When your little one is suffering from a chills-and-fever type of situation late Friday, or a sprained ankle on a Saturday – it can be enough to throw any parent into a tizzy.
But before you pack the car and head for the emergency room, consider the ramifications. Anyone who has ever spent any time in an ER waiting room knows the order of operation: those with dire situations are selected first. In many cases, this can lead to lengthy wait times and an unpleasant experience for both parent and child. A 2014 poll done by the Centers for Diseases Control reported that total ER times clock in at roughly two hours.
So, what are your other options when ailments strike at inopportune times?
Many ER visitors could have just as easily been helped in an urgent care center. Additionally, those people would have spent $784 less, and saved nearly three hours, according to a 2012 benchmarking study by the Urgent Care Association of America.
But when it comes to treating your toddler or teen, pediatric urgent care offers something that run-of-the-mill urgent care centers don’t: access to board-certified pediatric specialists.
Why are pediatric urgent care centers preferred by families?
- Child-centric care. Child patients are a different “animal,” so to speak. They require extra care, a warm bedside manner, and plenty of patience. In many cases, regular ER doctors aren’t equipped to handle this type of treatment.
- Child-focused facility. The pediatric urgent care facility itself is child-focused, with examination and waiting rooms designed to cater to their needs.
- Keeping your pediatrician in the know. After your child is all patched up and necessary medicines have been prescribed, there is a seamless flow of information between pediatric urgent care centers and your regular pediatrician. Tots ‘N’ Teens Pediatric Urgent Care in San Antonio, Texas, is one center that prides itself on being an “extension of your pediatrician’s office.”
- Time is precious. Parents know that time is a valuable commodity. Between packing lunches, lugging a diorama to the science fair, and late-night story time, there really isn’t a surplus of it. Pediatric urgent care makes life a little easier, allowing you to register online and fill out any necessary forms before you arrive. It’s a quick and seamless service you’ll appreciate. Hours often extend past regular office schedules, and there are also options for holiday and weekend mishaps.
- It’s thriftier than the ER. Pediatric urgent care is also a thriftier choice when compared with the exorbitant fees that can rack up for “a-la-carte” ER services. It’s always best to check with your insurance about co-pays before you show up but rest assured that while it may be pricier than your regular pediatrician’s office – it will always be less than the ER. Most emergency room visit copays can cost you upwards of $100.
If your child is experiencing injuries that are not life-threatening, has symptoms that occur gradually, over time (rather than suddenly), or it’s after normal physician office hours, pediatric urgent care is the convenient and appropriate choice.
A one-stop shop to treat so many different conditions, Tots ‘N’ Teens Pediatric Urgent Care offers care for everything from sinusitis and insect stings, to stitches and X-rays right in the comfort of a single office. If you don’t have time to make an appointment, don’t fret; walk-ins are always welcome. For more information, call (210) 267-5411.