Taking Your Child to a Pediatric Urgent Care Clinic

Americans young and old need to regularly see medical professionals for checkups and medical treatment, and children under age 18 will be taken to pediatricians. These board-certified experts specialize in the anatomy and medical needs of children and babies, and those board-certified doctors may diagnose anything from an ear infection to depression to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a child. Parents may look for pediatric care by finding a dedicated pediatrician for their child, but when a medical emergency comes up, their board-certified doctor may not be available. Instead, parents can take their children to convenient care in the area for everyday illnesses and wounds. Serious, life-threatening cases will call for 24 hour emergency care, and urgent and emergency care should not be confused. When is it time to find a board-certified pediatrician, or take your child to an urgent care clinic?

Emergency and Urgent Care

Urgent and emergency care may sound similar, but there is an important distinction to make between them. This applies for both child and adult patients alike. Emergency care, often provided by a hospital’s ER or an emergency clinic, is reserved for life-threatening cases such as difficulty breathing, broken arms or legs, head wounds, and heavy bleeding or stab wounds. Going to an ER may be stressful and expensive, and some Americans mistakenly take their children or an adult patient to the ER when in fact an urgent care clinic was more suitable for their needs. What is more, the staff at an emergency clinic may not be ready to deal with a child who has a non life-threatening problem, so parents may instead take their child to a pediatric urgent care clinic. Such a clinic will have everything that they need.

By contrast, an urgent care clinic is one that provides quick but professional care for a patient who does not have life-threatening problems. Adults may visit regular walk in clinics, while parents may bring their child to a specialized pediatric urgent care clinic for treatment. A child may be taken to such a clinic for medicinal relief against a nasty case of a cold or the flu, and a child with an ear infection (common among kids) may be brought to such a clinic, too. Children may be brought to such a clinic if they suffer from broken fingers or toes or bone fractures, and they may get medical care for a sports injury such as a sprained wrist or ankle. A child who is experiencing asthma or allergies may be taken to such a clinic, and children may also get stitches and bandages for shallow cuts.

Finding a Private Practice

A pediatric urgent care clinic is the best place to take your child if they need medical care and attention outside of regular office hours of a dedicated, board-certified pediatrician. Otherwise, parents may take their child or baby to a private practice where a pediatrician may consult the child’s medical records and history. At a private pediatrician’s practice, a child may get checkups and exams, and may be diagnosed with any number of physical or mental disorders. Parents who move to a new area, or those whose child just became old enough for this sort of care, may look online to find a private practice with a board-certified pediatrician if they don’t already have private references to use.

Parents who look for these board-certified pediatricians online may enter phrases such as “good pediatricians near me” and use their ZIP code or their home town or city’s name to further refine the search, and find a whole list of local practices. The parents may strike out any practices deemed too far to visit, and visit the rest in person to evaluate them. This may include consulting the staff for their credentials and client reviews, and even the child may be brought along. The youngster won’t ask anyone for their credentials, but they get their own impression of the place and the staff. A given pediatric practice may be a fine candidate if the child feels comfortable there and gets along with the staff. Once the parents choose a practice, they may bring their child regularly. Board-certified pediatricians may diagnose any number of infections or mental disorders in a child.

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