If you ever need to bring a child to the emergency room, it’s a good idea to prepare her/him in advance. If he knows what to expect, the trauma of the visit will be reduced to a minimum.
On the Way to the ER
Although it is certainly possible to drive to the emergency room yourself, if you need to get your child there quickly, consider calling 911 for an ambulance. Not only is an ambulance the fastest way to get to the ER, but there are trained professionals in the ambulance who can administer whatever care that is immediately necessary. If you have time, bring some of your child’s belongings that can comfort and calm him while he is there, like a stuffed animal, small toy, crayons or books.
What to Expect
Explain to your child that the first thing you do when you get to the ER is sign-up at the front desk. In this way the doctors know you are there and that your child needs attention. If it is a problem requiring immediate care your child will probably be seen right away. After the initial signing-in a nurse will perform triage, which is how the nurse decides who needs to be seen first by the ER doctors.
Dr. Josyann Abisaab is an emergency room physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital.