Fort Worth, Texas,
13:51 PM

Urgent Care or Emergency Room?

Know where to go when your child is in need of medical attention

It’s back-to-school time and that means you may be faced with a tough decision soon.

Urgent care or emergency room?

Every parent knows there are a plethora of reasons their child might need doctor this time of the year. They could catch a cold, come down with the flu or injure themselves on the playground.

When it comes time to make that call, be prepared by knowing when to use Cook Children’s Urgent Care and when to rush to the Emergency Department.

Urgent care situations are illnesses or injuries that need medical attention.

When to use Cook Children’s Urgent Care

  • Ear infections/pain
  • Strep/sore throats
  • Cold symptoms
  • Flu
  • Mild dehydration
  • Respiratory illnesses – including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia and asthma without severe breathing difficulty
  • Sprains and possibly broken bones
  • Minor cuts
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Infected bug bites
  • Foreign body removal (marbles, beans and other interesting things)
  • Urinary infection symptoms
  • Pinworms, ringworm, rashes and pink eye
  • Painful muscle strains
  • Head injuries without loss of consciousness or vomiting

Cook Children’s is home to a brand new and expanded Emergency Department (ED). However, you only want to visit the ED in case of a medical problem that could cause death or permanent injury if not treated right away.

When to use the Cook Children’s Emergency Department

  • Severe bleeding that does not stop after 15 minutes of direct pressure
  • Severe allergic reactions and/or breathing problems
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Sudden severe joint pain with swelling
  • Insect stings accompanied by breathing difficulties
  • Swallowing poison or choking
  • Not being able to move or speak
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Gaping wound (edges won’t come together)
  • Head injury with loss of consciousness, vomiting or causing dizziness/confusion
  • Obviously broken bones or dislocated joints
  • Fever in infants under 8 weeks old and under
  • Diabetes/blood sugar issues

“Every patient who comes into our Emergency Department is important to us. However, some patients may be able to receive the care they need from their primary care physician, a neighborhood clinic or an urgent care center,” said Corwin Warmink, M.D., medical director of Cook Children’s Emergency Department. “The best thing a parent can do is know what constitutes an emergency so they know where to go when that time comes.”

If your child is sick, know this:

If your child doesn’t have life-threatening symptoms, an urgent care center can be more convenient and the right choice for your family.

Cook Children's has several urgent care clinics across Tarrant County. The newest clinic opened in Sept. 2016 in the Alliance area of North Fort Worth. It also includes a specialty clinic. 

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