Is Your Child Injured? 2 Reasons To Head To Urgent Care Instead Of The ER

As a parent, nothing is more challenging than trying to figure out how to help an injured, panicked child. To quickly diffuse the situation, many people make the mistake of driving their kid directly to the emergency room, only to have the situation compounded by long wait times and an unfriendly medical staff. The next time your child gets hurt, here are two reasons that you should head to your local urgent care center instead.

1: Kid-Friendly Environment

When your kid meets new people or ends up in a completely foreign environment, how do they normally respond? If your children are like most, they might end up clinging to your legs or flatly refusing to talk. Unfortunately, if your kid needs medical attention, bouts of sudden onset-shyness might be frustrating to a medical team who is in a hurry.

Emergency room doctors and nurses are trained to quickly diagnose patients, give them the care that they need, and then to move on to the next person. Although this approach is efficient and necessary, it might not go over that well with your kid. Because ER doctors don't have time to coax your child out of hiding or to make jokes, your kid might end up even more agitated. To make matters even worse, the sterile, nothing-but-business environment of emergency rooms can seem a little intimidating to small children.

If you are looking for a more comfortable medical setting, consider visiting your local urgent care clinic instead. Because these medical centers treat a smaller number of patients who generally aren't suffering from life-threatening conditions, you can expect a more laid-back, kid-friendly environment.

Doctors who work at urgent care centers have more time to spend with each patient, so you won't have to worry about frustrating the physician while you wait for your kid to stop crying. To appeal to children, most clinics have fun features such as decorated treatment rooms and a great selection of waiting room toys. Because urgent care clinics treat everything from broken bones to stuffy noses, you might be able to take your kid there for treatment whenever they need help, so that they become familiar with the environment. When children feel comfortable, emergencies might become less traumatic and much more pleasant for everyone involved.   

2: Significantly Shorter Wait Times

Does your child ever freak out if they have to wait for their turn to use the slide at the playground? Just imagine how frustrating a long wait at the hospital might be for them. Although an adult might be able to remain calm and count down the minutes, your scared child might scream until your turn finally arrives.

Because emergency room teams treat the most critical patients first, your child's high fever or cut finger might get bumped in lieu of that heart attack patient that just came through the door. In fact, one study found that the average emergency room patient spent about 58 minutes sitting in the waiting room before they were seen. For a child, an hour can seem like a painful eternity.

If you want to speed things up, urgent care clinics are the way to go. Because 69% of urgent care clinics have wait times of less than 20 minutes, you might be able to be in and out before that hour is up. Urgent care centers provide fast, effective treatment, so that your kid will be enjoying their favorite show at home before they know it.  

By taking advantage of your local urgent care center, you might be able to help your child to get on the road to recovery a little quicker, without enduring some of the hassles that accompany medical care.