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The unique characteristics of the pediatric population expose them to errors in the emergency department (ED) with few standard practices for the safety of care. Young children and high-acuity patients are at increased risk of adverse events both in the prehospital and ED settings.

We provide an overview of the problems and possible solutions to the threats to pediatric patient safety in the ED. Endorsing a culture of safety and training to work in a team are discussed. Medication errors can be reduced by using organizational systems, and manufacturing and regulatory systems, by educating health care providers, and by providing caregivers tools to monitor prescribing. The consensus is that a safe environment with a high quality of care will reduce morbidity and mortality in ED pediatric patients.

(C) 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.