Accidents happen, and children are unfortunately susceptible to them. In every household with children, there’s bound to be some mishaps here and there. While some accidents need immediate attention, others require less urgent care. Most parents find themselves at crossroads determining which healthcare facility to rush their child to when they get an injury. The emergency room (ER) and urgent care unit are two common options, but knowing which one is suitable for your child’s situation is essential. This blog post will be discussing the factors to consider before making the right call for your child’s care.
Severity of the Injury
The first factor to consider when choosing between the ER and urgent care is the severity of the injury. If your child has a life-threatening ailment, such as seizures, stroke, or difficulty breathing, it’s better to go to the ER. On the other hand, if your child has a non-life-threatening injury, such as a minor burn, injury, or chest pain, urgent care is a suitable option.
Time of the Day
Another critical factor to consider when making the right choice is the time of the day. Most urgent care units are open during business hours (9 am-5 pm), while ERs are open 24/7. If it’s a minor injury and it’s during business hours, the urgent care unit is a viable option. However, if it’s an emergency in the dead of the night, the ER is the best choice.
Money is another factor that comes into play when choosing between the ER and urgent care. The cost of an ER visit is often higher than that of the urgent care unit. If you have insurance, it’s essential to check your plan’s coverage before deciding on which facility to take your child.
The wait time is another important factor to take into consideration when making the right call. Depending on the area and time of day, some ERs are prone to long wait times. The urgent care unit, on the other hand, could have less wait time, with patients waiting less than an hour to be seen by a medic. If you have a busy schedule or can’t wait for long periods, you might consider urgent care first.
Type of Service
Finally, the type of service provided by each facility should guide your choice. The urgent care unit provides additional services, such as X-rays, lab testing, and prescriptions, while some ERs might not have such services. If your child’s injury requires extra services, the urgent care unit might be a better option.
Choosing between urgent care and the ER can be quite challenging for any parent. However, by considering the factors discussed above, you can make the right choice. Remember, the emergency room should only be considered if the injury is life-threatening. Cost, wait time, and the services provided should also guide your decision. By doing so, you can rest assured that you made the right call and that your child gets the appropriate care they need.
By Lizzie Weakley
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.