Be Safe this Fourth of July with these Must-Know Tips

Every year, fireworks cause thousands of eye injuries and burns. CHOC Children’s and the Orange County Fire Authority ask you to consider taking your family to a professional fireworks show as a safer alternative.

CHOC summer safety

If consumer fireworks are part of your family’s festivities, however, take a minute to check out these important tips:

• Supervise children at all times. Fireworks should be handled by adults only.

• Buy only state fire marshal-approved (“Safe and Sane”) fireworks, from a licensed firework stand. Police in Orange County will be vigorously enforcing laws against illegal fireworks. You can be fined up to $1,000.

• Only these OC cities allow consumer fireworks: Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Stanton, Villa Park and Westminster

• Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks. Spectators should also keep a safe distance.

• Never re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

• Do not alter fireworks or combine them.

• Point fireworks away from people, homes and cars, and keep away from leaves, dry grass and flammable materials.

Find a public fireworks display near you.

Check out this video from the Orange County Fire Authority and the Santa Ana Police Department.

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When Should I Take My Child to the ED?

Unfortunately, many parents at some time will face the decision of bringing their child to the emergency department (ED). It can be a scary and confusing situation for children and parents alike, but this list of frequently asked questions about ED visits might help settle confusion.

Q: How do I know if I should take my child to the emergency department?

Knowing when a child’s condition reaches a level that warrants a visit to the ED can be difficult. After all, children are not small adults: They might display different symptoms than adults, and some symptoms that aren’t serious for an adult can be dire for children.

Staff members at the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s Hospital advise parents to trust their gut.

CHOC’s ED treats a variety of ailments, big and small, from broken bones to small abrasions to headaches. No matter is too small, and no patient is turned away. Whether or not the child needs treatment, parents will leave the ED with reassurance and education.

Q: Can parents direct an ambulance to a particular Emergency Department?

For any parent, the notion of rushing a child to an emergency department in an ambulance is terrifying. In a critical situation, parents want to get their child help as soon as possible at the closest facility possible.

But should the right circumstances occur, parents can request which emergency department the ambulance will visit. As a common courtesy, transport teams will honor the request to the best of their ability.

However, if the child is suffering from critical illness or fatal injury that requires absolute immediate attention, a medic team will not bypass a closer hospital.

Q: I have an HMO: Do I need to go to my healthcare home for emergency services, or can I come to CHOC?

CHOC Children’s does not require approval from a patient’s healthcare provider to offer care at the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department.

However, families should consult with their provider for more specific information regarding coverage specifics.

Q: How long will my Emergency Department visit take?

CHOC’s ED is designed for fast triage, rapid diagnosis and speedy treatment to streamline each visit, but it is difficult to estimate how long a visit will take.

Many variables factor into the length of a visit, including the type and severity of your child’s ailment, as well as the other patients visiting the ED that day.

Patients are generally seen in the order of their arrival, but children with serious illnesses or injuries may be seen first. In this case, you might notice patients who arrived after you being called ahead of you. Also, the ED physician who is treating your patient might be interrupted to respond to a sudden critical emergency.

Please remain patient and calm during your visit. Know that the comfort of you and your child are a top concern for all ED staff, and they are working hard to provide quality, efficient care to all patients they are privileged to serve.

Q: What’s the difference between an Emergency Room, or ER, and an Emergency Department, or ED?

There’s no difference – except you won’t see “ED” reruns on television.

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The Role of Parents and Family in CHOC’s Emergency Department

The idea of being apart from a child in an emergency situation is troubling for most parents. But there’s no need to worry at the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department (ED) at CHOC Children’s Hospital: Here, parents and siblings are encouraged to stay with their patient throughout treatment.

As a staunch advocate of family-centered care, CHOC Children’s believes that a child’s family plays a critical role in treatment and healing. We know that a parent’s presence is the best coping mechanism around.

Parents’ and guardian’s input and presence are highly valued – and it shows in the design of our ED: Exam rooms are larger to accommodate family members, siblings and their strollers, and each room has a television to help distract restless little ones.

However, there may be times that only parents will be allowed with the patient due to the urgency of care needs. In general, parents should use good judgment when bringing siblings to the Emergency Department. A visit can be a long process, and small children might grow inpatient. Further, parents must be able to focus on their ill child: They’ll receive a lot of information, and will be asked many questions by our staff. Rest assured, however, because along the way, parents, patients and siblings alike will receive guidance and support from ED staff.

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