by James Ziadeh, M.D., chief of emergency services at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak; Pediatric Emergency Center
Every parent faces this dilemma at some point: When your child becomes sick or injured, whether it’s a weekend fall on the playground or a fever spiking in the early morning hours, you have a quick decision to make. Should you head straight to a hospital emergency center or an urgent care clinic?
After-hours clinic (often called “urgent care”) are a good option if your pediatrician’s office is closed and your child has a fever, flu-like symptoms, mild injuries like a non-displaced fracture or a cut, or an earache, cough, cold, sore throat or skin irritation.
For anything more serious, you should get to a hospital emergency center staffed by pediatric-trained physicians as soon as possible.
Injuries and illnesses worthy of a trip to the emergency center include:
- wheezing or shortness of breath
- severe lacerations that might require sedation to close
- displaced fractures
- fainting, dizziness, weakness
- bleeding that can’t be stopped
- abdominal pain
- fever with convulsions or any fever in children under three months
- confusion or changes in mental status
- coughing or vomiting blood
- severe headache, head injuries
- blood in the urine, or bloody diarrhea
Children receive excellent emergency care in a child-friendly environment at Beaumont’s emergency centers. The Beaumont Pediatric Emergency Center in Royal Oak offers board-certified pediatric emergency physicians and pediatric nurses on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Services are also supported by specialists in nearly every pediatric and surgical specialty.