Corewell Health is the new name for Beaumont.

The decision to take your child to the ER often needs to be made in moments of great stress and uncertainty. It can be hard to tell if your child’s sudden injury or illness is severe enough to need emergency medical treatment as opposed to a trip to the pediatrician, primary care practitioner or local urgent care clinic. 

If your child’s condition is life threatening call 911 or take them to the ER. If you are unsure of the severity of their condition, make yourself familiar with the types of treatment you’ll receive in the ER. This will help you be confident that you are getting the right level of care for your child.

What is pediatric emergency medicine?

At Beaumont Children’s, our pediatric emergency center staff is trained and experienced in treating children with acute illnesses and injuries in need of immediate medical attention, from infancy through their young adult years. The medical emergencies we treat include:

  • Wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Inconsolable infant
  • Displaced or open wound fractures
  • Convulsions or possible seizures
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea without wet diapers
  • Blood in the urine or bloody diarrhea
  • Bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • Sudden inability to see, walk or move
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Fever over 100.4 F in infants under 2 months
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Fever with convulsions
  • Severe headache or head injury
  • Confusion or changes in mental status
  • Lacerations that might require sedation to close
  • Displaced fractures

We also treat severe complications resulting from chronic illnesses such as:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Sickle Cell disease
  • Congenital disorders

Emergency care for childhood fevers

One of the most common questions parents ask is when to take a kid to the doctor for fever. Infants 2 months or younger with temperatures of 100.4 F or higher should be taken to the emergency room immediately, as it could be a sign of a serious infection. For toddlers with high fevers over 102.2 F, call you pediatrician first. And for older children, if the fever is accompanied by other sudden and severe symptoms or major behavioral and cognition changes they should be seen by a doctor immediately. 

When to choose urgent care or walk-in clinics

If your child needs medical care for symptoms, illnesses and recurring conditions (such as an ear infection) that your pediatrician would normally treat, but their office is closed or you can’t get a same-day appointment, urgent care can provide treatment for:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Sprains and strains
  • Small cuts requiring stitches
  • Fever without a rash
  • Mild rashes
  • Vomiting 
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Dehydration

Walk-in clinics are another option when you cannot get your child an appointment with their primary care provider and they need to be examined, tested or treated for common childhood illnesses such as strep throat, conjunctivitis (pink eye), urinary tract infections, ear infections, early-stage flu, or rashes without a fever.

Have an emergency medical action plan ready

You can make sure you’re ready to act in your child’s best interest during an emergency medical situation by working with your pediatrician and consulting your insurance provider to put together a plan in advance. Your pediatrician can let you know what type of symptoms need emergency services, such as allergic reactions like anaphylaxis. You can also prepare for emergency medical situations by keeping a list of your child’s medications and dosages, allergies to medications, foods or environmental triggers, as well as their medical history.

What to expect when you get to the ER

At Beaumont Children’s our experienced emergency care team is dedicated to providing the highest level of attention and care in a child-friendly environment for patients and their families. When you arrive, your child will be seen immediately by a pediatric triage nurse for a quick evaluation who will make a decision about how urgently they need to be examined by a doctor.  

It’s important to remember that while we do everything in our power to minimize wait times, emergency care is not administered first-come, first-served. Patients are seen in the order determined by the U.S. Department of Health’s Emergency Severity Index (ESI), which prioritizes patients in levels from the most urgent or acute to the least. 

At Beaumont Children’s, we know long wait times can be especially difficult for young patients and we strive to provide the most comfortable environment possible, with spacious, private patient rooms, child life specialists to help ease patient anxieties, and clear and frequent communication from out team. And if your child needs additional treatment beyond emergency services, we facilitate easy admitting directly to Beaumont Children’s.

In an emergency, dial 911. In an emergency, call 911. For less urgent concerns, contact your primary care physician.