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Published on November 04, 2019

Know Where to Go When Your Child Is Sick 

Know Where to Go When Your Child Is Sick

When your child is sick, you want them to start feeling better as soon as possible. One way you can help your child start the path toward a speedy recovery is by knowing what treatment resources are available to them. In this week’s 2 Your Well-Being discussion, Ross Kuhner, MD, explains where to go, what to do and who to call when your child is sick.

When it comes to knowing if your child’s illness is an emergency, it’s important to trust your gut. As a parent, you know your child best and understand what is normal for them versus what isn’t. It’s also important to reach out to care providers for guidance when you have questions.

One important resource that you can call is your pediatrician’s office. They can give you guidance on whether your child can be treated at home, if they can come in for an office visit the next day or if they need more immediate treatment at an urgent care or emergency room.

There are multiple reasons your pediatrician might instruct you to take your child to an emergency room. Two signs your child needs emergency treatment are:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Changes in consciousness.

If you’re unsure if your child’s illness is an emergency, it’s important to act quickly and reach out for help.

In addition to your pediatrician’s office and emergency rooms, there are other resources available to help you take care of your child. Urgent cares can treat many common illnesses, such as the flu, strep throat and minor injuries. Additionally, if your child eats or swallows something they shouldn’t, you can call the Poison Control Center for advice on what (if any) treatment your child needs.

If you have any questions about the best ways to help your child feel better, don't hesitate to reach out to your child's health care provider for help. 

About the Author

Ross Kuhner, MD, is the medical director and board-certified pediatric emergency medicine specialist at Cone Health’s Children’s Emergency Department located at The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital.

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