It’s very scary when your child is sick after your pediatrician’s regular office hours, whether it be late in the evening or over the weekend. A lot of worried parents might be tempted to take their child directly to the hospital emergency room, but not all issues require immediate attention, and quite a few can be taken care of at your local urgent care clinic.
At Patient Care Now, we want you to be able to make the best decision for your child. We’ve put together general guidelines about when you should consider taking your child to the ER, and other times when our highly skilled urgent care doctors can treat your child.
Here’s what your pediatrician wants you to know about after-hours conditions:
- Usually, if your child has a fever it’s fine to wait until the next day to see the pediatrician. If your child is older than two months, with a fever or cold symptoms, feel free to stop into Patient Care Now if you are at all nervous or concerned about the situation, and we’ll be happy to help. Fevers in infants under two months require immediate medical attention.
- If your child was injured and has a small wound that is not bleeding heavily, or if you suspect they may have broken a bone, feel free to stop into urgent care for help. We can treat wounds to help prevent infection, as well as take X-rays to check for fractures.
- Should you suspect that your child may have suffered from a seizure, or if they are unconscious or losing consciousness, please make sure that you head straight to the hospital. If your child is expressing any symptoms that show there may be an issue with the brain, they should be seen immediately in a setting appropriate for the possibility of surgical intervention.
- If your child is expressing symptoms of an infection, we can easily diagnose and prescribe treatment here at Patient Care Now. Oftentimes, symptoms of infections can be very irritating or painful, and you may not wish to wait until you can see the pediatrician. In these situations, infections are easily treatable and not life threatening if treated within a few days. Symptoms of infections can include a sore throat that might lead to strep throat; drainage from the ear, or constant tugging on the ears, indicating the possibility of ear infection; or even red, itchy eyes that could be the sign of a pink eye infection.
- Lastly, if your child has been either vomiting or having diarrhea, first check to see if they show signs of dehydration. If the lips and mouth are dry, or the child seems to be confused or unable to focus, the dehydration that accompanies vomiting and diarrhea can be fatal, so you should seek emergency care. If you’ve been keeping your child hydrated but the vomiting or diarrhea is continuing, feel free to stop in to see us if your pediatrician is unavailable.
As a parent, you want to be on the safe side of every scenario. It’s always great to see your child’s pediatrician when an accident or illness arises, but if that’s not an option please request an appointment at our Fairless Hills urgent care office by calling (267) 202-6433, check in online, or simply walk right in. We’re here 7 days a week, 365 days a year.