Keeping kids safe is good business
ALUMNI | It’s been 55 years since Florence Chaiken Weiner, CHEP ’54, graduated from the University. With a degree in elementary education and plenty of inspiration from her favorite professors, she set off on a path that would include marriage, raising two children and writing numerous books designed to help others.
Among her eight titles with McGraw Hill and other major publishers are How to Survive in New York With Children, Help for the Handicapped Child, Recovering at Home With a Heart Condition and No Apologies, a look at how to live with a disability, featuring stories of people from all over the world.
After more than a half-century of work and contribution to family and community, you might think that Weiner would be ready to sit back in her Miami Beach home and take it easy. But in fact, she’s just getting started. In the course of writing books for the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine nine years ago, she came to the realization that none of us is prepared for an emergency.
“We tend to not want to think about emergencies. They are so scary,” Weiner says. “And that inspired me to create a line of products that gives parents the confidence to handle an emergency... to empower parents, help them organize medical information, share it with their baby sitters and Grandma and just take out the fear and replace it with a ‘can do’ attitude.”
Weiner markets her Baby-Everywhere line of products—along with expert advice from pediatricians, emergency room doctors, nurses and firefighters—on her Web site, www.babyeverywhere.com. “I first asked expectant and new parents what their concerns were. Then I went to the professionals who save lives every day and asked them how they keep their own kids safe,” she explains.
She went on to create several products that are easy to understand and ready to use. The Baby-Everywhere Information Station is an emergency guide designed to hang on the refrigerator door. The Baby Safe Organizer features the same information and resources in a more portable binder that can fit into a glove compartment or handbag. She has also designed and manufactured affordable diaper bags for men and women that come with compact emergency guides and other baby-safe accessories.
Weiner notes that four of the Baby-Everywhere products recently won top honors as Outstanding Safety Products of the Year from iParenting Media and also are recommended by the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. The books have been translated into 10 languages for international distribution.
Weiner says she was inspired to make a difference in her community and the world by lessons learned at UD. Today, she shares that mission with a fellow graduate, who responded to a job listing Weiner had posted in a South Florida newspaper. Jennifer Welding Cellucci, AS ’01, had recently moved to the area with her husband and was seeking a job in the communications field. When Weiner saw her résumé, she read no further than the University reference. She called Cellucci immediately and says the two began talking like old friends.
“The friendship she and I have brought together is extraordinary,” Weiner says. “There is a connection we both feel about the University of Delaware and how it shaped our lives, even though we are 47 years apart in graduating.”
As for Cellucci, who gave birth to her first child, Michael, in August, getting to know Weiner has been an education. “I’m learning so much from her,” she says. “Her materials and products have empowered me to be an educated parent.”
Article by Sharon Huss Roat, AS ’87