When to seek emergency care

Seek emergency care for:

  • Bleeding that can't be stopped
  • Poisoning
  • Seizures
  • Increasing difficulty breathing
  • Head injuries
  • Unconsciousness or decreasing responsiveness
  • Large cuts or burns
  • Skin or lips that look blue, purple or gray
  • Increasing or severe persistent pain

Prepare for emergencies by asking your baby's doctor during a scheduled checkup what to do and where to go if your baby needs emergency care. Learn basic first aid, including CPR, and keep emergency phone numbers handy.

Be ready to answer questions

Whether you contact your baby's doctor or seek emergency care, be prepared to help the medical staff understand what's happening with your baby. Expect questions about:

  • Your baby's symptoms. What prompted you to seek medical attention for your baby? What are your specific concerns?
  • Your baby's medical history. Does your baby have any known allergies? Are your baby's immunizations current? Does your baby have any chronic conditions? Be prepared to share details about your pregnancy and the baby's birth.
  • Changes in your baby's feeding and bowel movements. Have you noticed changes in your baby's eating or drinking patterns, in the number of wet diapers, or in the number, volume or consistency of bowel movements?
  • Changes in your baby's temperature. Does your baby have a fever? What's your baby's temperature? How did you take your baby's temperature? At what time did you take your baby's temperature?
  • Home remedies and medications. Have you tried any home remedies or given your baby any over-the-counter or prescription medications? If so, what, how much and when?

Also, before you contact your baby's doctor, make sure you're prepared to jot down any instructions. Be sure to have your pharmacy's contact information ready, too.

Being prepared will save you and your baby's doctor time — and stress — during a phone call, office visit or emergency situation.

Feb. 08, 2014 See more In-depth