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Know When to Take Your Child to the ER in Central California

It can be tough to know when you should seek emergency care. If you are a parent, you may struggle over a decision to take your child to an emergency room (ER) when they are sick or injured. 

At times, a trip to your child’s regular doctor or a community clinic is a perfectly appropriate course of action. But if your child is experiencing severe or potentially life-threatening conditions or symptoms, a visit to the ER is necessary. 

At Dignity Health Central California hospitals, we want to take the guesswork out of decision making. That way, you are confident in knowing when to take your child to the ER in Central California. Nonetheless, if you have any doubts over the safety of your child, call 911 or visit a one of our advanced emergency room. You can use our InQuicker tool to let us know your estimated hospital arrival time, and wait at home if your child’s condition is not life threatening.


Get Immediate Help for These Symptoms

Take your child to the ER if you observe the following symptoms:

  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Suspected poisoning
  • Serious injuries after a car accident
  • Seizures
  • Serious head trauma
  • Vomiting blood
  • Fever higher than 100.4 °F (Fahrenheit) in a newborn, more than 102.2 °F fever in toddlers, or 102 °F for several days in older children
  • Broken bone, especially if poking through the skin
  • Deep cut that does not stop bleeding after 15 minutes of pressure
  • Difficulty breathing or fainting
  • Inability to speak, walk, or move
  • Rapid heartbeat that does not slow down
  • Serious burn
  • Severe dehydration, especially in newborns
  • Stiff neck with headache and fever
  • Suspected physical or sexual abuse
  • Change in mental state or behavior, such as confusion or extreme sleepiness 

Call 911 for any of the following situations:

  • Seizures lasting more than three minutes
  • Swallowing of poison
  • Inability to breathe or choking
  • Neck or spinal injury
  • Loss of consciousness


Preventing Visits to the ER

You may not always be able to avoid going to the emergency room. However, being aware of all available medical care options can save you from an unnecessary trip to the ER.

Ask yourself if a regular doctor’s appointment or a community clinic can provide appropriate care for your child’s condition. If it is nighttime and your doctor’s office is closed, speak with an on-call doctor or nurse to see if treatment can wait until the next morning. 

If you have any doubts or concerns, do not hesitate to call 911 or delay taking your child to the emergency room.

Do you know what to do if a child needs immediate lifesaving care? Dignity Health Central California provides infant and child CPR classes. Call (209) 564-4384 for more information.

Dignity Health Central California provides unparalleled care when you need to take your child to the ER in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.