As a parent, you’re going to panic every time your child shows even the slightest symptoms of illness. It’s a natural reaction and you’re not going to stop yourself from worrying but it’s important that you understand that not every illness is life threatening. If you start taking your child to the emergency room every time they sneeze, you’re going to have some pretty big medical bills to deal with. That’s why it’s important to know when you should take them in and when you should try to deal with it on your own. Here’s how to know when you should take your child to the emergency room.

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Common Illnesses

There are a lot of common illnesses that children are going to get at some point or another. Things like a common cold, for example, can be dealt with at home on your own. Kids are also prone to a lot of ear infections which, while very painful for them, are not emergency issues. If they do have infections of some kind, you need to take them to the GP and get some antibiotics to treat them with, but you don’t need to rush into the emergency room. It’s best to speak with your doctor about the common illnesses that children are at risk of so you can learn how to spot them. This will help you to differentiate between the more serious issues and the ones that will pass on their own in a few days.

Extended Symptoms

The symptoms of a cold or a simple infection shouldn’t last more than a few days to a week at most. But if they last longer, it could be an indication that there is something more serious going on and you might need to take them into the hospital. When your child starts exhibiting symptoms, treat them at home for a few days and see whether they pass. If they don’t, then it might be time to start looking into other options.

What Are The Alternatives?

If they do have symptoms that have lasted for a week or more, you still shouldn’t take them to the emergency room right away. The first thing to do is call up the local doctors office or the non-emergency number and get some advice. They’ll be able to tell you whether you need to bring them in right away or whether you can wait for an appointment with the GP in a few days.

If the symptoms are serious, but not quite serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room, there are other facilities that offer urgent care in those situations. Booking an appointment at one of these facilities will be a fraction of the cost of going to the emergency room so it’s always a better option.

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

All of those rules apply for most symptoms but there are some that indicate a serious problem and should never be ignored. Severe fevers, fainting, chest pains and difficulty breathing, severe pain and vomiting over long periods of time without stopping are all indications of a serious health problem. If your child shows any of these symptoms, you should get them to the emergency room right away.

It’s always important that you’re vigilant and you’re aware of your child’s health, but don’t overreact and take them to the emergency room for every little thing.  

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