Is it an Emergency? When to Visit the ER Instead of Your Pediatrician 
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital 
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 

Children are active, adventurous, and curious. No matter how hard we try to avoid it, they are bound to get hurt or sick. Whether it’s a fever or a scrape on their knee, knowing that each situation is different and how to handle it is important. Some injuries can be handled at your pediatrician’s office, but others may require a trip to the emergency room. Cy-Fair Hospital wants to help you know the difference.

For many parents, it can sometimes be hard to tell how sick your child is. That’s why our staff recommends calling your doctor first if you are unsure, so that they can assist you in making the best decision.

Minor problems like colds, coughs, ear pain, fever, mild diarrhea, constipation, temper tantrums, sleep problems, and certain rashes may be dealt with by a pediatrician. In more severe injuries or illness like lingering diarrhea and vomiting, problems swallowing, rising fever, blood in urine or not drinking for more than 12 hours, you may need to take your child to the ER.

If the situation is life threatening, you should visit the emergency room. These symptoms can include:
•    Unconsciousness or no response when you talk to your child
•    Rhythmic jerking and/or loss of consciousness (a seizure)
•    Increasing effort or trouble with breathing
    Skin or lips that look blue, purple, or gray
    Neck stiffness or a rash with fever
•    Increasing or severe persistent pain
•    A cut that is large, deep, or involves the head, chest, or abdomen
•    Bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure for 5 minutes
•    A burn that is large and/or involves the hands, feet, groin, chest, or face
•    Any loss of consciousness, confusion, headache or vomiting after a head injury

At Cy-Fair Hospital, our ER is especially designed to care for children. We have a designated children’s waiting room, specially decorated children’s exam rooms, and doctors on hand to care for the special needs of your sick or injured child. Visit for more information.