Tips for Taking a Child to the Emergency Room

A child suffering from a serious medical condition may need to visit a hospital emergency room. The truth is, bringing your sickly child to the emergency room can be one of the most frightening experiences of one’s parenting life. The emergency room is a place that can instill fear in a young child. There are many other sick people around, being attended to by emergency physicians and nurses trained to work in a fast-paced, busy environment. All this can add up to a frightening experience for your child.

Since your child may be nervous and scared, you need to remain calm and act as a parent. Let your child know that you care about them and that hospitals are a place for healing and getting better, not a place where they should be scared. Moreover, you must also act as the health advocate — making sure that the entire emergency room process runs smoothly.

Tips for a child to the Emergency Room

Below are some tips to help you make your child’s first hospital emergency room visit:

1. Plan ahead

Before your child has a hospital emergency, always be aware of the hospital closest to you that accepts your medical insurance. You should also plan for transportation — make sure you have a way to get to the hospital.

2. Call 999

Remember that in a life-or-death situation, you should call 999. If you know it is safe to drive, remember that keeping calm will in turn keep your child calm.

3. Communicate with the staff

Hospital emergency rooms are hectic places. Remember to keep an open communication with the emergency physician to ensure proper diagnosis and medical treatment. If possible, prepare a medical history document of your child including any allergies, previous medical conditions, or medications.

4. Communicate with your child

As said before, your child may become frightened from their condition or the hospital environment. Stay calm and remain sensitive to the situation, but be honest. Remind them again that the hospital is there to help them get better, and that the emergency room physicians are examining them to help.

5. Bring an overnight bag

In case your child is admitted to the hospital, you should have a bag containing a change of clothes, toys, pajamas, or snacks to facilitate his or her stay. Remember not to let your child eat or drink anything until a physician offers a recommendation.

The most important thing you can do as a parent and health advocate is to remain calm. Doing so will make the hospital emergency room experience much more bearable for you, your child, and the hospital staff. Children feed off of subtle signs of their parents and, therefore, you should do everything in your power to avoid being impatient or panicked. The emergency physicians are doing the best that they can to attend to each person’s medical needs — to avoid making a difficult situation even worse.


Bringing your child to the emergency room can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember these tips in case an emergency presents itself.