As I've said many times before, Meghan’s death could have been prevented, if only we were aware of the dangers and took the proper steps to prevent it. No parent should ever have to experience the pain of seeing their child suffer a life-altering and debilitating injury or worse, the death of their child, especially from something that could have been prevented.
I recently posted on the Meghan’s Hope Facebook page that according to the CDC, preventable accidents are the leading cause of death in children. Half of those preventable accidents happen in and around the home!
Surprisingly, despite those statistics, a recent survey conducted by Nationwide identifies a significant gap in awareness of these facts, with only 28% of parents or caregivers correctly identifying that the leading cause of childhood death is preventable accidents.
The reason for this disparity between the statistics and the fact the majority of parents are unaware of the fact accidents is the leading cause of death to children? Nearly two-thirds of parents surveyed think they are doing an acceptable job keeping their children safe at home. They likely mistakenly think their kids are as safe as they can be. Possibly, because they are either unaware of the dangers that lurk in their homes, or, are aware of the dangers, but don’t take them seriously, thinking for some reason, “it” can’t happen to their child.
Parents who have lost their children to preventable accidents know all too well “it” can happen to your child. To help these parents who have suffered the most unimaginable and painful of losses, I recently published Out of the Darkness: Coping with and Recovering From the Death of a Child, to offer support to other parents and those who love and support them in their journey after the death of a child.
My mission at Meghan’s Hope is twofold. To help bereaved parents is only one part of Meghan's Hope. The primary purpose of of Meghan's Hope is, and always will be, to teach parents how to be safety smart, so they don’t ever need my book.
However, I am all too aware that no one can tackle the important issue of child safety alone. Last week, Nationwide announced they are partnering with two leaders in child safety, Safe Kids Worldwide and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in a new awareness campaign called Make Safe Happen. You might be wondering why Nationwide is launching a child safety campaign. Nationwide has had a 60-year relationship with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and their Center for Injury and Research Policy. In fact, in 1954, they published a pamphlet titled “Your Child’s Safety,” which highlighted ways parents could keep their kids safer. They have always been committed to protecting what matters to you the most – your children.
The goal of Make Safe Happen is to reduce the number one cause of death among children – preventable accidents. The Make Safe Happen program includes an interactive website with safety tips that you can search by the age of your child, the room of the home, or by risk category such as water safety, tip-over prevention, poisoning, choking and strangulation, and fires and burns. There is also a free, easy to use, interactive app, available for both IOS and Android, which allows you to go through the same safety tip categories and even create a personalized to-do and shopping list for items you need to make your home safer!
Nationwide also realizes that even they cannot tackle these issues of home and child safety alone. They have also entered into partnerships with experts in the field of child safety, and together they will hold events, raise awareness, and continue to advocate for ways to make homes and children safer. Remember the Nationwide jingle? "Nationwide is on your side." They want to help you have a safer home.
Today, I'm very proud to announce the partnership of Meghan’s Hope with Nationwide and Nationwide Children's Hospital in their Make Safe Happen campaign, and to share their resources for child and home safety. I encourage you to visit MakeSafeHappen.com, download the Make Safe Happen app, and learn to make your home safer! Share these resources with your friends and family through social media and encourage them to do the same. In that way, they are also partnering with you! Just as you have helped to share Meghan’s story and raise awareness about tip-overs, you can help to Make Safe Happen! It’s been said it takes a village to raise a child. We are all part of that village and it takes all of us to keep our children safe!
Together, we can help you protect what matters most: Your kids. Together, we can Make Safe Happen!
Disclaimer: I am a paid spokesperson for Nationwide and the Make Safe Happen Campaign and have received financial, material, or other compensation in preparing this content. All opinions stated are my own.