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Urgent Care or Emergency Care?

Dr. Gerald Rogado Health News

As a parent, you have a pretty good idea when your child has an illness or injury that needs more than a hug and an over-the-counter medication.

When you can’t see your pediatrician—maybe it’s the weekend or after office hours—you may think your only option is a hospital emergency department. The ER is the best place to take your child, if he/she is truly having a medical emergency, but for non-emergency situations, urgent care is the best option. You may be able to see a doctor more quickly, and at a lower cost, at an urgent care.

So how do you know which is the best place for your child?

Consider urgent care for the following:

•Cold or cough that doesn’t get better in several days, or a cold that gets worse and is accompanied by a fever

• Minor cut that might need stitches

• Rash, especially with fever

• Bout of vomiting and diarrhea that lasts more than a few hours

• Severe sore throat, or trouble swallowing

• Minor bone fracture

• Insect or animal bite

But you’ll want to call 911, or go to the ER, if your child has signs of a medical emergency, which include:

• Any significant change in behavior, such as being confused, delirious or excessively sleepy or becoming increasingly less responsive or alert

• A severe headache or vomiting, especially after a head injury

• Uncontrolled bleeding

• Breathing problems

• Increasing pain or severe, persistent pain.

• Severe or persistent diarrhea

You should also get emergency help if your child is unconscious. Adventist Health emergency services are available 24/7.

Adventist Health / Urgent Care in Hanford, 1524 W. Lacey Blvd., is open seven days a week and does not require appointments. The hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday and Sunday. Medicare and most insurance plans are welcomed. For more information, please call (559) 537-0305 or visit www.AHUrgentCare.com.

Patients with Medi-Cal are welcomed at our many Community Care locations throughout the region. Community Care – Hanford, 1025 N. Douty St., is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, please call (559) 537-0250 or visit www.HanfordCare.com.

Community Care in Lemoore, at 810 East D St., is open six days a week. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (559) 924-7711 or visit www.LemooreCare.com.