What You Need to Know Before You Take Your Child to the ER

child in hospital

When it comes to your children, do you head to the emergency room (ER) at the slightest hint of trouble or wait it out? The answer isn’t always obvious. Learn more about things every parent should know before heading to the ER.

Consider a Pediatric Emergency Room

Before your next ER trip, consider that a pediatric emergency room (PED Emergency Room) will have the staff and equipment to deal with the most urgent injuries and conditions facing your children. PEDs usually have:

  • Multiple pediatricians available
  • Multiple wards of child-sized beds
  • Beds that are lower to the ground and have safety rails to protect your child
  • A designated pediatric nurse and staff
  • A separate entrance and waiting room
  • Extended hours
  • A variety of emergency treatments

Call Your Pediatrician First

While these specialists can diagnose and treat many pediatric emergencies, you should call your pediatrician before heading to a PED. Your pediatrician can recommend if your child needs further evaluation or if you should go to a PED.

Treat Your Child at Home First

Instead of immediately heading to the ER, you can treat your child at home first. If your child’s condition worsens, call your pediatrician and go to the PED. You may want to contact your pediatrician regardless of the injury, just to make sure the injury (or lack of injury) is normal. For example, if your child scrapes his knee and the pain doesn’t go away, you can call your pediatrician to see if you need to go to the ER.

Tell Your Child What to Expect

Before you head to the ER, tell your child what to expect. This helps ease fear and anxiety. Reassure your child that he’s going to get the special care he needs.

Bring a Comfort Item

Bring a comfort item that your child feels comfortable with. A favorite toy, blanket, and a favorite stuffed animal can help ease your child’s anxiety.

Know Your Child’s Insurance

You may want to call your child’s insurance company and determine what emergency services are covered. You’ll also want to get an emergency plan from your child’s pediatrician. This gives you the best chance of having your child treated quickly and correctly.

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up in the ER

If you’re unsure if you’re in the right place or your child’s condition is worsening, speak up. The staff and doctors will listen to your concerns and do the best they can.

It’s often difficult to know what to do when your child is sick or hurt. However, knowing the right questions to ask and where to go can help save your child’s life.

Know When to Take Your Child to the ER

It’s easy to dismiss an injury or condition as “just a sprain” or “just a bruise.” However, it’s important to follow your instincts and not ignore your child’s symptoms. When in doubt, call your pediatrician. In most cases, you won’t have to rush to the ER. But, if you suspect your child is experiencing something more serious, such as having trouble breathing or is unconscious, make sure you get immediate emergency care.

Agile Urgent Care offers full-service, walk-in medical services for illnesses or injuries that aren’t serious enough for a trip to the emergency room visit. We treat children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric patients in New Jersey. Contact us!

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