Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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Ask the Expert: When to take your child to the emergency department

The opening of the pediatric emergency department at the Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital gives Mid-South parents another option if their children need immediate care. But when is an emergency department the best option? Dr. Jeannine Hogg, a pediatric hospitalist at the Baptist Women’s Hospital, offers some advice, however when in doubt, go to the emergency department.

When should parents take their kids to the emergency department?

When should parents take their kids to the emergency department?

  • When you need emergency medical care and your primary care provider is not available
  • When you have a life-threatening emergency that needs immediate medical care
  • When treatment or testing is not available from your primary care doctor

What are the most common reasons to go to the emergency department?

What are the most common reasons to go to the emergency department?

  • Car accidents
  • Falls
  • Ingesting something poisonous
  • Seizures
  • Prolonged high fevers
  • Persistent vomiting and diarrhea that has led to dehydration
  • Severe asthma attacks that are not responsive to home treatment

Should you call someone before you go to the emergency department?

Should you call someone before you go to the emergency department?

With the exception of an immediate, life-threatening emergency, it is always a good idea to call your primary care doctor first before taking your child to the emergency department.

What do parents need to consider if their child has an accident?

What do parents need to consider if their child has an accident?

  • If it is safe to transport a child to the emergency department on your own
  • If emergency medical services should be contacted

If your child has ingested something harmful, you should contact the poison control center first.

What are other options for pediatric urgent care?

What are other options for pediatric urgent care?

Check with your primary care physician; many clinics have walk-in and same-day sick visits.
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