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Emergency Care for Your Child

How to know when an emergency room visit is necessary

September 2012

From falling while climbing a tree to twisting an ankle during a particularly fearless slide into home plate, children can find a variety of ways to injure themselves. And, it can sometimes be hard to decide when emergency care is most needed, but it's usually a decision that must be made urgently. So, here is a guide to know when to seek emergency care immediately.

You should seek emergency care immediately if your child shows the following signs:

• Blue- or gray-colored skin

• Confusion

• Excessive fatigue

• Fever accompanied by changes in behavior

• Persistent vomiting or diarrhea

• Reduced alertness or responsiveness

• Seizure

• Severe headache or vomiting, especially after a head injury

• Unconsciousness

• Uncontrollable bleeding

According to the College of Emergency Physicians, you should always call the ambulance—even if you think you can get to the hospital quicker by driving—if you can answer "yes" to any of these questions:

• Is the child's condition becoming worse?

• Are his or her symptoms life-threatening?

• Would moving him or her cause further injury?

• Is there a possibility traffic could prevent you from getting to the hospital?

If you are unsure whether or not to call 9-1-1 for ambulance service to the hospital, call anyway.

Lifesaving Rides

Emergencies happen with children—and when they do, the Hilbert Pediatric Emergency Department at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to quickly handle a full range of pediatric conditions from the most minor incidents to the most life-threatening situations.

If you aren't within driving distance of the Hilbert Pediatric Emergency Department, don't worry. Our pediatric emergency transport services allow seriously ill or injured children to be picked up from any hospital in the state and transported to our ED.

Each ambulance is equipped with specialty equipment, such as portable ventilators. A team composed of pediatric specialists, including a physician or neonatologist, respiratory therapist, and a critical care transport nurse, are aboard every transport.

If you still have questions about your child's cough, fever, or other minor illness or injury, we're just a phone call away. By calling 317.338.KIDS, you can reach one of our experienced pediatric nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

John Clark is the manager of St.Vincent Critical Care Transport.
Some Extra Help

Your child's health is a top priority, and you never know when he or she could become ill or sustain an injury. That's why Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent offers 338.KIDS - a free 24/7 nurse advice line - and the 4Kids Health iPhone app - a free iPhone application that provides parents access to relevant health information and helps them make decisions about when to seek care. Additional resources found in the 4Kids Health application include first-aid, parent advice and medication dosage tables based on your child's weight for common over-the-counter medications.

Just Log On

If you're ready to bring kids health topics to your iPhone, downloading 4KidsHealth is a simple process. Visit www.4KidsHealthApp.com to download your free 4KidsHealth app. Remember, although this application is a helpful tool in responding to your child's health, 4KidsHealth is not a substitute for a professional medical opinion.

Tags: In This Issue, Pediatric Health

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