KNOXVILLE (WATE) – We all get sick and hurt sometimes, but when it comes to our kids it can be tough to determine if an injury or illness is a true emergency. Many minor injuries can be treated at home and some illnesses can be taken care of in your pediatrician’s office, but should you rush your child to the emergency room?
Bill Chesney, nurse and assistant manager in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital, said there are six signs and symptoms you should never ignore. Chesney said they are all reasons you should rush your child to an emergency room.
“Some situations are so serious you need help of trained medical personnel on the way to the hospital. These might include a head or neck injury after a car crash, child who is non-responsive, not breathing or turning blue,” said Chesney. In this case call 911 for an ambulance.
Chesney said above all trust your instincts. “You know your child best. If you aren’t comfortable with your child’s appearance, or feel an injury or illness is serious come to the E-R. That’s what we’re here for,” he said.
1. Difficulty Breathing
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath can mean your child is at risk for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), pneumonia, a severe allergic reaction or foreign body aspiration.
2. Change in mental status
If a child suddenly becomes unusually sleepy or difficult to work, disoriented or confused they could be at risk for a concussion, stroke or shock.
3. Cut which is very deep or will not stop bleeding
Large or deep wounds can result in nerve or tendon damage.
4. Stiff neck with fever
This could mean your child is at risk for meningitis.
5. Ingests a poisonous substance or too much medication
In any possible poisoning, call the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) for expert advice.
Head trauma with any loss of consciousness could mean your child has a broken skull bone, torn blood vessels, concussion or serious brain injury.