Since it’s not possible to predict when you might need to take your
child to the emergency department, it’s best to know in advance
where the nearest ER is and what you’ll need to bring. The emergency
care team at Mercy Hospital recommends that parents compile their children’s
medical information in advance and, if time allows, pack a small overnight
bag just in case children need to be admitted to the hospital.
Compile Important Information
The emergency care physicians and nurses need to
know your child’s medical history before they can treat him or her. It’s a good idea to keep a written
record of your child’s medications and medical conditions, including
allergies. Keep a record of your child’s previous hospitalizations,
surgeries or other medical procedures, and recent illnesses. Write down
any relevant family medical history information and keep track of your
child’s immunizations. Keep a copy of your child’s medical
history in a place where it is easily accessible in the event of an emergency.
Be sure your child’s babysitters and other caregivers know where
this document is. Additionally, fill out a “consent to treat”
form for caregivers to bring to the ER.
Pack a Small Bag
As long as your child doesn’t need to be rushed to the ER immediately,
take a few minutes to pack a small bag with some overnight items, just
in case hospitalization is necessary. Additionally, bring along some comfort
items, such as your child’s favorite stuffed animal, book, or toy.
Reassure Your Child
Using age-appropriate language, reassure your child and let him or her
know that it’s alright to let the doctor or nurse conduct an exam.
Even if you have an older child, it’s advisable to remain with him
or her at all times to provide comfort.
Avoid Letting Your Child Eat or Drink
Make a note of when your child last had something to eat or drink, and
prevent him or her from consuming anything while you wait in the ER. This
is critical because children may sometimes need to be sedated for routine
tests, such as imaging studies.
If your child is experiencing a medical emergency and needs prompt transportation
to the ER in Miami, please call 911 immediately. For general questions
of a non-emergency nature, you’re welcome to call
Mercy Hospital at (305) 854-4400. Our registered nurse can provide general healthcare
information and referrals to specialists.