BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuWhen to use the emergency room - childEmergency room - child; Emergency department - child; Urgent care - child; ER - when to useWhenever your child is sick or injured, you need to decide how serious the problem is and how soon to get medical care. This will help you choose whether it is best to call your doctor, go to an urgent care clinic, or go to an emergency department right away.It pays to think about the right place to go. Treatment in an emergency department can cost 2 to 3 times more than the same care in your doctor's office. Think about this and the other issues listed below when deciding. Signs of an EmergencyHow quickly does your child need care? If your child could die or be permanently disabled, it is an emergency.Call 911 or the local emergency number to have the emergency team come to you right away if you cannot wait, such as for:Choking Stopped breathing or turning blue Possible poisoning (call the nearest Poison Control Center) Head injury with passing out, throwing up, or not behaving normally Injury to neck or spine Severe burn Seizure that lasted 3 to 5 minutes Bleeding that cannot be stoppedGo to an emergency department or call 911 or the local emergency number for help for problems such as:Trouble breathing Passing out, fainting Severe allergic reaction with trouble breathing, swelling, hives High fever with headache and stiff neck High fever that does not get better with medicine Suddenly hard to wake up, too sleepy, or confused Suddenly not able to speak, see, walk, or move Heavy bleeding Deep wound Serious burn Coughing or throwing up blood Possible broken bone, loss of movement, primarily if the bone is pushing through the skin A body part near an injured bone is numb, tingling, weak, cold, or pale Unusual or bad headache or chest pain Fast heartbeat that does not slow down Throwing up or loose stools that do not stop Mouth is dry, no tears, no wet diapers in 18 hours, soft spot in the skull is sunken (dehydrated)When to go to an Urgent Care ClinicWhen your child has a problem, do not wait too long to get medical care. If the problem is not life threatening or risking disability, but you are concerned and you cannot see the doctor soon enough, go to an urgent care clinic.The kinds of problems that an urgent care clinic can deal with include:Common illnesses, such as colds, the flu, earaches, sore throats, minor headaches, low-grade fevers, and limited rashes Minor injuries, such as sprains, bruises, minor cuts and burns, minor broken bones, or minor eye injuries If you are not Sure, Talk to SomeoneIf you are not sure what to do, and your child does not have one of the serious conditions listed above, call your child's doctor. If the office is not open, your phone call will be forwarded to someone. Describe your child's symptoms to the doctor who answers your call, and find out what you should do.Your child's doctor or health insurance company may also offer a nurse telephone advice hotline. Call this number and tell the nurse your child's symptoms for advice on what to do. Prepare nowBefore your child has a medical problem, learn what your choices are. Check the website of your health insurance company. Put these telephone numbers in the memory of your phone:Your child's doctor Emergency department your child's doctor recommends Poison control center Nurse telephone advice line Urgent care clinic Walk-in clinic Open ReferencesReferencesAmerican College of Emergency Physicians, Emergency Care For You website. Know When to Go. www.emergencyphysicians.org/articles/categories/tags/know-when-to-go. Accessed February 10, 2021.Markovchick VJ. Decision making in emergency medicine. In: Markovchick VJ, Pons PT, Bakes KM, Buchanan JA, eds. Emergency Medicine Secrets. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 1.AllVideoImagesTogA Closer Look Roseola(Alt. Medicine)Asthma in children and adolescents(In-Depth)Burns(Alt. Medicine)Self Care Gastrostomy feeding tube - bolusWhen your baby or infant has a feverAcetaminophen dosing for childrenIbuprofen dosing for childrenHelping your teen with depressionSmoking and asthmaHuman bites - self-careManaging your depression - teensHow to treat the common cold at homeRelated Information Review Date: 10/2/2020 Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. 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