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Dr. Chessare Addresses the Pediatric Surge in Hospitals

October 27, 2022

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See Your Pediatrician or Family Medicine Physician

In most cases, it’s best to contact your child’s pediatrician or family medicine physician first with any health concerns. Most practices offer after-hours phone lines for parents to speak with an on-call nurse about their child's symptoms. Medical concerns that can usually wait until the next day are:

  • Cough or sore throat
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Runny nose
  • Ear pain
  • Eye drainage
  • Fussy baby
  • Fever of 100.4 F/38.0 C or greater before any medication is given

*height of fever doesn't indicate severity of illness

Go to an Urgent Care Facility

Health issues don’t always happen during business hours, especially with children. If your child has an illness or injury that is not life threatening, but can’t wait until the next day, an urgent care facility is the place to go.

Common non-life-threatening illnesses/injuries are:

  • Small cuts or minor burns
  • Fractures or broken bones that aren’t causing severe pain
  • Sprains
  • Sinus infections
  • Pink eye

Go to the Emergency Department

Pediatric and adult Emergency Departments are intended to care for those who have serious, life-threatening illnesses or injuries that require immediate medical attention.

Take your child to the Emergency Department in these cases:

  • Trouble breathing/shortness of breath
  • Head, spinal cord, or eye injury
  • Seizure
  • Severe bleeding or burns
  • Chest or stomach pain/pressure
  • Allergic reaction (swelling of face, lips, tongue, eyes; fainting; trouble breathing; hives)
  • Lips, skin, or fingernails that have turned blue or purple
  • Fever (100.4 F/38.0 C or greater, taken rectally before any medication is given) in an infant younger than two months old
  • Uncontrolled pain
  • Animal or human bite
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