When your child gets sick, it can be a scary experience for a parent, especially if they’re very young. A high fever, mysterious rash or infection, or a bad sprain can all easily make a parent extremely anxious. The average kid will have anywhere from six to 10 colds a year, some of which might be pretty light, and a couple which might be more on the severe side. If your child does get suddenly sick or injured at an odd hour, during a holiday, or requires more immediate care than waiting for an appointment with their pediatrician, it’s worth checking out nearby urgent care centers for help. You can always search for “find a pediatrician near me” if it happens during regular hours, but often illnesses and injuries come at inconvenient times and urgent care clinics are an affordable and convenient alternative to the emergency room.
When is Urgent Care Helpful?
As we touched on briefly, urgent care is a great option to turn to when an illness or injury happens at an odd hour and is urgent (but not life-threatening). Note that you should ALWAYS go to the emergency room if it’s a life-threatening condition (sign of heart attack or stroke, etc.). If you need something checked out before or after work or school or on the weekends, your local urgent care center might be precisely the place to go.
A bad cold, allergic reaction, rash, minor fracture, and vomiting or diarrhea are some of the reasons why you might wind up at an urgent care center. Some centers may also offer physicals or flu shots during certain times of the year as well. They also often take a variety of insurances, so you’re likely to not have to spend a fortune on your visit.
Why Urgent Care is Often a Better Choice Than the ER
Around three million patients go through the doors of urgent care centers every week, says the Urgent Care Association of America. That’s not an insignificant number and it may continue to increase. There are a multitude of benefits for choosing urgent care over the emergency room in a non-life-threatening situation.
First of all, you’ll wait for under 15 minutes at around 60% of all urgent care centers to see a physician or mid-level provider (and the majority of urgent care centers will have you checked out and on your way within an hour). Furthermore, 65% have a physician on the premises at all times.
Second, an urgent care visit is going to be much less expensive than a trip to the emergency room, even with insurance. And you’re going to get likely the same amount of care as you would at an emergency room. Milliman conducted a private study that showed between 44-65% of all episodes in the emergency room could have been handled at an urgent care center.
It’s also worth noting that over $20 billion is estimated to be saved per year if patients who go to the emergency room with non-urgent medical problems took advantage of preventive health care or other types of healthcare resources (like urgent care!).
Why I Should Find a Pediatrician Near Me
Though urgent care is a great resource, it’s also important to have a primary care pediatrician for your child. So searching “find a pediatrician near me” is a worthwhile venture. They’ll be able to guide your child’s lifestyle in a healthy manner, get on the ground early when it comes to preventing and caring for acute illnesses, can help with preventive methods for avoiding illnesses and injuries, and will help you figure out what your child will need in terms of healthcare from infancy to adulthood.
If you have questions, which you likely will, your pediatrician can be a source of knowledge, comfort, and guidance.
Whether you’re looking for “find a pediatrician near me” or for a quick, short-term medical solution, utilizing all the tools in your healthcare arsenal is a smart approach to taking the best care of you and your family.
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