Are you the parent of an active child? Are you worried about what will happen if they become sick or injured? Now is the perfect time to establish a relationship with a local urgent care center, before your child needs it. Here are some reasons to take him or her for a visit right now:

Basic physical: Although you may only be aware of an urgent care center as tending to mild to moderate sicknesses or injuries, many urgent care centers do much more than that. Many urgent care centers will also allow you to set them up as the primary care physician with your insurance. Once you do that, they can provide you and your children with some routine immunizations and can even provide routine physicals. Taking your child in now for a checkup allows you to get familiar with the doctors and the office procedures. It will also allow them to establish a basic medical history for your child. Is your child's normal body temperature a little higher than average, or a little lower? Do they have a history of ear infections? The urgent care center can help establish what is normal for your child so that they can more easily spot any abnormalities.

Faster paperwork: Whenever you go to any new doctor's office or hospital, there is paperwork that you must fill out. If your child is crying about a cut or a sprain, it can be difficult to ignore their pain for the moment, even when you know it's not too serious, and focus on the paperwork that needs to be completed. By visiting when your child is healthy and active, you can get that initial paperwork out of the way without any distractions. Because you're not distracted by your child's distress during your initial visit to the urgent care center, you're less likely to forget important allergies or other medical information.

Quicker than an ER visit: You may be wondering why you should go through all this trouble, when you can simply take your child to the emergency room when they are sick or injured. Although you should definitely visit the emergency room for very serious injuries, an urgent care center is equipped to handle most situations. Because an emergency room handles everything from sprained ankles to heart attacks and gunshot victims, it may take hours for your child to be seen if they only have a mild fever or a simple bone fracture. Since an urgent care center doesn't have to deal with potentially deadly emergencies, you can often be done with the whole visit before you would have been seen by the first doctor in the emergency room. Urgent care centers are able to take and examine x-rays, set broken bones, wrap sprained ankles, and write prescriptions for antibiotics. Depending on the urgent care center, they may be able to perform most of the same tests that an emergency room doctor would prescribe for your child, but in less time because they don't have to deal with other patients who are near-death.