High Number of Children Pay Visits to Local Emergency Rooms

Jan 10, 2013

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is seeing a record number of children in its emergency rooms.

Credit cdc.gov

In the month of December, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta saw close to 25,000 patients in its three emergency rooms. That’s about 8,000 more patients than they saw the previous December. Dr. Jim Fortenberry is Pediatrician in Chief for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He says the volume is higher this year due to the combination of the flu and various viral infections.

“We know the rhinovirus, the common cold virus, it may be a viral strain out there that’s more likely to cause wheezing than the typical common cold strain, but certainly the early arrival of flu has altered things.”

So what should parents do if their children are experiencing symptoms of the flu or other viral infections?

“The best thing you can do is to keep your child at home, give them plenty of rest, lots of liquids, a little bit of TLC, tender loving care. If you have questions or concerns contact your pediatrician.”

Aaccording to Fortenberry, children with wheezing generally need to be seen by a pediatrician.

He also says your child should go to the emergency room if they’re having significant trouble breathing, they’re difficult to arouse or they’re unable to keep fluids down after vomiting. Parents can also visit the hospital system’s website for information on the flu and how to get children vaccinated.