How can I tell if my little one needs emergency treatment?
If your child breaks a bone, you’ll likely make a mad dash to the emergency room, no questions asked. But it’s a bit trickier with a stubborn fever or lingering headache.
At what point should you go to the ER? Based on symptoms, you should contact your pediatrician for advice because timely treatment can prevent an illness from worsening or becoming an emergency, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
These situations require urgent medical attention:
- Motor vehicle or bicycle accidents
- Falls from heights
- Poisoning (Call helpline at 800-222-1222)
- Burns or smoke inhalation
- Non-fatal drowning
- Accident from firearms or other weapons
- Electric shocks
- Abnormal behavior or withdrawn and less alert
- Trouble breathing
- Blue or purple skin or lips; gray on darker skin
- A large or deep cut or burn
- Persistent bleeding
- Rhythmical jerking and loss of consciousness, signaling a seizure
- Confusion, change in consciousness, headache or vomiting after a head injury
- Loose or knocked-out teeth, or severe mouth or facial injuries
- Increasing or severe persistent pain
- Decreasing responsiveness
WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY
• Stay calm.
• If CPR is needed, administer it while someone else calls 911. If alone, administer CPR for two minutes before calling 911.
• If bleeding, apply continuous pressure to the wound with a clean cloth.
• If a seizure, place your child on a carpet and turn head to the side until help arrives.
Anyone who cares for your child should know CPR with the following information handy to call 911:
• Your home address
• Your phone number
• A list of your child’s medications
• A list of your child’s allergies
(Visit the website of American Red Cross to find CPR classes in your area.)
• American Academy of Pediatrics
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Florida KidCare/Healthy Kids
State-sponsored health and dental insurance for children through age 18888-540-5437 Website Email
T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society
A network of minority health-care professionals providing health education programs, youth mentoring programs, speakers, health fairs and screenings in Palm Beach County, focusing on helping the underserved561-318-0814 Website Email
Florida's Poison Control Centers
Hotline for poisoning emergencies or related information and resources in Florida800-222-1222 Website Email
American Red Cross — South Florida Region
Services and programs for families facing emergencies561-833-7711 Website Email
Health Care District of Palm Beach County
C.L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics — medical, mental and dental services at more than a dozen locations through the county, regardless of your ability to pay or whether you have health coverage, including for the homeless and migrant populations561-642-1000 Website Email
Palm Beach Pediatric Society
Directory of Palm Beach County pediatriciansWebsite Email
American Academy of Pediatrics
HealthyChildren.org, a parenting website with children's health and development information, backed by 67,000 pediatricians630-626-6000 Website Email