Know Who to Call
A short phone call can make all the difference in the world when your child's had an accident. In addition to 9-1-1, here are a few other numbers to keep on speed dial:
- · Poison Control – 1-800-222-1222
- · Local ambulance dispatch
- · Local police department
- · Local animal control
- · Auto insurer (if you're in an automobile accident)
If the accident involved a faulty product or negligence on the part of an individual, you may want to consider calling a legal professional. David J. Hernandez, a personal injury lawyer with nearly 30 years of experience has seen his fair share of accident cases involving children. It can be very stressful when a child is involved, which is why it's important for parents to have an expert helping them get through the process if a suit or claim is filed.
Get to the Closest ER or Urgent Care Center
Most accidents are very painful, but they aren't life threatening. Among the most common are broken bones, minor burns, sprains, and cuts. During these instances, you can make the decision to take your child to an urgent care center or the ER.
The benefits of an urgent care facility compared to the ER revolve around convenience and speed of service. Urgent care centers are staffed with physicians and nurses that can handle non-life threatening injuries or illness, but they don't have to care for true emergencies as well. Typically, that means you'll have a shorter wait time and your child will be cared for more quickly. Many urgent care centers accept health insurance just like an ER. However, it's best to research your options and know for sure before an accident occurs.
However, there are a number of accidents that require immediate medical attention at an emergency room. They include:
- · Electrocution
- · Poisoning
- · Severe allergic reaction
- · Drowning
- · Difficulty breathing
- · Serious burns
- · Wound with uncontrolled bleeding
Keep a Digital Record of Your Child's Medical Documents.
One of the changes initiated by healthcare reform was the electronic health records (EHR) system. The system allows hospitals to pull up a patient's health records from other facilities. However, many hospitals are still in the process of putting their systems in place.
Until EHRs are fully adopted it's still recommended to keep copies of medical records handy. Keeping them with you is now easier thanks to mobile devices. Scanning your child's medical records into your phone will ensure any physician can immediately know your child's current health condition, vaccines, allergies, etc. The TurboScan app is only $5, and it allows you to email the PDFs to yourself so you have a copy of the medical records there as well.
Be Ready in the Summer
ERs around the country see an uptick in accidents involving children during the summer. Kids have more time on their hands, and even amusement park rides on vacation can increase the risk of an accident.
Parents have to be particularly wary of water-related accidents. It's so prominent, drowning is the number one accident in the 1-4 age group. Swimming pool safety is the top priority. Teaching kids how to swim gives them another fun way to get physical activity and makes pool time much safer.
Keep an Eye on Your Kid
After an accident keep an eye on your kid to make sure their condition improves. This includes mentally and emotionally as well as physically. Some accidents, like a bad car wreak or near drowning, can be traumatizing for children. Fears and anxiety that weren't there before can suddenly become a serious issue. Kids can also become depressed if an accident impedes their ability to carry out normal activities.
You can get more accident facts and safety tips at the CDC website.