Educating the community on preventing common causes of child death

Educating the community on preventing common causes of child death

B2 is working on a meaningful awareness campaign that aims to reduce preventable child deaths in our community. Called Prevent Needless Deaths, the campaign educates parents and caregivers in Hillsborough County on the three leading causes of preventable child deaths – drowning, unsafe sleep practices and head trauma – and how to prevent them.

The campaign is a partnership between the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Eckerd Kids and the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Much of our work on the campaign involves face-to-face communication with parents and caregivers through community events in targeted areas of Hillsborough County. Through September, our team will share campaign messages at several events per month, including family fairs, back-to-school events, farmers markets, festivals and sporting events.

Drowning, unsafe sleep and head trauma killed more than 40 children – essentially a busload – in the Tampa Bay area last year. To demonstrate this startling statistic, we are bringing a Prevent Needless Deaths-branded school bus to many of the events we attend. The school bus serves as a mobile PSA for the campaign.

Along with sharing the facts about things that needlessly kill children, we are also providing parents with helpful resources, such as how to get free swim lessons, and are handing out campaign-branded promotional items that encourage action and provide reminders for keeping kids safe.

For example, we’re giving mini sunscreen bottles imprinted with “Designated Water Watcher” to remind parents and caregivers to remain watchful when young children are in the pool or another body of water. To promote safe sleep, we are handing out nightlights that remind parents and caregivers of the ABCs of safe sleep: “Alone on their Backs in the Crib.”

B2’s work also includes media relations and advertorial campaigns. Our advertorials featuring tips for safe sleep practices, head trauma prevention and water safety will appear in local publications geared toward parents. We’re also working with local print and TV media, as well as Tampa-based blogs covering parenting topics, to secure editorial coverage of the campaign and its messages.

Because it’s a lot easier to talk about preventable child deaths before they happen than after, we are encouraging every member of our community – not just parents – to learn the facts and help keep kids safe.

If you are interested potential partnership opportunities with the campaign, please email