As a CMHMoms Ambassador, this post has been sponsored, however, all opinions and experiences are my own. Yours may differ.
When to go to the emergency room
- Is the pain tolerable?
- Is it a life threatening?
- Is there a broken bone?
- Is it something that can wait?
By asking myself these questions, I can gage if it’s a true emergency or not. Of course, the cost of an emergency room visit is always on the back of my mind too. Some situations it is worth risking the amount of money it will cost and other times, not so much. However, the safety of my kid(s) is always my number one concern.
Fevers have always been something that has freaked me out as a Mom. My own Mother is several generations older than me (I was a super caboose in my family) and so I was raised with an older mentality about fevers being dangerous, ad images of scrambling brains always enter my head. One afternoon my then toddler was sick with 103 fever. He isn’t a good medicine taker so I couldn’t get Tylenol in his system. I was freaking out and called my husband to come home immediately. We rushed him to the emergency room so as to avoid scrambled brains. It was there that a very patient and kind ER nurse explained to me that fevers below 104 will not scramble my child’s brain and that they are actually helpful. He also then told me of a suppository to help bring down fevers in the event I couldn’t get my child to take medicine. He also said to watch my child’s behavior. If a child has a fever but is acting normally you can rest assured that most likely all is well. However, if the child is acting lethargic and overall sick then something is probably wrong and more care should be given. He taught me some good life lessons that day. We now don’t visit the ER for fevers, and we haven’t yet experienced any over 104.
When to go to urgent care
- Is it urgent?
- Is it an emergency?
- Can it wait until tomorrow?
- Is my child’s life in danger?
If your child or you are dealing with something simple, urgent care is more than okay. When it’s life threatening, that is when you should consider the emergency room. Most urgent cares can be pricey, but the price is way smaller than that of an emergency room.
Remember that the Urgent Care is for matters that need to be handled quickly, but aren’t life threatening. We learned this difference once afternoon when my husband was having weird chest pains. He is a very healthy person so he was really alarmed. He decided to visit an Urgent Care to get some assistance and they immediately sent him on to an ER stating that potential heart problems are beyond their abilities. in case you are wondering, we did get a bill from both places, so know where you should go before you go.
I’m lucky enough to have a pediatrician that also has morning urgent care hours 5 days a week. When possible, I recommend finding a pediatric urgent care or emergency room so that you can get the best care for your child. Children’s Mercy has two pediatric emergency departments and three pediatric urgent care centers where the doctors and nurses are specially trained in helping children.
How do you decide if you should go to the emergency room or urgent care?