When to go: Pediatric Urgent Care Vs. the Emergency Room

Dec 4, 2019
When your child is sick after hours, and your regular pediatrician isn’t available, what do you do?  Do you take them to the Emergency Room, or to urgent care?  The answer for me is PM Pediatrics Urgent care, and we have used them three times this last month!  This post has affiliate, commissioned links, and by reading beyond this point you are agreeing to their use, and our updated privacy policy found here.

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For years, we have been taking our kids locally to Kindermender, which was recently purchased by PM Pediatrics.  That’s why when they contacted me about writing a sponsored post, I was thrilled.  In addition to the local staff that we love, they have also added in-house labs, an x-ray machine, and expanded hours.

You can see my video tour of the clinic, here.

I hate taking my kids to the emergency room for less than life-threatening injury or illness.  There are so many awful germs, and the wait time is often outrageous, and frankly, the hospital doesn't want me there either.  The bonus of PM pediatrics is that the staff are specially trained for pediatrics.

That means the blood pressure cuffs, the lab facilities, even the scales and the room design are specifically for kids.  The doctors on staff are pediatric emergency room doctors, so they are qualified to tell you if you need to head to the ER, or they can treat it in house.

My pediatrician, as much as I love her, isn’t often available for sick visits.  And, if the kids get sick after 4 pm, I can forget about taking them in for an office visit.  With little ones, you know this happens ALL THE TIME.

Kids wake up from an afternoon nap with an ear infection.  Or in my case last week, I brought my littlest one home from school.  Within an hour of dismissal, she had a fever, and all of the symptoms of strep.

My husband drove her over to PM Pediatrics, and they were in an exam room within an hour.  They even have an electronic health record, and a wait list sign in online.  Once you are a patient, you have the ability to get in line while you are on your way.  Amazing.

When treating children, it’s important that they are comfortable, so the adorably decorated care clinics, and the murals on the wall made her relax.  Even though she felt terrible.

Next up:  my oldest.  She woke up on the morning of my son’s birthday party with a yucky sore throat, and a slight fever.  We drove right over to PM Peds, and within the hour had a strep diagnosis.  (They often have the ability to give you the first dose of antibiotics in the clinic if your pharmacy is closed.)

And finally with the strep: my son.  Just a few days after Clara (my oldest) was diagnosed, he was complaining of a tummy ache.

There were no other symptoms, but I remembered that strep can show up as a stomach ache.  Guess what? You guessed it-strep.

At least it didn’t take long to figure it out!  At this point, I am feeling cursed by the strep gods, but really thankful to have a quality care pediatric clinic nearby.  PM Pediatrics is all over the US, so chances are there is one near you.  You can check the locations here...


When to go to pediatric urgent care vs the emergency room, pediatric urgent care, injury or illness,
You guessed it.  Strep for him too.  Always on a Saturday.

Health care for kids isn’t limited to business hours.  No kidding, right?  Kids always get sick at the most inconvenient times.  PM Pediatrics is open 7 days a week until midnight.

They are even open on Christmas, when my two oldest decided that we needed to get the croup.  That is a true story, in case you couldn’t tell.  Ha!

When to go to pediatric urgent care vs the emergency room, pediatric urgent care, injury or illness,
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