When To Call Emergency Medical Services (EMS)?

Call EMS if:

  • The child is unconscious, semi-conscious or unusually confused.
  • The child's airway is blocked.
  • The child is not breathing.
  • The child is having difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or is choking.
  • The child has no pulse.
  • The child has bleeding that won't stop.
  • The child is coughing up or vomiting blood.
  • The child has been poisoned
  • The child has a seizure for the first time or a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes.
  • The child has injuries to the head neck or back.
  • The child has sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body.
  • The child's condition is limb-threatening (for example, severe eye injuries, amputations or other injuries that may leave the child permanently disabled unless he/she receives immediate care.)
  • The child's condition could worsen or become life-threatening on the way to the hospital.
  • Moving the child could cause further injury.
  • The child needs the skills or equipment of paramedics or emergency medical technicians.
  • Distance or traffic conditions would cause a delay in getting the child to the hospital.

If any of the above conditions exist, or if you are not sure, it is best to call EMS.

Sources: American Red Cross & American College of Emergency Physicians