When to seek medical help
What is an emergency?
An emergency is when you believe a severe injury or illness is threatening your child’s health or may cause permanent harm. In these cases, a child needs medical help, medical treatment right away.
Discuss with your child’s doctor in advance what you should do and where you should go in case of an emergency, or seek medical help
When to seek medical help!
- Your newborn’s breathing is faster or irregular
- You notice blueness or a darkness on the lips or face
- Your newborn has a HIGH temperature/fever
- Your newborn’s body temperature has dropped
- You see signs of dehydration (less than 3 to 4 wet diapers in a 24-hour period)
- Your baby’s belly button or circumcision area looks foul and smelly / infected
- Your newborn’s jaundice does not decrease by the 5th day
- Your baby’s tone of cry is different/ crying a lot or appears sluggish
- You think your baby is not looking or feeling well
In case of an emergency
- Stay calm.
- Call local emergency service
- If child is bleeding, apply continuous pressure to the site of bleeding with a clean cloth.
- Place your child on the floor with her head and body turned to the side if she is having a seizure. Do not put anything into her mouth.
- Do not move your injured child unless he is in immediate danger (eg, from a fire).
- Stay with your child until help arrives.
- Bring any medicine your child is taking with you to the hospital. Also, bring suspected poisons or other medicines your child might have taken.
- After you arrive at the emergency department, make sure you tell emergency staff the name of your child’s doctor. Your child’s doctor can work closely with emergency department doctors and nurses and can provide them with more information about your child.
- It is important to have an Emergency Information Form or similar form for each of your children. It should include phone numbers for parents, an emergency contact other than the primary carers, health care needs of the child, including medicines and allergies.
It is important that your babysitters and child caregivers have these numbers and know the steps to take in an emergency:
- How to contact your local emergency number
- Whether emergency numbers can be reached from a mobile phone in their area
- Your home address, directions to your home or current location, and a phone number (An emergency operator would ask for this.)
- Location of a spare car seat
- Location of your child’s Emergency Information Form and key rescue medicines (such as an inhaler) in your home
Remember, for non emergency conditions, first call your child’s doctor. If you believe an injury or illness is threatening your child’s health or may cause permanent harm, call for an ambulance. If your child is seriously ill or injured, it is safer for your child to be transported to the emergency department by ambulance.