Parents might need to think twice before bringing their child to the E.R.
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
Arkansas Children's Hospital experienced a major increase in the amount of children being taken to the emergency room on Monday.
Jayden Bosley, 5, has been sick for the past couple of weeks and visited the E.R. on Tuesday.
"I've been coughing and throwing up and my stomach hurt," Jayden said.
Jayden's father, Nick Bosley, said because of Jayden's progression he brought him to the emergency room.
"I wanted to try to give him some medicine but I didn't know which type of medicine to give him, and I wasn't for sure, so my first thing was bring him to Children's Hospital," Bosley said.
Dr. Carrie Brown is a pediatrician at Arkansas Children's Hospital. Brown said many parents are thinking the same way.
"Parents genuinely are frightened that if my child has a fever, I don't know how to know whether or not it's something serious. So instead I am going to go to the emergency room and let a professional tell me whether or not it is something serious," Brown said.
On Monday 260 children were taken to the emergency room and only 39 were admitted. According to the hospital, the normal high for this time of year is usually 180 kids.
Brown said there are certain times when kids need to go to the E.R.
"If you have a fever and you are under three months old, you need to be in the emergency room. If you have a fever and you have an immune compromising condition, if you have cancer, if you have sickle cell disease, if you have horrible asthma and you're wheezing, you need to be in the emergency room," Brown said. "If the fever goes on for more than three or four days, we want to see you in the clinic. We don't necessarily need to be in the emergency room."
If a child is showing cold or flu-like symptoms, Brown said to have the child stay home, give them some Tylenol and ibuprofen, then put them in a warm bathtub and see if that fever comes down on its own.
Another recommended E.R. alternative that parents can utilize is the after-hours clinic and/or contacting their child's pediatrician first.
Jayden's aunt, Terry Bosley, said if they would have known what to do, they could have saved themselves time and a trip to the E.R.
"Because we wouldn't have had to waste gas, to come up here and all that. Because he is going to get sicker now, because you know kids are going back and forth from the emergency room, you can get sicker because of germs," Terry Bosley said.
Brown agrees with Bosley, putting an emphasis on the chance of the child getting more sick.
"There's a lot of sick kids In those waiting rooms and we cohort people and move them into groups in different waiting rooms based on if they have a fever. So if your child has a fever with one of the viruses, they might be exposed to 10 other ones," Brown said.
For more information on alternative options to emergency room visits, click here.