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Where should I take my child for care?

For life-threatening illnesses or serious injuries:

Call 911, or go directly to Emergency Services in La Crosse or your nearest emergency department. Use Emergency Services for:

  • Loss of consciousness/head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Severe cuts
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Suicide attempt
  • Severe headache—sudden onset
  • Alcohol or drug intoxication or overdose
  • Chest pain/heart attack
  • Numbness or weakness on one side/stroke symptoms
  • Dizziness

For non-life-threatening illnesses or minor injuries:

Call your child's primary healthcare provider first. If possible, your child's doctor or another member of their Medical Home team will try to see them that day. For your convenience, Gundersen Pediatrics offers evening hours in La Crosse and Onalaska. Pediatrics also offers weekend hours (8 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday) in La Crosse.

Your child's primary care provider will see your child for all non-threatening illnesses or injuries:

  • Bladder and urinary tract infection
  • Bronchitis
  • Common warts
  • Cuts, scrapes and bruises
  • Ear pain and infection
  • Fever, colds, flu
  • Insect/tick bites
  • Mononucleosis
  • Physicals (sports, camp, daycare)
  • Pink eye
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Sinus and upper respiratory infections
  • Skin rashes, insect bites and minor burns
  • Sore/strep throat
  • Strains and sprains
  • Sudden back or neck pain
  • Swimmer's ear
  • TB skin testing
  • Vaccinations

If your primary care provider is unavailable or it's after regular clinic hours, go to Urgent Care (sometimes called walk-in care). You might seek urgent care for an illness or injury that's uncomfortable but not life-threatening and does not pose a significant health risk such as:

  • Cuts, scrapes and bruises
  • Skin rashes, insect bites and minor burns
  • Fever, colds and flu
  • Sore/strep throat
  • Sinus and upper respiratory infections
  • Ear pain/infection
  • Sudden back or neck pain
  • Strains and sprains
  • Urinary burning

For minor illnesses:

Even for minor illnesses, it is best to start with your child's primary healthcare provider. If possible, your child's doctor or another member of their Medical Home team will try to see them that day.

MyCare is another convenient way to contact your child's primary care provider with non-urgent medical questions. This secure online resource also allows you to see past or upcoming appointments, view lab results and immunization records, refill medications and more.

If those are not options, Gundersen ExpressCare Clinics see children, ages 2 and up. No appointment needed. Most services are only $62 and may be billed to insurance, whether you receive your care from Gundersen or not. ExpressCare Clinics treat:

  • Bladder/urinary tract infection (female, age 12+)
  • Bronchitis
  • Sore/strep throat
  • Ear pain and infection
  • Flu
  • Pink eye
  • Skin irritation and rashes
  • Sinus and upper respiratory infections
  • Insect and tick bites
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Mononucleosis
  • Common warts
  • Swimmer's ear
  • Vaccinations: flu, hepatitis B, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Simple physicals (sports, camp, daycare)
  • TB skin testing
  • Other services available (prices vary)

Still not sure?

Call a Gundersen Telephone Nurse Advisor, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (608) 775-4454 or (800) 858-1050. Nurse Advisors can answer your questions or help you decide whether you need emergency or urgent care; if an appointment with your primary doctor is appropriate; or if you can handle the problem at home with advice. This is a free service of Gundersen Health System.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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