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Baby pulling at doctor's stethoscope as she listens to his heartbeat

Top 3 Ways to Keep Your Child Calm at the ER

The Dreaded ER Visit

One of the hardest parts about being a parent is seeing your little one injured, in pain or scared. Sometimes the fear of going to the ER is harder on children than the actual condition. Because young children do not have the ability to rationalize the need to see a doctor, they’re likely to fight treatment from the doctor or fight you over being in the emergency room in the first place.

Most kids squirm, cry and eventually have a total meltdown when faced with going to a place that they generally associate with pain.

At Advance ER, our No Wait policy ensures your little one will be taken to a private room and will soon see a doctor or nurse. But even a simple visit can take several minutes, and if tests are needed, that time is even longer. Even a few minutes can seem endless to both a sick or hurt toddler and to you. We understand what you’re going through and we have 3 tricks for you as you struggle to survive the emergency room wait.

  1. Distraction is a great tool for dealing with young children waiting to see the doctor. If you ran out the door without thinking about time fillers, our private exam rooms are wired with kids’ favorite shows and are painted with fun murals. Our waiting room has toys, Popsicles and drinks for little ones. Another fun idea is to try playing “I Spy” or “20 Questions” with your injured tot to focus their attention on something other than his or her pain.
  2. For children who aren’t seriously sick, mild physical activity can keep them occupied. Itsy-Bitsy Spider, This Little Piggy, Peek-A-Boo & Hickory Dickory Dock are all fun games that involve gentle physical movements that can occupy a child without riling them up. A younger child may be entertained by simply pointing and naming body parts such as ear, finger or toes.
  3. With older children, try engaging them by talking about what will happen when it’s their turn to see the doctor or nurse. Conversing with your child about what might happen in the exam room may calm him or her down and take away the fear of the unknown. A quick heart-to-heart about what a child can expect when they meet the doctor or nurse may give him or her more confidence and reassurance before seeing the practitioner.

The #1 thing to remember when you’re in the emergency room with your sick or injured child is that they are watching you to gauge how serious or scary the situation is. If you are too upset to console your child, try calling your partner or a sibling to come help. Children mirror our emotions—you can keep them calm or frighten them more depending on how you react. It’s always scary when your little one is sick or in pain, but if you can keep a brave face, your child will be the one who benefits.

And remember, at Advance ER, we’re here to help make your child’s visit less traumatic and easier for both of you.

Advance ER is available in two locations for your convenience:
Advance ER – Galleria Area

12338 Inwood Road Dallas, TX 75244

Advance ER – Park Cities

5201 W Lovers Lane Dallas, TX 75209