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MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 14, 2021 /CNW/ - Huggies® Brand has always believed in the power of hugs. That's why they are excited to announce a new initiative with SickKids Foundation to help rebuild the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) into a state-of-the-art family space that will help parents stay close by and provide more skin-to-skin hugs to help babies thrive.
As Kimberly-Clark Canada's largest hospital charitable sales donation to date, Huggies® Brand will donate $1 from every purchase of Huggies® diapers or wipes in Canada, until December 2022, up to a total of $510,000.
"Since 2015, our No Baby Unhugged initiative has provided funding and facilitation to help hospitals ensure all babies get the hugs they need," says Todd Fisher, Kimberly-Clark Canada, Vice President and General Manager. "Research has shown that when compared with standard NICU care, skin-to-skin has shown several benefits – it can help stabilize a baby's heart rate, increase oxygen levels, promote weight gain, strengthen the immune system, and reduce crying, pain and stress1. That's why Huggies® Brand is so proud to help SickKids Foundation build a new NICU space that will promote this type of care experience for families."
The NICU at SickKids is the only place in the province of Ontario for newborns needing life-saving surgeries and is one of the busiest NICUs in Canada, caring for more than 800 critically ill newborns a year. While the hospital provides some of the highest quality care, it's not under the most optimal conditions.
Currently, SickKids' NICU has 41 beds and most days it is at capacity, with nowhere for moms and dads to sleep. Critical one-on-one contact between parent and baby, including the proven benefits of giving skin-to-skin hugs, is made difficult by the current space. Privacy is an issue as up to six patients are in each room. Difficult conversations happen while others in the room wear noise canceling headphones.
"What our current NICU needs most is space," says Dr. Estelle Gauda, Division Head of Neonatology, SickKids. "Space for equipment and space for parents to support and be with their critically ill infant. Access to a welcoming, brightly lit, comfortably furnished space for families will have a profound impact on their experience, allowing them to better support their babies, and enhance recovery."
This is exactly the vision for the new SickKids' NICU -- expected to open in 2028.
It will be an expanded, modern NICU, with 65 beds and large, comfortably furnished private rooms to encourage bonding, reduce parental stress and infection risks, and enable better health outcomes. Parents will also be able to stay and sleep in the same room with their baby.
Research shows that skin-to-skin care is beneficial for pre-term babies' behavioural and physiological responses, as well as regulation after painful procedures.
"We know that skin-to-skin hugs help babies thrive," adds Fisher. "By supporting SickKids Foundation and the revitalized SickKids NICU space, we are thrilled to be supporting families and the community, helping to ensure future generations benefit from quality neonatal facilities and care."
For further information on how Canadians can help Huggies® Brand make more room for hugs, visit NoBabyUnhugged.ca.
About the Huggies® Brand
For more than 40 years, Huggies has been helping parents provide love, care and reassurance to their babies. From developing innovative everyday products, to diapers and wipes donations, to partnering with NICU nurses to develop diapers and wipes, Huggies promises to ensure all babies get the care they need to thrive. For more information on Huggies®, please visit NoBabyUnhugged.ca.
Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and its trusted brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Fueled by ingenuity, creativity, and an understanding of people's most essential needs, we create products that help individuals experience more of what's important to them. Our portfolio of brands, including Huggies, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex, Cottonelle, Poise, Depend, Andrex, Pull-Ups, GoodNites, Intimus, Neve, Plenitud, Sweety, Softex, Viva and WypAll, hold the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in 80 countries. We use sustainable practices that support a healthy planet, build stronger communities, and ensure our business thrives for decades to come. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about the company's nearly 150-year history of innovation, visit kimberly-clark.com.
1 Source: Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centres (2014)
SOURCE Kimberly-Clark Canada
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