Knowing When to Take Your Child to Urgent Care or the ER

Knowing When to Take Your Child to Urgent Care or the ER

Children can get sick frequently, especially during the season changes and colder months. From a stomach bug to RSV to a runny nose, it seems like something is always going around. The good news is, you don’t need to take your child to the urgent care or emergency room whenever they're not feeling well. However, it's important to know when you should. 

Thanks to our urgent care and pediatric care experts at Rapid City Healthcare in Irving, Texas, you're sure to get the best care possible for your child when in need. Better yet, you can feel comfortable reaching out to us with any questions regarding your child. 

For now, we've come up with some tips on when you should take your child to the ER or urgent care.  

When to take your child to the ER

There's a difference between the emergency room (ER) and urgent care, and the ER is specifically for that emergencies. What defines an emergency? Here are some scenarios for when to take your child:

Fever and signs of illness

Bring your child to the emergency room if your child is under two months old and has a fever of 100.4°F or higher.

You should also bring your child to the ER if they show signs of dehydration, including:


If your child shows signs of swelling, unevenness, or bumps in an injured area, this might indicate they've broken a bone. Or, if you see gashes on your child's face or body, they might need stitches (or more). 

You should also bring your child to the emergency room if they hit their head and either pass out or lose consciousness for a few seconds.

Breathing issues

If your child is suffering from breathing issues such as heavy, fast breathing, gasping for air, and can't speak in complete sentences without having to break for a breath, that qualifies as an emergency worth heading out for.


You should go to the emergency room if your child has a seizure a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain.

When to take your child to urgent care

You can consider urgent care if your child doesn't show signs that they need to go to the ER. Call your pediatrician first, and if they cannot get you in for an appointment within a day or two, you should visit an urgent care center if these symptoms occur:

Our board-certified team of doctors at Rapid City Healthcare is here to answer any questions regarding when to take your child to urgent care or the ER. Call our office or schedule an appointment online if you believe your child is showing any mild symptoms. Or, if you're ready to act on their signs, visit our urgent care center.

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