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Emergency room visits an overreaction to childhood scrapes?

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Tony Avelar/The Christian Science Monitor

(Read caption) Here, Sophia Schmitz, uses the balancing beams at a neighborhood playground in Alameda, Calif. on Dec. 26, 2011.

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 Dear Free-Range Kids: My two-year old daughter face-planted while running on a sidewalk yesterday late afternoon. Now she’s got a scrape on her forehead and a “Groucho Marx”-looking mustache/skinned upper lip. We checked that her teeth and nose were fine, and she stopped crying before we got home.

But, I cannot tell you how many moms (of all people!?) have stopped me to ask if I took her to the emergency room. When I say no, they look at me like I’m crazy.

Look: She fell while running. It’s no worse than having a skinned knee, just in a bit more obvious place. We put ice and Neosporin on it, and she was back to herself by dinner time. Since when do we rush off to the ER for every scrape, bruise, and cut? It’s no wonder that medical insurance is skyrocketing if we rush off frantically to the hospital every time a child falls down. And, why react with a gasp and “Oh my gosh!” to seeing a child with a scrape and a scab on her face? It’s teaching her that something terrible happened to her, when it was really just a fall.

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