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When to Worry: Pediatric Emergency Visits

Summary: As a parent, you have certain instincts when it comes to your kid's health. But what are some of the warning signs you might be missing?
Air Date: 6/21/13
Duration: 10
Host: Dr. Leigh Vinocur
Guest Bio: Dr. Chris Amato, MD
Dr. Chris Amato is an Asst. Professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine for Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York.  He is the past chair of the Pediatric section for National ACEP. Dr. Amato is a pediatric emergency physician at Morristown Memorial Hospital/Goryeb’s Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ.
When to Worry: Pediatric Emergency Visits
Kids make up 25% of the 130 million emergency room visits that occur every year. And as a parent, you have certain instincts when it comes to your kid's health.

But what are some of the warning signs you might be missing? When should you truly worry, and when should you wait it out?

Special guest, Dr. Chris Amato, joins Dr. Leigh to share some important information regarding when it's appropriate (and necessary) to bring your child to the ER. This is especially important for parents with small children who have no real way of conveying feelings of unwell - other than crying or being lethargic.

For instance, some indications of worrisome symptoms could be if your child just isn't acting himself or herself - if there is a change in behavior, such as sleeping too much (or too little), or he/she isn't talking as much.

Also physical indications are important. Does your child have a high fever? Is he vomiting to the point of dehydration? Does your little one have a severe headache?

Dr. Amato also discusses prevention, including avoiding choking hazards.

When your kid is sick, there's no doubt it's an emotional time. But Dr. Leigh has one thing to say: "There are no stupid questions. There are no stupid concerns."
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