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Bumps and bruises happen when you are a kid, but did you know an estimated 23 million children under the age of 15 head into the ER for medical treatment? Of those admitted, 7 million children are seen for accidental injuries and Safe Kids Worldwide announced this week 1.35 million children end up in the ER with sports-related injuries. Sometimes it isn’t easy being a kid. When accidents happen and parents are looking for help, the Kid Kare ER at Lovelace Westside Hospital provides “size”-appropriate emergency medical care for children in an environment designed just for them.

“Our Kid Kare ER helps decrease stress for pediatric patients and their families,” explains Dr. Rebecca Webb, pediatric medical director at Lovelace Westside Hospital. Families and pediatric patients will notice the artful décor of the specifically designated rooms. The walls are painted with playful ocean designs featuring Percy the Penguin and recognizable Disney characters from “Finding Nemo.”  Child-sized gowns with a teddy bear are placed on each pediatric ER bed.

“We want it to be relaxed, comfortable and friendly,” Dr. Webb says.

With pediatric hospitalist available for consultation on pediatric patients in the emergency department, as well as an experienced ER staff, families have access right in their community to experts of an individual field of medicine not found in every ER. Pediatric emergency medical care goes beyond just treating the patient. “In treating a pediatric patient, we really need parent involvement and support,” explains Dr. Webb. “In a way we treat the entire family unit.”

Most children come to Kid Kare ER with injuries such as lacerations, sprains, burns and fractures. Additionally, this summer Dr. Webb says they have seen cases of upper respiratory illness such as pneumonia and asthma, as well as GI-related illnesses. When treatment beyond emergency care is needed, families have the comfort of knowing their child can be treated as an inpatient right there in the hospital. “We also have an inpatient pediatric unit well staffed and equipped to handle those patients that need care beyond the ED,” says Dr. Webb.

Tips to Keep Your Children Safe

Some accidents are seemingly unavoidable. However, you can help your children safe by taking a few extra measures:

*Store medications out of reach of children.

*Always have an adult supervise children around pools, lakes and rivers.

*Do not leave children unattended around barbecue grills or open camp fires.

*Create a child-safe zone when cooking in the kitchen (keep pot handles out of reach; do not hold children while cooking).

*Test water temperature before placing a baby or child in the bathtub.

*Make sure children stay properly hydrated, especially in warm summer months and at sporting events.

*Install and maintain detectors like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in the house.

*Make sure children wear appropriate protective gear when playing sports.

*Secure TVs and tall furniture to the wall using mounts, brackets or wall straps to prevent them from falling on children.

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