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When to Go: Pediatric Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room (ER)

by | Feb 28, 2023

Deciding whether to take your child to pediatric urgent care vs. emergency room can be confusing. KidsStreet Urgent Care is here to help clarify when you should visit one or the other!  

When Should I Take My Child To Pediatric Urgent Care?   

All of life’s little emergencies don’t have to end up in the emergency room. Pediatric urgent care for children specializes in treating children and can take care of your child’s non-life-threatening emergencies.   

Here are some services that can be performed in a kid’s urgent care clinic rather than taking a trip to the emergency room. 

General Illnesses  

Children’s urgent care clinics can treat a large variety of general illnesses. If your child has cold symptoms or stomach pain, you can take them there rather than to the emergency room. A few of the general illnesses that they treat include:   

  • Cold and Flu  
  • Migraines and tension headaches  
  • Abdominal pain  
  • Vomiting and diarrhea  
  • Skin rash and poison ivy  
  • RSV  
  • Allergies  

Minor Injuries  

Do you suspect your child has a minor broken bone or a nasty sprain? Kids urgent care can help! Many clinics can treat minor breaks and refer you to a specialist. Here are some of the minor injuries pediatric urgent care clinics can treat:   

  • Broken bones  
  • Twists and sprains  
  • Sports injuries  
  • Cuts and lacerations  
  • Dislocations  

Other Services  

For those conditions that don’t fall neatly under illnesses and injuries, kids’ urgent care still has a treatment plan. These conditions consist of:   

  • Hand, Foot, and Mouth  
  • Foreign Object Removal   
  • Minor allergic reactions  
  • Eye injuries and pink eye  

For a full list of services, visit our pediatric urgent care services page.    

When Should I Take My Child To The Emergency Room (ER)?   

Although making an emergency room visit is not always necessary if your child is sick, sometimes it is absolutely vital. One guideline that is helpful when determining whether to visit the emergency room is that if your child is walking, talking, playing, or engaging with you, they most likely do not need to visit the emergency room.  

These are some general guidelines as to when you should visit the emergency department with your child:  

  • Your child has blood in their stool or vomit.   
  • They have broken a bone, and it is sticking out of the skin.   
  • They are having difficulty breathing.   
  • Your child has fallen unconscious or sustained a head injury.   
  • They have ingested any type of battery.   
  • Your child is having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).   
  • They have sustained a major cut or burn.   

Turn To KidsStreet Urgent Care  

When determining when to take your kid to a pediatric urgent care vs. emergency room, the best course of action is to determine the severity of the illness or industry and use the lists below to help guide you in the right direction. 

KidsStreet Urgent Care offers a wide variety of services and is here for all of life’s little emergencies. We want to get your child healing and feeling better, FAST!   

You can register online and wait from your home or vehicle until we are ready for you. We’ll send you a text when it’s time to head to the office.   

Walk-ins are always welcome at our clinics, but please be aware that registering online reduces in-clinic wait times. Walk-ins are added to the same queue as those who register online. 


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