If your child is sick or injured, it’s important to quickly know the right place to turn for help. Today, many parents utilize convenient technologies like virtual visits or emailing their pediatrician’s offices to triage an unfamiliar health scenario. But when a child needs emergency care, these options may not be fast enough.
From minor illnesses to broken bones, to critical emergencies, pediatric emergency departments provide quality care specifically for young patients. When accidents happen (and they do!), a local pediatric ER is always the best choice for your child.
What makes a pediatric emergency department different from a general emergency department?
- The physicians and nurses you interact with in a pediatric emergency department have specialized experience working with children and families. Not only are they knowledgeable about illnesses that are specific to children, they are experts at communicating this knowledge to families confidently and effectively.
- Physicians and nurses receive specialized training and certification in pediatric emergency care. These doctors often train in both general pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine, obtaining board certification in both fields. In a general emergency department, you will most likely see an emergency medicine physician who cares mostly for adults and may not be as comfortable with pediatric conditions. When it comes to medicine, children are not just, “little adults,” they are unique!
- The exam rooms in a pediatric emergency department are kid-friendly and in some health systems (like Ochsner), child life staff is available to play games and provide activities for your child to ease the anxiety that comes with being sick and being in the hospital. Protocols for pediatric pain and anxiety relief are in place with the biggest goal of minimizing discomfort for you and your child while providing the best care possible.
Educating yourself on your medical options now is the best way to ensure you are well prepared should your child face a medical emergency.