Urgent care clinics are a relatively new type of medical facility that have exploded in popularity in recent years. They are an excellent option for urgent medical occurrences that do not warrant a trip to the emergency room. When you have children, however, it can be hard to tell whether they can wait to see their regular doctor, should go to urgent care or need to go to the emergency room. Look for these signs.


Ear Pain or Drainage

Ear pain or drainage are common symptoms of an ear infection. Ear infections are an ailment ideally treated at urgent care centers because they should not be allowed to linger but do not require a trip to the emergency room. At clinics like Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc., a doctor will diagnose your child and prescribe antibiotics if an ear infection is present.


Red or Itchy Eyes

Red or itchy eyes can be symptoms of pink eye. Pink eye is usually caused by a bacterial infection and may result in goopy eye discharge. Pink eye is highly contagious and infected children should not go to school until antibiotics have been administered for a few days. With antibiotics, the condition usually clears up quickly.



If your child has sustained an injury that is a little too serious for you to care for at home, you may decide to go to urgent care. Common injuries that may warrant a trip to your nearest urgent care clinic include sprains or shallow cuts. Broken bones and large lacerations should be tended in the ER.



A sore throat or cold symptoms accompanied by a fever should be examined in an urgent care clinic. A sore throat could indicate strep throat and children should receive treatment if they have severe flu symptoms. Remember that you should not request antibiotics if the doctor diagnoses the condition as viral in nature. Antibiotics will not cure viral infections and misuse of them contributes to deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


Persistent Diarrhea or Reduced Urination

Dehydration can quickly become a serious problem in children. Persistent diarrhea can cause dehydration, which can result in reduced urination and lethargy. An urgent care clinic can get your child the needed fluids and determine the source of the dehydration so it can be effectively treated.


Knowing what constitutes an emergency and what does not can spare your child from unnecessary emergency room visits. Strongly consider going to urgent care if your child is displaying the above signs. Doing so will ease a child’s discomfort or pain and offer worried parents needed relief.