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​Wintertime is prime sick day season, so it’s likely your kiddos may have to stay home from school sometime soon. If and when they fall ill, your family may find yourselves in need of fast and reliable medical treatment to protect everyone’s health. But while you might think your personal physician or pediatrician will be able to help with that, you might find it tough to even get in.

Same-Day Appointments Are Hard To Come By

There’s data to back this up. The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll found that in 2017, around 89% of parents initially attempted to make a doctor’s appointment for their child who woke up sick. Of those 89%, only 53% were confident they’d be seen by their doctor that day. It’s no surprise, then, that 40% of parents ended up pursuing alternatives like urgent medical services at walk in clinics in their area.

Parents May Need Extended Hours For Care

It can be a feat to secure an appointment with your family doctor. But even if you do manage to get your child in to see their pediatrician, you may have to take a sick day of your own just to ensure they can get care. Most family medicine providers won’t be able to accommodate early-morning or evening appointments, which means that parents often have to miss work in the process. But by going to a local medical clinic for urgent medical services, your family can receive care at a time that works for you. Whether it’s during an afternoon break, after dinner, or even late at night (in many cases), you can still seek out high-quality care for your kids when you need it.

Families Need Affordable And Convenient Options

Let’s face it: urgent medical services can be costly, in terms of both time and money. You probably don’t have time to run around to multiple locations and wait for hours on-end, nor can you afford exorbitant costs. If you choose to go a hospital ER instead of your doctor’s office, you may face both of these. And even at your pediatrician’s, you may have to wait a long time for an actual appointment. But in 2011, the average urgent care center saw 342 patients per week, and around 60% of all urgent care centers have wait times of 15 minutes or less. With around 9,300 walk in clinics currently in the U.S. and 50-100 opening every year, there’s likely one that’s close to you and that has short wait times. Finally, urgent care is quite affordable, especially if you have health insurance. The majority of patients do use their health insurance to help keep the cost of urgent medical services relatively low.

So if your child falls ill this year and you can’t secure an appointment with your family doctor, don’t panic. There are plenty of reasons to head to your local urgent care clinic for high-quality, convenient care.