We live a few blocks from a hospital, so I was surprised when our paediatrician told me — sitting in the office with a new baby — that if our little one ever had to go to the emergency room, in most cases we should pass it right up and drive down to Children’s. For a serious stop-the-bleeding type emergency, they told us closer is better, but anytime you have the choice it’s best to find an ER that knows how to handle kids.
Pediatric-ready emergency departments have kid-sized versions of appropriate equipment and kid-sized doses of medications. The people who work there are also likely to be better at recognising symptoms and complications that appear differently in children than adults.
The American Academy of Pediatrics found that children have a better chance of survival when they are treated in a pediatric-ready ER than one that isn’t as well prepared for treating children.