Pediatric Emergencies: When Should You Take Your Child To The ER?

Signs You Need To Take Your Child To The Emergency Room Immediately

Each year, 25.5 million children under the age of 18 visit the emergency room. While this number is much higher than some may think, children get sick all the time and often need immediate attention at all hours of the day or night. Parenting is more than a full-time job. It is the constant practice of parents figuring things out as they happen –  while pretending to know what they are doing! Get ahead of the game by learning what symptoms to watch for, so when your child needs an ER visit, you are ready.

Recognizing The Signs Of A Pediatric Emergency 

Every child will get sick more than once in their life, no matter how much caution is taken or over protection is practiced. Most commonly, children go to the Emergency Room due to broken bones, skin disorders, digestive disorders, infections, respiratory disorders, poisoning, and preexisting conditions such as diabetes. Many of these issues share common symptoms. Either way, parents need to recognize signs in their child that indicate a possible emergency.

  • Wheezing Indicates Respiratory Illnesses
    Doctors recommend that parents always consider it a medical emergency when their child begins wheezing. Wheezing is not usually heard by ear alone. If the symptom becomes audible without the use of a stethoscope, seek immediate medical attention. Wheezing is a standard indicator of respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, or pulmonary obstruction.
  • Visit The ER If A Rash Outbreak Comes With Additional Symptoms
    Doctors urge parents to seek medical attention immediately when they notice an outbreak or rash is spreading anywhere on their child. It is beneficial for their child as well as other children, in case it is a contagious condition. Although some rashes are no cause for alarm, others often come with additional symptoms which warrant an ER visit. Regardless of additional symptoms, rashes that are spreading should be considered a medical emergency. If the family doctor isn’t available and it is after hours, head to The Emergency Center.
  • Burns Can Be Fatal If You Leave Them Untreated
    Whether from the sun or other heat sources, burns range from mild first degree to potentially fatal third-degree burns. A minor burn may only require ice and an ointment, but doctors suggest that any burn that is notably large or causes blisters will require medical attention. Third degree burns can happen quickly and can even be fatal when they are left untreated.
  • Fever Could Indicate The Presence Of Another Illness
    When children have an ongoing illness, a trip to the doctor is necessary. Younger children who cannot let parents know what is wrong should see a doctor immediately when a fever is recognized. Fevers lasting for three to five days usually indicate the presence of a virus, so other symptoms may be involved. Illnesses become potentially fatal when temperatures reach about 104 degrees Fahrenheit, especially with children under three months of age.
  • Viruses Tend To Cause Vomits And Diarrhea
    Some symptoms are more noticeable than others, as is the case when a child is vomiting or has diarrhea. Viruses tend to cause these symptoms. But it could also be something else entirely, which makes it difficult for parents to be sure what is causing the problem.
  • Ear Pain Can Be Caused By Infection
    Doctors recommended that a visit be involved when children, especially younger ones, suffer from ear pain. Ear pain in children can be from an infection or be because of a foreign object.
  • A Deep Cut Might Require Stitches
    After five minutes of applied pressure, if the bleeding hasn’t stopped, this typically suggests that there is an underlying issue. Perhaps the child may require stitches. In other, more extreme cases, the child may have a blood-related condition that parents may or may not know about. Also, seek medical attention if there are signs of infection, like if the wound is oozing pus or is red and swollen.
  • Urinating More Than Usual Can Be A Sign Of Liver Damage
    If a child is urinating more than usual, this could be a warning. Excessive urination can mean anything from a urinary tract infection to something more serious, such as diabetes. Dark, soda-colored urine is also a sign that something is wrong. The discoloration could be due to the presence of blood in the urine, which can mean liver damage, kidney damage, or something else.
  • Sore Throat Indicates An Infection
    Pediatricians will always recommend that a child with an ongoing sore throat see a doctor immediately. A sore throat usually suggests the presence of an infection such as strep throat or mononucleosis. These infections can sometimes be contagious and would most likely require particular medication.

Bring Your Sick Child To The Emergency Center 

Raising children can be a scary thing. Since most parents aren’t doctors, it is understandable for them to overreact to even the mildest symptoms their kids may be presenting. Always remember, we offer free Medical Screening Exams to every patient in order to determine if their condition is emergent or not. Set your mind at ease by erring on the side of caution! Knowing a) the warning signs that are most commonly seen in sick children, and b) when immediate medical attention is required, will keep parents prepared in the event of a true emergency.

The Emergency Center is here for you and, YES, we treat kids! Do not hesitate to bring your children to The Emergency Center.  The Emergency Center provides up to 23 hours of Observation and offers 24/7 care. Visit The Emergency Center’s convenient 24-hour location in San Antonio.

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The Emergency Center

San Antonio
11320 Alamo Ranch Pkwy
San Antonio, TX 78253

Phone: 210-485-3644