March 5, 2015

New Research Reveals Parents Unaware of Hazards in the Home

Safe Kids Worldwide Study Shows Families Can Do More to Protect their Children

Sacramento, CA – With people still talking about the Nationwide Make Safe Happen Super Bowl ad that brought dramatic attention to the number one cause of childhood deaths, preventable injuries, new research recently released by Safe Kids Worldwide reveals the scope of the problem in a place most parents assume is safe: the home. Every day, six children die from an injury in the home, and 10,000 go to the emergency department for the kinds of injuries that commonly happen in homes. In California, three children die every week from sleep-related deaths alone, which is the leading cause of death for children under age 1. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1-4, while falls top the list for injuries.

“Report to the Nation: Protecting Children in Your Home,” a report made possible by funding from Nationwide, is based on a survey of 1,010 parents across America. It explores what parents are concerned about and what they do ̶ or don’t do ̶ to keep kids safe in the home.

Download the report and infographic.

When asked what parents are concerned about in the home, drowning barely made the list, with only 1 percent listing it as a concern. Yet, every week a child dies from drowning in a bathtub. One in eight parents surveyed say they left their young child alone in bathtub for five minutes or longer. Reasons given? Getting towels, checking on other children and cooking.

TIP Give young children your undivided attention when they are in the bathtub or around water.

While parents say they are worried about fire safety, and 96 percent report they have a smoke alarm, 14 percent said they never check their smoke alarm battery. Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by half.

TIP Check smoke alarm batteries every six months to make sure they are working.

For children under the age of 1, suffocation is the leading cause of injury-related death. In a separate study among children age one and under, Safe Kids learned that 73 percent of parents say they place items in the crib with their baby, including blankets, bumpers and stuffed animals, all of which can be suffocation hazards.

TIP Keep cribs clear of objects, and make sure babies sleep alone, on their back, and in a crib.

Window falls are preventable, yet 70 percent of parents say they have never used window guards or stops that prevent these falls. Each year, 3,300 children are injured from falling out of a window.

TIP Install window guards or window stops to keep children from falling out of windows.

Only 4 percent of parents expressed concern about poisoning, which is surprising, given that Poison Control Centers answer more than one million calls a year about children 5 and under who have gotten into medicine or other dangerous products. In a separate study, Safe Kids found that more grandparents identified electrical outlets as a top safety issue than medicine, yet 36 times more children go to the emergency department for medicine poisoning than for injuries caused by an electrical outlet.

TIP Keep all medicine up and away, even medicine you take every day. Be alert to medicine stored in other locations, like pills in purses, vitamins on counters, and medicine on nightstands.

“Every parent wants to protect their children, and we found that parents consider their own home to be safer than most,” said Katie Smith, director of Safe Kids California. “Sadly, 2,200 kids die from an injury in the home every year and thousands suffer serious injuries. The good news is, we know how to prevent these injuries. We’ve pulled together simple steps parents can take to protect their kids.”

“This is an issue Nationwide has been passionate about for over 60 years, which is why we launched our Make Safe Happen program,” said Matt Jauchius, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Nationwide. “And this is why we are supporting Safe Kids Worldwide with a three-year sponsorship to extend their important work to keep kids safe from preventable injuries in the home. Safe Kids is a valued member of the Make Safe Happen Advisory Council, and this research will further inform and guide us as we work together to protect children.”

To learn more tips to keep kids safe in the home, visit or

About Safe Kids California

Safe Kids California works with 18 local coalitions statewide to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Its members represent health care, schools, law enforcement, fire protection, insurance companies, parents and many other community members with a stake in keeping kids safe . Safe Kids California is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids California was founded in 2008 and is led by the Child Abuse Prevention Center of Sacramento. For more information, visit or

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; specialty health; pet, motorcycle, boat and farm insurance. For more information, visit

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Make Safe Happen are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.