How do I know if I should take my child to the emergency room or urgent care?

mom holding daughter with an injured hand

It’s springtime, which means the flowers are blooming, the weather is warming up, and kids are spending more time in the great outdoors. Enjoying the outdoors, soaking in the sun, and being more active often comes with more cuts and scrapes, falls, and possible broken bones. 

While some injuries can be managed at home, there are others that require immediate attention—many of which can be handled right here in your pediatrician’s office. Knowing how we can help in these situations can help you avoid unnecessary trips and higher co-pays that come with the emergency room or urgent care.

When should I take my child to the pediatrician?

Our office can see you for any of the following concerns:

(Please note, this isn’t a comprehensive list)


  • Earache, Headache, Sinus Infection
  • Sore Throat/Strep Throat
  • Cough/Congestion
  • Influenza, Covid, RSV, Croup
  • Pink Eye/Eye Infection
  • Fever (unless in a baby less than 30 days, in which case you should go to the ER)
  • Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea (unless concerned about excessive dehydration)
  • Urinary Tract Infections


  • Eczema
  • Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease
  • Boils, Skin Infections, Open Sores
  • Allergic Reaction (unless there is any difficulty breathing)


  • Sprains, Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Fracture (unless there is a protruding bone or deformed bone, in which case, go to the ER)
  • Laceration
  • Concussion (as long as no persistent vomiting, seizures, or altered mental status)
  • Superficial burns

Mental Health Issues:

  • Suicidal Thoughts or Self Harm (as long as the child is safe and is being constantly monitored until able to be seen in the office)
  • Ongoing management of ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, or other Behavioral Issues


  • Back Pain
  • Seasonal Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Nose Bleeds
  • Irregular Periods
  • Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Convenient Online Scheduling for Urgent Care Appointments

When you have a sick or injured child, the last thing you want to do is wait in a waiting room. Your time is precious, and we’re dedicated to making your child’s healthcare as convenient as possible! 

Our online scheduling makes it convenient to make a same-day appointment, so you don’t have to wait. 


Evenings and Weekend Appointments Available

Our family-focused care makes it possible to get your child into the pediatrician after a long work day, late at night, or on the weekend. Our Layton office is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to midnight, so you can get your child in, day or night. If you’re concerned, don’t hesitate to call us. 

Even after hours, our nurse on-call can help you know the best course of action to take for a variety of different injuries/illnesses.


When should I take my child to the ER?

Go to the Emergency Room or call 911 if:

  • Protruding or deformed bone
  • Fever greater than 100.4 F in a baby <30 days of age
  • Seizure
  • Burns involving a large area of the body
  • Attempts of self-harm
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Lethargy (hard time waking up the baby or child)
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Swallowed batteries, magnets
  • Bluish or gray lips, tongue, or face or other signs of difficulty breathing

If you’re still unsure if you need to take your child to the ER or to urgent care, call our office first at 801.773.8644. We can discuss the situation with you and provide you with the best plan of care.


sick kid in bed and worried mom is calling the doc

Get Help, Today.

When you’re worried, you don’t want to wait. Book a same-day sick visit.