10 Things For Parents to Know Before Heading To Emergency Room

Sooner or later a high fever may strike your child in the middle of the night, or your child may have a sudden aggravating infection, he may hit his head badly, a play date might end up in a broken bone. In short, at some point, every parent goes through a phase, rushing to the emergency room with their kid. 

Here are 10 tips to help you to organize yourself, stay calm, and to take control of such unavoidable situation without fault all of which are important for getting first-rate care for your baby.

1.       Always plan in advance:

Never wait for an emergency to come to think about the solution. It is more important to know your nearest emergency rooms, the hospital to which your child’s pediatrician is allied with, and also which all hospitals come under your insurance plan to save yourself bothering over the medical bills down the line. It is important to ensure the child's health-insurance card is in your wallet at all times. It is always important to talk to your child’s doctor where to go in case of any emergencies. He the right person to give you the precise direction. Think about everything and plan in advance.

2.       Consider a pediatric emergency room rather than normal one


When it comes to the child, it is always better to rely on the pediatric emergency room. So find which all hospitals near you provide that facility. If you take your child to an urgent care center or ER that does not have pediatricians or pediatric specialists on staff, they may shift the child to a hospital that has one, obviously, only if the child's condition demands one, though. However, it will delay the treatment procedure. Also, the pediatric ER has child-size equipment that helps in the treatment and toys to entertain your child.

3.       Contact child doctor before heading to the hospital:

It is always better to call and inform the doctor the issue or condition of the child before heading to the hospital.  Give him all the facts. This way, the doctor will be able to take appropriate decision and direct you and inform the hospital and make some necessary arrangement before you reach there, saving precious time.

4.       Stay calm:

When a mother or father panics, a child’s anxiety level goes up as well, which can aggravate the issue more than it should be. The children, irrespective of age, always rely on their parents for reassurance. Never fail them. Therefore, clear your mind, try to be cool, calm and collected so that you can make the right decision. Remember, once come across a crisis concerning the health of the child, the right decision at right time counts a lot.

5.       Be honest with your child:

Don’t hold back anything from the child. As already mentioned the child completely relies on you. Tell him beforehand what all going to happen. For example, if he has deep cut tell him the doctor will stitch it so that it heals fast. Don't tell him that a procedure won't be painful if you know it will be. Hold the child close to you and speak in soothing tones. Reassure you will be within his reach. One important matter that you should consider is shielding or distracting your child from any disturbing sights such as suture trays and long needles before you reassure him

 "For many kids, the anxiety about what's going to happen is worse than the actual pain," says Leslie Zun, MD, chairman of the Emergency Medicine Department at Mount Sinai Hospital and Children's Hospital, in Chicago.

6.       Take the child’s health history with you:

When you rush to the hospital, don't forget to grab the record of child's previous illnesses, immunizations, allergies, chronic conditions, and any medications that she's currently taking or take in the near past. Previous medical history (if any) from a painkiller to homeopathic medicines, vitamins and supplements is extremely valuable information to ER doctors

7.       Leave siblings at home:

You need to be focus on the needs of your sick or injured child. Therefore, while you head to the ER with the injured or sick child, leave the elder or younger siblings of the child at home with neighbor or friend who can watch them.

8.       Bring a comfort item for the child

It is a good idea to bring the child's favorite toy, book or even a blanket that is close to your child’s heart to the ER. This will elevate his comfort level, by distracting his mind from the unfamiliar situation and pain.

9.       Never hesitate to speak up and ask doubts:

It is your child and you are the only person who can advocate for him. No one in this world can interpret the child’s need as a parent.  Never hesitate to speak up if you think your child is in pain, or if you think the child is not yet ready to be discharged, etc. Also, you should make sure what is going on. If you don't understand a particular test or procedure, ask the doctor what it is for. It is not an interruption, the doctor is bound to clear your doubts

10.   Be patient:

Keep in mind, ER is not a place that serves first come first basis. ER team attends the patients depending on the severity. If your child needs speedy attention, ER team will provide it. Also, keep in mind that the lab tests and imaging are the time-consuming processes and you have to wait. Therefore, understand that there is a good reason for your waiting.