It’s important to be prepared for an emergency involving your child before one happens. There are steps you can take prior to and during an emergency to prepare your family.
First, it’s important to know when a situation warrants a visit to the emergency room (ER). If your child is having difficulty breathing, is disoriented or has a cut that won’t stop bleeding, these all warrant a trip to the ER as soon as possible. More serious situations, including severe choking, a drug overdose or a serious injury such as from a car accident, require you call for an ambulance. If your child’s condition is non-life threatening, call your pediatrician.
“Emergency room staff work around the clock to treat patients to the best of their abilities,” said Melonye Huber, ER Director at Odessa Regional Medical Center. “Individuals are treated in order of the direness of their emergency. Therefore, the ER is only the best place to take your child in emergency situations.”
It’s important to know ahead of time what symptoms and conditions require emergency care:
- Know your child’s medical history and be ready to share it. This includes medications, allergies, illnesses, vaccinations and any past surgeries.
- Take the evidence with you. This could be the medication or product they ingested, or a similar object to the one swallowed.
- Be prepared that you may have to wait. If you have time, bring a special toy to comfort your child. Remember that staying calm will help your child do the same.
- And last, take notes. Be prepared to write down what your doctors and nurses tell you about your child’s condition.