Everything you need to know before taking your child to the emergency room.
As a parent, we always want the best for our children, this is especially true regarding their health care. When a problem arises, it is sometimes difficult to know the best course of action: wait for an appointment with the pediatrician or seek immediate treatment at an urgent or emergency care facility.
Common Reasons to consider a Trip to the Emergency Room
- Fever, Rash, Inconsolable crying (fussiness), Increase sleepiness (drowsinesss)
- Vomiting, Diarrhea, Dehydration
- Cough, Congestion, Wheezing, Shortness of breath
- Sore throat, Trouble swallowing, Decrease eating/drinking
- Headache, Chest Pain, Abdominal Pain
- Injuries, Fall, Motor Vehicle Accident
- Fractures, Lacerations, Bleeding
Visiting the ER When My Child Has a Fever
Among the top concerns for parents is when their child has a fever. Fever in itself is not a medical ailment but is the body’s response to fighting an infection. Nonetheless, they are uncomfortable and unsettled. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), you may want to consider taking your child to the emergency room if they present any of the following along with a fever:
- Is overly fussy or unusually drowsy
- Presenting with other symptoms, including a stiff neck, headache, sore throat, ear pain, rash, or repeated vomiting or diarrhea
- Is showing signs of dehydration, which can include dry mouth and decreased wet diapers, decreased energy level or (less active).
- Already has an immune-compromising condition, such as sickle cell or cancer, or is on steroids
- Experienced a seizure
- Has a fever of 100.4°F and is younger than 3 months of age
- Has a fever that persists at or over 104°F for a child at any age
Other Conditions that Warrant a Trip to the Emergency Room
Aside from running a high fever, several other situations require a visit to the emergency room. If your child has a significant injury or worsening illness or allergy consider a visit to the nearest emergency room. Consider these scenarios as an appropriate time to visit the ER:
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Extensive or complicated cuts or lacerations
- Fainting or head injury with loss of consciousness or disorientation
- Loss of vision
- Major fracture of a bone that breaks the skin
- Seizures if a child is not known to have epilepsy
- Serious burns
- Snake bites or other life-threatening insect bites
- Vomiting or coughing up blood
- Sudden shortness of breath
Community First ER is a pediatric-friendly ER, equipped to evaluate, diagnose, and treat children of all ages.
Steps to Take Before Taking Your Child to the Emergency Room
The AAP recommends you take specific steps before taking your child to the emergency room:
- Have your child’s medical history and list of medications at the ready: Be prepared to provide the following critical pieces of information upon your arrival to the emergency room:
- Health insurance
- Pediatrician and contact information
- Any known allergies
- Medical history, including any surgery
- List of any medications your child is currently taking
- Grab a comfort item: If your child has a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or toy, bring it along with them. It will provide something familiar in an unfamiliar setting and help ease anxiety. Note: Our facility can provide these items if needed.
- Notify your pediatrician: After your ER visit, make sure to close the loop with your child’s pediatrician. You will receive a report from our emergency room which will include all reports for any tests that were ran. You should take this to your pediatrician at your follow up visit.
What to Expect
Taking your child to the emergency room may be scary and overwhelming to him or her. We will do everything we can to make your visit less stressful. Here’s what you can expect from us at Community First ER
- No appointment required – If you need us, we’ll be here. You do not need to call ahead; walk-ins are welcome. We are open 24/7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- No wait times – Upon arrival, we will assess your child’s symptoms and get them seen as quickly as possible.
- Fast service and compassionate care –We realize you are coming to see us under stressful circumstances. Our caring staff will treat your child thoroughly with compassionate care.
- Transportation to a hospital – should your child’s condition warrant a higher level of care at a specialty hospital, our team can make those arrangements for transfer via our ambulance or helipad services.
We’re Taking Above-Level COVID-19 Precautions
Don’t let the fear of COVID-19 prevent you from seeking life-saving medical care for your child. Your apprehension is understandable; however, we want to assure you we maintain strict infection prevention measures and precautions above and beyond what is recommended by health officials so you can experience peace of mind at our facility. Our coronavirus prevention measures include mask-wearing, checking temperatures upon arrival, regular disinfecting, and creating social distance between patients.
COVID-19 Care for Your Entire Family
If you suspect your child has coronavirus, we are offering rapid COVID-19 PCR testing and can quickly analyze their results. If you or any member of your household has any of the following signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, please take immediate action.
We are here to help
At Community FIRST ER, we are committed to providing the best possible care now and always. We have both adult and pediatric emergency care available. We have a team of medical and surgical specialists that we consult with to help manage our patients and their medical emergencies. We form relationships with local doctors to ensure that our patients have access to the best specialists for their individual needs.
About Community First ER
Emergency health care, especially in the time of a pandemic, is a critical resource. Our commitment is to provide a personal, transparent, and concierge-driven emergency health care experience to members of our community. Locally owned and operated by health care providers and partners we trust; we strive to support and create meaningful relationships with those around us. We exist to put your health and wellness first.
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Photo edit based on (Photo Vadimgozhda/Dreamstime.com)