Pediatric emergency room (ER) at EIRMC

Pediatric emergency needs are unique. Equipment, procedures, treatments and even medications can be drastically different for young patients than they are for adults. At EIRMC’s pediatric emergency room (ER), we understand this and have the specialists and equipment required to treat your children as quickly and effectively as possible.

Additionally, at our pediatric ER, we won't keep you waiting — you'll quickly meet with specialists and find comfort in compassionate and competent care for your child.

If your child is experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

For more information about EIRMC’s pediatric ER or if you aren’t sure if your child needs care in the ER, call our free, 24/7 Consult-A-Nurse line at (208) 497-6167.

About EIRMC’s pediatric ER

The pediatric emergency room (ER) is isolated from our main ER and has an environment designed to comfort kids. Our highly trained pediatric specialists provide gentle, expert medical care for children 24/7.

EIRMC is the first and only hospital in Idaho to earn the "Expert" designation for Pediatric Care Readiness, the highest level from the state of Idaho Emergency Medical Services for Children Program (Idaho EMSC).

Our pediatric ER features:

  • Board-certified emergency medicine physicians and board-certified pediatric intensive care physicians to treat critically injured and ill children
  • Pediatric emergency care coordinator (PECC) involved in care
  • ER nurses trained in pediatric advanced life support and emergency nursing pediatric courses (not standard in most ERs)
  • Access to pediatric subspecialists specially trained in pediatric care
  • Advanced technology specially designed for children and young adults
  • Six dedicated pediatric rooms
  • 24-hour parental visitation encouraged
  • A pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), should hospitalization be necessary

When to bring your child to the ER

In general, if your child is inconsolable or their condition is severe, unrelenting or accompanied by bloody vomit, coughing or stool, seek emergency care. Additionally, if you think your child is having a life-threatening emergency or if they are not moving or are too weak to stand, call 911.

Here are some other signs and symptoms that may indicate you should seek emergency care for your child:

Abdominal pain, especially if the child has:

  • A compromised immune system
  • A distended (bulging outward) abdomen
  • A high fever (see "Fever" below)
  • Had a recent abdominal injury or surgery
  • Pain that radiates into the back
  • Seizures or fainting
  • Tenderness in the abdomen
  • Trouble rousing or no interest in eating or drinking

Changes in breathing, such as:

  • Breathing that is faster or slower than normal
  • Breathing harder than usual without exertion
  • Chest and abdomen are moving in a "see-saw" motion
  • Flaring the nostrils when breathing
  • High-pitched, squeaky or wheezing sound when breathing
  • Has retractions (the areas below the ribs, between the ribs and in the neck sink in with each attempt to inhale)
  • Persistent barking cough

Additionally, if your child develops a bluish hue to the lips or skin or if they have asthma and are experiencing concerning or unusual difficulty breathing, call 911.

Cough or sore throat accompanied by:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • High fever (see "Fever" below)
  • Inability to open the mouth all the way
  • Inability to swallow
  • Muffled voice
  • Significant swelling on one side of the throat

Cuts or wounds, especially if:

  • Bleeding does not stop after 10 to 15 minutes of applied pressure

Dehydration, marked by:

  • A decrease in weight
  • Dry mouth, decreased urine, sunken eyes and/or no tears when crying
  • Lethargy
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid heartbeat

Fever, especially if accompanied by:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Immunizations that are not up to date
  • Inability to keep fluids down
  • Inability to urinate or burning during urination
  • Rash
  • Stiff neck
  • Vomiting

What is a "high fever" in a child?

  • Younger than 3 months old: 100.4+ °F
  • Between 3 months and 3 years old: 102.2+ °F/li>
  • 3 years old or older: 102+ °F for two or more days

Ingestion of non-food items, especially if accompanied by:

  • A loss of consciousness
  • Seizures or convulsions

When your child swallows something they shouldn't, do not try to make them vomit—it may cause more damage. If your child shows minimal symptoms, call the poison control center at (800) 222-1222.

Rash, when accompanied by:

  • Abnormal bleeding or bruises under the rash
  • Areas of tenderness
  • Head or joint pain
  • High fever (see "Fever" below)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin peeling away or blistering (especially in the mouth)
  • Streaks of red on the skin
  • Swelling or tightness in the throat

Sports injuries, especially if:

  • Your child is 4 years old or younger
  • The injured limb cannot be uses or bear weight
  • The injured limb is misshapen or the bone protrudes from the skin

Concussions, especially if accompanied by:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • High fever (see "Fever" below)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss or changes in level of consciousness
  • Neck pain
  • Repeated vomiting

Vomiting and/or diarrhea, especially if your child:

  • Has dry mouth
  • Has repetitive vomiting
  • Has sunken eyes
  • Is lethargic
  • Is not urinating or wetting diapers
  • Is younger than 3 months old and has a fever (see "Fever" above)

Animal, insect or human bites or scratches, especially if there is:

  • A risk of rabies, tetanus or viral transmission
  • Difficulty breathing or tightness in the throat
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Drainage from the bite
  • Hives or swelling on the face or all over the body
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Redness and warmth surrounding the bite
  • Severe cramping
  • Severe pain at the bite location or anywhere else in the body
  • Wounds on the hands, face or joints

Call 911 when your child is bitten, scratched or stung if they:

  • Act or speak confusedly
  • Begin drooling or slurring their speech
  • Develop a hoarse voice, cough or tightness in the throat or chest
  • Experience trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Have a history of life-threatening allergic reactions
  • Have difficulty waking up afterward