One of the hallmarks of being a good parent is being informed about things you may not have known about before your children were born. Young children are at a point where they are constantly learning and absorbing new information; but it’s amazing how much information parents also have to learn and absorb in order to give their child the best care and opportunities possible.
Urgent care centers have popped up all over the country and given families a popular new option for convenient medical care. In situations where any injury or illness is not life-threatening, urgent care centers are hugely useful. The ability to simply walk in without an appointment, and after a few minutes receive a consultation with a highly qualified medical professional, is something toward which people are naturally going to gravitate. It represents efficiency and convenience in a busy world.
Parents naturally have questions about urgent care, particularly as it relates to the pediatric medical needs of their children. Specifically, they want to know whether urgent care centers can provide the same level of care as a pediatrician. Is it really necessary to continue visiting a pediatrician, with long wait times and difficult scheduling? Or can urgent care centers fulfill your child’s medical requirements?
The short answer is no. Urgent care centers, even when staffed by physicians and other highly trained medical professionals, are not in effective replacement for pediatrics or regular appointments with your pediatrician.
The disadvantage of urgent care is that you may see a different medical professional every time you visit, depending on the time of day or the nature of the illness or injury. Pediatrics is about establishing a ongoing connection and familiarity between the child, parents, and a physician who specializes in children. This enables a more detailed process of tracking and understanding the child’s overall health, including any special or unique challenges that have come up or possibly will come up in the future.
Pediatric care is something every parent should continue with until the child is grown. In some cases, families use a family doctor for this purpose, and ultimately this comes down to your locality and your style of parenting. But it is highly recommended to maintain a relationship with a quality pediatrician who will understand your child’s unique physical constitution as he or she enters these crucial years of development.
Urgent care, on the other hand, is there for you when you need it. Life is full of surprises and sometimes mishaps, and it’s just not practical for the average family to wait for hours every time medical treatment is needed. Your local urgent care center is the place you should feel comfortable visiting. You should feel as though you can walk right in the door and walk out again in a matter of minutes with your solution or treatment. Things like cuts, scrapes, broken bones, ear infections, Influenza, and many other common illnesses and injuries can be effectively treated at your local urgent care center. For more comprehensive understanding of your child’s health, a pediatrician is any sensual resource. And of course for any medical emergencies that could possibly be life-threatening, bypass urgent care and head straight for the emergency department.