A children’s medical emergency can strike at any time. That’s why it’s important to be prepared to head to the emergency room at a moment’s notice. PLAN by building a preparedness bag (or “go bag”), KNOW where your closest pediatric ER is located and GO when a medical emergency happens.
ER Ready Kit
- Have your emergency kit built and ready to go in your house so if your child has an emergency, you can grab it quickly and head to your closest pediatric ER.
Your Closest Pediatric ER
- Research the closest location to you in advance and pre-set the location on your phone so you don’t have to worry about directions in the event of an emergency. It’s also important to understand the difference between a regular ER and a pediatric ER and how it impacts your child’s care.
- Go To Your Closest Pediatric ER
- Try to stay as calm as you can. If your child is experiencing a non-life threatening event, you have the option to choose your preferred pediatric ER location.
- Now is the time to plan. Learn what to put in your ER Go Bag in case of an emergency- remember everyone has their own special needs.
Here’s a list of common items that might go in your bag:
- List of Pertinent Medical Information
- Consider keeping a list or information card in your go bag. Include the name and number of your child’s pediatrician, a list of their medications, drug allergies and any advance directives you may have.
- Pack an extra bottle of water in your go bag to stay hydrated, freshen their hands or face.
- If your child ends up at the hospital, whether for hours or days, you’ll need to charge your phone to stay in contact with your loved ones. You may also need to bring chargers for any entertainment devices you wish to give to your child as a distraction.
- Non-Perishable Snacks
- Have a healthy snack or two on hand and ensure they’re items that won’t spoil. Protein bars, nuts, crackers and trail mix are good options.
- Change of Clothes
- You don’t know if your child will end up in the hospital overnight, so a change of clothes can make all the difference for their comfort. Dress them in something simple and comfortable like a T-shirt and a sweatshirt (so you have something for any time of year or temperature), sweatpants and underwear.
- First Aid Kit
- A good first aid kit typically includes a thermometer, adhesive bandages, an ace bandage and clips, vinyl gloves, alcohol swabs, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen and an antihistamine. You may also want to include feminine products, depending on age. To make it easier, you can buy a self-contained, ready-made kit.
- Something to Keep You Busy
- Light entertainment during a long wait or stay can be so valuable. Earbuds so they can listen to music and a coloring book and crayons can easily be slipped into your bag and will be appreciated.
- Comfort Item
- Whether a stuffed toy or a favorite blanket, choose something small and meaningful that will bring them peace and comfort during an emergency.
What Not to Bring to the ER
- Please note that the hospital is not responsible for lost or damaged items. You shouldn’t bring jewelry or other valuables into the ER. You’re encouraged to send jewelry, credit cards, keys, important papers and large amounts of cash home with a family member for safekeeping. If you must bring valuables, you can inquire about placing them in the hospital’s safe during your visit or stay.
- Don’t worry about bringing sleepwear or toiletries; most hospitals are happy to provide you with everything you need to make your stay more comfortable.
- It’s also important to know that while your child is in the hospital, the care teams are required by law to dispense all of their medications, so you can leave your prescriptions at home.
Expert Pediatric Care for Life’s Unexpected Moments
At AdventHealth for Children, it’s not just your child’s physical health that they attend to. It’s also your peace of mind and their comfort and wellbeing. And part of keeping your child well is helping you be prepared for the unexpected. While you may not need to use it, having a go bag on hand will help ease your stress in case of a medical emergency, and you can count on their dedicated pediatric ER teams to take care of the rest.
With locations throughout Central Florida, the #1 pediatric ER in is always near you — trusted care closer to home.
For more information on pediatric emergency services, visit AdventHeathforChildren.com/ER