Common Questions About Pediatric Emergency Care

Parents need to know what type of emergency care is available for their children if they become acutely ill or injured. Sergey Kunkov, MD, Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department (ED) at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, provides some important information about pediatric emergency care. 

What should I do if I think my child needs emergency care?

If your child needs urgent medical care you should go immediately to your nearest Pediatric Emergency Department. If you can’t safely transport your child to the hospital, call 911 without delay. For general guidelines about when you should seek emergency care, see the box at the far right of this page.  

How do I choose an ED for my child?

It is important to know where you will bring your child for care if an emergency occurs. In general, you want to go to an emergency department equipped and staffed for children’s needs with ED doctors and nurses trained in pediatric emergency care. Make sure the imaging devices and sedation doses are geared for children. Find out if there are pediatric specialists and sub-specialists on staff.  

Why is it important to go to a Pediatric ED?

A pediatric emergency department provides care by specially trained, board-certified doctors who specialize in pediatric emergency medicine. This means that they know how to recognize and treat emergencies in children. If your child comes to Stony Brook Children’s Pediatric ED, you will have access to child- and family-centered resources to provide you with optimal care. We understand that children are not small adults and they need special skill and care. Whatever injury or illness brings your child to our ED, our pediatric emergency medicine-trained physicians, acute care pediatricians and pediatric nurses know how to help immediately. If your child needs an imaging study, our x-rays and advanced imaging technologies are designed to reduce radiation exposure. For children who need sedation for procedures (or to stay still for an MRI or CT scan), we know exactly what medication doses are safe and effective.  

What is unique about Stony Brook's Pediatric ED?

Because we are child-focused, we are committed to a concept we call “ouchless medicine.” We do  everything we can to reduce or eliminate pain. Our approach includes things like numbing cream for IVs, shots and blood draws; intranasal spray medicines for pain; partnering with our Child Life Services Department to use distracting techniques; allowing parents to be with their child at all times, even during procedures; and treating pain as soon as it arises. Ouchless medicine is not only good for the child, it also allows us to perform a meaningful exam so we can begin appropriate treatment as quickly as possible. In addition, Stony Brook Children’s provides access to more than 160 pediatric specialists and a program designed for children. If your child needs to be admitted to the hospital, he or she will be cared for by a team of pediatric specialists and sub-specialists. These specialists are available 24/7, along with in-house Pediatric Sergey Kunkov, MD Director, Pediatric Emergency Department SHARING THE BE T IDEAS IN MEDICINE FOR KIDS Intensive Care Unit physicians who ensure that your child receives the same high-level care in the middle of the night as in the middle of the workday. In Suffolk County, Stony Brook Children’s is the only hospital to have this level of specialized care in-house around the clock. 

For more information about Stony Brook Children’s, call (631) 444-KIDS

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All health and health-related information contained in this article is intended to be general and/or educational in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a healthcare professional for help, diagnosis, guidance, and treatment. The information is intended to offer only general information for individuals to discuss with their healthcare provider. It is not intended to constitute a medical diagnosis or treatment or endorsement of any particular test, treatment, procedure, service, etc. Reliance on information provided is at the user's risk. Your healthcare provider should be consulted regarding matters concerning the medical condition, treatment, and needs of you and your family. Stony Brook University/SUNY is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.