Toledo Legal News - News Nationwide rolls out focus areas to improve child safety

 

Nationwide Insurance announced recently two new focus areas for its annual signature cause program, Make Safe Happen, which is dedicated to reducing accidental injuries.

During the first half of the year the new areas of focus will include safe nurseries, in the first quarter, and wheel safety, including bikes and scooters, in the second quarter.

In the second half of the year, the program will continue to expand its work nationally, as well as locally, around water safety and fire safety issues.

Starting its third year, the program's expert advisory council and nonprofit partners - Nationwide Children's Hospital and Safe Kids Worldwide - are committed to those focus areas based on statistics about their impact on children's well-being, according to Nationwide.

There are positive, preventative measures caregivers can take to keep children safe in their cribs and nurseries, and while bike safety has been a significant issue, other activities should be addressed as well, according to the council.

"We aim to reach as many parents and caregivers as possible with potentially life-saving safety messages," said Mike Boyd, senior vice president of brand at Nationwide. "Through Make Safe Happen, we empowered more than 1 million safety actions last year, and based on our success in surpassing this goal, we aim to spark more than 3 million safety actions in 2017."

The program found that Google searches and social media curation for "nursery decor" and similar phrases peak between January and March, making the first few months of the year the most important time to share information about nursery safety, according to the council.

Several facts found include: emergency room departments treated more than 65,000 children for nursery-related injuries in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control; sleep-related deaths are the leading cause of infant mortality for children under 1, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics; and recent guidance from the AAP notes that putting infants on their backs to sleep is the most effective way to prevent death, yet the number of parents following this advice hasn't changed in the past decade.

The program utilizes a variety of tools and resources for new and expectant parents as they prepare their homes.

Parents will learn ways to design a nursery in the safest way possible including: keeping the crib free of blankets, toys and bumpers; positioning a crib away from windows and book shelves, dressers and changing tables; using safety straps on a changing pad; and learning the ABCs of infant sleep safety - alone, back, crib.

The next quarter focusing on wheel safety is slated to address the need for solutions to traditional and modern wheel safety concerns.

In partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide, the program will release new research this spring on parents' attitudes and behaviors surrounding these activities.

The remainder of the year will again focus on water and fire safety. That will include hundreds of sponsored events and activities in communities in partnership with the American Red Cross.

Those interested in more information can visit makesafehappen.com, download the Make Safe Happen app, or watch an online video on their website.

ELISSA COLLOPY, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

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