When your child is sick, you want nothing more than to help him or her feel better. However, all too often, well-meaning parents end up turning an unpleasant situation into an even worse one by taking a sick child to an emergency room when it's not actually necessary. Generally, if your child has a fever, a simple laceration, a minor burn, or another non-life-threatening ailment, urgent care is the better choice—and for good reason.
Avoid Hospital Germs
When your child is sick, the last thing you want is to expose him or her to even more germs. And while it's true that no waiting room is going to be completely free of germs and bacteria, emergency waiting rooms typically have worse bacteria present, since people with serious infections and illnesses have been waiting in those same chairs you and your child will be sitting in.
Save Money on Co-Pay
It is also no secret that co-pays for urgent care tend to be significantly cheaper than co-pays for emergency room visits. Why spend more money to get your child the care he or she needs in a hospital when you can see the same specialists and get your child the same quality of care for significantly less? Almost all urgent care offices accept insurance, but even if you don't have medical insurance, the cost will be much cheaper.
Is More Comfortable for Kids
Emergency rooms can be a scary place for young children, so why bring them there unless absolutely necessary? Urgent care offices tend to be more calm, comfortable spaces—especially for children. You'll be able to avoid the drama that can come along with waiting in the emergency room waiting area, which saves both you and your child from the added stress of an ER visit.
Have Potentially Shorter Waits
Finally, keep in mind that if you bring your child into the emergency room without a serious emergency medical situation taking place, you are likely going to end up waiting around for longer than you would to see a doctor than if you had gone to urgent care instead. That's because most emergency rooms prioritize patients by the seriousness of their injuries or illnesses.
These are just a few reasons to consider a trip to urgent care rather than the ER when your child is sick. Doing so also frees up space in the ER for those who truly need emergency care.