With the rise of urgent care centers and after hours clinics, it can seem like an easy decision to get your baby, child or young adult seen any time they are sick, even when we aren’t open.
Those types of clinics are best reserved for the times that your child needs urgent or emergency care and not just because it is convenient.
The emergency room is for emergencies–a life-threatening illness or injury that can’t wait for a trip to the doctor’s office. But what about walk-in clinics popping up inside drug stores and shopping centers and big box stores? Is it ever acceptable to go to a walk-in for relatively minor health complaints like earaches and sore throats?
Certainly, these clinics can be helpful, especially if you are away from home or an illness occurs after hours. But just like the ER, they don’t meet the definition of a medical home, and for the health of your child, you should think twice about using them routinely. In the long run, you may not save time seeing someone who doesn’t really know your child and isn’t a pediatrician.
Remember that you can always call our office for after hours advice.