Having a plan B can be a comfort when trying to navigate through life’s challenges. Children usually are pretty healthy, but when illness or injuries strike, hospitals like Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin are the safety nets for kids and families. Here, we care for kids and do our best to get them on with growing, developing and just being  kids.

Pediatric critical care units are the backstop for all that goes on in a children’s hospital. When complications arise, the critical care team is there to support children and help them heal. While providing lifesaving care, we learn a great deal about why children come to us in the first place and the factors in the community that contribute to their health status.

Accidental injuries like falls, drowning, car crashes, fires and burns are the leading causes of death for kids. As clinicians caring for critically ill children, we get excited about new therapies that help us heal our patients. We also get excited about educating parents and other caregivers on how to keep kids from getting hurt in the first place.

Did you know wearing a seat belt in the car reduces a teen’s risk of death or serious injury by at least 50 percent?

Not only is it the law, but strapping infants and toddlers in car seats correctly reduces the risk of injury or death by 75 percent, and a properly installed booster seat reduces the risk by more than 60 percent. Wearing a properly fitted bike helmet is nearly 90 percent effective at reducing the risk of head injury after a bicycle crash. Research, advocacy and community programs at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin focus on educating children and families on these safety devices.

We have the unique opportunity to care for children when they need us most. We learn from these unfortunate occurrences and help shape our community by educating children and families in hopes of reducing the number of illnesses or injuries.

I like to say we are a safety net and protector of health.

~ Timothy E. Corden, MD, critical care physician, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

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