9. Your kid falls, bites her tongue, and it's bleeding buckets! Head to the ER?
Only if it's still bleeding after 10 or 15 minutes of applying direct pressure. To do so, dampen a clean washcloth with cool water, seat your child on your lap, then press the washcloth over the injured area of the tongue. Do your best to hold her still for as long as she'll allow. The tongue is also stuffed with blood vessels, and so will bleed a lot, which may scare her (and you!). "Add to this the fact that crying can make the bleeding worse and parents are often worried that a child will have serious blood loss from a tongue injury," says Dr. Zibners. Still, "I have never seen a child bleed to death from a bitten tongue."
If you do go to the ER, there's not a lot the doctor will do, except help you calm your child and apply a cold washcloth. "Children's tongues are amazing in their ability to heal from even significant injuries beautifully, without intervention," says Dr. Zibners. Afterward, avoid feeding your child salty and acidic foods while the tongue is healing, and go heavy on the cold stuff. "A couple of days of ice cream and milk shakes is perfectly fine," says Dr. Zibners.
10. You discover your wineglass on the floor and your toddler with a merlot moustache. Head to the ER?
Yes, if there's any doubt about how much your toddler consumed. Alcohol affects children in the same way that it affects adults, with the critical difference that it takes much less to get a little body drunk -- or alcohol-poisoned -- than it does a big one, not to mention the vomiting, choking, and respiratory failure that can occur. "What is often more common and concerning in children is that alcohol causes a drop in blood sugar; kids don't have the same sugar stores in their liver and muscles as adults do. Therefore, they are often unable to keep their blood sugar at a safe level until the alcohol has worn off," she says. Severe low blood sugar can lead to seizures and death. If you suspect that your child's had more than just a taste, seek medical help in case he needs to be given sugar through an IV while he sobers up. Next time, of course, you'll be keeping your mommy juice well beyond anyone's sipping distance but yours!
Stephanie Dolgoff is Parenting's editor-at-large. She's at work on a book based on her blog Formerlyhot.com.