Not every injury needs to be treated at ER

When your kid gets a high fever or a broken bone, it's another trip to the emergency room.

But there's a new place in Columbia that's designed to save you time and money.

It's called Kindermender, a pediatric urgent care center designed with your kid in mind.

From the toys, books, and the train that loops around the lobby, it's all about keeping your kid comfortable while they're getting treated for something serious.

Keyvan Rafei, the medical director says, "There's a real burden to families when a child gets sick and unfortunately getting sick is a reality of life."

To lessen that burden, Kindermender has done something unique. They use a one stop shopping approach that lets you get your prescriptions here, x-rays and labwork done.

And the staff keeps a close eye on what's going around. Rafei says, "When the flu hits Maryland, it never hits it by surprise. We can anticipate down to the week when flu is going to hit. Or when the stomach viruses come around, or when the croup comes around, or all these different infections which are the most common illnesses in children are very, very predictable."

That predictability helps the staff of pediatricians and nurses to be ready.

So what kind of injuries and illnesses are best suited for urgent care centers? Everything from the common cold to rash and gastrointestinal issues.

But there are certain, more serious symptoms that should be examined by your pediatrician or at the ER. Rafei says, "Fever in a newborn. When we're talking about newborn, we're talking about younger than 1 month and maybe even younger than 3 months of age because in the very newborn period you have certain infections and immune problems that could pose a more serious problem."

Kindermender is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. It's on a walk-in basis, but they also accept appointments.

Kindermender is located right by the Toys-R-Us in Columbia on Dobbin Road. They accept most insurance plans.

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