If your child is ill and you need advice after office hours, please follow these instructions.
- If your child has a life-threatening matter, please call 911.
- If your child has a non-life-threatening medical problem that can’t wait until the office opens, call our regular office number (916-421-8245) and ask to speak to the on-call doctor. Our answering service will deliver your message to the pediatrician on call (Dr. Sato, Dr. Kimura, or one of our call partners). All on-call doctors are experienced board-certified pediatricians practicing in the Sacramento area.
- Your call should be returned by the on-call doctor within 30 minutes. If you do not receive a call within 30 minutes, please call again and let the answering service know that you have not yet heard back from the doctor.
- Please save routine questions (about minor illnesses and injuries, behavior, parenting advice, medication refills) for office hours. This allows the on-call doctor to focus on the calls about children who have serious or urgent illnesses or injuries.
- If you are not sure whether to call, trust your instincts. If your child looks very ill and you do not know what to do to make it to the next morning, please call. Call right away if you are worried about your child.
Please follow these tips when calling the on-call pediatrician
- Unblock your telephone “call blocking” if you have caller I.D. and keep phone lines open. Blocked and busy phone lines are common causes of why the doctor was not able to get through to a parent.
- Have your child near the phone, if possible, to help you answer questions.
- Take your child’s temperature before you call. Write down the temperature and time you took it.
- Remind the doctor about past medical problems. Pediatricians see many patients each day and may not remember that your child has asthma, seizures, or some other condition.
- Be sure to mention any medications your child is taking, including prescription or nonprescription drugs, inhalers, supplements, vitamins, herbal products, or home remedies.
- Have your child’s health insurance card handy. This will help the doctor refer you to the facility contracted with your insurance, if needed.
- Keep immunization records handy.
- Have your pharmacy phone number ready.
If your child needs to be examined after hours (the on-call doctor can help you determine this), your child will be referred to a local hospital emergency room (ER) or urgent care, depending on the nature of the problem and the time of day. Your health insurance may be contracted with certain facilities, so it is wise to know the name and location of these places ahead of time.
We recommend the Pediatric Urgent Care (located across the street from Methodist Hospital) for non-emergency urgent care outside of office hours. This urgent care is staffed by physicians familiar with treating children and accepts most of the same Medi-cal, HMO and PPO insurances our office accepts. If you are unsure whether your insurance is contracted with this urgent care, we recommend calling the phone number below to verify that your child’s insurance is accepted.
Pediatric Urgent Care of Sacramento Google Map
7601 Hospital Drive, Suite 101B
Sacramento, California 95823
Hours: Monday to Friday 6PM to 10PM; Saturday and Sunday 10AM to 10PM.
If you are sure your child needs to go to the ER (such as having an obviously broken bone) and you know which hospital to go to, you do not need to call for permission to go to the ER. However, it is a good idea to call for advice if you are unsure whether you should take your child to the ER right away or wait until regular office hours to be seen. The on-call doctor can often suggest things to you can try to help get your child through the night and avoid a potentially time-consuming and costly visit to an emergency room. The doctor can also tell you what things to look for in case things change.
If you would like a great online resource that can help you decide whether you should call the doctor or have your child examined right away, we recommend the Healthy Children Kids Doc Symptom Checker provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics.