No one likes it when they are sick. Matter of fact, probably the only thing that is worse is when their child is under the weather. So, when your own child is not feeling well and it seems like hugs and chicken soup are not making things better, it’s understandable why you might go into a bit of a panic and want to rush right over to the emergency room.
Before you do that though, we want to encourage you to breathe, count to 10 and also keep these five handy tips in mind; so that you’ll make a decision comes from a “cool, calm and collected” place rather than one that stems from being overly nervous or anxious.
Before you take your child to the ER, here are five things that you definitely need to consider:
Did you call their pediatrician first? The wonderful thing about having your child’s pediatrician’s contact is that s/he has all of the medical history on your child. Sometimes, even without seeing your son or daughter, the doctor can assess what is going on and let you know if it’s something that requires immediate attention or can wait until a scheduled doctor’s appointment.
Do you have all of their records? Anyone who has been to a hospital before knows that, emergency or not, admittance can be a real headache. The more information that you have, the quicker it will be to fill out all of the required forms, so make sure that you have a list of your child’s medical history along with your insurance card (or a prepared way for paying the bill; emergency room charges are pretty pricey).
Does my child have a fever? A fever is almost always an indication that your child has some kind of infection within their body, but letting it remain that way just so that the tending physician can have “proof” is not necessary. Fevers, especially if they are high ones, can cause other complications and so it’s best to give your child a fever reducer before going to the emergency room.
When’s the last time my child ate? There’s a reason why people don’t eat 24 hours before surgery. It’s because if they need to be sedated or to receive certain kinds of medication, their stomachs need to be as empty as possible. Based on what is wrong with your child, they may need treatment that, if they have recently had a big meal, could cause them to become ill or vomit. This is why it’s a good idea to keep track of the meals that they had and alert the medical team of the last time that your son or daughter ate before being admitted.
Is it a child-friendly hospital? A lot of times, in the case of an emergency, all people really think about is grabbing their Medical Insurance, putting their child in the car and heading to the closest hospital. However, if there is a children’s one that is relatively close-by, you might want opt for that one. Bedside manner is highly important when it comes to the treatment of children and facilities that are created specifically for a child’s care are far better options over the rest.