Since my family moved to NYC, we’ve had our share of Emergency room visits. From Jack’s asthma and food allergies to minor accidents (we went just this weekend even after Jack smacked his face on a slide), we’ve made many unwanted and stressful trips to various different emergency rooms in New York City. For whatever reason, prior to moving away from our family and familiar doctors we only visited the emergency room twice: Once when Jack fell and hit his temple at the park, and once when Zoe was just four months old. On the first evening of our vacation in Lake Tahoe the first winter after she was born, Zoe spiked a fever and began having febrile seizures. We ended up in the emergency room of a very small hospital with our tiny baby and our less than two year old son. After 15 punctures for blood, a spinal tap and having her catheterized (all of which-aside from the spinal tap-were performed by nurses that admitted to having zero experience with infants), we were allowed to take our bruised and exhausted baby home. We still don’t know what caused her white blood cell count to triple, but she hasn’t had a recurrent febrile seizure since.
What has stayed with me, and will forever peak my anxiety when visiting emergency rooms with children, was the inexperience and lack of preparedness of that emergency department.
It had never even occurred to me that emergency rooms wouldn’t be equipped to handle infants and pediatrics, but here is what is the most startling:
One in five children will make one or more visits to an ED each year according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
According to a study conducted by the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, 89% of pediatric (ages: 0–14 years) emergency department visits occur in non-children’s hospitals, and 6 percent of the 1,489 emergency rooms that responded to the survey were equipped for pediatrics.
(This video sends tingles down my spine and brings tears to my eyes. It’s so important to watch though)
Needless to say when I was asked to be an RBaby Mom, I accepted quickly and graciously.
The RBaby Foundation was established in 2006 by Phyllis & Andrew Rabinowitz to organize and fund efforts to improve the outcomes of medical care for infants, particularly those who contract certain viral infections within the first month of life. The R Baby Foundation is dedicated to helping newborn babies with often-misunderstood viral infections and other infectious diseases receive the highest quality of care and service through supporting education, research, treatment, training and life-saving equipment.
This PSA was filmed in New York City with some of my most favorite people. I wasn’t able to attend because of child care issues, but I couldn’t be happier to share it with you:
I was asked along with the other RBaby Moms to attend the RBaby Foundation’s annual gala at The Plaza Hotel. This year, they honored my dear friend Julia Beck of Forty Weeks with their first ever Champion Award, fitting because she is a champion for ALL mothers and an absolute RBaby Foundation warrior.
As RBaby Moms, a handful of us were invited to attend the gala last week to personally honor and support Julia and the RBaby Foundation. This meant getting decked out to the nines in our fanciest gear and toasting our friends, the Rabinowitzs and each and every one of you that have supported and/or will support by signing the RBaby Petition to improve pediatric emergency care.
I don’t do this often (ever), so it was fun to get fancy for such an amazing cause.
Julia Beck of Forty Weeks
My Travona dress and Kadie shoes are courtesy of Lauren Ralph Lauren
Incredible venue, The Plaza Hotel
Amazing food from the likes of Per Se, Gramercy Tavern, and Aureole
Myself, Jill Seiman of Glamamom, Amy Oztan of Selfish Mom, and Melissa Chapman of The Staten Island Family with the most beautiful GlassyBaby candles in the background.
It was truly a beautiful event, but most importantly it was great to see so many people come together to support the RBaby Foundation, honor Julia, and ultimately save the lives of babies.
To sign the petition: Go HERE (it takes 30 seconds. Really).
To find some interesting and helpful tips posted by the RBaby Foundation, go HERE.
To donate to the RBaby Foundation, go HERE.
To purchase GlassyBaby candles (a truly inspirational company as well, founded by 3 time cancer survivor and mother Lee Rhodes) go HERE.
Our experiences visiting the emergency rooms here in New York City with our children have been nothing short of wonderful in terms of organization, the staff and the swiftness in which we were cared for. I feel lucky for this, especially given the statistics mentioned earlier.
I hope none of you ever have to visit an ER with your children, but if you do, wouldn’t you just want and expect them to be equipped for pediatrics? I welcome and encourage you to share your stories!