GP or hospital? How to decide if your young sports star's injury is an urgency or emergency

This is sponsored content for Peel Health Campus.

When a young sports star gets an injury on the sporting field, knowing whether it's an emergency or can be managed by a GP can be a tough judgement call. Peel Health Campus Emergency Department physician Dr Andrew Walker helps clarify the issue.

With kids going back to school and extra-curricular activities starting up again, we hope every budding sports star in the Peel region has a stellar season injury-free.

But when a child is injured at sport, the decision about whether to take them to hospital or a general practitioner for treatment can be fraught.

At Peel Health Campus, we have an Emergency Department that treats about 43,500 patients every year including children, and our paediatric ward is specially designed for the needs of kids.

So how do you know if it's where an injured child needs to be taken?

The Emergency Department is the best place for a young sporting enthusiast to come if an injury causes a lot of pain, blood loss, blacking out or dizziness and confusion.

For people in the Peel region, we're well-serviced by GP Urgent Care Clinics which is a network of 125 clinics in the State that can treat common sports injuries that aren't necessarily an emergency, but do need urgent treatment.

Peel Health Campus Emergency Department physician Dr Andrew Walker.

Peel Health Campus Emergency Department physician Dr Andrew Walker.

This means a young sports star who has sustained a skin or soft tissue injury like a cut or laceration, a minor fracture, or sprains and strains might be best treated closer to home by a GP. They can provide sutures, plastering and conduct minor procedures.

The GP Urgent Care Clinic appointments can be booked online. To find out more, visit www.healthdirect.gov.au/australian-health-services/urgent-care

If you're still not sure whether it's an urgency, or an emergency, West Australians are lucky to also have a Government-funded 24-hour HealthDirect information line established to answer this exact question.

HealthDirect is free and you can contact them on 1800 022 222. If appropriate, they will put callers in touch with a GP Urgent Care Clinic to quickly make an appointment.

At Peel Health Campus we hope not to see you this sporting season, and wish every student in the region the best as they return to school next week.

This is sponsored content for Peel Health Campus.