It doesn’t matter whether you’re a child or an adult; going to the emergency room for any reason can be a stressful experience. But the fact remains that emergency rooms see millions of patients every year. In fact, approximately 25.5 million children under the age of 18 are taken to the emergency room annually.
Wholly 75% of children’s most recent visits to the ER were either at night or during a weekend. This percentage remained the same regardless of health insurance coverage. Of those visits, approximately two-thirds were a result of reasons that reflected the severity of a specific medical issue.
The most common reason for children’s most recent ER visit was overwhelmingly “the doctor’s office wasn’t open.” This was the reason given in 86% of cases. Among children, six out of the top 10 reasons for ER visits included injuries such as bruises, open wounds, sprains and strains, broken limbs, and other injuries caused by external trauma.
Concussions are another common reason children end up in the ER. Athletes from ages 12 to 15 make up approximately 47% of sports related concussions seen in the emergency room. According to a recent study released by Safe Kids Worldwide, every 25 seconds, a young athlete suffers an injury severe enough to warrant a visit to the ER. That’s almost 1.35 million injuries a year.
But sometimes the emergency room isn’t enough and children are admitted to the hospital. Four out of 10 of the most common conditions for which children are admitted to the hospital include those such as pneumonia, asthma, acute bronchitis, and other issues affecting the respiratory system.
A recent study by Truven Health Analytics revealed that infants under 12 months of age had the highest percentage of non-emergency visits, coming in at 82%. An injury can be scary and stressful as a child, but fortunately the ER is there to help after regular office hours.