A trip to the ER is not on anyone’s holiday wish list.
Visiting Grandma’s house…decorating the house…relaxing on the sofa watching football…making a trip to the ER…
Wait—the ER? Making a trip to the ER may not be on your holiday wish list, but every year many kids (and adults) spend time in the ER due to holiday-related accidents. The good news is, our kid-friendly ERs are ready for all emergencies, big or small. Plus, with 10 located throughout the Kansas City area, care for Santa’s little helpers is never far away.
Our ERs treat:
- Difficulty Breathing
- Head Injuries
- High or Persistent Fever
- Severe Allergic Reactions
- Severe Infections
- Severe Pain
Tis the season to be safe and healthy
Taking a few extra safety precautions can keep your holiday festive and fun — and away from the ER. Here are a few of the most common reasons for child ER visits during the holidays:
Food allergies are common during the holidays when people may eat party food that has hidden ingredients. For example, a lot of holiday foods contain hidden nuts. If you or your child is allergic to a certain food, make sure to ask the host for ingredients before sampling from the buffet.
Holiday decorations present a ton of new and exciting things to look at and touch. And, if your toddler likes to put things into their mouth, you’ll need to be extra cautious when selecting items to deck your halls. Swallowed tree ornaments, LED bulbs, magnets and batteries can be especially dangerous.
Gastroenteritis, better known as the “stomach flu” is a viral syndrome with vomiting and/or diarrhea. It is common in the winter time, and is very contagious. Most of the time rest and fluids can suffice, but If symptoms continue for days and your child is showing signs of dehydration, a visit to the ER might be necessary.
Even the friendliest dogs can bite children when they get scared or are provoked. Holidays are a time when people with young children are guests in homes with unfamiliar dogs. Add in the sugar and excitement, and the dogs can bite. There is nothing like a toddler with a dog bite to put the brakes on your holiday fun. When having a party, make sure your dog(s) are secured in a room where they feel safe and kids can’t get to them. And when visiting others, educate your kids to ask the owner first if the dog is friendly, and to be calm and gentle when touching any animal.
The turkey’s wishbone isn’t the only bone kids break around the holidays. Fractures from falling down are the 4th most common injury in kids under 6. The good news is, your child’s bones are able to absorb more shock than yours, making it less likely to require surgery. Most of the time, their bones will bend rather than break.
It’s not always easy to spot a broken bone. Young kids might not be able to describe their pain and movement after an injury. Usually, a child will be unable or unwilling to move the injured area – but just because they can move it, doesn’t mean it’s not broken. If you think your child has a broken bone, go to the ER immediately. Getting care quickly can help bones heal faster, and properly.
Often the ER sees kids who bumped their heads badly from rough play or running around too fast inside the house. Lots of sugar and exciting parties when kids stay up late are prime time for toddlers to fall down stairs, run into corners, or jump on beds and hit their heads on the bed frame or night stand. If you suspect your child has a concussion, get them to an ER to be evaluated.
All that kid-proof packaging is pretty much adult-proof too. Kids and grown-ups alike often wind up in the ER with lacerations from opening packaging with kitchen knives and other improper tools. The good news is that the field of pediatrics has new and better ways to minimize pain and improve cosmetic outcome of skin wound treatments. And next time, try scissors before the kitchen knife.
Holidays are a time for friends and families to gather, and people can be very reluctant to cancel Christmas at Grandma’s or a holiday music concert just because one child has a cold. And so the germs spread. Wash your hands frequently and make sure to get a flu shot to reduce your risk of getting sick. Seek medical attention if:
- A child less than 8 weeks old has a fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher.
- A child who has a weakened immune system develops a fever.
- There is no clear cause for the child’s fever (no cough, runny nose or known pain) and the fever has lasted for two to three days.
- A fever has lasted for more than five days, even if your child looks well.