Which Facility Is Best For Your Child’S Condition?
Should you seek emergency or urgent care for your injured or sick child?
Learn which kind of facility is best for your child’s condition.
On a Saturday afternoon, "Bethany" falls off her bicycle and hurts her knee. Jane's mother rushes to the playground to check on her daughter and sees that the knee is quickly swelling.
Bethany says she can hardly move her knee. Her mom doesn't think the knee is broken, but she can tell that it is injured.
What should Bethany's mother do?
She can take her daughter to the emergency department or to an urgent care.
Which treatment option is best for Bethany?
The correct answer for the above scenario is the emergency department, but deciding which treatment option is best for their child is a struggle many parents face.
"If your child is having seizures, looses consciousness or has a serious head injury, then the emergency department is the right choice," says Mark Schaffer, MD, a pediatrician at Dayton Children's Soin Pediatric Trauma and Emergency Center.
"But if the child has a cold, minor infection or small laceration [cut], urgent care is a good place to go."
Dr. Schaffer offers these guidelines for choosing between urgent and emergency care.
Go to urgent care for:
Go to the emergency department for:
Dr. Schaffer reminds parents to call 911 if your child is not breathing, having trouble breathing, is seriously injured, is bleeding heavily, or has a life-threatening condition. Do not try to drive the child to the hospital yourself.
What should I bring with me?
"The most important concern, especially in a true emergency, is not the cost or the wait," Dr. Schaffer says. "It's making sure your child gets the necessary treatment when sick or injured."
Provided by The Children's Medical Center of Dayton
About The Children's Medical Center of Dayton
The Children's Medical Center of Dayton is the region's pediatric referral center for 20 Ohio counties and eastern Indiana. At Dayton Children's, there is a full-time dedication to caring for infants, children and teens. Specially trained and experienced pediatric specialists in over 35 specialty areas work as a team to make sure the medical and psychosocial needs of children and their families are met. We also have a number of community-based services as well.
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and the author alone. They do not reflect the opinions of SheKnows, LLC or any of its affiliates and they have not been reviewed by an expert in a related field or any member of the SheKnows editorial staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. Content and other information presented on the Site are not a substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on SheKnows. SheKnows does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.