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When to Get Emergency Care for Your Child

Many minor injuries can be handled at home. But there are times when a trip to an emergency room (ER) is needed. Take your child to an emergency room or urgent care clinic after an injury if your child has any of the below:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Coughing up blood 

  • Blue or purple color to lips, skin, or nails

  • Chest or stomach pain or pressure

  • Severe or ongoing vomiting or diarrhea 

  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision

  • Loss of consciousness, confusion, or trouble waking

  • Seizures

  • Animal, snake, or human bites

  • Severe pain

  • Loss of motion or feeling anywhere in the body

  • Severe bleeding

  • Bleeding that does not stop with direct pressure

  • Severe burns

  • Burns of the face

  • Broken bones

  • Puncture wounds

  • Head, spinal cord, or eye injuries

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives, swelling of the face, lips, eyes, or tongue, fainting, or trouble breathing, swallowing, or wheezing

  • Exposure to poison (also follow instructions from the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222)

This is not a full list. There are other problems that may need emergency care. Contact your child's healthcare provider for more information.

Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRC
Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Eric Perez MD
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2016
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.