A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Navigating care for your child

A cold, fever, scrape or burn can be unpleasant for children and stressful for parents. Knowing when to call your child’s pediatrician and how soon to seek same-day care with your child’s pediatrician, via telehealth, at urgent care or at the emergency department can be a difficult decision.

Navigating care for your child doesn’t have to be difficult. Through several care options, it’s easy to get the care your child needs when they need it most.

Same-day appointments and walk-in care available for immediate needs

“For immediate health concerns, same-day appointments with your child’s pediatrician or another provider are often available at several of our Marshfield Children’s locations,” said Dr. Robert Bullwinkel, pediatrician with Marshfield Children’s.

For health care needs that arise between scheduled visits, such as minor illnesses or injuries, same-day appointments are offered during regular clinic hours.

Children will be seen by a pediatrician in the pediatric departments. To avoid the wait, it’s recommended you call ahead for same-day care.

Mom seeking care for her child and holding his hand

Through several care options, it’s easy to get the care your child needs when they need it most.

The Nurse Line can help coordinate care and answer questions

For convenient care without leaving home or work, the Nurse Line will connect you with a registered nurse who can help answer your health care questions. If you are unsure if you need to make an appointment with your child’s provider, have your child seen immediately or what you can do for your condition, the Nurse Line can direct you.

Call the 24-hour Nurse Line, available seven days a week, at 1-800-549-3174 to connect with a nurse who can help answer your health care questions.

Care My Way is available via phone and web for common illnesses

Through Care My Way, a nurse practitioner can help answer questions, verify symptoms and prescribe medications for common or minor health conditions. No appointment is needed.

Conditions that can be treated through Care My Way include head lice, influenza, whooping cough exposure, pink eye, sinus infection and strep throat.

Call 844-CAREWAY (844-227-3929) to connect by phone, or try a virtual visit by downloading the app.

Seek urgent or emergency care for children with illnesses or injuries requiring immediate medical attention

Urgent care is for children with injuries and illnesses that need care fast, but are not life-threatening. This includes allergic reactions, broken bones, mild fevers and rashes.

Emergency care is for serious medical conditions when delaying care could cause permanent harm or death. This includes eye injuries, high fevers, loss of consciousness, seizures, severe burns, severe head injuries and traumatic injuries.

When in doubt, talk to your child’s provider to help navigate care

“If you’re concerned about your child’s health, call or message their provider, or schedule an appointment,” Dr. Bullwinkel said. “Your provider can help advise on next steps if you’re not sure whether an appointment is needed. This includes treating symptoms or recommending a more urgent care option.”

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