motherhood is what really brought this issue to life, she says: “In my professional world, we’re always asking how we can get parents to adopt countermeasures to prevent home-related injuries. When my kids were born, I thought, ‘Why do we have to make it so hard?’ And this is the idea behind the app: I’m standing in my kitchen, and I know I need to lock the cabinets. But what kind of locks do I need? I need to secure my TV to the wall—but what kind of straps should I buy? We’re answering those questions for parents. We’re telling them about the hazards, as well as the products that can reduce the consequences.”

I blogged just the other day about parents who go to incredible lengths—true extremes—to keep their children safe. It would seem I’m being hypocritical, following that up with a post about how dangerous our homes can be. But the reality is this: If you’ve taken the proper precautions around your home, with help from resources like the Make Safe Happen site and app, and if you’re aware (not hyperaware!) of what your child is up to, then you’ve done right by your child.

Kara Corridan is the health director at Parents. She has two young daughters and needs the Make Safe Happen app more than she cares to admit.

Babyproofing Your Home: Kitchen
Babyproofing Your Home: Kitchen
Babyproofing Your Home: Kitchen

Add a Comment

The Risky Move 28% of Moms Make

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

I’ll cut to the chase: It’s putting their baby to sleep on their stomach. In a safe-sleep survey our sister publication, American Baby, conducted with Safe Kids Worldwide, nearly a third of moms admitted that despite knowing that babies should only be put to sleep on their back, they haven’t always done it. What’s more, nearly half of those moms had put their baby on their stomach before they turned 3 months old–when the risk for SIDS is highest.

This fact stands out as we join with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Safe to Sleep (formerly Back to Sleep) Campaign. This campaign, reminding parents and caregivers everywhere that the safest way for a baby to sleep is on her back, has been enormously effective. As we reported in a story on safe sleep last year: Within ten years, back-sleeping rates escalated and SIDS deaths dropped by more than half. “It was one of the greatest public-health-education triumphs of the late-20th century,” says neonatologist Michael Goodstein, M.D., a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. “An estimated 30,000 children are alive today because of Back to Sleep.”

Still, there’s plenty of work to be done, and our friends at Safe to Sleep know that better than anyone. They regularly produce materials to help spread the message of safe-sleep practices and why they’re so crucial. Their site is the perfect place to turn for informative photos of exactly what a safe sleep environment looks like, as well as ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths. There’s also a helpful page busting all the SIDS-related myths, including that back-sleeping can lead a baby to choke on spitup or vomit–which, as hard as it may seem to believe, just is not the case. The head of Safe to Sleep, Shavon Artis, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., wrote a helpful article for us about how new moms feel about safe-sleep rules. See if you can relate to their experiences.

Since this is SIDS Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to take stock of how well you stick to the safe-sleep guidelines:

  • Always put your baby to sleep on his back.
  • Don’t put blankets or toys in her crib.
  • Use a pacifier at sleep time.
  • Don’t smoke while pregnant, and don’t allow anyone to smoke around your infant.
  • Don’t share your bed with your baby.
  • Make sure the crib mattress is firm and tight-fitting.
  • Don’t overdress your child or put his crib near a heat source.

You might want to send this video, courtesy of NICHD, to any expecting moms or caregivers who might need a refresher course:

Baby Sleep Safety: Reduce the Risk of SIDS
Baby Sleep Safety: Reduce the Risk of SIDS
Baby Sleep Safety: Reduce the Risk of SIDS


Add a Comment

How a Tape Measure and a Scale Could Save Your Kid’s Life

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for children 4 to 10 years old. Buckling a child safely into a car seat or booster seat can dramatically reduce the risk of  serious injury, yet 9 in 10 parents are switching their kids from boosters to seatbelt-only restraints before the children are big enough to be safe sans booster, according to a new survey from Safe Kids Worldwide and the General Motors Foundation. (Disclosure: I sit on the board of Safe Kids Worldwide, so this issue is especially near to my heart.)

Here’s where the tape measure and scale come in:  Seven in 10 parents surveyed didn’t know that a child should be at least 57″ tall (4’9″) to ride in a car without a booster seat. So pull out your measuring device and check your child’s height before you yield to his appeal to ditch the booster. Weigh him too: Your child should also be at least 80 pounds before going boosterless. Lots of children won’t hit these marks until they are 11 or even older according to this info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Check your child’s stats even if you previously reviewed your state’s booster regulations (rules vary from state to state). Many states don’t require boosters after age 7, much less until age 11. These are also among the states with the highest rates of motor vehicle fatalities among kids ages 4 to 8. (I’m talking to you, Montana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky.)

Carpools are particularly worrisome, according to the Safe Kids Worldwide report. Anyone who even occasionally shuttles around extra kids should keep a spare booster in their trunk. I sometimes find that my own child is out of the booster zone but we ferry a friend who is not. Indeed, one in five parents in the survey said they bend the rules when carpooling.

Of course all this is moot if you don’t buckle your kid up in the first place, and an astounding one in three fatalities in 2012 happened when a child was completely unbuckled during a crash. So let’s all resolve to buckle our kids, every time. And if you have younger children who are still in a car seat (as opposed to a booster) it’s a good idea to check to make sure the seat is installed properly. This Saturday is National Seat Check Saturday, so take a moment to review these safety smarts. And visit Safe Kids to find out where you can get guidance from a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician on proper installation of your seat.

Keep your kid safe no matter where they are with our Parents’ Home Safety Guidelines.

Car Seat Installation Tips
Car Seat Installation Tips
Car Seat Installation Tips

Photograph: MikhailSh via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

Are You Making These Baby-Sleep Safety Mistakes?

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

If there’s one thing we know you crave as a new parent, it’s sleep. Of course, for you to get some rest, you need your baby to safely drift off. And that can be grueling during the first year. American Baby, in partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization devoted to preventing childhood injuries, polled more than 4,500 new moms with babies age 1 and younger to find out how parents put their infant to sleep. Find out if you’re making any of the missteps our survey uncovered, and share this infographic with all your new-mom friends. Together, let’s make 2014 the year that babies sleep more safely.

baby sleep statistics

To post the infographic above on your own blog or website, cut and paste this code:

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Baby Sleeping Safely infographic from" /></a>

To find out what common safe-sleep mistakes you’re making, click here to see the full story.

What do you need for a safe and sleep-friendly nursery? Download our checklist and find out. Then, learn how to make homemade baby food with our easy how-to guide.

All About Co-Sleepers
All About Co-Sleepers
All About Co-Sleepers

Add a Comment