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Parents: Know when to call 911

As a parent, you know to dial 911 for your child in a medical emergency. But when should you make that call? Trust your instincts—call anytime you think your child needs immediate treatment. If you're not sure, remember these signs of a medical emergency.

Signs of a medical emergency

Vomiting, strange behaviors or passing out after a head injury.

Bleeding that does not stop.


Passing out.

Severe trouble breathing.

Vomiting up blood.

Pain that is severe or gets worse.

Severe burns.

Sudden spreading rash with red or purple spots.

A stiff neck along with headache and fever.

A neck or spine injury.

Evidence of dehydration, such as sunken eyes, no tears when crying, no wet diapers or urine, or feeling very tired.

Possible poisoning (call the Poison Control hotline first at 800.222.1222).

Sources: American Academy of Family Physicians; American Academy of Pediatrics

Reviewed 1/20/2023



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