Should You, or Shouldn’t You? When to Go to the Children’s ER

children's ER

As a parent, there’s nothing worse than questioning your own decisions — especially when they involve your kids and their health. Pediatric Emergency Physician Joey Gassen, MD,with Northern Nevada Emergency Physicians can help. He explains when you should take your child to the Children’s ER at Renown Children’s Hospital, and what makes a children’s ER different.

If you’re a parent, you’ve no doubt struggled with the question: Should you go the ER, should you go to urgent care, or should you wait? 

Pediatric emergency doctor, Joey Gassen, MD, has some insights.

How do you know when it’s time to take your child to the ER?

Having a sick or injured child is stressful. If you have a true emergency, you should go straight to the ER or call 911. 

When to go to the ER:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Asthma or severe shortness of breath
  • Fever (infants less than two months old)
  • Choking or poisoning
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Fainting, confusion or seizures
  • Fractures or broken bones
  • Head injuries
  • Severe bleeding

If you determine your child’s condition isn’t life-threatening but needs to be taken care of right away, urgent care is best choice. Those conditions include:

  • Cold and flu
  • Coughs and sore throat
  • Fevers
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain
  • Cuts and severe scrapes
  • Minor injuries and burns

RELATED:  Here’s Why a Dedicated Children’s Hospital Is So Important

What is different about Renown Children’s ER compared to the adult ER?

The difference starts when you first bring your child in. We have a lobby dedicated to our community’s smallest patients. The 24/7 lobby incorporates a child-friendly atmosphere with vibrant colors to help decrease anxiety that can accompany emergency situations.

Our children’s ER also has equipment sized just for kids of any age. We offer a distraction machine, as well as games and movies, to help children cope with what can be a traumatic experience, like getting an IV. In addition, we have Child Life Specialists available to provide the emotional support to both children and their families.

Why is it important to have an emergency room and lobby open 24/7 dedicated to children?

Children aren’t just little people. They have special needs that require specialized care. Our children’s ER is staffed with skilled physicians and pediatric nurses certified in advanced pediatric emergency care to give your child the highest level of support.

Renown Children’s Hospital

From newborns to teens, Renown Children’s Hospital offers many different services and treatments designed specifically to take care of our community’s children. We provide a range of specialized services — from a dedicated Children’s ER and Pediatric ICU to a children’s imaging center and child’s asthma program.

Explore Children’s Services