A family physician listening to the heartbeat of a girl who is hugging her fluffy bear
pediatric billings clinic

Billings Pediatricians

Caring for a sick child is a stressful experience. The team at the Children’s Clinic, with offices on the West End and downtown Billings, Montana, offers sick/urgent care visits during extended hours, including on weekends.

If you are unsure when to come in for a sick/urgent care visit, a triage nurse is available during clinic hours to discuss your child’s symptoms and help decide whether your child needs a same-day appointment. After hours, they partner with Children’s Hospital Colorado triage nurses to help determine whether your child needs urgent/emergent care or can wait until the morning. They can also connect you to the on-call pediatrician if needed. Don’t hesitate to call the office to set up a sick/urgent care visit when your child is injured or ill.

The team at the Children’s Clinic can address a wide range of health needs during sick/urgent care visits. Because we know your kid’s illness requires urgent attention, we offer same-day appointment slots for sick/urgent care so that your child can get in as soon as possible and get back on the path toward feeling better quickly.

We just schedule all sick/urgent care visits instead of having you walk in so that you don’t have to wait in a group waiting room with other sick individuals for a long period of time waiting to be seen.

In many cases, you may not even know your child is sick until you pick them up from school or daycare, a time when most pediatric practices close for the day. That’s why the practice offers extended-hours care with visits until 7pm.  We’re also open on Saturdays and Sundays for sick/urgent care visits.

Having a trusted medical team available in the evening hours and on Saturdays and Sundays can make it far easier for parents to navigate your child’s illness, and peace of mind is something in short supply when you’re worried about your child.

Sick/Urgent Care Visits Q&A

Same-day visits are available, and the practice offers extended hours, including weekends. Online appointment requests are an option for less urgent scheduling needs, and telemedicine services are also available.

What happens during a sick/urgent care visit?

When you come in for a sick/urgent care visit, your provider asks questions about your child’s symptoms. Knowing your child and how they are normally versus now is critical to our diagnosis and treatment plan. A physical exam provides additional insight into how their body is functioning.

The practice has many point-of-care (i.e., in-office) tests to identify your child’s illness. These include PCR COVID, influenza A, influenza B, RSV, and strep testing. We also test for mono in the clinic. We collect samples and draw blood for a wide variety of other conditions without you needing to go to a separate lab. If your child comes in for an injury, the focus turns to addressing any swelling, lacerations, or musculoskeletal issues and determining whether imaging is necessary.

Each sick/urgent care visit is unique and centers on your child’s specific needs. In many cases, treatment can begin during the visit, helping your child feel better as swiftly as possible. We support the healing process at home, or if your child needs more advanced care or to see a specialist, your pediatrician will guide you through the next steps.

What can I do to help my child feel better at home when sick or injured?

There are many things parents can do to help their child feel better. If the source of discomfort is cold or flu symptoms, setting up a comfortable environment is a great place to begin.

Some kids prefer to stay in bed when they feel sick, while others don’t want to be excluded from the activities of other family members and prefer to set up camp on a sofa or chair. Depending on the child’s age, having a favorite toy nearby can help.

For cold and flu symptoms, staying hydrated should be a top priority. Fruit pops are a great alternative if your child refuses water or other beverages. You want to keep a close eye on their temperature to know if fever is a concern.

For sports injuries, the RICE method can bring relief. Begin by resting the affected area, then use ice to reduce swelling. Compression with an elastic bandage can provide additional support, and elevating the injured area also helps with swelling.

Over-the-counter pain medication formulated for children can help ease discomfort. If these self-care tips don’t yield results, call the Children’s Clinic for guidance.

How do I know where to turn to for sick/urgent care?

The Children’s Clinic can treat many common urgent care needs. The practice is staffed with board-certified providers who only see kids, and who have the training and experience needed to address a wide range of pediatric health needs. Additionally, it’s helpful to utilize sick/urgent care over urgent care for non-emergency needs because the providers at the Children’s Clinic already know your child and have access to their complete medical history.

Some of the issues that could prompt a same-day sick/urgent care visit to the Children’s Clinic include:

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cold or flu symptoms
  • Allergic reactions

Of course, there are circumstances in which emergency treatment is the best course of action. If your child is experiencing uncontrolled bleeding, chest pain, breathing difficulties, or has lost consciousness, the emergency room is the right setting to seek treatment.

For less urgent needs, the Children’s Clinic is open seven days a week, including up to 7pm on weekdays as well as full days on Saturday and half days on Sunday. 

Office hours extend to 7 pm on weekdays, and parents can take advantage of these hours when they pick their kids up after work from school or daycare and realize they need to see a provider. Telemedicine is also an option, allowing you to connect with your child’s doctor from home.