Dogs may be man’s best friend, but even the gentlest and smallest of canines can bite without much warning. Emergency Room doctors typically treat children for severe dog bite injuries more often than adults. Kids may be more susceptible to dog attacks when they aren’t taught how to interact safely with animals. Here at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, our Emergency Room physicians recommend taking proactive steps to protect families.
Require Parental Supervision
Supervising children when they are near dogs is one of the most effective ways to protect them from dog bites. Adults can remind children to interact with their furry friends properly. An adult can also intervene quickly if need be. If you see a dog attack your child, immediately grasp the dog’s back legs and lift them up as if you were holding a wheelbarrow. Walk the dog backward until you can secure the dog in another room or the kennel.
Demonstrate Appropriate Petting Techniques
Use age-appropriate language to explain to your child why he or she shouldn’t approach unfamiliar dogs without permission and parental supervision. When it is appropriate for your child to pet a dog, demonstrate how you hold your hand out for the dog to sniff before gently petting the dog on the chest or under the chin. Tell your child that it is never okay to pull a dog’s ears or tail, or to take away food or toys.
Discuss How to Handle Aggressive Dogs
Every child should know how to respond to an aggressive dog . If a dog attacks, your child should stand “still like a tree,” remain quiet, and look at the ground instead of at the dog. If a dog knocks your child over, he or she should curl up into a ball, and cover the head and ears with his or her hands.
The Emergency Room at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is available 24/7, every day of the year to treat all sorts of children’s health emergencies. Our hospital in Thousand Oaks features a dedicated Pediatric Emergency Room with specially trained staff, private rooms, and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). You can call our hospital at (877) 888-5746, but please direct medical emergencies to a 911 dispatcher.
Even after recognizing the warning signs of major health problems, many people still prefer to drive to the Emergency Room instead of calling 911. Unfortunately, this mistake can have a tragic outcome. Here at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, our Emergency Room team strongly urges patients to avoid delaying medical care when a true emergency strikes.
It may not be safe for you to drive.
Many people who wouldn’t dare get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol still try to drive when they are ill or injured. Yet, the consequences can be similar. Some medical emergencies can cause severe dizziness, numbness, muscle weakness, or loss of consciousness. A patient’s reaction time and judgment may be impaired. Plus, there’s always the possibility of vomiting while behind the wheel, which can cause the car to swerve dangerously. If you’re feeling ill enough to need emergency care, you probably shouldn’t try to drive yourself to the hospital.
The 911 dispatcher can provide first aid instructions.
Another compelling reason to call 911 instead of driving to the hospital is that the 911 dispatcher may give you some simple instructions to follow while you’re waiting for the ambulance. If you might be having a stroke, the dispatcher may instruct you to lie down to avoid getting injured. If you could be having a heart attack, you may be asked to take a baby aspirin.
The EMS team can initiate life-saving interventions.
As soon as the ambulance arrives, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team will assess your condition and administer certain life-saving interventions. These can help stabilize you while you’re on the way to the hospital. The paramedic might give you oxygen, start an IV line, or bandage lacerations. The EMS personnel will also contact the hospital to alert them to your impending arrival, which lets the physicians get ready to treat you promptly.
The Emergency Room at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is always open to provide life-saving care to our patients. Our hospital has long been a leading provider of specialized heart care, trauma care, and dedicated pediatric emergency care. A registered nurse in Thousand Oaks is available at (877) 888-5746 to answer general, non-emergent questions.
Even after your child is discharged from the Emergency Room at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center , he or she may need to be seen by a doctor again soon. The Emergency Room physician will advise you to follow up with your child’s regular pediatrician. This ensures a continuum of care. Your child’s pediatrician is familiar with his or her health needs, and he or she can use information about the Emergency Room visit to support your child’s wellness.
Ask the ER to send a report.
In many ERs, it’s standard practice to send a report to a child’s pediatrician after a diagnosis and treatment from an emergency care physician . However, it’s always a good idea to check on this before you take your child home. In some cases, the pediatrician will already be aware of the ER visit before receiving a report. When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a registered nurse at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center explain that many local pediatricians meet their young patients at the ER to check on them and provide guidance about their overall health.
Call the pediatrician’s office.
After the ER visit, give the pediatrician’s office a call and ask if the ER report has been received yet. Provide a brief update about what your child was seen for and how he or she is recovering. The pediatrician will determine if your child should be seen for a follow-up exam.
Go to a follow-up exam.
During a follow-up exam, the pediatrician may review lab reports or imaging scans. Expect to be asked whether your child has shown improvements and whether there are any new concerns. The pediatrician may provide additional guidance on caring for your child at home. He or she might also request additional tests or imaging scans.
The dedicated Pediatric Emergency Room at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center maintains short wait times and provides specialized care to the youngest of patients. Parents in Thousand Oaks will be comforted to know that all of our Pediatric Emergency Room Nurses have been PALS certified to care for children. Medical emergencies should be directed to a 911 dispatcher, but you can call our hospital at (877) 888-5746 for questions of a non-emergent
While the emergency room at Los Robles Hospital strives to maintain low wait times and a higher standard of care, there are steps that patients can take to further reduce wait times and streamline the process of receiving care. With the following strategies, you can be sure that your ER visit will go smoothly, even if you have special concerns with your medical care.
Use medical alert jewelry
Medical alert jewelry can be lifesaving, since it will indicate to paramedics and ER staff that you have specific allergies or health conditions that may influence the outcome of your care. If, for example, you have an allergy to a specific medication, a medical alert bracelet or necklace could communicate this information even in situations where you are unconscious or unable to speak.
Keep an I-C-E card
Even if you do not have any known allergies or conditions that will pose a risk in your care, and in-case-of-emergency card can be very helpful when you are taken to the ER. This card should contain your personal information along with your height and weight and the number of your preferred emergency contact. An I-C-E card can easily be kept in your purse or wallet, and it might prove very helpful when you need to be brought to the ER by ambulance after an accident or sudden health emergency.
Answer all triage questions honestly and concisely
When you are conscious and well enough to walk in to the ER, you will go through triage, which will determine the severity of your case and facilitate immediate treatments for certain conditions. The triage nurse may ask a series of questions to assess your care needs, so it is important to be honest when answering these questions. Using simple, direct language will ensure the clearest communication and prompt service at the ER.
To hear current wait times for Los Robles Hospital’s emergency room, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (877) 888-5746. You can also visit us on our website for a wealth of healthcare resources for the whole family.