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Acquiring Emergency Room Care for Your Child: What You Need to Do

Child being treated in South Shore ER Kids Emergency Room

One of the most challenging situations that parents face is finding out that their kid is injured or is suffering from pain. When this happens, it is only normal for parents to worry and panic. It is hard to think clearly during an emergency but it is imperative to stay calm and relax as much as possible. Depending on the situation, the best course of action is to bring the child to an emergency room or call 911.


But how would you know which one option to take? If your child is experiencing any of the following, the best course of action is to call 911.


  • Seizure
  • Unresponsive or unconscious
  • Involved in a car accident and is seriously injured or unconscious
  • Difficulty in breathing and is turning blue
  • Suffering from a head injury and is vomiting or not responding properly
  • Lost a significant amount of blood and/or uncontrolled bleeding
  • Possible spine or neck injury
  • Trouble breathing due to possible poisoning


How to Prepare for Emergency Situations for your Child


While it is the last thing you want to happen to your child, sometimes it is inevitable, no matter how careful and attentive you are to your kid. So, the best thing to do is to be ready when emergencies happen. So, here are some tips on how to deal with emergencies and what you need to do.


  1. Plan Ahead


You’ll never know when an accident can happen, and it is essential that you know which hospitals are near you and which ones your kid’s pediatrician is affiliated to. Suppose you bring your child to an emergency room or urgent care center that does not have pediatric specialists or pediatricians, and chances are you will be asked to transfer to another hospital.


The last thing you need is to waste more time moving your child to another hospital. This is why it is important that you make a list of hospitals near you that cater to child care. These hospitals are usually more comfortable for children, and they have staffs that are trained to help families and children cope with stressful situations.


  1. Call Your Child’s Pediatrician First


During emergencies, call your pediatrician first as they can give you advice on what to do. Also, they can call the nearest hospital and tell the emergency department that you are coming. More or less, your pediatrician can explain what has happened, and the hospital can prepare the best course of treatment for your child as soon as you arrive in the hospital.


  1. Try to Treat your Child at Home


Before going to the ER, it is okay to offer OTC medicines for pain or fever. This can help make your child feel better and make examination a bit easier when you arrive at the ER. However, make sure to take note of which medicine you gave, the dosage, and the time.


  1. Keep Calm


Your child is already worried and stressed during emergency situations. The last thing you want to do is to add to the stress of your child, so try your best to stay calm and let your child know what to expect.


Always Keep Your Child’s Medical History Handy


During emergency cases, attending physicians or medical staff need to know the patient’s medical history and the list of medications your kid is taking. Some of the common questions that they might ask you are:


  • If your child has a health insurance
  • The information of your child’s pediatrician and if other doctors are treating your child
  • Allergies, especially with food and medications
  • Medical history or surgical history
  • The last food your child ate
  • What happened that led to your child’s visit to the ER
  • List of medications your child is taking, whether prescriptions, vitamins, supplements, painkillers, among others


What To Expect in the Emergency Room


Emergency rooms are not on a first-come, first-serve basis. Doctors and medical staff will attend to patients with the most severe illnesses or injuries first. If your child’s condition is considered minor, you and your child may have to wait longer.


Sometimes the waiting room may be empty or has few patients. However, this does not always mean you won’t have to wait. Sometimes, doctors and nurses are busy attending to other patients, or there are no available exam rooms yet. 


As you arrive in the ER, nurses or doctors will ask several questions about what happened to your child, get vital signs, and give a quick assessment.


While waiting for your turn, make sure to ask the medical staff if you can offer food or drink to your child. Also, if your child’s condition worsens while waiting in the ER, inform the medical staff immediately.


Having to bring your child to the emergency room can be frightening both for you and your child. So, it’s best to be prepared and set expectations for your child as well.

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