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Pediatricians are in a unique position to help families prevent accidental trauma, including oral trauma, by providing anticipatory guidance at routine visits. Prevention is the most effective intervention.

Following is a list of suggestions for accident prevention specifically related to oral trauma:

1. Advise parents about possible injury to developing permanent teeth from trauma if a primary tooth is injured.

2. Review and anticipate developmental milestones. For example, discuss falls from a bed or changing table before children are expected to roll, such as at the 2-month visit.

3. Counsel about the risks of walkers and trampolines. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends banning the use of all walkers due to safety and developmental concerns (view recommendation) and recommends against the use of trampolines in all environments (view recommendation).

4. Discuss childproofing the home. Concentrate on safety gates, window locks, and furniture corner protectors.

5. Review safety measures for outdoor activities and sports:

Mandatory bicycle helmets. Helmets should also be used with scooters, skateboards, and in-line skates.
Mouth guards and masks or helmets, when recommended. (See Sports and Protective Gear.)

6. Stress the importance of adequate supervision at all times, especially on furniture, on stairs, at the playground, and at athletic events or practices.
Pediatric health professionals have a unique opportunity to provide anticipatory guidance and help prevent injury.
It is important to reinforce helmet and mouth guard use at routine visits.
The AAP recommends against trampoline use in all environments.

View the Chapter 10 Photo Gallery.