When a child is sick, especially in the late hours of the night, parents and caregivers must quickly make a choice: Where should they turn for medical care?
A great place to start is by calling your pediatrician or primary care provider. Many practices offer an after-hours “parent pager” that can help you decide whether your child’s symptoms warrant a trip to your pediatrician, an immediate care facility or the emergency room.
When the on-call provider returns your page, it is helpful if you can describe your concerns and how your child looks to you (Are they playful and active? Hard to wake up? Having difficulty breathing?), your child’s medical history and any medications they are taking, and if your child is sick, you can take a temperature and provide that information. These pieces of information will help the on-call provider recommend one of the following options:
Whether you take your child to an immediate care facility or the emergency room, it’s important to select a location that focuses on pediatric care and will know what’s best for your child.
With locations at our Outpatient Center in Lincoln Park and our Outpatient Center in Northbrook, Lurie Children’s Immediate Care offers same-day medical services for unexpected illnesses with extended hours and walk-in service. We also offer the option to access our expert care team from the comfort of your own home. Our new Virtual Immediate Care service is available for children ages 3 months to 18 years and includes easy online scheduling.
Our pediatricians provide urgent treatment for non-emergencies or non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, including:
To make an Immediate Care appointment online, visit luriechildrens.org/MakeAppointment.
If your child’s injury or illness is serious or worsening, do not delay seeking care at our Emergency Department. Experienced physicians and nurses are poised around the clock to handle even the most complicated, life-threatening injuries or conditions, such as:
If your child is unresponsive or there is a life-threatening emergency at home that cannot wait, please call 911 right away.
Lurie Children's experts recommend the following tips to stay healthy:
Remember that the same practices that help prevent COVID-19, can help prevent cold, flu and other common childhood illness. If you or your child is experiencing any symptoms of illness, it’s important to stay home from school, daycare or other public events.
Please refer to Lurie Children’s COVID-19 Resources for continually updated information for patient families, healthcare providers and general information on the virus and keeping families healthy.