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When to Avoid the Emergency Room

In the following circumstances, your child may not need the emergency room, says Decatur, Georgia's Martin Belson, M.D., a pediatric emergency room physician. Call your baby's doctor first for:

• A dog bite by a familiar dog (intact skin)

• A fall or blow to the head without loss of consciousness, vomiting, or swelling

• A burn that isn't on the hands or feet, if the skin isn't charred or blistered

• A minor cut if you've been able to stop the bleeding and get the dirt out