Doctor, Urgent Care, or ER?

As a general rule of thumb, turn to your pediatrician’s office first – even after hours. Most pediatrician offices have an after-hours call line to help parents decide whether their child needs to be seen right away or if the issue can wait to be treated until the next day.

When To Go To Your Pediatrician

There are many situations that are less threatening to your child and a simple trip to your pediatrician will do just the trick! Let’s check out below some of the symptoms your child may be experiencing, that an appointment with your pediatrician can solve.

Common illnesses that can typically wait until you’re able to make an appointment with your pediatrician:

  • Ear pain
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Fever in children over 1 year
  • Vomiting
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye drainage
  • Fussy baby

When To Go To Urgent Care

When your pediatrician’s office is closed, visit an urgent care facility if your concerns cannot wait. Urgent cares are set up to assist patients with injuries or illnesses that do not appear to be serious or life-threatening, but shouldn’t wait until the following day.

Common conditions that can be treated at urgent care include:

  • Minor illness or injury
  • Fractures or broken bones that are not
    crooked and do not cause severe pain
  • Worsening fever in infants ages
    2 months to 1 year.
  • Sprains or minor pains
  • Minor burns
  • Minor asthma
  • Small cuts

When To Go To The ER

It’s time to go to the emergency room (ER) when your child is experiencing life-threatening needs. Take your child to the ER anytime you think the problem needs immediate attention.

Take your child to the ER for the following conditions:

  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Blue or purple lips, skin, or fingernails
  • Chest or stomach pain or pressure
  • Animal, snakes, or human bites
  • Severe bleeding or burns
  • Head, spinal cord, or eye injuries
  • Infants under 2 months of age with fever
  • Signs of allergic reaction such as hives, swelling of the face, lips, eyes or tongue; faint or trouble breathing
  • Uncontrolled pain

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Get a printable version of our medical professional tips including when to go to your pediatrician, urgent care, and the ER.

Our Pediatrics Office

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