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Our opinion: Improve emergency care for children

There are many good causes with their proverbial hands out, seeking money from the federal government.

However, the Wall Street Journal recently called attention to a need that should spike interest in the minds and hearts of our federal lawmakers.

Additionally, those elected officials should engage in some determined legwork to identify whether the problem on which the Journal focused is indeed a problem — or not — in their home states.

The issue on which the Journal focused is hospital emergency rooms’ preparedness for treating children.

“Children are dying in unprepared emergency rooms across America” was the headline that greeted readers, followed by the message “Hospitals and regulators have done little to ensure E.R.s are ready to treat children.”

This editorial is not aimed at generating suspicions about care for children at area hospitals. Rather, it is an opportunity for area hospitals to tout their expertise and internal expectations and requirements regarding the treating of children.

State and federal assistance could go a long way to helping this problem. But consider this, from the Journal: “Federal funding to states for improving child emergency care amounts to about $190,000 per state each year — enough to pay for one or two staffers and some free training for hospitals and emergency responders.”

That level of support would be laughable if it were not so serious.

There’s no reason for this. Members of Congress should address the matter immediately — for the sake of our children.

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