Report about parent confidence in getting same-day care for sick child gathers national attention

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March 24, 2017

Getting same-day care for a sick child can often be a challenge for parents. This month’s Mott Poll report highlighted the experiences of parents with trying to get same-day care for their sick children, whether it be advice over phone or email or an office visit. National media outlets have joined in the conversation about the report results. Here’s a look at what people are saying.

Office visit alternatives

About 4 in 10 parents in the Mott Poll will take their child to an urgent care, retail clinic or emergency department if they wake up with a sore throat and fever. These alternative sources of care were the focus of a HealthDay article: Parents don’t always head to child’s doctor when illness strikes. Reporter Robert Preidt discussed parents’ decision to choose different places to obtain health care if their child wakes up with a sore throat and fever. Mott Poll co-director Dr. Gary Freed said, “While these services may seem convenient, parents should recognize that these providers may not be familiar with their child’s medical history and insurance coverage may be limited.”

Likelihood of getting a same-day visit

About half of parents in the Mott Poll (53%) are confident they can actually get a same-day appointment with their child’s provider if their child wakes up sick. This was the focus of an article by Anisa Arsenault in The Bump: Trying to get a same-day visit with your pediatrician? Read this first. Arsenault highlighted the challenges parents face when trying to see their child’s doctor for unexpected health issues. Same-day appointments can be hard to come by. But Arsenault points out alternative same-day care, noting that 60% of parents in the Mott Poll said they were very confident they can get phone advice the same day, so this may be a good alternative for parents who aren’t able to get their child into their regular provider on the same day of an illness.

Pediatricians offer their advice

Two pediatricians at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Dr. Kelly Orringer and Dr. Sharon Kileny, shared some information for parents to help ease the process of getting same-day care in a Michigan Health blog post: Your pediatrician vs. urgent care: What do to when your child is sick. Dr. Orringer emphasized that the pediatrician’s office should be the first destination in mind. Even if you’re not able to secure an appointment, you should be able to get advice from a doctor or pediatric nurse. Dr. Kileny encouraged parents to avoid hospitals, unless their symptoms are life-threatening. “You’re going to be the last one to be triaged, and your child will be exposed to a lot more communicable illnesses.”

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