Baby Safety Month – Top Reasons for Baby ER Visits
Becoming a parent is the greatest blessing; it is also the scariest experience of anyone’s life.
Babies don’t come with manuals, and although we all try to do our best, they will get sick, and they will get hurt at some point.
Prevention is always the best option, but accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.
According to a 2018 study of pediatric ER visits:
- Approximately 20% of all ER visits in 2015 were children 18 or younger
- 17% of all children in the United States visited the ER at least once
- Children under the age of five accounted for 40% of pediatric ER visits
- ER visits for respiratory conditions are more frequent between October and March
- Injury-related ER visits are more common from April through September
- Here is a list of the most common reasons for pediatric ER visits and tips to help you prevent them, and signs you need to go to the ER.
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
Upper Respiratory Infections and Bronchiolitis
Several viruses, including the influence (flu) virus, can cause upper respiratory infections. When the infection settles in the lungs, it’s known as bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis is a common condition in infants and can cause trouble breathing, wheezing, and coughing.
Babies under the age of one have a harder time fighting upper respiratory infections than older children. The reason is that their airways are smaller, so they have more trouble breathing and even feeding when they have a respiratory infection.
Preventing Respiratory Infections
The biggest concern when a baby develops a respiratory infection is that it can quickly turn into a more severe condition such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia, which can be life-threatening.
You can help prevent respiratory infections by:
- Wash your hands often
- Keep your baby away from anyone who has flu-like symptoms
- Don’t allow anyone to smoke near your baby
- Keep hard surfaces clean and disinfected
When to Come to Altus Emergency Center
Bring your baby to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Trouble Breathing
- Cough with mucus that is green, grey, or yellow
- They are unusually inactive or upset
- Doesn’t want to breastfeed or bottle-feed
- Shows signs of dehydration which include little or no urine for 4-6 hours and shed no tears when they cry
- Your baby is exhausted for no reason, breathes rapidly, or their lips and fingernails turn a bluish color
Head Injuries and Fractures
Infants and toddlers are prone to falls. They can accidentally roll out of bed or fall while learning to walk.
Head injuries are common in small children, so as a parent, you need to be on the lookout for any unusual symptoms after a head injury.
You should come to our ER when:
- Your baby shows signs of a concussion, including severe crankiness, slurred speech, vomiting, trouble walking
- Your child has a soft spot on their head, and it feels like it’s bulging
- If your baby has a weak pulse
- If they have any seizures
Some of the most common baby and toddler injuries are fractures.
You need to bring your child to our ER center if they show any of the following symptoms:
- Severe swelling at the site of injury
- Unwillingness to use the injured body part
- An obvious bone deformity
- Severe pain
- Weak pulse
- Numbness or tingling
- Are unable to move the injured body part
If you are not sure but suspect your baby might have a broken bone, you need to bring them to the ER so we can X-ray the injured area.
At Altus Emergency Centers, we can diagnose and treat even the youngest babies when they are struggling with an illness or injury.
Our certified pediatric emergency doctors and nurses can provide the necessary care in a calm and soothing environment.