Should I Take My Child to Urgent Care or the ER?
Kids are no strangers to cuts, scrapes, and bruises, not to mention the myriad colds, flus, and ear infections that are part and parcel of growing up. These minor medical emergencies, which always seem to crop up outside of regular business hours, usually require medical attention sooner rather than later, which is where Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care comes in. There are times, however, when a medical situation develops that demands a more intensive standard of care, like that found in an emergency room.
To help guide you in the right direction when your child has a medical problem, here are a few tips to help you decide whether to bring your child through our doors or to take them to the nearest emergency room.
The most common urgent care problems
To give you a better idea of the services we provide, the following is a list of the more common ailments that we’re able to tend to, 365 days a year, including after hours:
- Ear infection
- Cuts and scrapes
- Asthma attacks
- Minor fractures
- Insect bites and stings
- Minor burns
- Strep throat
- Stomach upset
- Ankle sprains
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it gives you an idea of the types of medical problems that we’re able to address at our pediatric urgent care center.
When is it an emergency?
This question is tough to answer as it depends upon your child, your child’s medical history, and the severity of the problem. There are a few rules of thumb when it comes to seeking emergency care (or dialing 911) over urgent care, and they include:
- Deep cuts that don’t stop bleeding
- Severe burns
- Head injuries (any loss of consciousness)
- Difficulty breathing
- Fevers with a rash
Again, this list is meant only to be illustrative of the types of emergencies that should be directed to your nearest hospital. You know your child best and if you feel that there’s something really wrong (for example, your child is very lethargic), it’s best to err on the side of caution and go to the emergency room.
The benefits of urgent care
If your child needs expert medical attention for one of the more common minor emergencies, there are plenty of advantages to coming to see us. First and foremost, as a standalone pediatric urgent care center, all of our services are dedicated to your child. At hospital emergency rooms, you become part of a wider health care network that serves an entire community.
What all of this means is that you may be bumped down the list of priorities and experience fairly long wait times at an emergency room. Conversely, at Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care, the average time it takes to treat your child is one hour, and no appointment is needed.
Our urgent care center is also equipped with the necessary equipment to quickly diagnose and treat your child, including on-site X-rays. And our urgent care center is staffed by a team of highly qualified pediatric specialists who understand the unique needs of children.
And if you need further, specialized care, we make sure you have your lab results or X-rays to take to the next doctor.
If you have any questions about our urgent care services in Manassas, Virginia, please feel free to give us a call at (703) 589-9695. And you can even reserve a spot ahead of time with our convenient online booking tool.