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Make Safe Happen

Nationwide kicked off its "Make Safe Happen" campaign during the Super Bowl. The ad it chose depicted a mop-head boy having wonderful life adventures; at the end of the ad the boy says he never had the chance to actually do any of those fantastic things because he died. The ad closes with a chilling view of an overflowing bathtub, presumably the cause of the boy's death, and a tag line about household accidents being the number one cause of childhood deaths.

The ad sparked an immediate and virulent social media response--most of it negative. People dubbed the ad the most depressing Super Bowl commercial of all time. People questioned the propriety of using childhood deaths to sell insurance. People talked, criticized, defended, and talked more. Editorials online and off discussed what became the controversy of the Super Bowl. Some suggested that the ad became a controversy because the rest of the Super Bowl was so non-controversial. More comments followed.

But all the talking is exactly what Nationwide was trying to promote, according to its executives. Nationwide insists that the ad achieved its intent, which was to start a national conversation about household accidents and child safety that will hopefully save lives. Picking up on the "make safe happen" message, the attorneys at the Thomas Law Firm looked into the most common household accidents resulting in injury and death to children. Below are the results.


According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), there are four common causes of child injury and death. The biggest cause of death from injury in children ages 1-4 is drowning; three children die every day from drowning. The overflowing bathtub in the Nationwide ad most likely alludes to this statistic. A second common cause of child injury and death is poisoning. Two children die everyday from poisoning and over three hundred children ages 0-19 years old go to Emergency Departments every day due to poisoning. The most common sources are household chemicals, personal care products, medicines, and vitamins/supplements.

A third common cause of child injury and death is burns. Two children die every day from being burned, and over three hundred children ages 0-19 years old visit Emergency Departments every day due to injuries from being burned. Young children are usually injured due to contact with hot liquids and/or steam. Older children tend to be injured from direct contact with fire, such as with matches and/or smoking materials.

The fourth common cause of child injuries is falls. While this type of injury is typically non-lethal, it can result in severe and permanent disability (e.g. traumatic brain injury). Everyday, approximately 8,000 children visit Emergency Departments for injuries due to falls.


While accidents can and will happen, it helps to do everything possible to minimize risk. For example, always have your child in a bath safety seat appropriate for their age when in the tub, do not fill the water higher than necessary to wash them, and always, always, be with your child when they are in the bathtub. Keep all household cleaners and chemicals out of reach, including those nice dishwasher and washing machine pods that look like candy and have been found to be all-too-tempting to young children. Keep personal care and bathroom products away from curious little fingers, and keep all medicine and vitamins/supplements under lock and key.

As if there is not enough evidence that smoking is bad for one's health, the finding that smoking and smoking-related materials are the main cause of fire-related deaths at home is yet another reason stop lighting up. It is also a good practice to keep working fire extinguishers at home and to know how to use them.


For more information about how to avoid household accidents, or if you have had an accident at home and want to know your legal rights, contact the Atlanta personal injury lawyers at The Thomas Law Firm.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

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