It's past bedtime, but a barking cough and noisy breathing are keeping your toddler wide awake. Weekend soccer practice ends abruptly with a slide tackle right to your middle schooler's ankle. Your otherwise healthy teen is suddenly covered with welts from head to toe. The pediatrician’s office is definitely closed and panic starts to set in as you weigh whether the circumstances warrant an emergency room visit.
Well, as it turns out, there may be a better option. A pediatric urgent care center—like those operated by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Chalfont, Pa., Glen Mills, Pa., and King of Prussia, Pa.—can actually handle all of these problems and then some, including a number of illnesses and injuries you might think require an emergency department visit. And while many issues may feel ER-worthy to us worried parents, they might not meet the medical criteria that require a trip to the hospital. So, instead of booking it to the nearest emergency room or waiting for the pediatrician's office to open for your kiddo's next fever or fall, call your child’s doctor and ask if an urgent care for kids might be the best option. These facilities treat your child when you need it—on evenings and weekends—and how you need it—with special consideration for his or her needs.