A hospital emergency room is the place to go when you have a life-threatening situation. And when it’s your child, a pediatric emergency department, especially built for them, may be the best medicine.
Removing the scariness from an emergency in a child-friendly environment is the idea behind pediatric emergency departments at Florida Hospital for Children, Florida Hospital East Orlando, and Florida Hospital Winter Garden.
"As a parent, we can all relate to “middle of the night medical scares, some that even warrant a trip to the emergency department,” says Dennis Hernandez, MD, pediatric emergency medicine physician and medical director, pediatric emergency center, at Florida Hospital for Children. And while physicians in standard emergency rooms are well trained and compassionate, a pediatric emergency department offers many advantages for little ones.
Specially sized equipment
The facility boasts the latest technology designed for kids to ensure they receive care that perfectly fits their needs. Appropriate-sized blood pressure cuffs and oxygen masks are used, along with special bandages that take the place of stitches to mend cuts.
Faster in and out
Special imaging equipment gets them in and out as quickly as possible, with less radiation exposure (in the case of imaging), and often without the need for anesthesia so they can remain awake and alert through the whole process.
Movies just for kids
While waiting, toys and movies keep smaller patients occupied.
Lights, characters, sounds, action
Once in a treatment room, pint-sized patients can design their own environment – from changing the color of the room, to choosing animated characters to appear on the walls and ceiling, to picking the music and sounds to hear. The goal: to help young patients and their family members feel as stress-free as possible.
- Board-certified pediatricians and emergency medicine physicians who have gone through three years of pediatric training, and an additional two to three years of pediatric emergency medicine training
- Registered nurses with extensive experience and training in providing emergency care for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults
- Medications especially formulated and prepared in doses for young patients (Children are complex, varying in weight and size, meaning dosage calculations are more complicated)
- Child life specialists who are available to ease the anxiety and fears of young patients in painful or scary situations
- Stretchers and beds properly sized for children and manufactured to the same safety standards as cribs and youth beds
While a specialized ER may be best for your child, if there’s not one close by, don’t delay in taking your child to the nearest standard emergency department for help. If necessary, the medical team will arrange transport for your child to a pediatric emergency facility.
Did You Know
Every year, about 1 in 5 children require emergency care. The top reasons:
- Asthma, pneumonia
- Head injury/concussions/seizures
- Falls, injuries, poisonings/accidental overdoses
- Abdominal pain/appendicitis, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Burns, skin infection and rashes (some can be life-threatening)
- Sprains, strains, contusions and broken bones
- Urinary tract infection and genitourinary trauma
- Complications from diabetes