Skip to Content

Urgent Care vs. ER: Where to Go for Common Kid Health Emergencies

Urgent Care vs. ER: Where to Go for Common Kid Health Emergencies

It can be hard to tell how serious a kid’s health issue is sometimes. Follow these tips on where to go for common kid health emergencies.

It’s 6:00pm, and your primary care doctor has left the office for the day. While you can sometimes call for an after-hours nurse, it’s time to make a big decision. Where do you take your child when they need to see a doctor now. As parents, this is one of the most challenging decisions to make. A trip to the emergency room can be expensive, but you don’t want to find out at the Urgent Care that you should’ve gone there in the first place. If you’re not sure what to do, here are a few tips to help you decide where to go for common kid health emergencies.

Where to Go for Common Kid Health Emergencies

A Bump on the Head

If your child has a bump on their head, a cut, or anything of that nature, you may be fearing for the worst. The reality is that it’s not time to panic just yet. If you think your child might have a concussion, you need to take your child to see a doctor. If your child has a head injury, you can choose either Urgent Care or ER.

Here is when you should go to both:

  • Urgent Care: If you’re just concerned but they haven’t presented any other signs to be concerned about.
  • ER: If your child is experiencing ongoing pain, vomiting, or seems disoriented.

Your Child is Running a Fever

A fever can be a sign of so many different medical issues. It could range anything from the flu to an underlying infection. If your child is less than two months old and has a fever, take them to the ER. However, if you have an older child with a fever, here is what you should do.

Here is when you should go to both:

  • Urgent Care: Your child has a fever that is accompanied by other cold symptoms.
  • ER: If your child’s fever is higher than 103.

Related: How to make a family emergency plan

Your Child has a Cough that Just Won’t Go Away

If your child has a stubborn cough that won’t disappear, you don’t need to go to the ER. You will spend a lot more money, and your Urgent Care should have no problem with treatment and diagnosis. If you do decide to take your child to an ER for a persistent cough, they will likely be there for hours as patients with more severe injuries will be treated first. Unless they are coughing up blood or other bodily fluids, you don’t need to go to the ER.

Your Child has Put Something in Their Ear

The parent of any curious child has likely found themselves in this scenario before. If your child has left something in there or pushed something into their ear, you will need to take them to the ER. If you can’t even see what’s in their ear, a professional will probably need to remove this item. If it’s left there or pushed deeper, it could cause infection and even hearing loss.

While I am by no means a health professional, this guide will hopefully help you determine where you should take your child when disaster strikes. This is not a comprehensive guide, and you should always do what you feel is best, but hopefully, this will help make that decision a little easier.

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.