Preparing for Your Child’s First Babysitter

iStock_000024519540_Medium.jpgFor new moms, leaving your child for the first time can be a very emotional and stressful situation. It’s not uncommon for unrealistic disaster scenarios to play in your head as you prepare to leave your child with someone else, especially if this someone is not a family member. However, finding a babysitter you trust is key to living a balanced life and will allow you to run errands and spend time alone with your spouse or friends. If you’re preparing to leave your child with a babysitter for the first time, there are a few things you can do to make yourself (and your sitter) more at ease.

Don’t Be Afraid to Interview

You don’t have to go with the first sitter you meet or with someone a friend recommended. Interview as many potential sitters as you need to feel comfortable. Bring your two favorite prospects in for a paid “working interview” so you can observe them in your home and with your child while you’re there.

Make an Emergency Contact List

Provide your sitter with more information than he or she will need! Review emergency procedures specific to your child and home. Also, let them know if you want to be contacted only in case of emergency or if a fussy baby qualifies for a call.

Provide Instructions

Because every family is different, you need to give specifics for your sitter. Let him or her know when you want your child fed, changed, put to bed, etc. Make sure to have your sitter come over 15 minutes before you leave so you have plenty of time to review everything.

Let Yourself Relax

Having a sitter is pointless if you don’t allow yourself to have a good time. Trust that he or she will call if anything important comes up and that your child is in good hands.

For more information on child safety, helpful health tips and up-to-date medical information, check back in on the Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care blog regularly.

 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.

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Protecting Your Child From the Internet

iStock_000069592313_Medium.jpgIn recent years, the Internet has changed the way we live. It’s now possible to search for answers, place orders for anything you may need and communicate with one another all in the same place. For as much good as the Internet has brought, there are dangers that loom within it too. The Internet can be especially dangerous for children, who may not be aware how serious these threats can be. If your child is using the Internet, there are several things you can do to protect them.

Limit and Monitor Their Time

For young children, set limits for the amount of time they’re allowed to use the Internet each day and, if possible, try to keep an eye on them when they’re at the computer. This may mean doing work in the same room so you can constantly glance up and police their activity. You can also go back and monitor the history of your computer to make sure they haven’t visited any unsafe websites.

Install Parental Controls

Most Internet browsers (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari etc.) offer security safeguards and content filters that will keep your child from accessing offensive language, nudity, sex and violence.

Explain the Importance of Keeping Information Private

Most children don’t get themselves in trouble on purpose; typically, it’s a lack of knowledge. Make sure your children know they should never share their real names, where they live, where they go to school or places they visit often online. It’s important to drive this information into your child’s mind regularly so they know how serious you are.

Know the Ratings

If your child likes to play games online, they should only be playing age-appropriate games on websites that share the ratings for every game.

By focusing on your child’s safety online, you greatly reduce the chance he or she will get into a situation that puts them in danger. For more information on child safety, helpful health tips and up-to-date medical information, check back in on the Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care blog regularly. 

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 Common Sports Injuries for Kids

Leg fracture

If your child is involved in sports, it’s likely he or she will get injured at some point in their sports career. Whether it’s a minor scrape or something major like a broken bone, sports injuries can be a scary thing. Below is a list of common sports injuries for kids so you can better understand what injuries your child is at risk of and what you can do to prevent them.

Sprains and Strains

Because of sudden movement in most sports, child athletes are at risk of sprains and strains on their muscles. The most common athletic injury, an ankle sprain, is an injury to the ligament. Meanwhile, a strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon.

Heat-Related Illness

Because children sweat less than adults, they are at greater risk of a heat-related illness. These injuries, which can be fatal, are always dangerous. Dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the most common heat-related illness. Symptoms include nausea, dizziness, weakness, confusion and fainting spells.

Growth Plate Injuries

The area of developing tissues at the end of the long bones in children, the growth plate, is one of the most common things to be injured in childhood sports. When a child is fully grown, the growth plate becomes replaced by solid bone. The long bones most frequently injured are the bones of the hands and fingers, bones of the forearms, bone of the upper leg, lower leg bone and foot bones.

To prevent sports injuries, make sure your child properly warms up and cools down before and after games. Ensure your child has access to water throughout the game and monitor your child regularly for signs of overexertion. Your child should also be enrolled on a team through his or her school, community club or recreation area that is well maintained. It’s important that the coach of your child’s team is trained in first aid and CPR.

If your child experiences a sports-related illness, he or she should be seen by a medical professional immediately. Consider Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, where we provide quick, efficient service so you can avoid the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit.

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 Kid-Friendly Activities to Try This Summer

iStock_000010292520_Medium.jpgSummer can be a truly enjoyable time spent bonding with your children. With school out and the sun shining, it’s a great time to spend together outdoors or doing activities your child’s been looking forward to all school year. However, without school and homework to keep your child busy, you may be in need of some additional kid-friendly activities. Below are 5 activities to try with your child this summer.

  1. Do yard work: While this may seem more like work than fun, children often love being able to help out. Let your child water the flowers with a small watering can or help to pull weeds. Bubble-blowing lawn mowers are also a fun way to incorporate your child into yard work.
  2. Visit a fire station: Have your child help out baking cookies or brownies and then visit your local fire station to hand them out. The firefighters will appreciate the kind gesture and your child can tour the station and possibly get a close-up view of the big red fire truck.
  3. Create an outdoor art gallery: Let your child be as creative as he or she wants with sidewalk chalk. Fill every square inch of your sidewalk and driveway and invite neighbors to come over and see. You can also use glow-in-the-dark chalk so your child’s gallery will be visible at night.
  4. Open a lemonade stand: Give your kids the responsibility of running a lemonade stand for a day. Help them with setup and making the lemonade, but allow them to feel like they own the stand. This will teach them the value of money and give them something fun to do at the same time.
  5. Go to the park: This may sound like a no-brainer, but taking your child to the park during the summer can be one of their favorite activities. Try to incorporate games, such as who can collect the most bugs or something classic like Simon Says. This will provide endless hours of fun for your child and his or her friends.

For more information on child safety, helpful health tips and up-to-date medical information, check back in on the Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care blog regularly. 

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.

Preparing Your Child for Summer Camp

SummerCamp.jpgWhen you look back at your days at summer camp, there’s a good chance you have nothing but fond memories. However, there’s also a good chance you experienced doubt and fear in the weeks leading up to camp, worried about the unknown. If your child is headed to summer camp this year, there are a few things you can do to ensure he or she has a great time and doesn’t worry about camp in the weeks leading up to it.

Share your stories: tell your child about your own memories of camp. Let them know that you had similar worries and that everything turned out fine. Share specific stories you hold dear and talk about any friends you may have made at camp.

Do research together: take time to look at the camp’s website and brochures to see photos of the camp and to review activities your child may be doing while there. If possible, try to attend an open house while the camp is in session to give your child a strong sense of what it’s like.

Write a letter: Think about writing a small note or letter that you can leave in your child’s suitcase that will help comfort him or her as they’re unpacking. This letter serves as a sort of transitional object and can help make your child more comfortable at camp.

Talk about communication: Because most camps offer different rules of communication, come up with a game plan so your child knows what to expect. Discuss what times of day you will call and if you will be able to write letters or text at all.

If your child is planning to attend a summer camp this year, it’s a good idea to set up a camp physical for him or her before camp begins. At Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, we provide quick, efficient service so you can avoid the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit.

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.