Minor problem or true emergency
If you are ever unsure about whether your child's injury needs emergency care, treat it as an emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency medical services right away for any serious injury.
Many minor injuries can be handled at home. However, there are times when a trip to the hospital emergency department is needed. Boston Children's Hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to treat your child's emergency injuries. Roughly 50,000 patients come through Children's Emergency Department every year.
In general, take your child to an emergency room after an injury anytime you think the problem may need urgent attention, including if your child has:
- Trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or bloody sputum
- Tlue or purple color to lips, skin, or nail beds
- Chest or stomach pain or pressure
- Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision
- Change in mental status (such as loss of consciousness, confusion, or trouble waking)
- Animal, snake, or human bites
- Severe pain or loss of motion or sensation anywhere in the body
- Severe bleeding or bleeding that does not stop with direct pressure
- Severe burns or burns of the face
- Broken bones
- Puncture wounds
- Head, spinal cord, or eye injuries
- Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives, swelling of the face, lips, eyes, or tongue, fainting, or with trouble breathing, swallowing, or wheezing
This is a partial list. There are other problems that may require emergency care. Contact your child's physician or our Trauma Program for more information.
The Trauma Program at Boston Children's Hospital ranks among the top 10 hospitals in the nation for the volume of injured children treated. We are one of the only hospitals in the United States to earn a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center verification from the American College of Surgeons, indicating that Children's provide the highest level of pediatric injury care.
Once you provide First-aid treatment for your child, it is a good idea to call your child's physician to see if any follow-up care is needed.