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Urgent Care vs Emergency Center

More than half of visits to the emergency room are for non-emergencies. How do parents know when to bring their child to a pediatric urgent care clinic or a pediatric emergency room?  This guide can help.

Urgent Care Clinic

  • Flu/COVID-19 Test

  • Allergic reaction

  • Asthma

  • Cough, cold or congestion

  • Ear pain

  • Fever in infants older than 8 weeks

  • Minor burn

  • Minor injury

  • Pink eye

  • Rash

  • Simple laceration

  • Skin infection

  • Sore throat

  • Sprain and strain

  • Urinary tract infection

  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Emergency Center

  • Bleeding that won’t stop

  • Extensive or complicated cuts or lacerations

  • Fainting or head injury with loss of consciousness or disorientation

  • Loss or change of vision

  • Major fracture that breaks the skin or is at a severe angle

  • Seizures without a previous diagnosis of epilepsy

  • Serious burns

  • Snake bites

  • Spinal injuries

  • Sudden change in mental state

  • Sudden shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Vomiting or coughing up blood

Any conditions which threaten a child’s life or limb should be treated at a pediatric emergency center, which can also provide initial stabilization for severely injured pediatric patients.