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"My 1 year old has a runny nose with yellow snot. Should I take him to the ER?"

ZocdocAnswersMy 1 year old has a runny nose with yellow snot. Should I take him to the ER?


He acts fine beside the runny nose. Do I need to take him to get antibiotic.


Thanks for your question. I recommend that you speak with your pediatrician. While it is difficult to say that someone should or should not go to the emergency department without more information, there are some common guidelines that can be provided. First, the emergency department is best utilized as a part of the healthcare treatment system for emergencies rather than for things that can more appropriately be directed to the doctor's office during normal hours. In other words, things that are life threatening or may affect the overall quality of life if not treated promptly may best be treated in the emergency room. Other things that are not urgent or emergent can often wait. When fevers are very high, when an infection is complicated by problems with organ systems (such as fainting, seizures, mental status changes, swelling or signs of serious infection), then it may be appropriate to go to an emergency room. Also, very new babies with a fever are appropriately handled very carefully, and may require prompt attention, as can other children with significant medical problems such as those that affect their immune system. In general, if you have a question or concern, you should speak with your pediatrician or his or her office. Please speak with your doctor.

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