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Urgent Care: Is It Worth the No Wait?

The best place for children to receive medical care is at a pediatrician's office. But, sometimes kids don't wait for office hours to get sick or injured. So, what should you do for those times when your baby runs a high fever during the night or your young athlete hurts his wrist at a weekend practice? It happens. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that in cases like these, you should never hesitate to call your pediatrician's office first, even if you know the office is closed. Pediatricians are very accustomed to taking phone calls at all times - day and night- and can often deal with problems over the phone. You are not bothering your pediatrician by calling.  Click on the title above to read more...
However, you may notice new facilities popping up in your neighborhood that advertise that they offer "urgent" care services often with no appointments necessary. Keep in mind that the physicians and nurses who work at these urgent care centers may not have advanced training in pediatrics and may not be comfortable treating infants and young children. Sometimes there is not even a physician on site. Before going to one of these clinics, the AAP recommends that your first step be to call your pediatrician's office - your child's "medical home" - to discuss your child's needs. If your pediatrician is unable to see you but believes your child should be examined, he or she will advise you on the most appropriate place for your child to receive care and how quickly your child should be seen. 

The management of acute care for children under age 2 requires special expertise. Therefore, the AAP does not recommend Retail Based Clinics, telehealth services outside of the medical home, and those acute care centers without pediatric expertise for children younger than 2 years. 

Source - American Academy of Pediatrics