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When to Call an Ambulance for Your Toddler

Update Date: Sep 30, 2019 11:05 PM EDT
When to Call an Ambulance for Your Toddler
(Photo : rawpixel)

Toddlers often get hurt - they're still not great at walking, and they tend to bump into things or fall down, often resulting in bruises and scrapes. Toddlers also can get sick frequently until their immune systems build up strength.

Fortunately, most of these injuries and illnesses won't require serious medical attention. But it's important for parents to be aware of their child's well-being and know when to seek medical attention. So when should parents call an ambulance for their toddler?

Difficulty breathing or chest pain

When a child is having difficulty breathing or is experiencing chest pain, you should act quickly. A child might have trouble breathing because of an obstructed airways or allergic reactions. Chest pain could also have many causes, including heart conditions, lung conditions, and even joint or muscle problems. Because it can be difficult to determine what is causing a child's chest pain or difficulty breathing, it's important to seek medical attention immediately. These could be life-threatening conditions.

Changes in behavior

Toddlers can often be silly or sleepy and express a wide range of emotions - but if you notice a serious change in behavior or mental status, it could mean something is wrong. If a toddler has become unresponsive and won't answer or acknowledge someone talking to them, expresses confusion regarding where they are or who they're with, or they're unusually tired, parents should call emergency medical services. An ingestion of a toxic substance, an undiagnosed disorder, or even an unnoticed head injury could all result in changes in behavior.

Wounds that won't stop bleeding

Anyone can sustain a cut pretty easily. And fortunately, most cuts require a bandage at most. But if a toddler has gotten a wound, especially a deep one, that won't stop bleeding, you should seek professional help. Parents should keep pressure on any wounds that are bleeding fairly heavily, but if the bleeding doesn't seem to be slowing down, the wound may need stitches. If a cut isn't stitched up in time, the child might experience massive blood loss - so parents shouldn't wait long to see whether the bleeding will eventually stop.

Severe dehydration

People need enough fluids daily to stay hydrated. But if a toddler doesn't get enough fluids, they can get sick quickly. Dehydration can result in headaches and extreme fatigue. A toddler can become easily dehydrated if they're vomiting frequently and can't keep fluids down. Children who have been unable to ingest fluids and seem dizzy, tired, unable to urinate, or have chapped lips may be dehydrated and need medical attention.

Blood in vomit or stool

It's normal for scrapes and cuts to bleed, but if your little one is vomiting up blood or has blood in their stool, they need to see a medical professional immediately. There could be a variety of causes, but blood in vomit or stool is commonly a result of stomach infections, kidney problems, food poisoning, irritation in the stomach, tumors, or lesions. All of these problems require medical attention, so if you notice blood in your toddler's vomit or stool, call an ambulance right away.

When someone is wrong with your child, it can be very scary - especially when it's one of these medical problems. But it's important for parents to focus on getting their child the medical help they need. This is why parents should have health insurance that offers an Ambulance cover so that when something is wrong, they can call for medical help without having to worry. 

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