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Nationwide Superbowl Ad – A personal injury lawyer’s take

By : jasonneufeld Filed Under : personal injury lawyer

nationwide superbowl adThere are many subjects I could focus on that could relate personal-injury law and the Super Bowl. Cliff Avril and Julian Edelman’s possible concussions. Concussions (especially more than one) will likely result in long-term physical degeneration of the brain, diffuse axonal injuries, with behavioral changes. Second Impact Syndrome suggests that multiple blows to the head will only compound the problem.

But, I am going to focus this article on what everyone else is talking about: the Nationwide Superbowl Ad. If you didn’t watch the game or check out the commercials afterwards, it’s the one featuring a child who would never grow up after dying in an accident (drowning in a bathtub, ingesting detergent obtained under the kitchen sink, or being crushed by an overturned big-screen TV).

As a father of twins less then a year old – the Nationwide commercial struck a chord. But if my Facebook feed is any indication, most people were aghast. I see plenty of status updates to the effect of: Boycott Nationwide.

I suspect I am playing right into Nationwide’s hands by addressing their controversial commercial. They clearly want this to be a topic of discussion. However, in this particular case (and as a personal-injury lawyer, I detest saying anything positive about an insurance company), I find myself glad that Nationwide spent millions of dollars to get an ad in front of millions of viewers warning of many avoidable dangers. If only because it has started a much needed conversation.

According to the National Institute of Health, American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC, accidents are, by far, the leading cause of death among children. Mostly, this relates pertains to car accidents. But other leading causes of accidental deaths in children happen to be the one’s featured in the Nationwide commercial: drowning (children can drown in under an inch of water… far too many die in unattended bathtubs and swimming pools); falls; and poisoning.

If the Nationwide Superbowl Ad has shocked you, good. If it causes more parents to take further childproofing measures around the home (most of which are very affordable), even better.

Here are some quick, cheap and easy child-safety tips to prevent the Nationwide Superbowl Commercial from becoming your own personal nightmare:

  1. In the Bathroom: Preventing your child from drowning in the bathtub is as inexpensive as it gets – free actually. All you have to do is never leave your young child alone in the bathtub. Never. Not for one second. When your child is in the bathtub, an adult must be there at all times. No exceptions.
  2. In the Kitchen: Children are curious. They love opening cabinets. The cabinet under the sink is one of the most dangerous because almost everything stored under there is a poisonous chemical. To avoid your child from ingesting one of these poisons you have several options: (i) move them to a cabinet up high, perhaps in a different room where they cannot be reached; or (ii) spend less than $5.00 at home depot buying a childproof lock.
  3. It’s not just under the kitchen sink you have to worry about. Vanilla extract, salt and other spices are surprisingly poisonous to young children. So elevate your spice rack or purchase another childproofing lock.
  4. The Big Screen TV: Big TVs are great, and have never been more affordable. They are also becoming thinner and easier to move. This combination creates a relatively new hazard that many don’t think about. Kids between the ages of one to four years are at most risk for being injured by a falling TV. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Between 2011 and 2013, over 11,000 children were treated in emergency rooms for TV-related injuries (some involved the furniture supporting the TV). Point is, the flickering screen is attractive to children and they will naturally want a closer look and will want to grab. Since TVs are not as stable as they once were, this is a cause for concern. The fix: we paid $50.00 to hire someone to secure our TV against the wall.

After the uproar over the Nationwide Superbowl Ad has diminished, these safety hazards will still be a problem – but maybe, after sparking more discussion about these dangers, more parents will take action and prevent a few unnecessary childhood injuries or death.

Jason Neufeld is a personal-injury attorney based in Aventura, FL. He can be reached at 305.931.6666 or jneufeld@nkplaw.com.

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