Services: When Your Baby Needs Emergency Care
It is unusual for babies to suddenly become very sick.
If your baby does get sick, it is best to call your pediatrician first. Call the
UF Health Jacksonville Pediatric Emergency Center at 904-244-5243 after hours or
on weekends, or if you cannot reach your baby’s doctor.
Early recognition and treatment may stop an illness or injury from getting worse
or turning into an emergency.
What is considered an emergency?
It is an emergency when you believe a serious illness or injury is threatening your
baby’s health or may cause permanent damage.
Your baby may show any of the following signs:
- Unconsciousness or no response when you talk to him or her
- Regular jerking and/or loss of consciousness (a seizure)
- Acting strangely (not normal) or becoming more withdrawn and less alert
- Episodes of apnea (completely stops breathing), particularly if associated with
a change in color (blue or pale) or a change in muscle tone (baby is stiff or limp)
- Increasing efforts to breathe or trouble breathing
- Skin or lips look blue, purple or gray
- Neck stiffness or a rash with a fever
- Increasing or severe, constant pain
- High-pitch, constant cry (a pain cry) and irritability
- Fever in babies under 2 months of age (rectal temperature is higher than 100.4 degrees
- Loss of consciousness, confusion, headache (noted by excessive crying) or throwing
up after a head injury
- A cut that is large or deep, or involves the head, chest or abdomen
- Bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure for 5 minutes
- A burn that is large and/or on the hands, feet, groin, chest or face
Many emergencies involve sudden injuries that can be caused by:
- Burns or smoke inhalation
- Near drowning (usually in bath tubs)
- Firearms or other weapons
- Electrical shocks
The staff at the UF Health Jacksonville Pediatric Emergency Center is specially
trained to care for critically ill and injured babies and children. They will work
closely with your baby’s pediatrician to provide your baby with the best medical
* Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately
if your baby has swallowed a suspected poison or another person’s medicine, even
if your baby shows no signs or symptoms.