Choosing Between Urgent Care or ER Can Be Difficult
09-25-2013 (Dayton, OH) -
Occasionally children are affected by unexpected illness or injury. In the moments after the incident, the most difficult decision becomes “where can my child get the best treatment possible: urgent care or the emergency department?”
Different illnesses and injuries require different types of medical treatment. When your doctors office is closed, it is important to understand when you should go to the emergency department or to urgent care. This can help to reduce your wait time and provide the best care possible for your child. Because kids aren't just little adults, it is also important to choose a pediatric facility where physicians and nurses will understand the unique qualities of a child's body.
In more serious situations in which the child is seriously injured, bleeding heavily, having difficulty breathing or has a life treating condition, call 911 immediately!
Lora Scott, MD, medical director at Dayton Children’s urgent care in Springboro, suggests that the emergency department is best in cases where the “child is having seizures, looses consciousness or has a serious head injury.” In situations where “the child has a cold, minor infection or small laceration [cut], urgent care is a good place to go” says Dr. Scott.
The following guidelines are good suggestions of the best venue of treatment for the specific type of injury or illness:
Go to kids urgent care for:
- Colds, coughs, flu
- Ear infections
- Minor cuts or head injuries
- Minor injuries
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Asthma with mild to moderate wheezing
- When recommended by your child’s physician
Go to the ER for:
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Difficulty breathing and/or respiratory distress
- Fall from a high location
- Serious head injuries
- Any loss of consciousness
- Eye injuries
- Injuries from a motor vehicle accident, as a pedestrian or passenger
- Ingestion of harmful substances after calling the poison center at 1-800-222-1222
- Obvious fractures or swollen, painful joints
- Major lacerations
- Acute infections
- Significant pain
- Any symptom requiring prompt medical attention to prevent deterioration, disability or death
- When recommended by your child's physician
What should I bring with me?
If you do need to take your child to the emergency room or urgent care, parents should be prepared for their arrival. Parents should bring:
- Your insurance card
- A list of your child’s medications, allergies and medical history. By putting this together ahead of time, there is no delay in an emergency. This is very important if your child has a chronic condition such as asthma or special needs.
- Your child’s favorite toy, blanket or game. Depending on your child’s situation, there may be a wait.
Dayton Children's is proud to offer a relaxing and child friendly environment in both their urgent care and emergency room facilities.
The Soin Pediatric Trauma and Emergency Center, which is located at Dayton Children’s main Campus in downtown Dayton, is open 24 hours a day and is able to treat nearly all situations.
Children’s Urgent Care: Springboro: located off Route 741 at 333 West Tech Road, is open on weekdays from 3pm to 10 pm and weekends from 11am to 8pm.
"The most important concern, especially in a true emergency, is not the cost or the wait," says Dr. Scott. "It's making sure your child gets the necessary treatment when sick or injured."
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