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When Should you go to the Emergency Room?

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Amy Molina, RN, C.

ERA child of yours has a medical circumstance you feel needs immediate care. You ask yourself, "Do I go to the emergency room?" This article will help resolve that question.

First, if there is no doubt in your mind that your child's welfare would benefit from immediate attention from an ER unit, please don't hesitate to take your child there.

It's best that your child's care be handled in the most efficient manner that is best for the child and for the medical resources used. Why spend over $200 dollars for an ER visit to treat a common cold?

Many people use the ER to remedy common every day problems that their doctor, with a phone call or a visit could've taken care of. Waiting a few hours in an emergency waiting room is by no means an efficient way to treat your child's common cold.

Yet don't be the parents that play the waiting game hoping the child's symptoms will lessen.

You should call your pediatrician whenever your child first shows signs of an oncoming illness that persists more than a couple of days.

These might include: vomiting, severe diarrhea, loss of appetite, and fever.

Your pediatrician may see your child right away in the office, other times he/she may phone in a prescription to your pharmacy or direct you to over-the-counter remedies for symptoms such as runny noses or coughs; or he/she may recommend a visit to the emergency room.

As a rule of thumb, call your pediatrician whenever you are concerned about a sick or injured child.

Below are listed some true emergencies for which your child should receive immediate medical assistance:

   -   Broken Bones
   -   Lacerations
   -   Trouble Breathing
   -   Chest pain
   -   Seizures
   -   Large Burns
   -   Overdoses
   -   Accidental Ingestion of a foreign object or material
   -   Infants under 3 months with fever higher than 101 degrees

Call your Pediatrician whenever you are concerned about your child's health even when the symptoms fall outside of the listed true emergencies above.

Remember to review your health insurance policy well in advance of an emergency event. Some insurance companies require prior approval for emergency room visits by your doctor.

Remember to post important phone numbers by all your telephones and inform those who care for your child where those phone numbers are.



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Children's Health


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Deciding to go to the Emergency Room


 


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