Last night we made our first trip to the emergency room with our toddler. It was frightening, urgent, and I am so glad it’s over.
There is nothing worse than getting a call from your husband stating that he has to take your youngest child to the ER and will you please meet him there. He was handling 2 toddlers by himself, so he couldn’t give me any details other then Zeke had cut his finger and it was bad. For my husband to say emergency room, or describe it as a “bad” situation, I knew it was serious.
You can read the whole story of our toddler going to the emergency room here, but what I wanted to provide is some tips to know before an emergency room visit happens. We have 4 kids, and with Zeke’s injury last night, we’ve now had trips to the ER with all of them. Accidents happen and with kids, they happen often. Chances are you will need to take your child at some point and knowing a few things in advance can help prepare you.
Know Before You Go 1 of 11
Emergency rooms are scary for everyone involved. Before having to take your toddler to the ER here are 10 things to know.
Know Where the Closest Emergency Room Is 2 of 11
In the event of an emergency, do you know where the closest emergency room is to you? While this may sound silly, it's a good thing to know and think about. We moved 7 months ago and had noticed how in our area there are 2 one-off emergency room clinics. When our son cut himself badly, we realized why there were so many around us.... because there are no hospitals! We never realized this, but thankfully knew a location where we could take him.
Something to note, many urgent care facilities can take emergency-type injuries, but if your child's injury is related to the neck or head, they will typically refer you to a hospital.
When to Call 9-1-1 3 of 11
If you have any hesitation in regards what to do about your child's injury, call 9-1-1.
Something else to note, should your child have eaten something, let's say a pill, and you don't know what to do then 9-1-1 can connect you quickly to poison control. As scary as an ambulance ride may sound, your child will get immediate treatment both from a paramedic and the ER.
But please, if your cat is hurt or you have a possible ear infection, don't call 9-1-1. It is for emergency situations only.
Be Attentive To Your Child 4 of 11
While inside you are FREAKING OUT, do put yourself in your child's place and stay calm. He or she needs a calm soul to comfort them during the chaos.
What to Do With Siblings 5 of 11
We have 4 kids, and when there is an emergency both my husband and I want to be there for our hurt child. With 3 other kids, it's a difficult task to juggle, but we fortunately have been able to make each situation work.
Having siblings sitting in the emergency room waiting room is not ideal. We have had family and neighbors come to oue rescue at the last minute, even picking up kids at the ER to help out. Know who is in your inner circle, whether it be family, friends, or a church group that can assist when you need help. But remember, the first priority is to get help for your injured child.
Tell Your Story 6 of 11
The doctors and nurses will need a complete account of what happened. This will help them know how to treat the injury.
We've made many a trips to the ER. One time, our oldest son had been rough housing on the stair with a friend. Knowing where he landed and how severe the blow was helped the doctors determine what possible injuries could have occurred.
They Have Seen It All Before 7 of 11
Come as you are to the emergency room. My husband was home alone with the 2 toddlers when the youngest was injured. He ran out of the house, kids half undressed and no shoes. Yes, I cringed—toddler running around emergency room with no shoes—but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Calming Your Child 8 of 11
Try to find ways to calm your child during the waiting period. If you are going to the emergency room, there is typically a wait. Give him your phone, sing songs, tell stories, and try to keep your child calm.
You Are Your Child’s Champion 9 of 11
If your child can not get the help or care that he needs, you need to be his champion. That means, if anything is unclear, speak up. There are certain medical interventions that will be painful for your child and you are there to watch. Ask questions, be informed of what's going on, for you and your child's sake.
Stickers and Popsicles Make Things Better 10 of 11
The cut my son received required cauterization to his finger with a local anesthetic. It was super scary and painful, but it had to be done. The stitches were no fun either. But after the 15 minutes were over, he had a smile as soon as the nurse gave him a sticker and popsicle.
Kids are Resilient 11 of 11
Just 14 hours ago, my kid was bleeding everywhere and had a massive gash on his pinky finger. Right now I am watching him dance to Yo Gabba Gabba and doing the jumpy jump with DJ Lance.
It is best to be prepared, and I hope these tips will come in handy if you ever need to bring your toddler to the emergency room.
What Emergency Room Tips Would You Have For Other Parents?