Updated 10/31/2012 05:00 AM
Child Wellness: Taking your child to the ER
When there is a problem with your child, when do you know if it's an emergency? What do you use - an urgent care center or an emergency room? Marcie Fraser has some answers.
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If your emergency is after business hours, most likely you are going to an ER. If it's the weekend, you need to be patient because it's the busiest time.
"Sundays seem to be our busiest... Sundays seem to be very busy often times because their provider and physicians offices are closed so they will use the ED," said Ann Marie Cross, Emergency Services Director.
If you’re headed to the ER with your child, avoid giving them any food or drink.
"You just never know if it's an injury and someone is who is an adolescent, you don't want them to eat or drink because in the event they need to go to surgery, it's really important they don't have anything to eat or drink. Anybody with abdominal pain, of course, we also prefer not to eat or drink as well because you are not sure if it’s a surgical emergency or not," said Cross.
And if your child is getting blood taken, don't underestimate the pain.
"You can't tell a child it's not going to hurt because it does hurt. You want to be as honest with them as you can and we will use the needle, it may hurt a little bit but certainly you don't want to lie to them and can't lie to them it’s not going to hurt when you know it is going to," said Cross.
During an emergency, sometimes the parent may forget the child's security blanket or perhaps some toys. Be sure to inquire at the hospital about toys that may keep your child entertained.
“The kids love the blankets, pillows, love the stuffed animals, we try to keep it as low key, we explain what we are going to do. We do whatever we can to try to alleviate anxiety. If they prefer mom to be with them or sit on stretcher with them, that is ok too. We do everything we can to alleviate their anxiety knowing this is not where they want to be and they are terrified and explaining it in their terms is a key piece,” said Cross.