As parents, one of our biggest fears is that one of our kids will suffer an injury or illness that will require a trip to the emergency room.
But no matter how well we care for our children, accidents happen every day, and it’s comforting to know that the Altus Emergency staff is ready to provide the best care for your child.
Top Reasons Children Visit our ER
Every year around 30 million children under the age of 18 visit the ER. Luckily, close to 97% of patients receive treatment and are released the same day.
Here are the top reasons why children end up in the emergency room:
Upper Respiratory Infections
The upper respiratory system involves the nose, throat, and trachea. The most frequent cases we see relate to sinus infections, laryngitis, and tonsillitis.
Lower Respiratory Infections
Lower respiratory infections affect the bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli, which make up the lungs. Two of the most common lower respiratory tract infections in children are pneumonia and bronchitis. If you notice your child is having trouble breathing, don’t delay; rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment.
Otitis Media is a common infection in children caused by either viruses or bacteria. The infection happens behind the eardrum, so it’s not visible with an external inspection of the ear.
Fever and ear pain are common signs of otitis media; babies are often unusually fuzzy, especially when lying down when they have an ear infection.
Sprains and Strains
These types of injuries are common among active teens who play sports. Sprains happen when a ligament is torn or overstretched, usually due to a fall or a direct hit to the body. Sprains typically affect the knees, ankles, and wrists.
Strains, on the other hand, are pulls or tears to a muscle or tendon. This type of injury can result from a sudden movement or overuse of a muscle or tendon.
Open Wounds to The Extremities
Cuts and lacerations can happen in any part of the body, but they are more frequent in the arms and legs.
Depending on the injured area and the severity of the wound, there may be a great deal of bleeding. Head to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if your child has an injury that won’t stop bleeding or the cut is deep enough to warrant stitches.
You can treat a mild fever at home with age-appropriate fever medications. However, persistent or very high fevers are often indicators of a more severe infection.
Concerns over a fever vary depending on the age of your child
- Infants under three months: You should visit our ER if their fever reaches 100.4 degrees or if they show any of these signs: trouble breathing, difficulty waking up to feed or not feeding, inconsolable crying, rash, or vomiting.
- Babies three months to three years: An ER visit is necessary if they have a higher fever over 102.2 degrees, or when the following symptoms accompany their fever: trouble breathing, difficulty waking up, unusually fuzzy or inconsolable, not feeding or eating, not urinating, rash, or they are unable to keep fluids down
- Children three years and older: A trip to our ER may be necessary if they have a high fever over 102 degrees lasting two or more days, or when any of the following symptoms accompany the fever: abdominal pain, unable to keep fluids down, trouble breathing or swallowing, does not urinate or has a burning sensation while urinating, not eating, rash, stiff neck
During play, children may fall and break a bone. The bones in the arm tend to suffer the most fractures, but childhood fractures could also happen in other areas, such as the collar bone, leg, foot, and ankle.
Bone fractures are painful and need to be set right by a doctor for them to heal correctly. If you suspect your child may have a broken bone, don’t delay; bring them to our nearest ER for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
When to Take Your Child to the ER
Pediatric emergencies are time-sensitive; the sooner your child gets care, the better their chances of making a full recovery.
Call 911 or bring your child to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Possible poisoning
- Loss of consciousness
- Head injury
- Injury to the neck or spine
- Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)
- Severe burn
At Altus Emergency Centers, we care for your child as if they were our own because we view all our patients like family.