It can be really scary for a parent when their child is injured. You want to be able to protect them and keep them safe. So how can you tell if that injury is serious enough to warrant a visit to the doctor, urgent care or emergency room?
Signs to Watch Out For
It’s a natural part of growing up to get bumps and bruises while playing. It happens to every child and there is no avoiding it. Most of the time these wounds are superficial and don’t require much attention.
However, some injuries and illnesses that you should not take any chances with include:
If your child is less than two months old and has a fever, this might be serious because of how young the person is. A fever is defined as being 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If there is a fever, along with symptoms of a cold, you may have to get your child checked out.
If over-the-counter products are not relieving your child’s pain, it might be time to take them to see a professional. If the pain won’t go away, it is usually a sign of a much deeper problem, such as a sprain or fracture.
Sprain or Fracture
Besides pain, other signs of a sprain or fracture include unevenness and bumps, as well as swelling, near the area of the injury.
Whenever your child, or anyone, receives an injury to the head, it is important to watch out for signs that this could be a serious problem. If your child starts to vomit, lose consciousness or exhibit unusual behaviour, you should definitely see a medical provider.
If your child is experiencing problems when trying to breathe, this can be quite serious and not something to play around with. Possible causes may include an upper respiratory infection, allergic reaction or virus, to name a few.
Sometimes your child’s breathing will be fast and heavy. If your child can only say a few words at a time, you might want to consider going to the emergency room. You never know how fast a problem can worsen.
If your child gets a cut on their face, he or she may require sedation by people who are specifically trained to work with kids. If the child is not sedated and won’t sit still, the people who work there usually can find something to make your child be happy and stay still.
- Whenever a young person has a seizure, especially if it is their first one, it is a good idea to have the person checked out. Some children might be prone to harmless seizures but having it checked out is important because the seizure could be a sign of something worse.
- If you suspect an earache, look for certain signs and symptoms. They include pulling or scratching ears and fluids draining from the ear.
- When a kid has a sore throat, accompanied by the possibility of white patches on the tonsils, he or she may have strep throat.
- If you think your child has pink eye, look for symptoms including red and inflamed eyes, with the possibility of discharge.
- Because of blood loss, your child may show signs of bad circulation. This can also happen when dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include dry lips and mouth. Other signs that your child may need intravenous fluids include tearless crying, paleness, a soft spot on their head, clammy skin and a sticky mouth.
- Abdominal pain might be nothing but there is always a chance of something more serious, such as appendicitis.
- If your child is experiencing irritability or severe lethargy, these might be signs of an underlying problem.
Any child exhibiting these symptoms should be brought to pediatric urgent care.
Deciding Where to Bring Your Child
It used to be that you would have your child see a doctor for routine check-ups and minor illnesses. If it was something more serious, such as a fall, you would go to the emergency room. X-rays and other medical procedures may be required and usually, the family doctor or paediatrician do not have access to such services or equipment.
These days, you now have another option. Urgent care facilities are a great alternative, bridging the gap between your child’s regular doctor and the emergency room. Some of the advantages of an urgent care centre include:
No appointments are necessary but having one may help. Usually, you can go to an urgent care facility and wait your turn. However, you might be able to get seen faster. Before heading out to see the doctor, go online and see if you can check in that way.
Some places will hold your spot from when you fill out the online form, resulting in less waiting times at the office.
Differentiating what is and what is not an emergency is good for everyone. You don’t want to take your child to the emergency room, usually waiting for a very long time, just to have the doctor say that it is nothing to worry about.
Bringing your child to urgent care also helps out the doctors, staff, and patients at the emergency room. This frees up services a little bit and allows doctors to focus on the patients who need treatment right away.
Sometimes bringing your child to the paediatrician isn’t always an option. If your child gets injured during hours that your doctor’s office is closed, you may be at a loss of how to proceed. This is where urgent care comes in to save the day.
When visiting an urgent care centre, you might want to see if you can find one that prides itself on helping children. The doctors and staff that work there might not have experience working with young kids. They might feel uncomfortable treating children because they did not receive the proper training when it comes to kids.
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