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2 Your Well-Being: 'Trust Your Gut, You Know Your Kid Best': Treating Sick and Injured Children

Deciding between a trip to the ER or calling your doctor's office can be stressful, but Cone Health stops by with advice from an expert.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — When your child comes down with an illness or gets injured, there are a few different ways they can get medical treatment. Between emergency rooms, urgent care clinics and a pediatricians office, there are lots of options. 

So deciding where to take your child can be a stressful decision. 

"Trust your gut on that, you know your kid the best, if you feel like it's a true emergency, that's what we are there for," said Dr. Ross Kuhner, medical director and pediatric emergency specialist with Cone Health’s Children’s Emergency Department at Moses Cone Hospital. 

Things that should require an emergency visit are:

  • Any difficulty breathing or turning blue/gray
  • Seizures
  • Any changes in consciousness
  • Any vomiting or worsening headache, or worsening confusion after a head injury
  • A cut that is large, deep, or to the head, chest or abdomen

When it comes to things like the flu, call your pediatrician. A triage nurse should be able to answer your questions via the phone and decide if your child should come into the office for a visit. 

Another phone call situation is when your child accidentally ingests an object or foreign substance. The Poison Control helpline is staffed 24/7. The hotline number is 1-800-222-1222. 

Here are a few items that can likely be handled safety outside an emergency department.

  • Sprains can be seen at the doctor’s office or urgent care
  • Mild burns to legs or arms can be seen at a doctor’s office or urgent care (Large burns or ones that involve the hands, feet, face should be seen in the emergency room)
  • Minor cuts and lacerations

For more resources, visit Cone Heath's website by clicking here

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