Procter & Gamble brand, Safeguard, is undertaking a hygiene education and product donation initiative to help reach the estimated 48 million kids under the age of 12 that are re-entering playgrounds, parks, recreational facilities and schools in the U.S. this month. Safeguard will donate $10 million to promote handwashing habits among kids and provide more underserved communities and families with free hygiene products through organizations including Save the Children, Americares and Feeding America.
A national survey among 1,000 parents conducted by Safeguard revealed nearly seven in 10 parents (68 percent) are concerned about their children exposing others in the household to COVID-19 because of poor hand hygiene, while half (50 percent) of parents are so worried about their children’s hygiene and health that they don’t plan to take their kids to parks or recreation facilities after they reopen.
“We are facing one of the biggest health crises of our lifetime, and unacceptable disparities for children across America are compounded during this pandemic – making access to basic essentials including hygiene and health items out of reach for far too many children,” said Mark Shriver, SVP of U.S. Programs & Advocacy at Save the Children. “We are proud to partner with Safeguard to draw attention to these inequities and catapult change through increased access to education and essential health and hygiene products.”
CDC guidelines state handwashing, along with maintaining social distance and wearing masks, is a top preventative practice to stop the spread of germs and decrease the risk of another Coronavirus outbreak. Yet, nearly three in four (73 percent) parents are not completely confident that children will maintain proper handwashing when they are not with them, and 54 percent say their children don’t practice proper handwashing all the time – underscoring the need for effective hygiene education, particularly in communities most impacted by the pandemic.
“Safeguard has been teaching parents and children worldwide how to clean their hands properly through partnerships with health organizations, educators and governments,” said Freddy Bharucha, P&G’s VP of North America Personal Care. “Our creative methods for teaching kids handwashing have been implemented in 15 countries reaching 100 million children over the past 10 years. The global learning from our work helped guide the road map to provide support to U.S. families and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The multi-phased initiative counts on the support of various notables and experts that will share personal anecdotes and tips to teach and reinforce how kids can stay healthy. Actress, entrepreneur and new mother, Shay Mitchell, advocates the importance of instilling hand hygiene habits at home starting at an early age. Family physician, Dr. Jen Caudle, has joined the initiative to help parents understand how to follow CDC guidelines and advise how children can safely remain active this summer in support of their mental and physical well-being.
Save the Children serves as a catalyst for providing basic health and hygiene resources like hand soap to U.S. communities most in need. Cosmic Kids Yoga and other social media personalities will round out the initiative, reaching children and families to introduce an interactive handwashing routine in the form of a song.
In the U.S., Safeguard has traditionally supplied hand hygiene dispensers, soaps and sanitizers for restaurants and other businesses. With the national surge in demand of hand hygiene products, Safeguard is introducing new hand soaps and sanitizers that wash away bacteria and germs into U.S. retail stores. The brand expects to increase manufacturing capacity to 45,000 liters of hand sanitizer per week once fully operational.
For more information on how you can safeguard your family and wash away germs, click here.
The Safeguard Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research between May 26-29, among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. parents with kids ages 2 to 12.