As a parent, you would likely do anything to take away your child’s pain and keep them safe from harm. When they aren’t feeling well or are injured, it might be easy to overreact to a given situation. But in some cases, your instincts may be right on. It may help to really ascertain the differences between a true medical emergency and a health concern that merely requires quick medical treatment. Knowing the difference between these two different types of situations can ensure that your child receives the best treatment available and that you won’t take any unnecessary risks with their health. We’ve outlined some of the most common examples of medical emergencies below, which will typically require emergency room visits, as well as situations wherein a trip to urgent care would be appropriate.

Examples of Non-Emergency Medical ConditionsWith any luck, the majority of illnesses and injuries you’ll face as a parent will be in this category. For some non-emergency situations, it may be appropriate to call your child’s pediatrician. However, in situations that are not life-threatening but would still benefit from fast medical care, going to a walk-in clinic may be a better option — particularly if the facility offers comprehensive specialized pediatric care.

According to the Urgent Care Association of America’s 2016 Benchmarking Report, the most common illnesses diagnosed and treated at urgent care facilities in 2015 included acute sinusitis, acute upper respiratory infections, cough, acute bronchitis, and acute pharyngitis. Other examples of non-emergency medical conditions may include:

  • Pink eye
  • Sprains, strains, fractures
  • Minor burns/sunburn or wounds (cuts, scrapes)
  • Common cold or sore throat
  • Ear infection
  • UTI
  • Mild dehydration
  • Gastrointestinal problems

Examples of Medical Emergency Health ConcernsNo parent ever wants to face a medical emergency involving their child. But the faster you can react and bring your child to an emergency room, the better off they’ll be in the following situations:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fever above 100.4 in young children
  • Seizures with no prior history
  • Severe burns
  • Head injuries
  • Vomiting blood
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Neck stiffness coupled with rash or fever
  • Potential poisonings
  • Eye pain
  • Venomous stings or bites
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • New or increasing psychiatric health issues
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Sudden dizziness or weakness
  • Severe bleeding

Although no family ever wants to experience a major health situation involving a child, knowing what to do in these situations can ensure the future health and safety of everyone in your home. In life-threatening medical situations, it’s always appropriate to head to a hospital for emergency care. But for non-emergencies, your local walk-in clinic may very well be the right place to go. To find out more about the health situations we can treat, please contact our staff today.