It’s important to have somewhere to call if you are going through a medical emergency. It can be difficult to know what to do it various situations and not knowing who to call for help only heightens the stress of a potentially non-emergent situation. Many times these things seem to happen during the night time when it seems like no one is available to help you. Here are a few steps to take if you feel like your child or someone in your family needs medical attention but it is not a life or death situation.
Call Your Doctor
Most doctor’s offices will have a doctors answering service that you can call to ascertain what kind of situation you are experiencing. Usually, if you call the regular day time phone number, the answering services will direct to the doctor or nurse on call. Sometimes the operator at the doctors answering service will have you describe the situation to them so they can relay it to the medical professional and the doctor or nurse will call you back. Keep in mind that after hours telephone answering services are not typically manned by medical personnel and they will not be able to give you medical advice. They will, however, get you through to a medical professional in a timely manner. You can then ask them if you should take your child or loved one to the hospital, call 911, or what other course of action should be taken.
Go to an Urgent Care
If you already know the issue, calling a doctors answering service may be unnecessary. Maybe your child has had this problem before or you recognize it for whatever reason and know that it is not life or death and only need a prescription for medication or something like that. You can forego calling the doctors answering service and even going to the emergency room and visit an urgent care. These clinics are usually open late, but not all night so if it’s in the middle of the night, you may have to go to the ER anyway. However, if it’s before about nine at night, you can go to an urgent care, wait about 20 minutes and be able to see a medical professional. It’s a great alternative to the traumatic experiences of the emergency room as long as it is a non life threatening situation.
Make an Appointment
If you do call your doctor’s office answering service and find out that it is not a situation that needs to be seen to immediately, then your best bet is to make an appointment to see your doctor at your earliest convenience. Even if your child doesn’t need medication or anything like that, it’s always a good idea to have your doctor take a look over your kid anyway. If nothing else, they will then have the visit on file so that if something happens later on, your doctor will be able to see that visit and see if anything about it could be related to the current situation.
Keep Over the Counter Medicine on Hand
It’s always a good idea to have children’s Tylenol, Ibuprofen and cough medicines on hand in case your child needs them. It is not recommended to give your children the medicine before you talk to a medical professional but once you do, you can get proper dosages and recommendations. For example, if your child spikes a low grade fever, your doctor may say that they don’t need to see them but to give them medicine and keep them comfortable by treating the symptoms. There’s nothing worse than having to leave the house with a sick child so preemptively buying the medicine so that you already have it should they feel unwell one day or catch a cold, is a good idea.
Taking the right steps is important to making sure your child gets better as quickly as possible. Being able to confer with your doctor, administer the right medicines and comfort your child properly is all essential to their well being. Sometimes, there is nothing you can do besides comfort them but it’s good for your peace of mind to know that you have done everything that you can as a parent.