When Should You Bring Your Child to the ER?

Emergency Steward Health Care

To find a doctor or schedule an appointment, visit Steward DoctorFinder™.

Be able to identify emergency symptoms. Is he or she having difficulty breathing? Is your child disoriented? Does he or she have a cut that won’t stop bleeding? These all warrant a trip to the ER as soon as possible.

Call for an ambulance.  Symptoms that require an ambulance include severe choking, a drug overdose or a serious injury such as from a car accident. In these cases or when in doubt, call 911 for emergency medical help.

Determine whether non-emergency symptoms need the ER. If your child’s condition isn’t life threatening, call your pediatrician. Let him or her determine if a visit to the office would better serve you. If your child needs more immediate care, your pediatrician can call ahead and let hospital staff know you’re coming.

Know your child’s medical history. To help your child get the proper treatment, let hospital staff know about his or her medications, allergies or illnesses and any surgeries.

Take the evidence with you. If your child has ingested medication or a household product, take it with you so doctors and nurses know what they’re dealing with. If an object – like a marble – was swallowed, try to bring an example of it to the hospital.

Be prepared – you may have to wait a bit. All hospitals treat critically ill patients first. If your child’s medical situation is less urgent than others, you may have to wait a bit. However, Norwood Hospital does offer a special fast track wing of the ER just for children, equipped with televisions and videos. However, even a brief amount of time, can seem long to a child. If you have time, bring a special or comforting toy to help your child pass the time.

Comfort your child. A hospital is not an everyday place for children. Let your son or daughter know that this is the place to get better. Tell them what to expect to ease the anxiety. If you keep calm, your child is more likely to be calm, too. Norwood Hospital pediatricians and pediatric nurses will also help you and your child understand the treatment and tests that may be necessary to get well.

Get ready to take notes. Bring a pen and paper to jot down what doctors and nurses tell you about your child’s condition, any treatment he or she receives, and  follow-up care that may be needed.

To find a doctor or schedule an appointment visit Steward DoctorFinder™ or call 1-800-488-5959.

To find a doctor or schedule an appointment, visit Steward DoctorFinder™.