- Dr. Hicks
Kids are prone to injuries, how can I tell if the injury is bad enough to go to urgent care?
If swelling and pain symptoms from an injury do not improve, consider a trip to an urgent care center. It can be difficult to tell a sprain or strain from a break without an x-ray. A good guideline is if you cannot bear weight enough to take 4 steps, you need an x-ray. For upper extremity injuries if there is any deformity, an x-ray is needed. If there is tenderness of a bone, as opposed to muscle or other soft tissue, or if there is loss of normal function, an x-ray is needed. The risk of a fracture is increased in those under 12 and over 55. If there is a fracture, the main risks of waiting a day or two are that bone fragments that were properly aligned may become displaced and further injury could occur. A broken bone will not start to heal in one or two days, so there is no risk then of having to re-break it, but it will after a week or two. Accredited and Certified Urgent care facilities such as Yubadocs are required to have x-ray equipment on-site. Treatment varies and some injuries can be managed from start to finish at an urgent care center, while others require referral to a specialist for possible surgery.