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Should I take my child to Immediate Care or the ER?
Emergency Medicine physician, Beth Atkinson

Should I take my child to Immediate Care or the ER?

By Elby Bruce on June 10, 2016

“Mommy, I don't feel good.”

The phrase causes panic in parents: What does my child have? Is my child going to be OK? Maybe I should take my little one to the emergency room? Can I wait until the morning and take my child to an immediate care center?

For this reason, it's important to know the types of ailments that can be treated in an Immediate Care facility versus the emergency room. This will save you valuable time in getting your condition diagnosed and treated, so you can begin feeling better right away.

The following ailments, whether in a child or adult, are indicators of whether you should visit an emergency center or call 911, or visit an Immediate Care Center instead.

Non-Life-Threatening Cases

  • Cough, cold or sore throat
  • Earaches
  • Flu symptoms
  • Mild asthma or allergies
  • Mild cuts, bumps or scrapes
  • Sinus infections
  • Sports physicals
  • Stomachaches, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Treatment of broken bones
  • Twisted or sprained ankles

Emergency Room Cases

There are some medical issues that must be treated in an emergency center to ensure you get the best care for your serious symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arm or legs
  • Choking or severe breathing problems
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness or blurred vision
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Deep cuts
  • Severe burns

Do you have a doctor?

It is important that you have a primary care physician who can follow up with you regarding your care. There are many physicians within the Medical Group of the Carolinas and Immediate Care should not be used as your sole healthcare provider. Find one for your family.