Top 10 Reasons Children Visit the ER
When your child is sick, it can be very scary. Sometimes it’s hard to know when you should seek medical attention, and what can be dealt with at home. Each year, 25.5 million children in the U.S. are taken to the emergency room, so if you’re a parent wondering what to do, you’re far from alone. In this article, we’re going to discuss the common reasons children seek are taken to the ER. As you’ll see, the reasons are as varied.
Reasons to Visit the ER
The following is a list of common reasons children visit the ER. If you notice your child suffering from any of the items listed below, don’t hesitate to take them in. A doctor can evaluate your child to determine how serious the issue is, and decide how best to move forward. Keep in mind, if your child is ever in a life-threatening situation, don’t hesitate. Call 9-1-1 to access help immediately. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
#1: Upper Respiratory Infections
Infections that cause issues with breathing and in the respiratory tract can be caused by a number of viruses. Smaller children can have a hard time coping when they’re dealing with an illness of this kind. A trip to the ER can help your child breathe more easily, and be more comfortable, until the virus is subdued.
#2: Fever or Nausea
Flu-like symptoms can be difficult to deal with in young children. Especially when they’ve had a fever for some time, or the nausea is making them dehydrated. In these cases, it’s always best to take your child in to be evaluated. A doctor can determine if the illness is something that can be handled at home, or needs more serious care.
#3: Musculoskeletal Injuries
Because children are so physically active, they’re prone to injuries. A break, sprain, or deep cut needs to be addressed by a medical professional, so that it’s able to heal properly. This kind of issue needs to be taken care of right away. Don’t wait for the next day to take your child into their pediatrician when they have a serious injury. Waiting may cause further damage.
#4: Neurological Disease
This includes head injuries, concussions, and seizures. When your child falls on their head, they should be evaluated for a concussion. If a concussion occurs, it needs to be monitored carefully so no further damage is done. It’s always better to be safe, and bring your child in, if you think they may have a head injury. The same goes with seizures. These can be very scary to watch, so a parent will probably bring a child in regardless. But if this is the first time a seizure has occurred, the child will need to be evaluated to determine the cause.
Children are curious. Sometimes they’ll get into something that may do them hard. If you suspect your child has ingested something dangerous, always bring them in to be evaluated.
#6: Endocrine Disorders
Childhood diabetes can cause a number of problems. If your child has diabetes, they should always be monitored carefully, and seen by a medical professional whenever there is an issue with their blood sugar. Diabetes can be life threatening, so when in doubt, bring them in.
It can be very scary to watch your child struggling to breathe. If your child suffers from asthma, they should always take their medication, and be monitored carefully. When any breathing problems arise, if their inhaler or medication is not controlling the issue, they should be brought into the ER.
#8: Skin Problems
Children are often brought into the emergency room for burns or rashes. In the case of a rash, it could be caused by an infection, or an allergic reaction. To determine the cause, your child will need evaluated.
#9: Mental and Behavioral Problems
This is usually more common with older children and teens, but any child that is suffering from suicidal thoughts, or behavioral difficulties should be evaluated. A medical provider will be able to determine what the best course of action is.
#10: Genitourinary Complaints
This includes urinary tract infections, or injuries to the genitals. An infection will usually need antibiotics to clear up, and these can be provided by a doctor. If your child has suffered an injury to the genitals, it’s best to have it evaluated to be sure it will not cause lasting damage.
When to Visit the ER
Any time your child needs medical attention right away, don’t hesitate to take them in. This could be something from the list above, or it could be something else. However, in the case of a life-threatening condition, don’t wait or try to drive them in yourself- always call 9-1-1. If the situation is serious, your child may need the immediate help that a paramedic can offer, before they’re able to reach the hospital.