While regular checkups to a pediatrician are vital for maintaining your child’s health as he or she grows, it is also important to know what symptoms and illnesses will require pediatric urgent care. Being informed about the health dangers your child may face could be the difference between life and death in certain circumstances.
Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that focuses on the care of infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatricians receive a specialized education that prepares them to deal with a wide range of illnesses that affect young people ages 0-21. In some instances, waiting to visit the doctor for a few days is okay; However, some situations require immediate medical care for the best outcome.
Common problems that may require pediatric urgent care
Below are just a few of the reasons parents bring their children to our office in an emergency.
Broken bone or fracture
If a child may have a broken bone, seeking out urgent care immediately needs to be a priority. Even if the injury may not be as severe as it looks, it is important to seek care that will determine what the level of concern should be. Swelling, stiffness, pain, bruising, loss of function, bleeding and deformity are all signs of a broken bone. If there is a break in the bone, setting it as soon as possible will lead to a shorter and more successful recovery.
High or prolonged fever
While a fever can be a symptom of multiple illnesses, people need to take a high fever seriously. If a fever accompanies a headache, a rash, throat pain, ear pain, or vomiting and diarrhea, the child needs immediate treatment.
If the child is younger than three months with a fever of 100 or higher or is an older child with a fever above 104, professional medical care is necessary. Children who already have autoimmune disorders are at an even higher risk of complications if they have a fever. Fevers that last more than 24-hours are also an urgent matter.
While congestion in itself should not be very worrisome, other respiratory issues may indicate a more severe problem. If a child has an asthma attack for the first time, it is important to call to a pediatrician. Chest congestion, wheezing, difficulty breathing or trouble breathing in combination with other issues like vomiting or fever are all signs of a more serious medical problem. Any respiratory issues lasting more than a week should also receive medical care.
If a child is in a car accident, in a slip and fall accident, sustains a sports injury or experiences other trauma, extra caution is advisable. Seeking professional treatment is also beneficial.
Call or stop by for help right away
If your child is experiencing any of these medical issues, an appointment with a doctor should be scheduled as soon as possible. It is always better to err on the side of caution than to not seek medical help at all. Pediatric urgent care could save your child and greatly shorten his or her suffering.