There’s nothing that pulls at your heartstrings more than seeing
your child sick or injured.
At some point, childhood sickness and injuries are inevitable as infants,
toddlers and tweens careen rambunctiously from one activity to the next
or come home from daycare or school with a newly acquired cold or flu bug.
As a pediatrician, parents regularly ask me for guidance on whether it’s
best to take their child to urgent care or the emergency department.
First things first: In any life-threatening emergency -- such as a traumatic
injury or if your child is having breathing difficulties -- call 911 immediately.
I cannot stress this enough. If you do not feel you are able to transport
your child safely to the hospital or doctor’s office, don’t
hesitate to call 911.
As for urgent care versus emergency department, step one would be to call
your pediatrician’s office. Your pediatrician can then recommend
the best course of action for your child’s symptoms.
By definition, emergency departments are intended for more serious issues
that are best treated in a hospital setting. Your pediatrician can help
you assess the situation and guide you to a nearby emergency department
that will best be able to take care of your child.
For non life-threatening issues, such as fevers, sore throats, simple sprains
or strains, mild allergic reactions and minor cuts, your best resource
is going to be your pediatrician.
With same day appointments available, Hoag Medical Group pediatricians
have extensive pediatric training and experience you can count on. Our
pediatricians will take care of the physical and emotional well being
of your children.
If your child is experiencing a medical issue in the evening, overnight
or on the weekend that requires immediate attention, but isn’t serious
enough for a visit to an emergency department, urgent care centers can
provide your child with close-to-home access to outstanding doctors and nurses.
Hoag recently opened Hoag Urgent Care Irvine – Sand Canyon, bringing
its network of expertly staffed urgent care centers throughout Orange
County to ten locations. The Hoag Urgent Care locations are a key part
of the hospital’s commitment to provide residents top-quality medical
care apart from an emergency department setting.
When in doubt, call your pediatrician. We are here to provide our patients
and their parents with the support and guidance they require during all
stages of a child's life.
Dr. Julie Palmisano specializes in pediatrics with Hoag Medical Group.