NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Sometimes it's tough to decide when to take kids to the emergency room or just to an urgent care facility.

If your child needs to be seen right away, it is important he or she is evaluated by a pediatric physician.

But how should a parent decide when they need to take their children to an emergency department vs another healthcare facility?

"The most important advice I would give parents is to strongly consider going to a center that is staffed by medical providers who are experts in pediatric condition where you are going to get professionals who spend their entire day examining, diagnosing, and treating children just like yours, in a child-friendly atmosphere," said CHKD's Emergency Department Dr. Paul Mullan.

The Children's Hospital of Kings Daughters provides the only free-standing Pediatric Emergency Department Trauma Center in Virginia.

Dr. Mullan says there are several benefits to taking your child to a pediatric emergency doctor:

  • Pediatricians are trained to deliver care that is effective, family-centered, and safe for children and adolescents
  • Equipment is child-size and our facility is warm and child-friendly, to help ease fear and discomfort
  • The expertise can also help you to avoid unnecessary, expensive tests
  • There are more physicians who are board certified in pediatric emergency medicine than any other emergency department in Virginia.
  • The only free-standing children’s hospital in Virginia with a Level 1 Trauma Center, which is the highest level of trauma care available for children
  • The offices are staffed with a team of pediatric-trained physicians, surgeons, specialists, nurses, and other staff who will provide the right care at the right time

Click here to learn more.