When to Take Your Child to the ER

Written by Carmen Scott

Illnesses, accidents and injuries happen all the time, and on any given day a parent can ask the question, “Should I get that looked at?” at least a couple of times. There are of course obvious symptoms that always need immediate attention, such as uncontrolled bleeding, loss of conscience, broken bones or poisoning. It is the not so obvious symptoms which as parents we struggle with whether to have our child “looked at” or do we take the “wait and see approach.”

Here is a list of conditions that you should seek medical attention for your child.

If a fever occurs and the child is under 3 months.
If your child’s behaviour has changed, he or she isn’t eating or drinking, and the fever will not go down after medication.
If there are additional symptoms accompanying the fever such as a stiff neck, vomiting, difficulty breathing, muscle or abdominal pain.

If the rash isn’t blanch-able – meaning when you press on the rash and it doesn’t turn white. This can be a sign of an infection.
Any rash that is on the face or lasts for more than a few days

Anytime your child is bitten by an animal or a human and the bite breaks the skin.

Any cut that is on the face, or when the edges of a cut are spread apart.

Allergic reactions:
If your child has eaten something or was stung by a bee and suddenly show signs of hives, swelling, or breathing difficulties.
Always monitor your child when giving a new medication.

If your child has prolonged vomiting without diarrhea, or if there is blood in the vomit.
Also watch for any sign of dehydration which can include no urine output, or for very young children no tears when crying.

Remember if you are concerned, have your child looked at and trust your instincts! Nobody knows your child better than you do!

A great resource to use as a second opinion is the 24 hour BC Nurses health line – dial 811

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About the author

Carmen Scott

Carmen Scott is the owner and co-founder of Burnt Toast Projects; builder of community resource websites. She specializes in family dynamics and parenting issues for the very young, and the young at heart. With degrees in Psychology and Art Therapy, plus 15 years in the corporate world combined with life experience as a mom, and now as a caregiver to both her parents. This makes Carmen an expert in this “sandwich generation” quest for simplicity, health, and well being, as well as the importance of staying connected with the greater community. Carmen was the “on-air” parenting expert for the duration of CHEK TV’s Island30 show with a segment called PG-Parental Guidance. Carmen is never far from her laptop; writing, blogging, web surfing and working on Burnt Toast Projects.