The Worst Case Scenario: How to Handle Family Health Emergencies

As a parent, it’s inevitable your kids will have accidents and require medical attention. But, in serious emergencies, it’s vital you know exactly how to handle the situation as, in severe cases, your initial actions could mean the difference between life and death.

Not only will you have to get to your destination quickly, you must also try your best to identify what’s wrong with your child so you can establish the right place to go. From the emergency room to walk-in clinics to emergency dentists, there’s a huge array of medical services on offer. To ensure your child receives the most appropriate care possible, it’s crucial you take them to the right place based on their condition.

As we know, health emergencies can occur at virtually any time no matter where you are. So planning properly and knowing how to handle a family health crisis is essential to ensure you avoid hitting the worst case scenario and don’t experience an outcome that could have been prevented had you handled the situation better. Here are some tips to make your actions more focused in an emergency, which will hopefully generate better health outcomes for the entire family.

Communicate with your child

Whilst this may not be possible in extremely severe cases i.e. if your child is unconscious and physically can’t speak (in which case, get them to the emergency room as fast as you can by calling 911), communicating with your child is the first step in handling the emergency.

If they come hysterically running to you having had an accident, try to get them to explain how it happened and which body parts hurt the most. Try moving each limb and, if this is possible, it’s likely nothing is broken and, if there’s any blood, identify where it’s coming from as quickly as you can.

As a parent, it’s always useful to have a first aid kit on hand anyway, as you never know when emergencies like this will happen. If your child’s injuries are very minor and can be treated using basic first aid tools, there’s perhaps little point in taking them to seek medical attention unless they’re in intense pain. But, if your child has cut themselves deeply, it’s wise to take them to the emergency room for stitches.

In these situations, it’s essentially your call to decide what to do, especially if your child is very young. After communicating with them, it’s always best to trust your instinct and simply do what you think is best.

Identify the right place to go

With most towns and cities having the choice of the emergency room, walk-in clinics, urgent care centers and dental clinics, it can be difficult for most parents to know which is best for their child’s emergency.

In life-threatening situations, always opt for the emergency room. Their diagnostic and treatment equipment will be the most sophisticated, able to give your child the emergency care they need. But, for less severe emergencies, you may have a few options available to you.

For example, if your child has an accident that causes one of their teeth to fall out, your instant reaction will probably be to get them in the car right away and drive to hospital. In some cases, you may even be able to reinsert the tooth yourself but, if this isn’t possible, opting for the emergency room may not be the best option either.

Taking them to a dentist is, without doubt, the best thing to do, as regular doctors and nurses simply won’t know anywhere near as much about tooth-related emergencies as a dentist will. Make an emergency appointment with your child’s dentist as soon as possible (even if you don’t have insurance), and make sure to take their tooth with you.

Finding your nearest emergency dentist that doesn’t require insurance is key for times like this, so it’s useful to do this research now before an accident happens.

Be prepared for questions

As soon as you arrive at your chosen destination, it’s likely you’ll be asked a series of questions by the medical professional your child sees.

It’s, therefore, essential to remember any information your child may have told you during your initial communication with them after their accident and to have all details of your child’s medical history on-hand.

Handling emergency health situations is much easier said than done as, whilst we’d like to think we’ll be cool and collected when we’re actually in the situation things could be entirely different. But as long as you’re sensible with where you choose to take your child and do everything in your power to help, you’ll be doing the best possible job you can.

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