How To Survive Your First Toddler ER Experience


My Mother’s Day weekend 2016 is something I won’t forget anytime soon. We went to the #LALovesPrince concert on Friday and it was super fun! (To see our adventures, click here.)

And then Saturday happened.

Bear had a slight limp on the night of the concert and I didn’t really think anything of it because he did walk around a lot. Saturday morning, however, his limp grew more pronounced and it was decided an ER trip was in our future.

After a very long wait and some x-rays, it turned out Bear just had a muscle strain and his cure was Advil and rest. Of course, you can’t keep a good Bear down for too long so he rested only a few minutes, LOL.

As we waited in the ER and anxious for our results, I started to think how my experience could help. Here are some tips surviving your first ER trip with your child:

1. Dr. Google is not your friend.

It really isn’t. I researched ‘toddler limping’ and received a plethora of misdiagnoses ranging from cancer to autism to some disease I never heard of before and I’m not quite sure it’s legitimate. When in doubt, just go to the ER.


2. Stay calm.

I know this is a relatively ‘Well, duh!’ explanation but when you freak out, your child freaks out. If you’re calm on the outside, your kid will be, too.


2a. Have everyone else stay calm.

The last thing you need are friends and family freaking the fuck out because they’re worried. If you’re around people who are worried, it makes your stress level rise higher than Lupita N’yongo’s hair at the Met Gala.

If you have to contact family regarding your child, give them a brief call and tell them you will call them back with details later. Stress to them to not call you. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

3. If possible, bring something of comfort from home.*

His favorite toys, tablets, blankets, books…whatever you can pack. It doesn’t have to be a lot (preferably it shouldn’t be) but maybe a couple of things. I brought Bear’s Thomas the Train toys and it kept him occupied.

4. If possible, eat something before you leave.*

If you ever been in the ER, you can be there for hours and it’s a very long wait. Maks and I had a quick bite to eat at Starbucks right before we took Bear to the ER and it definitely helped. The ER we went to didn’t have any available vending machines or we would’ve hit those up.


5. Follow Doctor’s orders.

This is another big one. While I can admit some doctors can be wrong, I don’t believe 90% of them are. There are too many stories of parents taking their children to see the doctor, the doctor gives them explicit instructions for follow-up care, and the child has complications because the instructions weren’t followed. Hell, that even happens to adults. Here’s a rule of thumb – if you don’t think you need to do it, chances are you do.

That is it! Bear is currently napping in our bed as I type this. I should probably join him so I can keep up with his energy later.

Bear and I all better that same day after we got back. 
*I say if possible because sometimes it isn’t always possible. Bear had an non-urgent medical issue (meaning nothing was broken or bleeding) so we were able to do those things. If his injury was more serious, however, it might have been a different story.

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