It can be difficult to know when to take your child to an urgent care. Many parents are unsure of the signs and symptoms that warrant a visit to the urgent care clinic. This is why we aim to provide you with a guide on how to know when you should take your child to urgent care. We will also discuss some of the benefits of using urgent care clinics.
What Is an Urgent Care Clinic?
An urgent care clinic is a type of walk-in clinic that provides medical care for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses. Often if your situation requires further care, they can refer you to an Emergency Room or suggest you follow up with your primary care physician (PCP).
What Are the Benefits of Using an Urgent Care Clinic?
There are many benefits of using an urgent care clinic. Namely, this includes the fact that urgent care can offer extended hours and are open on weekends and holidays. You also do not need to make an appointment. Many clinics can also offer convenient locations. Plus most urgent care clinics also accept health insurance.
Signs That Your Child Needs to Be Seen at an Urgent Care
In the case that your child is hurt outside normal business hours, you can opt for urgent care. Philedelphia, PA is one example of a location that offers after-hours urgent care options for you to choose from. If your child has any of the following signs or symptoms, you should take them to an urgent care clinic.
- Fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Severe abdominal pain
- Vomiting or diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours
- Lethargy or fatigue
- Earache that lasts longer than 24 hours
- Rash with fever
- Sore throat with a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
What Other Services Do They Offer?
Urgent care clinics offer a variety of services for both children and adults. These services include, but are not limited to:
Treatment for Minor Cuts and Burns
Minor cuts and burns can usually be treated at home with over-the-counter products. However, if the wound is more than a quarter inch deep, has dirt or debris in it, or is bleeding heavily, you should take your child to an urgent care clinic.
Treatment for Minor Broken Bones
Minor breaks, such as a broken finger, can often be treated at home with the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation). However, if the bone is protruding from the skin or if your child is in a lot of pain, you should consider an urgent care clinic.
Treatment for Dehydration
Dehydration can occur when your child does not have enough fluids in their body. Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, fatigue, and dizziness. If your child is showing signs of dehydration, urgent care can offer a fast solution.
Flu and Cold Symptoms
Most flu and cold symptoms can be treated at home with over-the-counter medication. However, if your child is having difficulty breathing, has a high fever, or is vomiting uncontrollably, you should take them to an urgent care clinic.
When Should You Not Take Your Child to Urgent Care?
There are some instances when you should not take your child to an urgent care clinic.
In these instances, you should call 911 or take your child to the nearest emergency room. These include:
- If your child is having a seizure.
- If your child is having difficulty breathing.
- If your child is unconscious.
- If your child has a head injury.
In most cases, urgent care clinics can treat the same conditions as your child’s regular doctor. However, if your child is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, you should always call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room. Urgent care clinics also offer other services such as physicals, X-rays, and lab testing.
How Much Will It Cost to Take My Child to an Urgent Care Clinic?
The cost of taking your child to an urgent care clinic will depend on a few factors. These factors include the type of insurance you have, the state you live in, and the services that are being rendered. In most cases, your health insurance will cover at least a portion of the cost.
Health Insurance and Urgent Cares
If you have health insurance, your child’s visit to an urgent care clinic will likely be covered. However, it is always best to check with your insurance provider beforehand. This is because some insurance providers require you to go to a specific urgent care clinic or hospital in their network. If you do not have health insurance, you may still be able to take your child to an urgent care clinic. However, you will likely have to pay the full cost of the visit out-of-pocket.
We hope that this guide has been helpful in understanding when to take your child to an urgent care clinic. Urgent care clinics can offer many benefits, such as extended hours and convenient locations.
Plus, most urgent care clinics accept health insurance. If you are ever unsure of whether or not you should take your [child to an urgent care clinic], we recommend talking to their regular doctor. They will be able to give you the best advice for your child’s specific situation.