How You Know When it’s Time to Take your Kid to Urgent Care

How You Know When it’s Time to Take your Kid to Urgent Care

Health and Fitness August 6, 2018

Kids can get sick a lot in their first few years, and it can be difficult to spot the difference between a cold and a serious problem. With newborns, you should always err on the side of caution and visit a pediatric urgent care if your baby seems sick. Otherwise, children are fairly resilient, and they may not always require a visit to the pediatrician.

If you’re wondering “What is urgent care?” (or, more accurately, “How much is an urgent care visit?”) rest assured that they’re for minor medical events, have shorter wait times and often cost less than visits to the emergency room. Here are the three most common illnesses that can affect small children, and how you’ll know when you should go to urgent care.

Ear Infections Five out of six children will have an ear infection by the time they turn three, and 40% of toddlers will have multiple. Experts say at-home treatments are fine if your child has a mild earache, but if they have disrupted sleep, fever, or severe pain, it could be time to take them to urgent care. A pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics and Tylenol to treat the infection and the pain.

Severe Allergy Symptoms Many children will have some allergy symptoms as the seasons change, just as adults do. If your child has symptoms of a rash, itching eyes, shortness of breath, coughing, and cold symptoms that last for two weeks or more, there’s probably something else going on. An urgent care visit can determine if your child has hay fever, eczema, asthma, or something else altogether.

Whooping Cough is common in children, and at first it can look like a common cold. However, you should take your child to a pedi center if they begin to run a fever and develop coughing spells. Whooping cough is extremely contagious, so be sure to keep your little one away from other kids and take them in for treatment as soon as possible. Children under six should also not be given cough medicine, so be sure to as the pediatrician about treatment options.

Some parents may want to head to urgent care every time their child is ill, but many childhood ailments, such as chickenpox and pink eye, will eventually heal on their own. If you’re still asking, “How much is an urgent care visit?” ask about a free clinic and sliding scales.