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Parents: What to bring to the emergency room

See inside the children’s emergency room

> A child-friendly atmosphere

Caring for children can be hectic. Those times when your child is sick or injured and needs medical care can be even more stressful – but being prepared can make this scary time less dramatic.

The providers at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois know that taking care of children means addressing more than just their physical and medical needs. They need to feel safe.

That’s why they created a children’s emergency room, separate from the area for adults, available 24 hours a day. It’s the only emergency department in Central Illinois specially designed for kids and families.

“Having an emergency department area just for children gives us the ability to focus on their unique needs in a safe, child-friendly environment,” said Dr. Teresa Riech, medical director of the pediatric emergency department.

Be prepared

While during a life-threatening situation, you should immediately call 9-1-1 and go directly to the nearest emergency room, some medical emergencies allow for a little bit of time to prepare for your trip to the hospital.

Consider bringing these things with you to the OSF Children’s Hospital emergency room:

  • Any medications your child takes. Please bring the written prescription (including dosage) or the medication bottle itself.
  • A favorite book or blanket. While toys and books are available in the OSF Children’s Hospital waiting room, a comforting piece of home – such as a doll or stuffed animal – can help children feel more at ease during their time in the hospital.
  • Pediatric nurse holding young girl patient's handA change of clothes and toothbrush, in case your stay at OSF Children’s Hospital is longer than expected. Pajamas can be a warm, comfortable option, and don’t forget extra diapers. (Don’t worry if you aren’t able to bring these items. OSF Children’s Hospital can provide care packages to families to cover these necessities.)
  • Chargers for your cell phone or tablet.
  • Insurance card. While no person is ever turned away from the emergency department or refused treatment based on insurance status or ability to pay, bringing your insurance card can simplify your registration process.
  • Photo ID. To protect each child’s privacy, parents and family members may be asked to show a photo ID when leaving or entering the emergency department.
  • Medical history, including allergies. Knowing if your child has any allergies, complex medical conditions or ongoing medical needs can help medical staff quickly make decisions to give them the best, most appropriate care.

About Author: Laura Nightengale

Laura Nightengale is a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. 

She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and worked as a reporter at a daily newspaper for five years before joining OSF HealthCare. 

When she’s not working, Laura loves to travel, read, and spend time with her family, including her sweet and ornery dog.

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Categories: Kids & Family