No matter how hard parents try to keep their children away from harm, accidents and illnesses can happen. As parents, this is something that everyone should be prepared for. So, before this happens to your family, here are ten things you should know.
- Stay Calm and Composed
While this is easier said than done, try to stay calm and focused for the sake of your child. Being frantic will only add to the stress and anxiety your child is going through. Instead of panicking, try to calm down and talk to your child about the situation. Be honest but reassuring that help is there.
- Learn the Basics of First Aid
Always keep a first-aid kit at home and in your car. Make sure that it is well-stocked and medicines and other supplies are not expired. Try to learn the basics of first-aid so you can perform it on your kid during emergencies while waiting for professional help. It is also advisable to take a CPR course.
- Call Your Child’s Pediatrician
Before bringing your child to the ER, call your pediatrician. Your child’s doctor can tell you what to do over the phone. In case you need to bring your child to the emergency room, your pediatrician can call the ER and inform the staff to expect you. Your doctor can also explain to them your medical emergency and prepare everything they need to assist you.
- Have a List of Pediatric Emergency Room
Not all hospitals or emergency care facilities have the capability to accept and treat young children. Having a list of nearby hospitals and pediatric emergency rooms handy can lessen the stress during emergencies. Another advantage of bringing your child to a children’s hospital is that staff are trained to provide care specifically for children. Your child will be more comfortable and relaxed than in a regular hospital.
- Bring a Comfort Item
Most children find comfort in their toys or pillows. If your child has a special bear or any toy that can help make them feel better, don’t think twice and bring it. Let your child hold on to it on the way to the ER and while waiting. This simple comfort item can help take the pain off of your child’s mind and make them feel more secure and comfortable in an unfamiliar place.
- Teach your Children How to Call for Help
Emergencies can happen anytime, and sometimes you might not be there with them when it happens. It pays to teach your children how to call for help or dial 911 for emergencies. Ensure they know how to unlock the door and know your complete home address so that emergency responders can get there immediately.
- Bring your Child’s Medical History
As you arrive in the ER, there will be many questions to be asked by the ER staff. It is best to have all the information handy to provide the best care and treatment efficiently. Some of the questions they may ask are: your child’s health insurance, allergies, name and contact details of your child’s primary pediatrician, medical and surgical history, current medications, order of events before the emergency, and the last food and time your child ate.
- Leave Other Children At Home
If you have other children, it is best to leave them at home and not bring them with you to the ER. Ask your relatives or neighbors if they can stay and look after your other children while you bring your sick child to the ER. Bringing your other kids with you may leave them stressed. Aside from that, you can focus more on your sick child if they are left at home with someone you trust.
- Learn What to Watch Out for Warning Signs
Sometimes warning signs are there before an emergency can happen. Try to know and recognize them to avoid any delays in medical care and prevent serious injuries. Signs and symptoms may be different for some children when they get injured or sick compared to adults.
- Get in Touch With Your Pediatrician After the Emergency
After your visit to the ER, follow up with your pediatrician. Inform them of what happened, although most ERs will send a report directly to your pediatrician. In most cases, your child’s doctor may want to see your child for a follow-up examination.
What to Expect in ER
- Expect to wait. It is not a first-come-first-serve basis.
- Prepare to answer a lot of questions multiple times.
- Expect to have some blood work and lab tests for your child.
- Emergency rooms can be chaotic and busy.
Being prepared for emergencies can help reduce the stress and anxiety you and your sick child are experiencing. During emergencies, your top priority as a parent is to try your best to get the help your child needs in the most comfortable way possible.