When to Go to an Emergency Room (ER) or Urgent Care

In a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

When your child gets unexpectedly sick or hurt, you may not know where to go to get the most appropriate medical treatment for the symptoms your child is experiencing. We have developed this guide to help direct you to the most appropriate and cost-effective facility that can best treat your child.

When to go to an ER

  • Burns
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever under 3 months of age (over 100.4 °F)
  • Head injury with vomiting and/or loss of consciousness or change in behavior
  • Poisoning (after contacting poison control at 1.800.222.1222)
  • Potential broken bones
  • Seizures
  • Severe and/or persistent abdominal pain
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Severe bleeding or serious cuts
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea with dehydration
  • When urgent care and doctors' offices are closed

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When to Go to an Urgent Care

  • Conjunctivitis ("pink eye")
  • Coughs and sore throat
  • Foreign object in ear or nose
  • Mild allergic reactions
  • Minor burns
  • Minor cuts or lacerations
  • Minor illness or injury
  • Sprains or possible broken bones
  • When doctors’ offices are closed*

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