DALLAS, May 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Huggies® awards $10,000No Baby Unhugged grants to two hospital hugging programs as the world also celebrates International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day, which aims to raise awareness of the benefits of skin-to-skin contact, or Kangaroo Care, with babies. Huggies continues to support newborns in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) through hospital hugging programs, which are inspired by the benefit of touch for babies and supports training for volunteers to rock, cuddle and hug babies.
"A hug can be so much more than a heartwarming cuddle – it can stabilize heart rates, increase oxygen levels and strengthen a baby's immune system," said Sara Young, general manager of the Huggies Brand. "These programs support nurses who work tirelessly to care for high-risk NICU babies and give them the assurance that their precious patients are in good hands."
A total of 18 hospitals have received grants from Huggies since 2016. The two hospitals receiving grants today include:
- Nationwide Children's Hospital – Columbus, OH: Funds from the No Baby Unhugged grant will enhance its existing hugging program and expansion efforts, supporting extensive education and training for current and future NICU volunteers.
- Phoenix Children's Hospital – Phoenix, AZ: Grant funds will add ten volunteers to their current team of 14, including proper training, allowing babies to be held for longer time periods. In addition, funds will be used to purchase three hospital-grade rocking chairs for the new NICU.
"Nationwide Children's Hospital serves over 1.4 million patients a year and volunteers help extend our ability to individually care for each and every patient," said Kim Cummin, RD, LD, MBA, volunteer program manager at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "Our NICU "hugging" volunteers make a significant impact on the ability to provide human interaction for our youngest patients and support our staff in extending high-quality service to families."
Kristin Niehoff, clinical manager of the NICU at Phoenix Children's Hospital added:
"The No Baby Unhugged grant benefits the more than 1,300 babies throughout Arizona and the Southwest that are cared for in our newborn intensive care nursery. Our hugging program allows us to have properly trained volunteers who can help alleviate the anxiety parents face when they have a newborn baby that requires intensive care."
To be considered for the next round of grants, interested hospitals are encouraged to fill out an application on the Huggies Healthcare website by July 27, 2018. For all others who wish to help support the program, visit Huggies.com/NoBabyUnhugged to become a Huggies Member. In turn, Huggies will donate $5 to support hugging program grants for hospitals.
About the Huggies Brand
Huggies believes deeply in the Power of Hugs. That's why every Huggies diaper and wipe is inspired by parents' hugs. For nearly 40 years, Huggies has been helping parents provide love, care and reassurance to help babies thrive. No Baby Unhugged is Huggies promise to ensure babies get the care they need to thrive – from innovative everyday products, growing hospital hugger programs and specially-designed products for the tiniest of babies, to diapers and wipes donations. Huggies is the fastest growing diaper brand in hospitals* and partners with NICU nurses to develop diapers and wipes that meet the specific needs of pre-term infants. For more information on the Huggies No Baby Unhugged program, visit the "Why Huggies?" page at Huggies.com.
*based on verified shipments to US hospitals for the 52 weeks ending 12/30/17.
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, 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 146-year history of innovation, visit kimberly-clark.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
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Rhianna Stepien, 312-228-6849, Rhianna.Stepien@Ketchum.Com, or Brook Smith, 972-281-1481, Media.Relations@KCC.Com