• Should You Dial 9-1-1 or Drive Your Child to the ER?

    Young kids tend to assume that their parents have all the answers, but quite often, it’s difficult to know what to do when a medical emergency occurs. There are many situations in which you could drive your child to the ER, but potentially life-threatening problems are not among them. When you call 911, the children’s hospital can send out emergency care responders to give your child life-saving care before he or she reaches the hospital. Here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, we urge parents to err on the side of caution and activate emergency services when a child’s health is in jeopardy.

    Call 911 if respiratory distress occurs.

    Respiratory distress refers to trouble breathing, which is always a medical emergency. Respiratory distress can be caused by an asthma attack, allergic reaction, choking, or pneumonia. Emergency responders can give your child oxygen while transporting him or her to the children’s hospital.

    Drive to the ER for minor broken bones.

    Kids tend to play as though they were invincible and unfortunately, this often results in broken bones. In many cases, parents can drive their kids to the ER for broken bones. If the child is unconscious or appears dazed, has also sustained head trauma, experiences excruciating pain, or the bone is visible, then you should call 911 instead.

    Call 911 if the child is not responsive.

    There are many reasons why a child may lose consciousness and not respond to attempts to rouse him or her. Parents should assume that this is a medical emergency that requires a call to 911 . Unresponsiveness can be the result of a serious infection, severe dehydration, head trauma, or poisoning.

    Drive to the ER for sutures.

    If your child has sustained a wound that you suspect will require stitches, you can generally drive to the ER. If possible, have someone else drive so that you can keep pressure on the wound. If the wound is bleeding severely, you are unable to stop the bleeding with pressure, or your child has a bleeding disorder, it’s time to call 911.

    Sunrise Children’s Hospital is pleased to offer our dedicated neonate and pediatric ambulance to facilitate rapid emergency care to children in the Las Vegas area. If your child is experiencing a serious medical problem, please don’t hesitate to call 911. Parents can contact our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437 only for non-emergent questions.

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