5 Things You Should Know Before Taking Baby To The Emergency Room
Even if you have a very healthy baby or toddler, there is a good chance that you are going to wind up in the emergency room at one point or another. The fact is that sometimes kids fall, wheeze, or just start acting so weird that parents start freaking out a little and head straight for the hospital. It is also an unfortunate fact of life that, for one reason or another, most kids usually seem to unexpectedly need sudden medical care in the middle of the night when the only option is to head to the emergency room.
I know because I’ve been there many times. Both of my kids had respiratory issues when they were babies, so I am all too familiar with the mad dash to the emergency room. The first time I ran into the emergency room with a baby in my arms I was sobbing and frantic, and it turned out she had croup. It was a relatively easy fix with some medicine and a breathing treatment, but it was terrifying nonetheless.
Emergency Room Tips
If you have not had to make the trip to the emergency room with your baby, here are some tips to make sure you are as prepared as possible:
Know Where the Nearest Emergency Room is. I’m lucky to have one right down the road a mile or two, but until I had kids I honestly didn’t even know it was there because it’s in a direction I never drive.
Carry Your Insurance Card. You will be asked for your insurance card when you check in. It’s not something I would think of before running off to the emergency room, but luckily I had already stashed it in my wallet so it wasn’t an issue.
Take Your Diaper Bag. You may be in for a longer wait than you think. Don’t ever assume that your emergency room visit will be in and out. Take the diaper bag!
Break Some Rules. I had a strict “No TV” rule with my daughter when she was a toddler. On the other hand, by the second hour of waiting to see the doctor it started to make more and more sense to switch on the TV in the exam room.
Don’t Be Too Frantic. It’s a fine line because you don’t want to freak out your baby by flying into a full-fledged panic, but on the other hand you might get a bit more urgency out of the staff if you aren’t too terribly calm about the whole situation. I’m not saying that you should put on a show, but taking your baby to the emergency room is no time to be apologetic about needing help.
You may want to stifle the urge to update your Facebook or Twitter status via your phone with something along the lines of “I’m at the ER with my baby!” because you’re going to throw everyone into a panic then.
Keep in mind that emergency room visits can be incredibly scary for babies. They’re already sick or in pain, and now there are all these strangers poking and prodding them. Do your best to comfort your baby and understand if he or she is screaming or protesting.