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How do you tell if you need to visit an urgent care vs. the emergency room?

NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care shares the following tips.

It’s an Emergency:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • A seizure
  • Ingesting poison
  • Coughing and vomiting up blood
  • Head injury with a loss of consciousness
  • Large and complex deep cuts 
  • Open bone fractures and dislocated bones
  • Severe dehydration—your child is lethargic and confused, has dry lips and a dry mouth, or hasn’t urinated for more than 12 hours. 
  • A newborn (under two months) with a fever of over 100.4 F 
  • Severe allergic reaction (swelling, difficulty breathing)
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Sudden change in mental status
  • A loss or change in vision

It’s Urgent:

  • A cold or the flu
  • Vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Minor burns
  • Nosebleeds
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Ear pain
  • Foreign bodies in the ear or nose
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Simple lacerations 
  • Sprains
  • Asthma attacks
  • Croup
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sore throat
  • Closed bone fractures 

Disclaimer:  The information provided is intended to be general information, and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of examination, treatment, or consultation with a physician. Please consult a physician if you suspect your child needs urgent or emergent care.

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