Should You Take Your Child to the ER or an Urgent Care? Helpful Tips You Should Know!

This post is sponsored by Nationwide Children’s Hospital. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

No parent wants to think about their child getting sick or hurt. However, inevitably, we know it will happen.

While your first line of defense should always be calling your child’s pediatrician, as it’s the least expensive option and your pediatrician should know your child the best, there are times when the pediatrician may not be available or your child is experiencing a medical emergency. This is why it’s important to know when you should take your child to an Urgent Care location vs. an emergency room. Of course, if you think your child has a medical emergency or life-threatening condition, always call 911. If you think your child could be poisoned, call the Central Ohio Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. Below are some tips for knowing whether your child’s condition warrants an Urgent Care visit or a trip to the Emergency Room.

Emergency Department

Emergency room care, which is the most expensive option, should only be used if you think your child has a medical emergency. Treatment for the following conditions is provided at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Main Campus Emergency Department and the Lewis Center Emergency Department:

  • – Allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock)
  • – Asthma/difficulty breathing/respiratory distress
  • – Broken bones
  • – Burns
  • – Dehydration
  • – Fever (especially in infants eight weeks of age or younger)
  • – Seizure
  • – Severe pain

If your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms or conditions, get to the Emergency Department!

Urgent Care Centers

Urgent Cares offer treatment for illnesses and injuries that need immediate attention, but do not need to be seen in the Emergency Department.  I’ll never forget the time our pediatrician’s office was closed and I had to take Ava in to a Nationwide Children’s Urgent Care Center – she had double pink eye when she was just 6 months old! It was so nice getting immediate treatment and relief for her. Treatment for the following conditions is provided at a Nationwide Children’s Urgent Care Center:

  • – Allergic reactions (rash)
  • – Asthma/difficulty breathing
  • – Small broken bones
  • – Minor/small burns
  • – Minor/small cuts
  • – Fever
  • – Rashes
  • – Sore throat
  • – Vomiting and diarrhea

Think you know when you should take your child to an Urgent Care vs. the Emergency Room? Hop on over HERE to take this quiz to see what you know!

gac signature

Write a comment