Child safety app spots dangers in your home


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Home is where children should feel the most safe. But your home may not be as safe as you think.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), injuries are the number one cause of death in children, and 50 percent of those accidents happen in and around the home.

Lara McKenzie has been an injury prevention researcher for more than a decade. When she became a mom to triplets, she thought home safety would come naturally.

"It struck me professionally that we have not made this easy for parents, we have not made the process of protecting your children in your home an easy task," said McKenzie.

McKenzie and fellow researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital set out to help change that. They developed the new Make Safe Happen app to help prevent childhood injury.

Parents select an age range for their children, choose a room, and the app pinpoints the areas that can be made safer. The app can also suggest types of safety products to install and where to install them.

"When you need a gate for the top of the stairs, this app actually provides with a list of gates that would be appropriate for use at the top of the stairs. And that's different for what you need at the bottom of the stairs, but most people don't know that," said McKenzie.

From the right way to stack shelves to the proper method to attach a television to the wall, the app covers a long list of hazards in every room of the house.

"We created something that I needed as a mom, and that would give parents and caregivers the tools they needed to make their home safer for their family. You can create shopping lists, set reminders and track your progress towards making your home as safe as possible for your family. And you can do all of this on your smartphone," said McKenzie.

The app is available for free on both iOS and Android. It was developed in partnership with Nationwide Insurance as part of the company's Make Safe Happen initiative.

"If this program helps save one life, then it will all be worth it, and I think the app can really help do that," said Elicia Azali from Nationwide Insurance. "Increasing awareness is really important. You can't do anything about an issue unless you know it's an issue."

To learn more about the Make Safe Happen initiative and app, click here.