Make sure your family is ER-ready

You know your child needs to go to a pediatric-ready ER, but you aren’t sure what to expect or how to mentally prepare for the visit. When it comes to being prepared for a trip to the emergency room, following these five easy steps can significantly improve the experience for you and your child.

  1. Stay calm. If you panic, so will your child.
  2. If your child is unresponsive, call 911 and do the "ABC" check:
    1. Check the Airway to make sure it’s not blocked.
    2. Check for Breathing -- sounds of inhaled and exhaled air.
    3. Check for Circulation -- your child’s pulse. If you need to start CPR or do the Heimlich maneuver, the dispatcher can walk you through the steps while the paramedics are on their way. Better yet, be prepared by taking a CPR class or refresher course.
  3. Stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the wound. Scalp and tongue wounds are especially bloody, so try not to overreact and don’t peek.
  4. Don’t move your child if they have injured their neck or back, especially if they are unable to move. Cover them with a blanket and wait for the paramedics.
  5. On the chance that your child will need emergency surgery, don't give him anything to eat or drink. It's much safer to get anesthesia on an empty stomach.

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