Knowing When Your Child Needs Emergency Medical Services
The following information was prepared by the American Academy of Pediatrics as part of the TIPP™ (The Injury Prevention Program). The AAP states that it is rare for a child to become seriously ill without warning. However, early recognition and treatment can prevent an illness from getting worse or turning into an emergency.
ONT-SIZE: 10pt">What Is an Emergency?

ONT-SIZE: 10pt">An emergency is when you believe a severe injury or illness is threatening your child’s health or may cause permanent harm. In these cases, a child needs emergency medical treatment right away. Discuss, in advance, with your child’s pediatrician what you should do in case of an emergency. Emergencies can result from medical (or psychiatric) illnesses or injuries. Your child may show any of the following signs:

ONT-SIZE: 10pt">• Acting strangely or becoming more withdrawn and less alert.

ONT-SIZE: 10pt">• Less and less of a response when you talk back to your child.

ONT-SIZE: 10pt">• Unconsciousness or lack of response.

ONT-SIZE: 10pt">• Rhythmic jerking and loss of consciousness (a seizure).

ONT-SIZE: 10pt">• Increasing trouble with breathing.

ONT-SIZE: 10pt">• Skin or lips that look blue, purple or gray.

ONT-SIZE: 10pt">• Neck stiffness or rash with fever or increasing or severe persistent pain.

ONT-SIZE: 10pt">• A cut or burn that is large, deep or involves the head, chest or abdomen.

ONT-SIZE: 10pt">• Bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure for five minutes.

• A burn that is large or involves the hands, groin or face.

• Any loss of consciousness, confusion, headache or vomiting after a head injury.

In Case of an Emergency

• Stay calm.

• Start rescue breathing or CPR if your child is not breathing.

• Call 911 if you need immediate help.

• Apply continuous pressure to the site of bleeding with a clean cloth.

• Place your child on the floor with her head turned to the side if she is having a seizure. Do not put anything in her mouth.

• Do not move your child unless he is in immediate danger.

• Stay with your child until help arrives.

Take any medication your child is taking with you to the hospital. Also take any suspected poisons or other medications your child might have taken. After you arrive at the emergency department, make sure you tell the emergency staff the name of your child’s pediatrician. Your pediatrician can work closely with the emergency department doctors and nurses and can provide them with more information about your child.