What's the Last Thing You Want to Do on Vacation?

*Warning: This story involves blood so if that makes you queasy, may want to skip on to the next post.*

There are honestly a lot of answers that I have to the question asked in the blog title. Things that used to top my list were dealing with lost baggage, emergency diaper shortage, and food poisoning. After our trip to Denver, I can now confidently say that going to Urgent Care with a child is up there contending for the top position.

On the particular day in question, the kids and I were getting ready to head out the door so we could meet up with some local friends and tour the US Mint together. My husband was busy with work so I had everything planned down to the minute. I had google mapped the directions, I made sure the kids had been fed lunch, I put shoes on the kids and last but not least, I told everyone that they needed to go potty.

As usual, our oldest was eager to be the first one in the bathroom (everything is a race with these kids...). Also, as usual, Little A was curious about what big brother was doing so she followed him into the bathroom. The two of them were arguing a little but I didn't think much of it as I called to Little A, asking her to give her brother a little privacy.

Next thing I knew, I heard a loud slam and screaming from Little A. I ran into the other room to find blood on the wall, on the carpet, and spurting from Little A's finger. The bathroom door in our suite was much heavier than any bathroom door I've encountered and L had smashed Little A's finger as he slammed the door.

Photo taken by Princess R while I was dealing with the aftermath.
It's exactly how I remember and white.
I tried not to panic but this was the first really big boo boo that we had experienced with the kids. L was sobbing in the bathroom because he felt terrible, Little A was screaming and shaking from the pain, and Princess R was snapping photos in the other room with my phone.

The first thing I did was call my husband to let him know what happened. I was still trying to get the bleeding to stop so I could assess the damage to her finger. He offered to head back to the hotel immediately.

Once I got the bleeding to stop, I could see that her little finger had been squished like a grape. It didn't appear to be broken but there was some serious damage to her skin. I decided that the next step in the process of getting her taken care of would be to call her Pediatrician's office back at home. I was able to talk to a nurse who suggested that we take her to Urgent Care since we weren't planning on coming back home for a few more days and if she needed stitches, they should be placed within about 24 hours.

Once I knew that Urgent Care was going to be our best solution, I called my insurance company to find out where the nearest covered Urgent Care was. I also could have checked online but in this situation, it was easier to talk on the phone while comforting Little A.

Now, this is where things got a little tricky. If you'll remember from my first post about Denver, we didn't have a car at the hotel. One of the Urgent Care locations was within walking/bus distance from the hotel so I immediately strapped Little A into the Ergo and set off on our way. I decided that it might be a good idea to call them while I was on my way just to make sure they treated children as young as she was. As it turned out, the doctor in the office didn't feel comfortable treating her and suggested that we head to the Urgent Care at Denver Children's Hospital.

I knew that our insurance would cover us there thanks to my previous call but after a quick google maps search, I realized the distance was too far for us to reasonably walk. Little A and I headed back to the hotel to grab her car seat from the luggage storage room and we arranged for an Uber to pick us up.

Our treatment room
Once we arrived at the Denver Children's Hospital, we easily got checked in (no wait!), went through triage where they decided if she needed to go to the Emergency Room or stay at Urgent Care, and were brought to a treatment room.

The doctor and nurses were great. They were very calming and helpful as I was trying to process exactly what was going on. The doctor laid out a few options for me and then I had to decide how to proceed.

I decided that we should do an x-ray to make sure her bones weren't fractured. The x-ray was horrible. She screamed through the whole things and didn't want anyone to even look at her finger. The x-ray technician didn't do much to help the situation either since she didn't explain what she needed me to do to hold her and then she got upset when she couldn't get the picture she needed. Not sure what was going on with her but I do know that I didn't want to deal with an angry x-ray tech in addition to my screaming child.

Exhausted from all the screaming. You can see little flecks of blood on her face.
Her bones weren't fractured (yay!), so next they swaddled her up and cleaned her wound. I think she was so exhausted at this point from all of the crying. She surprised us all and just laid nicely on the bed while they cleaned her and stitched her up.

The doctor suggested that we give her some antibiotics over the next few days since kids like to put their fingers in strange places. Luckily, I was able to look up participating pharmacies on my phone and have them send in the prescription.

I called another Uber and had them take us to a pharmacy that was just a couple of blocks away from the hotel. Not only did I have to pick up her medicine, but I also had to grab plenty of Neosporin, bandaids, and a cold pack to keep her medicine cold on the plane ride home. (Note: as long as the cold pack is frozen when going through TSA, it is allowed through. Medicine may be subject to extra screening but we didn't have any problem bringing it through with us.)

Happy with the stickers the nurse gave her 
I suppose that Urgent Care was an experience that I was bound to have at some point and boy, was I glad that I had my insurance card! After this experience, here are a few things that I always make sure I have with me when we travel:

- Insurance Card
- HSA/FSA Card
- Pediatrician's Phone Number
- Bandaids
- Neosporin
- Children's Tylenol/Advil
- Small Cooler Bag (I keep one in my diaper bag with snacks in it during the summer anyway)
- A Backup Plan for how to get around

Have you ever ended up at Urgent Care on vacation? What were some things you were either glad you had or wished you had?


Hi, my name is Erica! After having three kids in three years you can usually find me in yoga pants with dark circles under my eyes and a Diet Dr. Pepper in hand. If you ever see me at the airport, I'm probably running around with a kid on my back in the Ergo while pushing another in the stroller. At times our house feels crazy and chaotic and I often struggle to keep dirty dishes out of the sink.

My friends all know that I'm the one they can turn to if they have any questions about traveling with their kids and I LOVE being that person!

There are a lot of things I want to do with my life but one of my favorite things is to help people find the courage and resources to make their travel dreams come true. I am super excited to have you along for our adventures and I hope you will come to think of me as your travel savvy friend because there is nothing I would love more!


  1. An excellent example of the last thing you should do before heading on a road trip--make a thorough search for hospitals, urgent care clinics. This especially holds true if you already have a potential health issue. Thank God all ended well. The pics are heart-breaking though.

    1. It's so true! We always think about what we will do in case of a health emergency when we travel abroad but we don't always remember to set up a plan when we are still in the United States.

      Thanks for commenting!