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When to Seek Pediatric ER in Central California

Pediatric emergency services are a subspecialty of emergency medicine that focuses on care for children and teens with life threatening or extremely serious medical conditions. The subspecialty is necessary because children and teens have different needs than adults or the elderly during emergencies.

At Dignity Health Central California, our pediatric emergency doctors provide care with humankindness when your child or teen needs fast treatment. We see children in all of our emergency rooms, and Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield has a pediatric ER that is specific to children: the Robert A. Grimm Children's Pavilion for Emergency Services.

·         Children ages 0 years to 13 years, 11 months will be seen in the pediatric ER. Patients who are 14-18 years old MAY be seen in the pediatric pavilion if:


1.       The patient is sent to the ER by his or her pediatrician or pediatric specialist.

2.       The patient has a chronic health condition being followed by a children’s hospital.

If your child needs immediate medical help, call 911 or visit a Dignity Health ER for trusted timely pediatric emergency care in Central California .

Conditions that Need Pediatric ER

Your child may receive pediatric emergency care for:

  • Trauma and injuries such as multiple trauma, head injury, eye injury, major cuts, animal bites, smoke inhalation, and shock
  • Poisonings, including drug overdoses and accidental ingestions
  • Bone, joint, and muscle problems such as fractures, joint dislocations, serious bruises, sprains, and strains
  • Abdominal conditions, including nausea, diarrhea, severe pain, appendicitis, intestinal blockage, or infection
  • Fever and infections, including influenza, stomach flu, upper respiratory infection, pinkeye, mononucleosis, strep throat, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, abscesses, pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis
  • Allergies, including anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction), exposure to poison ivy, and seasonal allergies
  • Endocrine diseases such as diabetes
  • Lung problems, including asthma and difficulty breathing
  • Mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, threats or attempts at suicide, and other concerns
  • Possible child abuse and neglect including evaluation, initial treatment, evidence collection, and notification of appropriate authorities


Pediatric ER Treatments at Dignity Health Central California

The bodies and minds of children are not the same as developed adults, and require a different approach to treatment. Pediatric ER relies on equipment, procedures, and techniques specifically designed for children and teens. This includes:

  • Careful diagnosis in children who may not be able to communicate or cooperate
  • Mental health evaluation and treatment, including medication, crisis intervention, and referrals
  • Giving medication, including blood transfusion, pain medications, antibiotics, corticosteroids, tetanus shots, breathing treatments, and IV fluids (using techniques designed for children and teens)
  • Fracture, sprain, and strain treatment, such as realigning broken bones, splinting, and casting
  • Laceration and wound repair with stitches and staples
  • Airway stabilization using intubation and mechanical ventilation for breathing (with pediatric size equipment)
  • Trauma treatment such as thoracotomy (to treat chest trauma), chest tube insertion (for collapsed lung), and spinal immobilization (to stabilize possible spinal fractures)

In Bakersfield, your child will receive care from a Dignity Health Memorial Hospital pediatric ER doctor on duty at the time of your arrival. If the condition is not life threatening, use our InQuicker tool to select your estimated hospital arrival time, and wait at home until then.

Dignity Health Central California delivers life-saving pediatric ER services in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.

When to Seek Pediatric ER in Central California