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Saturday, October 16, 2021

New product born in Newport looks to make homes safer for kids

NEWPORT — Unintentional childhood injuries are the number one killer of kids in the United States, with many of these deaths being preventable. It is an issue that has been in the news recently, with Ikea recently recalling 29 million dressers after 6 children were killed when the units toppled over and fell on them.

A new product that was born here in the Northeast Kingdom hopes that with the right information anyone who has a home where children live or visit can prepare a safer space for little ones.

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Newport resident Beth Barnes, a childhood injury prevention specialist, has gathered a collection of high-quality items that can help safeguard a home and help give parents peace-of-mind. The product is called the KIKS™ Bag, and it’s a unique way to say welcome to the world baby, we are so glad you are here.

“There is no substitute for close supervision, but there are certain things we can all do to minimize possible accidents,” Barnes says. For example, every two weeks in the United States a child dies in a TV or furniture tip-over accident.

A TV or furniture strap appropriately anchored to the wall can greatly reduce the chance of this happening.

“Every family who gives birth at North Country Hospital receives a similar bag,” said Barnes, a Community Outreach Specialist at the hospital. “I thought it would be a really great idea to create a bag that everyone, anywhere could benefit from because every child deserves a safe start to life.”

The bag, which has no affiliation with the hospital, also includes a carefully written brochure about basic home safety.

For example, small, disc-shaped lithium batteries, used or new, can be mistaken as something yummy by an unsuspecting child. However, these batteries can become stuck in the esophagus and start burning a hole in the soft tissue within a few hours. The easy fix is to keep them out of sight and out of reach.

The unique KIKS™ bag, carefully packed into a 100 percent cotton, reusable knapsack, includes a 46 piece Safety Essential Kit, a Rubber Ducky Temp Guard, Furniture Wall Straps, TV Anti-Tip Strap, Blind Cord Wind-Ups, Choke Tube Tester and important information compiled and written by Beth Barnes.

Barnes remains strongly motivated by three families that have lost little ones to tip over accidents; three families that had no idea that such a danger even existed until it happened to them. She hopes the KIKS™ bag will reduce chances of this happening to others.

The bag is available for individuals and bulk co-branding. Part of the proceeds from sales will go toward tip over education.

Please contact Beth at [email protected] for further information.

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