How to Prevent Pink Eye

frightened kid in spectacles looking from under table desk

It’s one of the most contagious infections in schools. Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is the most common eye problem a child can have, causing redness, itching, inflammation and swelling. This is accompanied by a gooey liquid that collects in the eyes, often clear, white, yellow or green. So how do you determine when your child has pink eye and how can you prevent him or her from getting it if the infection is being spread around their school?

Symptoms

Knowing the symptoms of pink eye is very important, whether your child is infected or a friend or classmate may be. If your child has pink eye, he or she will exhibit increased redness in the white of the eye with blurred vision and an increased sensitivity to light. The most common symptom of pink eye, however, is burning, itchy eyes.

Treatment

If your child’s pink eye is caused by a bacteria, an antibiotic will be prescribed in the form of eye drops. However, if the type of pink eye your child has is caused by a virus, then it must simply run its course, just like the common cold.

Prevention

Even if your child’s friend is plagued by pink eye, you can help prevent the disease from spreading. Make sure your child is washing his or her hands often with soap and warm water. Also, wash all bed linens, pillowcases and towels used by those infected to get rid of the bacteria. Finally, teach your child that it is unsanitary to share eye makeup with friends.

If you suspect your child may have pink eye, visit your closest Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care to speak with a trained health expert who can help. Designed exclusively to meet the needs of children, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent provides quick, efficient service so you can stay away from the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit. Utilize the web check in option to avoid the waiting room!

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When to Seek Medical Treatment for a Cold

Little girl having flue or allergyThey call it the common cold for a reason: it’s common. Unfortunately, most of us will suffer from a cold at some point in our life. Because the common cold currently has no cure, it must be ridden out with time. However, for children, it’s important to keep an eye on symptoms and seek medical treatment immediately if they become severe.

If your child experiences any of the following symptoms when he or she has a cold, you need to take them to a doctor to rule out a more serious illness.

  • Extreme sweating
  • Shaking chills
  • Aching muscles
  • Uneasy, nauseous feeling
  • Vomiting
  • Fever higher than 102 degrees

If symptoms are severe enough for your child to visit a doctor, he or she can typically be diagnosed with a simple physical examination, with no blood tests or X-rays needed. A doctor will take a look at the eyes, ears, throat and chest to determine if bacteria is causing the illness.

While it’s important to see a doctor if symptoms are severe to rule out a more serious illness, unfortunately, there are few things a doctor can do to treat a cold. An antibiotic may be prescribed to kill bacteria, but will have no effect on the virus that usually causes the cold.

To help prevent your child from catching a cold, make sure he or she is washing their hands frequently and is keeping their hands away from the nose, mouth and eyes. Also, explain to your child how sharing utensils, drinks and other chapstick with friends can spread illness-causing germs.

If you child is suffering from cold-like symptoms that are severe and persistent, visit your closest Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care to speak with a trained health expert who can help. Designed exclusively to meet the needs of children, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care provides quick, efficient service so you can avoid the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit. And be sure to check in online to avoid the waiting room.

5 Healthy Kids’ Lunch Ideas

SchoolLunchChildhood obesity is a growing problem in America, more than doubling in children and quadrupling in adolescents over the past 30 years. Children who are obese have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and bone and joint problems. By showing your children how to make healthy food choices, you can help them maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Here are a few quick, easy and healthy lunches that your kids are sure to love. 

  1. Healthy Pizza Bagels: We all remember the pizza bagels we ate as a kid, but they aren’t the healthiest option when it comes to school lunches. Try making your own at home with a bagel, pizza sauce, grated cheese and various diced up vegetables.
  2. DIY Lunchables: Kids love the variety that Lunchables offer, so create a healthier option from home. Buy some silicone liners to keep everything separated and include an array of lunch meat, crackers and cheese.
  3. Caprese Kabobs: Spear cherry tomatoes, diced mozzarella cheese and basil with a miniature skewer and serve with a side of balsamic dressing.
  4. Quesadillas: You can never go wrong with this Mexican food classic. Melt cheddar cheese in between two flour tortillas in a pan. You can also include protein with chicken or add vegetables such as spinach or mushrooms.
  5. Breakfast for Lunch: Add variety to your kids’ brown bag by packing breakfast for lunch. Include classics like Greek yogurt, hardboiled eggs, turkey bacon and a banana.

If you’re looking for healthier meal options for your family, visit your closest Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care to speak with a trained health expert who can help. Designed exclusively to meet the needs of children, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care provides quick, efficient service so you can avoid the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit. And, by utilizing the online check in, you can avoid the waiting room and be seen immediately.

Keeping Kids Safe During Ice and Snow

iStock_000049468982_Large.jpgWith snow days, outdoor ice skating and snowball fights, winter can be one of the most enjoyable times of the year for children. Winter is also a popular time of year to go skiing, snowboarding and sledding. And while it’s great for kids to get outdoors and play during the cold months, there are specific precautions that should be taken to avoid a trip to the emergency room.

  • Dress Appropriately: This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important that your children are properly covered before stepping outside. Wool is one of the most effective fabrics during winter. Also, waterproof pants and jackets are ideal top layers as they prevent wetness. Warm socks and boots are also key to keeping feet dry.
  • Practice Sports Safety: When it comes to winter sports, helmets are essential. For children on a snowmobile, playing ice hockey, snowboarding or skiing, wearing protective gear such as a helmet can prevent serious head injuries.
  • Track the Temperature: Children should never be allowed to play outdoors once the temperature falls below -17 degrees Fahrenheit or when the wind chill is -18.4 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
  • Walk Carefully: When walking in snow or on ice, children should wear shoes or boots that will grip appropriately. Tell them to keep their hands out of their pockets in case they begin to slip and need their arms for balance. Before walking on potentially slick areas, test them out by tapping your foot on the space. Lastly, make sure your child takes small, shuffled steps when walking on slick surfaces.

By following a few helpful tips, your child can enjoy the wintertime injury free. In the case that your child does suffer an injury, visit Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care. Designed exclusively to meet the needs of children, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent provides quick, efficient service so you can avoid the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit.

Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat

iStock_000055726670_Large.jpgWhen your child has a sore throat, you want to do anything you can to make him or her feel better. Determining the cause of the sore throat is key to receiving treatment. While a sore throat can be something as minor as the common cold, it can also be a bacterial infection like strep throat.

Sore Throat With a Cold

Most commonly, a virus is the cause behind a sore throat. Typically, the sore throat will come with additional symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. Unfortunately, if your child has a cold, there is no cure; however, there are ways you can help alleviate the pain. Serve your child warm liquids, have him or her gargle warm salt water and take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Strep Throat

While a virus causes the common cold, strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection. Most common in children 5-15 years old, strep throat is spread when children are in contact with an infected person’s saliva or nasal secretions. Strep throat symptoms are usually more severe than a sore throat with a cold. Loss of appetite, fever and white spots inside the throat are all common signs of strep throat. If your child is diagnosed with strep throat, an antibiotic will be prescribed to kill the bacteria. It takes a day or two before your child will begin to feel better once he or she starts taking an antibiotic.

If your child has a sore throat, visit your local Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care. Designed exclusively to meet the needs of children, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent provides quick, efficient service so you can avoid the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit.