Parents and caregivers often wonder whether they should take their child to an emergency room or urgent care. A pediatric urgent care center can handle some of the illnesses and injuries you might think require an emergency room visit. Watch the video to learn more about when to go to where, or read more to learn about the difference.
If you need COVID-19 testing, please use community testing resources instead of coming to the ER. That helps free us up to care for serious medical emergencies. Schedule at a CHOP COVID testing site here.
Emergency Room or Urgent Care for My Child?
Meghan Reno, RN: There are many times when parents don't know if they should bring their child to an Urgent Care and Emergency Department. Urgent Care is an extension of your primary care, after hours. So we do not handle any life-threatening emergencies.
Gina Murray, MD: At Pediatric Urgent Care we can see all sorts of ailments, things from ear infections and strep throat, to broken bones, simple colds, stomach bugs. Things that may be more appropriate for an emergency department would be things such as: serious head injuries requiring imaging, choking episodes, unresponsiveness, seizures.
We encourage families to call their pediatrician first whenever they have a question about their child. We are here if you need us after hours, but your pediatrician is also always available for phone calls and questions to help you determine if Urgent Care is appropriate.
Related Centers and Programs: Urgent Care, Emergency Medicine