Your child’s illness or injury may not be convenient, but seeking treatment can be.

As a parent, you know all too well that your child may experience an illness or injury that needs attention in the evening, on the weekend or during a holiday, when your pediatrician’s office is closed. And in the past your options for quick care may have been rather limited—consisting of a trek to the emergency room or the closest urgent care center. Another option is growing in popularity, however, when it comes to your child’s non-emergency illness or injury.

“Pediatric convenient care is meant to be an extension of a pediatrician’s office,” says Cheryl Grave, RN, CNP, manager, pediatric nurse practitioner at St. Louis Children’s Hospital After Hours™. “You can drop in and see a pediatric specialist without a long wait.”

Convenient care centers were created out of necessity for conditions that are nonlife-threatening, such as a cold or flu, pinkeye, sinus infections, allergies, ear infections, urinary tract infections (UTI), and minor injuries like rashes, sprains and strains.

“It’s important to offer care that is tailored to meet the needs of children because they are not just mini-adults,” Grave says. “For instance, a UTI in a child is much different than it is in adults. It requires different antibiotic choices, and pediatric specialists are the most up-to-date on best treatment options to ensure kids receive the highest quality of care.”

Nurse practitioners and pediatric nurses at convenient care clinics can perform examinations, write prescriptions and complete minor procedures, such as closing wounds with surgical glues.

“After a visit to a convenient care center, it’s important to follow up with your child’s primary care provider,” Grave says. “At After Hours, we will also help schedule follow-up appointments with a child’s pediatrician when necessary.”

St. Louis Children’s Hospital After Hours opens December 11, 2017, in south St. Louis County.


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