No one wants to go to the emergency room, and that goes double for parents with a sick or injured child. Although a serious ailment needs immediate attention, it is a known fact that even emergencies have levels of urgency. A hurt child may need to wait for an hour or more if there are other, more critical cases also waiting for care.
Before your child has another frightening physical problem that propels you to the emergency room, consider whether or not an urgent care center could be visited instead. While the line between a physical emergency and an urgent one might seem fine, it is really quite simple. If the person might lose a limb or their life, it is an emergency. If the person might get to the level of an emergency if not seen within a day, it is an urgent concern. To break down how this applies to children, read below.
Urgent Care For Kids: Less Time and Less Money Than the Emergency Room?
When your child is hurt, time matters. You want them to be pain-free as soon as possible. This is what makes waiting in the ER so frustrating. Intellectually triage, the process by which patients in critical condition are treated, makes sense. But when your precious baby is in great discomfort that thought goes out the window and you want them to be treated, now.
Timeliness: Every Minute Counts When Dealing With Small Bodies.
We know the wait in the ER is long, but what about urgent care for kids? You might be surprised to learn that more than half (60%) of urgent care centers have an average wait time of 15 minutes to see a midlevel provider or physician. About 65% have a physician on location at all times, which might prove helpful if your child’s condition is unclear.
Fevers rarely wait to worsen during business hours, which may be why many urgent care locations have hours that extend beyond the average physician’s office hours. In fact, 66% of centers open before 9:00am on weekdays, and nearly 48% extend that to Saturdays, with about 32% offering early hours on Sundays. These extended hours mean that your child could be seen before you go to work, or at least early enough in the day so that they don’t need to spend any more time in pain than absolutely necessary.
Can My Child’s Sickness or Injury Be Treated?
Urgent care for kids breaks down into two categories: either they have injured some part of their body, or their body has a communicable disease such as the flu. Now, before you head off to the nearest clinic it is helpful to do a little research. Unlike an emergency room, many urgent care clinics offer some but not all forms of care. Just about 70% of locations will offer intravenous drips, but not all will offer fracture care. It would not be productive to show up at a clinic expecting your child’s broken arm to be treated only to be told they don’t offer that level of care.
Be Prepared: How to Research the Right Urgent Care for Kids.
The easiest way to find a great urgent care clinic is to do an online search for locations near you. Most locations will have a rating attached, but don’t be too quick to make a decision without reading some of the reviews first. Make a note of the location; is it easy to access on a Friday night? How about a Tuesday morning at 8:00am?
While it is not possible to predict just when or how your children will have their next bodily mishap, it is possible to know in advance how you will respond. Take some time today to research urgent care for kids options near you. Look at the care each location offers, their open hours, and the location. Choose two or three if a perfect option cannot be found, and put the information in your phone or wallet. That way the next time (for there will be a next time when it comes to children) an urgent situation pops up, you’ll be ready.