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Summer Injuries: When to Visit Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room

You always hope the summer will go off without a hitch, but if you or a family member becomes ill or injured, you must know ahead of time where to seek medical care. The emergency room plays a vital role in providing life-saving services, but sometimes, urgent care is more appropriate. Here’s how to tell which summer injuries are best treated at the ER vs. urgent care.

The Most Common Summer Injuries

Some of the most prevalent injuries that occur in the summer include:

  • Sports injuries resulting in strains, sprains, and fractures
  • Head injuries while participating in outdoor activities
  • Insect and animal bites, including bees, ticks, and dogs
  • Heatstroke from strenuous outdoor physical activity without enough water
  • Burns, including sunburns
  • Food poisoning from leaving perishable food out for too long

Fast Track Urgent Care is the right place to go for treatment of these ailments unless they are exceptionally severe—in that case, you’re better off going to the ER.

When to Visit Urgent Care

Treatment at an urgent care clinic is recommended if the summer injury or illness is not life-threatening. Examples of ailments we can treat at our facilities in Silver Spring and Kensington include:

The common summer injuries listed above

  • Poison ivy rashes
  • Seasonal allergies and minor asthma
  • Sinus pain
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Cuts and scrapes requiring stitches
  • Eye irritation and swelling
  • Bumps, cuts, and bruises
  • Infections
  • Fevers, coughs, and sore throats

When to Visit the Emergency Room

Certain warning signs indicate that your summer injury may be putting your life in danger, warranting a trip to the ER. These include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe chest or back pain lasting more than two minutes
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sudden dizziness and fainting
  • Vision changes
  • Speaking difficulties
  • Confusion or changes in mental state
  • Difficulty walking
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Sudden or severe pain
  • Coughing or vomiting up blood
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe headache, vomiting, or unconsciousness following a head injury
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocated joints
  • Deep cuts, particularly on the face

In short, unless the illness or injury is life-threatening, you can expect to receive faster, more affordable treatment an urgent care clinic. Stop by Fast Track Urgent Care in Silver Spring and Kensington for the care you need this summer—no appointment necessary. If you have any questions about the treatment we provide, feel free to call ahead at 800-417-1164.

Fast Track Urgent Care in Silver Spring & Kensington

If you are looking for more information about urgent care clinics in Silver Spring or Kensington, please call Fast Track at 800-417-1164 or visit one of our fully-equipped locations.