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Because childhood should be simple ...

Are you prepared?Medical emergencies

Childhood should be simple, but sometimes things get complicated. When, and even before that happens, we're here to help.

Need emergency attention right now? Please call 9-1-1

Poisoning? Don't wait. Please call 1-800-222-1222

If you have children, you will likely experience a medical emergency at some point in time. So it's a good idea to have an action plan ready. Following are tips and tools to help you take the appropriate action.

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When to call Poison Control

If you think your child has swallowed anything poisonous, or touched something poisonous, you should immediately call poison control. Don't wait for the victim to look or feel sick. Do not try to treat the person yourself, this could result in even more serious damage.

Accidental poisoning includes:

Print Cook Children's poison prevention sheet here.

Helpful links:

When to call 9-1-1

If your child is unconscious, a bone is sticking out or the situation seems critical, dial 9-1-1 immediately for an ambulance. When your child's condition is life threatening or might cause permanent harm, it is safer for your child to be transported via ambulance.

If you are calling 9-1-1 from a cell phone be prepared to tell them your location and address.

Injuries or accidents that may result in a trip to the emergency room:

Should I go to emergency or urgent care?


If your child is ill or injured, the following signs may suggest the need for emergency care:

Urgent care

Sometimes things happen when you just can't get to your pediatrician's office. Cook Children's urgent care centers are available to treat injuries and illnesses that don't need to be seen by an emergency department, but do need to be seen by a pediatrician.  Here you can get things like X-rays, stitches, and care for minor injuries that aren't life threatening yet require medical attention the same day.

Important numbers

Always keep important numbers handy so you can access them easily in an emergency. Keep them by every phone in your house and either on your refrigerator or message center. Show your children, baby-sitters, caregivers and other family members where they are so they can access them too.

Your contact sheet should include:

Emergency: 9-1-1

Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222

Urgent care:

Emergency information:

Family information:

Know what to do in an emergency

Have a first-aid kit

Having a first-aid kit can help you in both minor and major emergencies. You can purchase a first-aid at most drugstores. You can also make your own. Simply download our printable list.

Once you have your first-aid kit, be sure to do the following:

You may also want a travel first-aid kit for your car and for trips. If you're flying, be sure to pack your kit in checked baggage. First-aid kits aren't allowed in carry-ons.

Learn CPR

Taking a basic CPR course could be the best time you'll ever spend. If your child stops breathing, is choking, or is having a seizure, this knowledge could quite possibly be life-saving. Cook Children's offers courses on a regular basis. To register for one, click here now. You can also find a course near you through the American Heart Association.

Choosing a pediatric emergency department

Adult hospitals are great, for adults. But kids have very special needs. Pediatric emergency departments are staffed by emergency medical specialists who have advanced training in pediatric emergencies.

Cook Children's emergency department isn't just kid friendly, it's kid only. We're here 24/7 for kids from birth to 21 years of age.

Our pediatric specialists are not only among the best in emergency medicine, they are among the most skilled when it comes to taking care of kids. Cook Children's emergency doctors have advanced training in pediatric emergency medicine so they understand that kids are not small adults. Children are constantly growing and changing and they have very different needs.  Here at Cook Children's, emergency-medicine doctors and nurses are here to do the most important thing in an emergency, take care of your child every step of the way.

In a pediatric emergency department, imaging technologies and surgical centers are equipped with child-sized tools. And when you consider how many sizes kids come in, from birth to 21, that's a lot of sizes.

The same thing is true for medications, including sedatives. Having a pediatric emergency medical team is an added layer of safety for your child. And comfort for you.

Our support staff understands kids and families. Child Life specialists are help ease a child's fears Cook Children's Social Services team can help you navigate everything from your child's ongoing health care needs to physical, emotional and financial stress.

Prepare a family medical planner

At Cook Children's, we believe childhood should be simple. And so should keeping track of your child's medical history and needs. Our family medical planner was created by families for families.

It can be both a timesaver and a life saver.

Take your Cook Children's Family Medical Planner when you visit your pediatrician, pediatric specialists, urgent and emergency care doctors.

It's also great for school information, baby-sitters and other caregivers.

From that very first newborn checkup, to immunizations, and even complex illnesses, our family medical planner will help you stay organized and keep all of your child's medical information at your fingertips. Because after all, we think parenthood should be simple too.

At Cook Children's, we want you to have all the information you need at your fingertips. So, with the help of families, we created a family medical planner to help you keep your child's health information in one place and up to date.

Cook Children's is here for all of your child's needs

Before, during and after an emergency, Cook Children's complete network is here to support your child. Our pediatricians provide superb ongoing primary care for your child.

We also offer a growing number of urgent care locationsnationally recognized specialties, brilliant medical minds and some of the most incredible medical technology available anywhere in the world. And because your child's medical history follows them, you can count on consistent care no matter where they go in our network.

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