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Where to go when your kid gets hurt?

This post is part of a series that focuses on children’s and women’s health, as part of a sponsored partnership with Aurora Health Care.I wish I could say that I’m cool as a cucumber when one of my kids gets hurt or has scary symptoms during an illness. But really, I’m more like this:

And honestly, a lot of my stress comes from not knowing where I’m supposed to go for which ailment.

A few years ago, my five year old awoke in the middle of the night, coughing so hard that he couldn’t catch his breath.

I was terrified.

My panicked self wanted to drive directly to the emergency room. But after sitting in a steamed up bathroom for awhile, he was all better and back to bed within a half hour.

A year later, the situation was more clear when he sustained a huge blow to his head. He had a large gaping wound next to his eye. Off to the ER we went.

(And by “went”, I mean my husband drove 90+ mph through the north woods of Wisconsin, with me unbuckled in the back of the truck monitoring his every movement. See? Calm as a cucumber.)

And just a couple of weeks ago, we weren’t sure what to do when we thought he had a concussion after falling head over heels running down a hill.

One minute he couldn’t remember his little sister’s name. The next minute he seemed completely fine.

Ah, parenting.

The point it, sometimes it’s just not so clear if you should head to urgent care or to the the emergency room. Or if a particular symptom warrants a trip to the walk-in clinic, or if you should just wait for a visit with your doctor.

Instead of frantically googling, there’s a helpful article from the folks at Aurora Health Care that breaks it down a little more clearly for those who need it (i.e. me).

It explains the important differences between your health care clinic, urgent care, retail clinics and the emergency room.

And it gives advice for how to decide where to go.

Here’s an infographic to help out, too.

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