Help! Should I take my child to the ER?

When is it time to take your child to the ER and what parents should know before going

It eventually happens to all parents – their child becomes suddenly sick or injured, and fear and anxiety begin. Should you bring them to the emergency room, or is that too extreme? Sometimes, the answer is not clear, but there are signs that your child needs emergency medical attention.

Your child’s pediatrician is out on vacation. It is midnight, and the primary care office is closed. Parents consider an emergency room for their child when a significant event occurs for several reasons.

Most people dread a trip to the emergency room, but when dealing with a child, it is crucial to find the best facility. Children’s emergencies need short wait times for care, not based on first come, first serve but on the severity of injury or illness. Also, you want to ensure your child receives the medical attention they need from properly certified pediatric physicians, especially when dealing with symptoms of concern.

When to Take a Child to the ER

  1. High fever, over 103, for more than four days with limited eating or drinking
  2. A widespread rash over a large part of the body
  3. Bad headache accompanied by blurry vision, confusion, and trouble walking
  4. Signs of dehydration due to extreme vomiting and diarrhea
  5. Extreme body injury with numbness, swelling, pain, inability to move, and deformation
  6. Uncontrollable bleeding
  7. Trouble breathing not due to severe congestion

When it comes to the health and safety of your child, go with your gut instinct. You know your child better than anyone else. If you feel like they need to go to the pediatric emergency room and be looked at right away, do not hesitate.

5 Things Parents Should Know Before Coming to the ER

1. Stay calm.

When you panic, your child will panic, which may be worse for them than the actual injury or illness. Have a plan in place on where to go for emergencies to eliminate your anxiety. Also, when discussing the situation, reassure your child with open communication.

2. Find safe care for your other children.

You should arrange for your other children to be safely watched and cared for if possible. Hospital emergency room visits vary, and parents are encouraged to stay with their child the entirety of their care, even if admitted.

3. Bring their comfort item.

It is crucial your child feels safe and comfortable. If they have a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, bring it to take their mind off the pain and reduce their anxiety.

4. Have patience.

Patients are typically treated based on the severity of their illness or injury, and sometimes that treatment may be longer than expected – involving imaging and lab services. It is important to remember to breathe and have patience because an emergency room has no set time for treatment.

5. Inform your child’s pediatrician.

For your child to receive well-rounded care, inform their pediatrician of their diagnoses and treatment. Sometimes follow-up exams or further treatment is required.

24/7 World-Class Pediatric Care

Oklahoma ER & Hospital offers advanced pediatric emergency medical care equipped to care for your child or children of any age – infant to young adult. Our facility is uniquely designed with special exam rooms to make children feel comfortable, and our team of board-certified physicians are trained to treat any pediatric case – no matter illness or injury. Get your child feeling better quickly at Oklahoma ER & Hospital, 24/7, even on holidays.

Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Oklahoma ER & Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.