Kids get sick pretty often. Is it serious enough to bring your little one to the ER?
By Health Promotion Board in collaboration with Dr. Yvonne Ng, Senior Consultant, Department of Neonatology, National University Hospital.
When your child is ill or in distress, you might be tempted to rush down to the emergency room for immediate medical attention. In some cases, that is the right move, but for less serious cases, a visit to the regular clinic doctor will do. Sometimes your baby will get better in a few hours without any medical intervention at all!
Here are some pointers for when to go to the ER, to the clinic, or call an ambulance.
Looking After Your Newborn
Your child’s just learning to crawl and walk, and some minor bumps and bruises are nothing to worry about. Bring him to the emergency room if your child:
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Observe your child. If the vomiting or diarrhoea does not ease up in 24 hours, bring him to the emergency room, especially if:
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If your child suffers a cut, bring your child to the ER if bleeding does not stop after five minutes of direct pressure on the wound, or he has suffered a deep and big wound.
For minor cuts and scrapes, mums and dads can treat them at home: rinse the cut under cold running water, clean with sterile gauze swabs, and apply a plaster or bandage.
Do bring your child to the doctor if there are sand particles or wood splinters in the wound, the cut was caused by a rusty object or an animal, or your child develops an infection (e.g. pus, swelling, persistent redness, and/or pain in the wound, fever).
Bring your child to see a doctor immediately if he has a fever above 39 degrees Celsius and any of the following symptoms:
Babies under three months old will need immediate medical attention if they have fevers above 38 degrees Celsius.
Common Childhood Conditions—Fever
Runny or blocked nose and slightly fast breathing caused by a cold is usually no cause for concern. You can visit the doctor for some medications that can help your child feel better. However, if you observe these symptoms in your child, bring him to the emergency room:
Keeping Your Child Safe
Call an ambulance when your baby needs urgent and critical medical care, and your baby needs to be transferred to the hospital safely and quickly. Dial 995 and provide the operator with as much information as you can about your child’s condition.
Some cases of emergency are:
Trust your parental instincts: you know your little one best. If his distress and discomfort seem out of the ordinary and severe, the best bet is to take him to the hospital for immediate care.
Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your baby a healthy start.
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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