When your child is injured or sick, as a parent, you must act quickly and decide what type of medical care your child needs. For example, should you call your pediatrician, or does the situation require an emergency room visit?
Understanding the warning signs of a medical emergency can help save your child’s life.
Pediatric Emergencies and When to Go to the ER
Pediatric emergency visits declined during the pandemic over concerns of contagion. This is of particular concern because it signals a delay in care, which could have dire consequences in emergencies. Getting prompt medical attention is of the utmost importance if your child has severe symptoms or is acutely injured. So, please don’t delay; at Supreme Care ER, we follow strict sanitary protocols to ensure the safety of all our patients.
Top Reasons to Bring Your Child to the ER
Respiratory Tract Infections
These infections affect any part of the respiratory system (upper or lower). Viruses are usually
responsible for these infections, but some bacteria can also produce illnesses.
- Upper Respiratory Infections: Involve the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. Sinusitis, pharyngitis, and otitis media are the most common forms of upper respiratory conditions.
- Lower Respiratory Infections affect different parts of the lungs, including
the bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli. Pneumonia, bronchitis, and bronchiolitis are common types of infection in children and, if not treated, could become serious.
If your child has trouble breathing, if you notice they are wheezing or their skin takes a bluish coloration, please don’t delay and bring your little one to our ER for evaluation and treatment.
Otitis Media (Ear Infections)
This common ailment occurs behind the eardrum, so it’s difficult to identify for the untrained eye. However, if your child complains of ear pain or if you notice your baby being unusually fuzzy and visibly uncomfortable, they could have an ear infection.
As with any infection, if not treated, complications can arise.
Strains and Sprains
Active children and teens who practice sports are more likely to suffer these injuries.
- Strains: These are pulls or tears to a muscle or tendon. The injury could be sudden from an incorrect movement or develop over time due to overuse of the muscle or tendon.
- Sprains: These happen when a ligament is torn or overstretched. Sprains are usually the result of a fall or a direct hit to the body and typically happen to ankles, wrists, and knees.
You can usually treat a mild fever with over-the-counter medications. However, high, persistent fevers that do not respond to medicines can be a warning sign of severe infection and therefore requires medical attention.
Concerns over a fever vary depending on the age of your child. The following is a simple guide to help you understand when the condition needs medical attention:
- Babies under three months: Call or visit your pediatrician if your baby has a fever of 100.4°F.
Take them to the ER if they have trouble breathing, have difficulty feeding, won’t wake up or seem lethargic, develop a rash, or constantly crying.
- Infants and toddlers: Bring your child to our ER if they develop a fever higher than 102.2°F and have any of the following symptoms: trouble breathing, feeding, or waking up. If they are unusually inconsolable, have a rash, cannot keep fluids down, or are not urinating enough.
- Young Children three and up: A fever of 102°F that lasts more than two days along with abdominal pain, trouble breathing or swallowing, not urinating enough or experiencing a
burning sensation while urinating, inability to keep fluids down, loss of appetite, rash, or stiff neck requires immediate medical attention.
Bone fractures in children usually happen in their arms or legs and are typically due to a fall.
If you suspect your child may have a broken bone, bring them in for an evaluation as soon as possible.
Bone fractures are painful, and if not treated properly, they could set incorrectly, causing problems later in life.
Quick Guide on When to Bring Your Child to the ER
Medical emergencies are always time-sensitive. Therefore, the sooner you can get your child to the ER for treatment, the better their chances of making a full recovery.
Call 911 or rush your child to the nearest ER if these symptoms arise:
- Difficulty breathing, or they stopped breathing altogether
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe allergic reaction
- Trauma to the head, neck, or spine
- Severe burn
At Supreme care, we understand that a trip to the ER can be a stressful life event for both parents and children. That is why we focus on treating patients and their families with compassion and empathy.