Every day, injuries send 25,000 children to emergency rooms. Simple precautions could head off most of those trips.
"The biggest thing is prevention," says Rick Blum, M.D., president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. "You can't prevent most medical emergencies, but you can prevent many injuries."
At routine visits, your pediatrician can offer safety tips that fit your child's age. Here's some general advice:
Use safety seats or seatbelts in the car.
Make sure children use bicycle helmets, knee pads and other safety gear when at play.
Keep poisons, such as cleaning liquids and medications, out of children's reach.
Install safety gates and window guards to prevent falls.
Never leave young kids alone around a pool, bathtub or even a bucket of water.
Secure choking hazards such as toys with small parts, dangling window-blind cords and lightweight plastic bags.
Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent burns.