Urgent Care: A Practical Choice for Same-Day Pediatric Care

When your child gets sick or sustains a minor injury and needs same-day care, it can be a nerve-wracking experience for any parent, particularly if your pediatrician or family provider is not available to work in a visit during their office hours. When that happens, deciding where to seek medical attention is important. While a hospital emergency room (ER) might come to mind as a first choice, it’s important to know that urgent care centers are often the most appropriate and efficient option for children ages 2 and above.


The benefits of choosing care from an Urgent Care Center over making a visit to the ER are many:


Accessibility and Extended Hours

Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) has two urgent care centers, one in Pikeville and the other in Prestonsburg, with daytime, evening, and weekend hours that offer same-day medical care to children aged 2 and older. Our convenient hours can be a lifesaver for busy parents who cannot take time off work, providing the flexibility for their children to receive timely medical attention when it is needed most without an appointment.


PMC Urgent Care and Family Wellness Center
Urgent Care Available Daily (All Ages):  8AM – 8PM
238 Cassady Blvd. | Pikeville, KY


PMC Prestonsburg Primary Care & Urgent Care Clinic
Urgent Care Available M – SAT: 8AM – 8PM
723 South Lake Drive | Prestonsburg, KY 41653


Efficiency and Convenience

One of the most significant advantages of seeking care at an urgent care center instead of an ER is efficiency. Pikeville Medical Center is recognized as a Level II Trauma Center, and as such routinely receives patients facing life-threatening medical emergencies from across the region. Because our ER is designed to prioritize severe cases, patients with minor ailments often face long wait times. In contrast, our urgent care centers are tailored to handle non-emergency situations, leading to shorter wait times and quicker service. This means your child can receive the necessary treatment and get back to the comfort of home sooner.



Healthcare costs are a major consideration for many families. Visits to the ER can be expensive, even with insurance. PMC’s urgent care services are generally more cost-effective, making them a more affordable choice for treatment.


Medical Conditions: When to Use Urgent Care vs. the ER

For information about the pediatric medical conditions that can be treated at an Urgent Care vs. those that require care from an Emergency Department, click on the toggles below.

  • Conditions That an Urgent Care Can Treat

    When your child is sick, make your first call to your pediatrician or family medicine provider.  If your provider is not able to work in a same-day visit, Pikeville Medical Center’s Urgent Care Clinics welcome children ages 2 and older for evaluation of conditions that include the following:


    Common Colds, Flu, and Congestion
    Symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, and congestion


    Ear Infections
    Pain, discomfort, or fluid discharge from the ear


    Sore Throat
    Examples include strep throat, with symptoms of pain and difficulty swallowing


    Minor Cuts and Lacerations
    Small cuts that may require cleaning, stitches, or bandaging


    Sprains and Strains
    Mild to moderate joint or muscle injuries


    Mild Skin Rashes and Infections
    Conditions like eczema, ringworm, or impetigo


    Allergy Symptoms
    Sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, hives


    Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
    Redness, itching, and discharge from the eyes.


    Uncomplicated fevers in children


    Nausea and/or Vomiting
    Dehydration prevention and symptom management


    Minor Burns
    Small, first-degree burns or sunburn


    Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
    Symptoms like painful urination or frequent need to urinate


    Non-severe headaches, including migraines

  • Conditions Best Treated at the ER

    Children Under 2 | Minor Illness & Injury

    If you have a sick child under the age of 2 needing same-day treatment for a minor illness or injury, first call your pediatric or family medicine provider. If your pediatric provider is not available for a work-in visit, the best option for same-day care is the Emergency Room.


    Visit the ER if your child (of any age) is experiencing the following. For life-threatening circumstances, dial 911.


    Severe Breathing Difficulties
    Intense trouble breathing, blue lips, or wheezing that does not improve with medication


    High Fever Not Responding to Medication
    Infants under three months with a fever over 100.4°F (38°C) or older children with a fever over 104°F (40°C) that doesn’t respond to medication


    Severe Head Injuries
    Loss of consciousness, seizures, vomiting, or confusion following a head injury


    Severe Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis)
    Symptoms like swelling of the lips or throat, difficulty breathing, or severe hives


    Uncontrollable Bleeding
    Bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure for 10-15 minutes


    Severe Burns
    Large, deep burns or burns on the face, hands, feet, or genitals


    Poisoning or Overdose
    Suspected ingestion of a toxic substance or medication overdose


    Any new or prolonged seizure activity, especially in a child with no prior history of seizures


    Severe Abdominal Pain
    Intense, persistent pain, especially if accompanied by vomiting or the abdomen is hard or swollen


    Severe Dehydration
    Symptoms like lethargy, dry mouth, no tears when crying, or significantly reduced urination


    Serious Fractures
    Bones protruding through the skin, visible deformity, or severe pain


    Major Trauma
    Injuries from car accidents, falls from significant heights, or other major accidents


    Altered Mental State
    Sudden confusion, disorientation, excessive sleepiness, or inability to wake up


    Persistent Vomiting or Diarrhea
    Especially if it leads to signs of dehydration


    Inability to Eat or Drink
    Refusal or inability to keep down food or liquids, especially in young children


    Where to Find Emergency Care for Your Child
    For serious, life-threatening illnesses, like those listed above, visit Pikeville Medical Center’s Emergency Department or the hospital ER closest to your home.


    PMC Emergency Department

    911 Bypass Road | Pikeville, KY

Pikeville Medical Center