A Mom’s Intuition: When to Take Your Child to the ER

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A good friend called me last night and said her son had hit his head and vomited an hour later. She was concerned about a concussion, and was questioning whether or not to go to the ER. Of course, as emergency luck would have it, it was night time and Urgent Care was closed, which would mean a trip downtown to the ER, where the wait could be five minutes to all night.

I recently had a similar situation of "do I go to the ER or not?" with my daughter. She took a big fall off of her skateboard and injured her wrist. She cried for a half hour—very uncharacteristic for her. My husband didn't think we should take her in, but in my Mom World, when it comes to the care of my children, my husband's opinion has no validity  Sorry Hubby, but I firmly believe in a Mom's intuition. I felt in my gut that her wrist needed to be x-rayed. I had no idea if it was broken or not; I just knew it had to be checked out.

We were fortunate enough to make it into the nearest Urgent Care that had x-ray before it closed. She was checked out, and had no broken bones. But I had no issue with the fact that I took her in. I followed my instinct, and in my heart and mind I knew I did the right thing. The wrong thing would have been ignoring the injury, and later finding out that it had been broken.

The advice I gave to my friend who's son had hit his head was this:

First, collect your information. Look up the injury online. Online information will give you the symptoms to look for, to determine if the injury warrants a visit to ER. Monitor his actions, his reflexes, and his coherency. If he seems "off,” waste no time making a beeline to the ER.

Second, determine the course of action. If he does have a concussion, what are they going to do for it? They will most likely send him home and tell him to rest for twenty-four hours. Is it really worth spending your night at the ER to have no real medical action taken?

Third, and most important, follow your gut feeling. If you are feeling at all uneasy about it, take him in. Don't listen to anyone else's advice. You are his mom and you know what's best. If you get to the hospital and he checks out fine, great! You did your job of taking care of him. You can feel good about doing what was best for your child.

After Mom did all of the above, she determined that the vomiting was unrelated and he was just fine. She had him sleep in her bed, so she could keep watch over him through the night. The next morning he was fine.

We all have a talent called Mom Intuition. The trick is to listen to it and trust it. Not only in injury situations, but in the overall safety of your kids. When it comes to their safety, we are their front line. And using our intuition is one of the best things we can do for our children.

Written by: Pam Toigo. To read more from Pam, visit her site at www.thepulledtogethermom.com. Photo: stock.xchng

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