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Kids’ Urgent Care: When to Take Your Child to the Doctor

When it comes to children, parents learn to expect the unexpected. Children get sick and hurt all the time – and not always at the most convenient times. Sometimes the child is unwell or injured outside of a pediatrician’s regular business hours, or the doctor’s office can’t fit in a last-minute appointment.

Often parents fear the worst when it comes to their children and adopt a “better safe than sorry” approach — heading to the nearest emergency room. Most of the reasons why parents show up at ERs don’t warrant an emergency and could be better handled at a kids’ urgent care.

Emergency rooms are busy places. ERs perform triage — which means that they care for the sickest patients first. As a result, if you take your child to the ER and you don’t have a true emergency, you will likely wait a long time before your child is seen. The longer you wait, the more you and your children are exposed to germs and infections floating around in the hospital. To top it off, the ER is notoriously expensive.

However, there are cases that clearly require taking your child to the ER for emergency attention, including:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Passing out/fainting/unconscious
  • Seizures that last 3–5 minutes or more
  • Severe allergic reaction with swelling and trouble breathing
  • High fever with a headache and a stiff neck
  • A newborn and has a fever of 100.5° F or higher
  • Deep wound or heavy bleeding
  • Serious burn
  • Coughing or throwing up blood
  • Broken bone which is pushing through the skin

The bottom line, the emergency room should be the choice when your child needs critical care for a possibly life-threatening issue.

If your child is not in grave danger and doesn’t have a significant injury, you should consider taking your child to a kids’ urgent care, like American Family Care (AFC). AFC offers an equally qualified medical team ready to treat your child right away.

Kids’ urgent care clinics like AFC typically cost less and provide faster service than an emergency room. And from a child’s point of view, a visit to an AFC kids’ urgent care clinic is way less scary than a hospital ER.

If your child’s condition isn’t life-threatening, but the next available appointment with your pediatrician is too far away, your local AFC kids’ urgent care can help. 

Here are some of the reasons you should consider taking your child to the local AFC kids’ urgent care.

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that you’re concerned about
  • Coughs, colds, and sore throats
  • Bladder or urinary tract infections
  • Minor cuts, bumps, scrapes, or burns
  • Earaches or ear infections
  • Sinus pain
  • Skin problems
  • Joint sprains or muscle strains

At AFC, we use a kid-friendly medical approach proven to help kids relax, making treatment faster and easier for everyone involved.

Our advanced X-ray facilities and onsite lab allow us to provide an efficient and effective approach to treating the most common childhood illnesses and injuries in a single visit. Best of all, we’re open seven days a week with extended hours, and we accept most forms of insurance.

Click here to find an American Family Care kids’ urgent care clinic near you.

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3700 Cahaba Beach Road Birmingham, AL 35242

Our Mission and Values:

Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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