Medical emergency in childcare: what you should know

children’s pediatrics office in Bakersfield

The health of your children will always be paramount in your mind. You want them to be healthy and safe as any good parent would. But the thought of a sudden medical emergency affecting your child can be the scariest thought in the world. But the key here is not to panic and ensure that you are prepared. Here is what you need to know about facing a medical emergency in childcare.

What is a medical emergency?

A medical emergency can be any kind of situation where you believe that a severe illness or injury could cause permanent or worse harm to your child. Obviously, this is a pretty broad definition so here are some examples that you should be vigilant to spot:

  • Large cuts or wounds
  • Profuse bleeding that doesn't stop even when put under pressure for 5 minutes
  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe or worsening pain
  • Unconsciousness
  • Large burns or burns that affect areas like the face, hands and feet
  • Seizures
  • Blue, purple, or grey looking skin or lips
  • Severe or long-lasting fevers
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Rash, skin peeling, and low blood pressure (symptoms of toxic shock syndrome in a child)

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What to do in the case of an emergency?

  • It’s important to act decisively but calmly in the case of a medical emergency. Here are some of the most important steps to take:

  • If your child is unresponsive, begin CPR and rescue breaths if your child isn’t breathing.
  • Call 911 or your local emergency ambulance service.In cases of bleeding, apply continuous pressure to the affected area with a clean cloth.

  • Avoid moving your child unless in immediate danger (like a fire).

  • Place your child on the floor with her head and body turned to the side if they are having a seizure. Keep their mouth clear of any blockages.

  • If your child takes any medications, be sure to bring it with you to the hospital so that the doctors treating your child are aware of it.

  • Remember to also tell all doctors treating your child the name of your child’s regular doctor so that they can get a full picture of your child’s medical history.

Being prepared for an emergency

There are some things that you can do to ensure that you are always prepared in case your child is involved in a medical emergency. You should always have a phone with you and know how to call 911 (or your local emergency equivalent). Learning basic first aid is a very useful skill to have in emergency settings and is highly recommended for parents to know. Finally, having an Emergency Information Form can help any emergency doctor understand the best way to treat your child and avoid any complications.


The last thing that you want to think about is your child is in an emergency medical situation. But as terrible as the thought may be, it’s important that you are ready if the situation arises. If you follow the above steps and advice, you can help protect your child if they ever get into this situation.

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