Pediatricians: Don't use urgent cares for routine issues

Taking your child to an urgent care may be easier than trying to schedule a visit at the pediatrician’s office but it’s not something parents should make a habit of, the American Academy of Pediatricians warns.

The organization recently affirmed its position that the “ideal location for children to receive care for acute, nonemergency health concerns is at a pediatrician’s office or similar ‘medical home’ that offers continuous, comprehensive and coordinated care.”

The recommendation relates to concerns that treatment at urgent-care facilities, retail-based clinics or commercial telemedicine services may fall “short of evidence-based medical standards,” according to a statement on the AAP’s website at healthychildren.org/english/news/pages/aap-best-care-for-children-remains-at-the-pediatricians-office.aspx.

An article in the May issue of Pediatrics details potential issues that can occur when parents use services outside their pediatrician’s office, such as treatment that is not consistent with pediatric best practices, fragmentation of care and lack of access to the child’s complete medical and social history. Read the full article at pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/04/20/peds.2017-0629.

Don’t have a pediatrician? Check out tips to help find one at healthychildren.org/english/ages-stages/prenatal/decisions-to-make/pages/finding-a-pediatrician.aspx.