What You Need To Know About Pediatric Dehydration

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Dehydration in children can be a very scary thing. Because infants and small children can lose fluid more quickly than older children and adults, they are much more likely to suffer from dehydration. Knowing the symptoms of pediatric dehydration is key to seeking the proper medical attention quickly.

Causes Of Dehydration

Most often, fever, diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty drinking or eating (this may be caused by serious bacterial infections) are the cause of dehydration. If your child is participating in activities that are outdoors during the summer, they may become dehydrated due to increased sweating. Excessive urination, usually caused by diabetes, can also cause dehydration.

Symptoms Of Dehydration

If your child is suffering from dehydration, he or she may begin urinating less frequently. You may also noticed they become more irritable and lethargic. For infants, dehydration is often identified by a lack of tears when crying. Sunken eyes, a sunken soft spot on the front of the infant’s head and dry or sticky mucous membranes are also signs your child may be dehydrated.

Diagnosing Dehydration

If your child is suffering from dehydration symptoms, it’s important that you seek medical care immediately. A doctor will likely complete a blood culture, blood count and urinalysis to determine what’s wrong.

Treating Dehydration

In less serious instances, dehydration can be treated at home with Pedialyte and similar products that will provide your child with sugar and electrolytes. In more serious cases, your child may require professional medical treatment using an IV.

If your child is suffering from symptoms of dehydration, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified in pediatrics and will treat your child with the utmost care.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.

How To Prepare Children for Pool Season

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As summer approaches, most kids become increasingly excited about jumping in the pool on a hot day. If you have a baby, toddler or preschooler, it’s important to properly prepare them for the upcoming pool days. By following the steps below at each age, your child will be ready to dive in like a pro.

Six Months Old

Test the waters when your child is young to familiarize him with the water. Begin in the bathtub or a kiddie pool so your child can confidently sit up on his own. As your infant becomes more comfortable, gently squeeze a sponge over his head so he can recognize what water on his face feels like. Slowly add in waterproof toys or play games like peekaboo so your child associates the water with fun experiences.

Toddlers

As your child gets older, take him to a family-swim period so he can see everyone having fun in a relaxed kid-friendly environment. Don’t pressure your toddler to get in the water until they’re ready. When that time comes, go into the shallow end together and hold your child under their bottom with one hand, placing the other hand around his back. As your toddler becomes more comfortable, slowly move him throughout the shallow end, constantly reassuring him.

Young Children

When your child starts to feel at home in the pool, you may consider formal lessons. As you are in the water with your child, help him practice floating, stomach down with his head to the side, outside of the water. Then, have him do the same thing on his back. You can also have your child hold onto the side of the pool and practice kicking.

For more up-to-date medical information and healthy tips, continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.

How To Know If Your Infant Has An Ear Infection

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There are few things worse than knowing your infant is in pain, especially when you don’t know what’s wrong. When a baby is feeling bad, he or she will likely demonstrate a change in mood and begin crying more than usual. Unfortunately, this can indicate a number of problems, including an ear infection. To determine if your child is suffering from an ear infection, there are a few telltale signs to look out for.

Symptoms Of An Ear Infection In Infants

  • Your baby is pulling, grabbing or tugging at his or her ears
  • Your baby is unable to swallow or chew or they pull away from the bottle after only a few sips
  • You notice yellow or whitish fluid draining from the ear
  • You detect an unpleasant smell coming from your child’s ear
  • Your child has difficulty sleeping or lying down

Causes Of Ear Infections

When fluid builds up in the area behind your baby’s eardrum and becomes infected, it can result in an ear infection. Typically, fluid in this area leaves quickly via the eustachian tube; however, if that tube is blocked, it can cause the fluid to get trapped. Because warm, wet places are often a breeding ground for germs, the fluid can easily get infected. Since babies have shorter eustachian tubes, they are more likely to develop an infection than adults. As your child’s body works to fight off the infection, he or she may develop a fever.

When To Seek Medical Care

As soon as you think your child may have an ear infection, you should call a doctor. A doctor will use an instrument called an otoscope to look into your baby’s ear. If the doctor believes it’s an infection, he or she may use another instrument, a pneumatic otoscope, to further assess whether the ear is actually infected.

If you believe your child is suffering from an ear infection, consider seeking medical care at Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified in pediatrics and will treat your child with the utmost care.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.

5 Fun Kid-Friendly Cinco de Mayo Activities

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Although Cinco de Mayo is a minor holiday in Mexico, it has become an American tradition to go all-out when celebrating May 5th. Cinco de Mayo can also be a great opportunity for you to teach your children about the traditions of other cultures. Below are five ways you can educate your children about the culture of Mexico.

Make Your Favorite Foods

Most kids love to cook. Find your kids’ favorite Mexican dishes and create them together as an ode to the holiday. Guacamole is something simple you can make with your child. You can also make tacos or enchiladas if you prefer to make an entire meal together.

Build Your Own Maracas

Traditional Mexican maracas were built using dried gourds and filled with fried beans. To make a modern-day maraca, simply use leftover smoothie containers and fill them with beans, rice, pasta or even beads. To see the full directions, click here.

Break A Piñata

Piñatas are the epitome of a Mexican celebration. Most discount and party stores sell piñatas at a reasonable price. Have your child invite over a few friends and let them take turns hitting the piñata, blindfolded. They will love when the piñata is broken and they are able to grab the candy.

Make Homemade Tortillas

Tortillas are some of the most simple foods to make. Having your child make this basic food with you is a great way to teach him or her the benefit of homemade versus store bought foods.

Learn The Vocabulary

Many kids will learn some Spanish vocabulary in school, but it is nice to review these words with them on Cinco de Mayo. Try beginning with basic terms, like “hello” and “goodbye.” Slowly incorporate numbers, colors and days of the week.

For more up-to-date medical information and healthy tips, continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.

What To Do If Your Child Has Mono

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There’s a common misconception that mononucleosis, typically called mono, can only be spread from kissing. While the virus can be spread that way, there are a handful of other ways to spread it, making young kids susceptible to the virus as well. It’s important to determine if your child is suffering from mono so that he or she can recover, but equally important that the virus not be spread to friends and classmates.

Signs and Symptoms of Mono

If your child has developed mono, he or she will likely begin to experience symptoms 4 to 7 weeks after the virus was contracted. Signs of mono include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever and sore throat (often with swollen tonsils)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Sore muscles and weakness
  • Skin rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Larger-than-normal liver or spleen

While symptoms will usually dissipate within 2 to 4 weeks, fatigue and weakness have been known to last as long as a few months. If your child is suffering from the above symptoms, a doctor will need to perform a blood test and physical exam to properly diagnose the virus.

Treating Mono

The best way to treat mono is to make sure your child gets plenty of rest, especially toward the beginning of the illness when symptoms are at their worst. If your child is suffering from a fever and aching muscles, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may offer some relief. It’s important to note that aspirin should never been given to a child with a viral illness. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids as well while recovering. Doctors suggest that children who get mono stay away from sports for at least a month after the symptoms have subsided because the spleen is usually still enlarged and at risk of rupturing.

If you believe your child may be suffering from mono, it’s important a medical professional sees them. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified in pediatrics and will treat your child with the utmost care.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.

3 Benefits Of A Kid-Friendly Urgent Care

 

pediatric doctor examining little patientOne of the things we love most about children is their adventurous spirit; however, it can also make them extremely accident-prone. When accidents happen, quick medical attention is crucial. Urgent care facilities can be a great alternative to a hospital or pediatrician, which can take days to get into.

Kid-friendly urgent care facilities, like Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, are designed exclusively to meet the needs of children. Children’s urgent care clinics are staffed with pediatric-trained staff that knows exactly what your child needs. Your child will feel completely at home too with plenty of toys, sticker collections and a clinic design that is geared toward children.

Urgent care facilities are often preferred over hospitals and general physicians because the wait is typically much shorter. Most pediatric urgent care facilities have an average wait time of 30 minutes, so a sick or injured child won’t have to sit around.

If you live in Dallas and are in search of a pediatric urgent care facility, consider checking out Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. We have six locations throughout the DFW area with facilities open from 4pm to 11pm on weekdays (Plano weekdays 3pm to 10pm) and 11:30am to 8pm on weekends.

Since 1986, we have been dedicating ourselves to providing best-in-class care in a wide range of pediatric specialties. Our services include:

  • Strep, flu, urine, RSV and mono testing
  • X-rays
  • Lab services (on site and referral)
  • IV fluids
  • Fracture care and splinting
  • Laceration repair (stitches, staples and glue)
  • Sports and camp physicals
  • Breathing treatments
  • Urine catheterization
  • Removal of foreign bodies from nose, ears and skin

If your child is suffering from a non-life threatening illness or injury, it’s important a medical professional sees them. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified in pediatrics and will treat your child with the utmost care.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.

Do First Aid Kits Expire?

First Aid KitIn order to be prepared when accidents happen, most of us have a first aid kit on hand, or even in the car. Because these kits can tend to be an afterthought, they don’t get updated often. It’s also tough to throw out a half used tube of antibiotic ointment. So how do you know when to toss certain items in your first aid kit and when you can keep others?

Let’s back up a second and take a look at what items should be included in a home first aid kit in the first place. A standard first aid kit should be kept within easy reach (although out of the reach of children) and include the following items:

  • Sterile gauze pads in a variety of sizes
  • Adhesive tape and adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Antiseptic wipes and antiseptic solution like hydrogen peroxide
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Tweezers, sharp scissors and safety pins
  • A thermometer
  • Elastic bandages
  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • For additional suggestions for your first aid kit, read here.

It’s important to know that many of the items above will expire. In fact, many items have expiration dates from 3-5 years after purchase. However, it’s suggested that you review all of the products in your first aid kit on a yearly basis to avoid items expiring or becoming less effective.

Most medications will be marked with an expiration date on them. Typically these dates can be found on one end of the packet or tube. These dates are usually an indication of how long the manufacturer feels comfortable that the product will be effective or sterile.

Slightly less easy to identify is the expiration of dressing and bandages. There are usually no expiration dates on these items, but you can inspect them by checking non-sterile gauze pads or rolls for the smell of mildew and signs of discoloration. Sterile versions of these items can be more difficult to inspect, so it’s recommended you look at the packaging to search for discoloration and signs of fading.

You can read more about first aid kit expiration here. For more up-to-date medical information and healthy tips, continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.