What you need for trip to the ER!

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Since i now have first hand knowledge of a trip to the ER, i thought i’d post on the essentials needed for a emergency trip to the ER.   Please know i’m not wishing anyone, ever have to go to the ER, as i have.  But let’s face it, things happen, kids get sick, kids break arms & legs, kids fall down and get little cuts and most of these things end up happening on the weekends, when you can’t just take your child to the doctors office.

My Er trip truly began(although i didn’t know) with a fun trip to the splash pad, on Friday.  I met a few fellow twin mommies and we decided to hang out with our kidos for a few hours.  As i was putting one of my twins back in the car, i noticed she had a bite on the back of her ankle that looked like a mosquito bite.  IF you live in TX, you know all about our Texas size mosquito’s(better known as skeeters to us)!  I got all the kidos loaded up and headed home.  The one twin that had the bite never made a squeak when she was bitten, so i didn’t think much of the whole ordeal.  Fast Foward to Saturday morning, i pulled off her footie pj’s and there is a gigantic bruise like bump on her ankle but not where the actual bite was located.  I called my hubby in to check it out and he also thought it looked pretty bad, considering it had been almost 24 hours since the unknown bug actually bit her.  We decided to keep an eye on it.  I called our local drug store to get the measurements for bendaryl, as i thought maybe that would help pretty quickly.  She has never had an allergic reaction to anything and had been bitten not to long ago, by a sick bee that somehow managed to get into our house and into the girls bedroom.  So, as time went by yesterday, i checked it and it seemed to get bigger and bigger by the hour.  After a bit of conversation with my hubby i decided it was time to call the doctor.  I was able to get a hold of the dr. immediately and was on my way to the ER by myself within 20 minutes of time.  She told me that chances are, it was a staph infection, if the bite didn’t seem to be going down with the benadryl.   Doctors are always a bit anti-Er because of the chance that your child can end up picking up more in the Er than what you were going for, in the first place.  But, this time, my doctor sounded differently.  She sounded more concerned, which in turn really had me worried! 

Rushing through the house i packed as much as i thought we’d need for a few hour trip.  I grabbed the diaper bag, added some snacks, a jacket for the baby, sanitizer wipes, a sippy cup, checked my purse for insurance card, credit card, cash for parking, cell phone and my saving grace was: the dollar book i had just bought the day before at target full of pictures of animals(since my twins are major animal lovers). 

We rushed off to the hospital for our first run at the ER.  I was scared out of my mind.  I have been one time before this and that was when my oldest daughter was 20 months and we were on the way to a wedding in MO.  We had stopped for a day of enjoyment in AR and on our way to the hot springs my big girl began to vomit in the car.  She kept on and on and on.  We sped back to the hotel as fast as we could that day and finally by about 7p we decided the vomiting hadn’t stopped and we needed to go in to the ER in AR.  That was scary, but that day i was with my hubby so it wasn’t soo scary.  On the contrary, this time, i was on my own.  Someone had to stay home with our other two kidos, and I, being the mommy that cares for our children on a day to day basis, we both agreed it’d be better if i took her to the ER.  My twins had NEVER been apart until yesterday.  Luckily, the other twin was sleeping because we were really worried she’d have a break down if she saw her sister leaving and she couldn’t go along with her.  The rest of the trip is not all that important.  Luckily, the ER was actually not packed on a Saturday afternoon and i was able to get checked in, vitals taken and into a room within a good 45 minutes.  The dr. came in almost immediately and we were done with the actual visit in about one hour.  The hard part was waiting afterwards.  The back office people must have had many more important things to do yesterday, because we sat in that room for a good hour to hour and a half after the actual doctor came in, just waiting for the paperwork lady to come in and give me our discharge papers.  UGH…what a waste of time.  That time was when my handy dandy bag o tricks really paid off.  I think my daughter and i went through my entire purse a couple of times.  She probably had ten to twenty conversations on my powered down cell phone, turned into toy phone.  We had water for her to drink, a book we read a good twenty or maybe thirty times and snacks to keep her calm. 

All in all, my Er visit wasn’t as bad as i had thought. 

My few suggestions to every mom out there would be:

1. always have your diaper bag packed(diapers, snacks, toys, diaper wipes, an empty bottle or sippy cup and maybe even a bottle of water & formula if your child is still under one)

2. Always keep your insurance cards, credit cards, and a few dollars in your wallet.  I’m bad at getting out my cc to purchase something on line and forgetting to put the card back in my purse right away.  I’m also really bad at not carrying cash in my wallet. 

3. Be prepared and stay as calm as you can(now make note, if you are calling 911 and it’s a MAJOR emergency you don’t worry about any of these things as they won’t be of a concern if you child is that sick).  I’m writing this for those, who are driving to the emergency room and have a second or two to grab things as you are headed out the door and your taking your baby in the car with YOU.

4. Keep the number to your pedi’s office in your wallet somewhere.  I even keep the “emergency/after hours number” written down on the back of the dr’s card so i don’t have to call the pedi’s office and wait for the darn answering machine to pick up and then have to write down the Emergency number.  Writing the emergency number down ahead of time will save you a few steps. 

5. Also, call your Pedi ahead of time, if you can, so she/he can call the hospital to let them know you are on your way.  My dr. was great and they knew who i was when i walked in the door. 

6. Plan ahead and have someone that can babysit if need be.  Luckily i haven’t had to deal with that yet. But there may be a time when my hubby is at work or out of town and i have no idea what i’d to with my other children.  I still need to work on a backup plan on what to do if i don’t have anyone in home to watch my kids.  Maybe talk to a neighbor or nearby relative or just have some sort of back up sitter, just in case.

7. Always have a hospital in the back of your mind.  It’s kinda like being prepared for labor.  Maybe figure out what hospital you’ll go to and take a quick drive to that hospital and do a dry run.  Yesterday i had NO IDEA where i was going.  I had to do a few circles to find the right parking garage.  Then i didn’t know where to go in and what elevator to take.  Then i had to find the ER.  I guess i could have valet parked in the case of a true emergency, but it’s still good to know where to go and where the actual emergency room is so your not walking around in a daze with a sick child.

I know this is kinda a debbie downer for a post.  But i feel that everyone with children that has not made a trip to the ER, can and maybe will benefit from my first experience to the ER.  We all know that sometimes things happen and you just never know if or when you may need to make a trip to the ER.  Being prepared ahead of time saves a few extra minutes if indeed you ever do(hopefully not) have to make a ER run. 

I have to say, now that i have been once, i’m not SOO scared.  The first time is always very frightening because you don’t know what to do.  Now, i know, if the need every arises again i’ll know where to go, what to do and what to take with me.  Having three kids for me, means i’m three times as likely to end up taking a child to the ER…i made it through my first trip.  Now, hopefully i’ll never have to do it again!

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8 thoughts on “What you need for trip to the ER!”

  1. great advice, having been to the er a few times myself with kiddos I know how important all of those things can be, especially the entertainment factor. I hope your daughter is well, what was the outcome on her bite?

  2. We’ve made two trips to the ER with my son. Once, when he was 4 months old and spit up A LOT of blood and once when he was 9 months and had a terrible reaction to a medication (Reglan) given to him for reflux issues. Luckily, my mom was visiting during both ER trips, so she was able to stay with his twin sister while we went to the hospital.

    On the first trip to the ER, they admitted him to the hospital, so we were there overnight, until about 3:00pm the next day. Talk about not being prepared! We had a diaper bag, but it had the essentials for a few hours. It turned out ok because they kept all of us up all night running test (so he slept a lot of the day) and they wouldn’t let him eat, so formula wasn’t an issue, but it was a LONG night. My learning experience was to keep snacks and necessities for myself in the diaper bag! Even if it’s just a granola bar and eye glasses so you can take your contacts out! We were in an ER exam room for 5 hours while tests were being run and we were waiting with my son to be admitted. There was no food or coffee available until 7am or so in the morning (we got to the ER at about 11pm) and it was freezing COLD in the exam room.

    During our second trip to the ER, we were more frantic because our son was having seizure like symptoms. We jumped in the car with him in my lap in the passenger seat. He was too out of it to even put in the carseat. We went to the closest hospital this time, which is where I had the twins, but I was not impressed by the ER. This was a “stand in line while they try to figure out the computer system” type of ER. There was no sense of urgency, so I had to create some urgency. So, this would be my advice after the second trip……If it is truly an emergency, make sure that they know it when you get there, even if you have to cause a little bit of a scene. Otherwise, you may stand at the end of the paperwork line until you’re eventually noticed.

    Also, I definitely agree with taking a bag of goodies for the long waits! I also went through every item in my purse several times!

    Great post. This isn’t something you want to have to plan for, but knowing what to expect can make it a much better experience.

  3. So weird … was totally going to write this exact post for Thursday. We had a whammy last night — five hours in the ER. It was also our second visit.

    I can’t stress enough to have a very well-packed diaper bag ready and waiting for an ER visit. Snacks, water, toys, lollipops, blankets, changes of clothes for both kids, change of clothes for yourself, even, if blood is involved, as it was for us. Change for soda machine. Important to have plenty for child that is not patient if he/she has to go along.

    And, I might also add to double check with your pedi BEFORE AN ACCIDENT to find out what all they can handle at their office. One of my girls needed stitches and I knew it immediately; but wonder if our pedi could have handled that in a MUCH shorter time frame.

  4. Yikes! I hope your daughter is okay now. What a scare. :(

    We’ve been to the ER twice as well. Once in an ambulance and one when we drove. These are GREAT tips! Like you, I have no idea what we would have done with the twin on the first trip (I had to bring younger kid with us because I was still nursing every 3 hours or so, and we had NO idea how long we’d be), and two kids on the second trip if family hadn’t been here both times!! I always figured it would be my son that we’d be bringing to the ER…nope. My daughter both times.

    Great post.

  5. This is great advice. Unfortunately, I’m enough of an ER aficionado that I drive the extra 15 minutes to go to the hospital one town over, since I know we’ll be seen about 2 hours quicker there, receive better care, and have nurses who go out of their way to make children comfortable.

    We were at the ER last night, in fact. (Mel was having trouble breathing, but is doing fine now.) Our pedi’s after hours line is manned by a hospital call center. They called the hospital we were headed for and faxed them my daughter’s records. Since the ER knew we were coming, they saw us within 5 minutes of arrival.

    I can’t stress enough the need for a fully equipped diaper bag. My girls are old enough now that we can make do with just a diaper or two and some wipes for most outings. I still keep a fully packed bag in the car for emergency room visits that may come up.

    Also, bring BOOKS and TOYS. Interactive books are excellent at keeping your sick little one busy, and any healthy kids you have to drag along entertained. We have a little library in the car, just in case. Most hospitals will give toddlers stickers, but those can only entertain my kids for about an hour, and I’ve had a couple of 6-hour visits.

  6. I read this post when you wrote it a week or so ago and thought “hmmm, I should prepare myself” but I didn’t do anything about it and today, ta da! Found myself in the ER with one of my 14 month old twins while her sister stayed home with dad. I remembered enough of what you wrote – and the ER staff was quick enough – that it all went really smoothly…but I did forget a jacket (for myself!) that I wished I would have brought. Minor! Thanks for a great post.

  7. Your pediatrician has lettle pull in any in expiditing your care unless he is going to come see you which never happens.

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