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When to go to the ER?

Try to handle the problem at home for minor injuries (cuts, bruises, burns, rashes, coughs, or colds) with over-the-counter medications and a first aid kit. Call your doctor if you’re unsure of the level of medical care that your child might need. When in doubt call the doctor. Since running to the emergency room can be quite expensive try visiting an urgent care center in order to cut costs and save money. When you need assistants remember to call 911 for an ambulance.

Emergency rooms (ER) tend to be a little over crowded and you might end up waiting for hours until it’s your turn and sometimes longer for minor problem treatments. Kids Health gives some reasons for a trip to the ER:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • A change in mental status, such as suddenly becoming unusually sleepy or difficult to rouse, disoriented, or confused
  • A cut in the skin that is bleeding and won’t stop at any point
  • A stiff neck along with a fever
  • Rapid heartbeat that doesn’t slow down
  • Accidentally ingest a poisonous substance too much medication
  • Has had more than minor head trauma

Here are some reasons that do not require a trip to the ER, but may require a phone call to the doctor:

  • High fever
  • Ear pain
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Headache that doesn’t go away
  • Rash
  • Mild wheezing
  • Persistent cough


KidsHealth.Org (2009). Is it a medical emergency? Kids Health from Nemours: The Nemours Foundation. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/aches/emergencies.html

Information on this site is intended for Angel Kids Pediatrics patients only. Always consult your doctor before beginning, modifying, or discontinuing any treatment plan.

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