When Are IVs Required?

Doctor applying bandaid to arm of little girl after vaccinations

Most people think of intravenous rehydration (more commonly called an IV) as a scary tool with a sharp needle that is often used at hospitals for severe medical cases; however, an IV can be used for something as minor as moderate dehydration. More commonly used for children than adults, the IV typically consists of water with some salt or sugar added. Knowing what an IV does and when it’s required can be important to calm your child if he or she ever needs one.

When is an IV required?

Dehydration occurs when a person loses fluids from their body. The fluids lost contain water and dissolved salts, also referred to as electrolytes. If your child suffers from a mild case of dehydration, he or she should drink water and fluids that are full of electrolytes (sports drinks are great). However, moderate to severe cases of dehydration will most likely require IV rehydration.

How does an IV work?

A nurse or doctor will normally administer the IV to your child by inserting the IV line into a vein in his or her arm. This line will be attached to a bag of fluids – the contents of which will be determined by your child’s doctor – on the other end. The amount of fluid will be regulated by the doctor or nurse and will enter your child’s bloodstream via an automated pump or adjustable valve.

Are there risks associated with an IV?

The risks associated with an IV are very low for most people and most often the benefits outweigh the risks. There is a minor risk of infection at the injection site any time an IV is administered. While even more minor, there is also a risk of the vein collapsing if the IV remains in it for an extended period of time. However, a knowledgeable nurse or doctor will know to move the needle to a different vein.

If your child is displaying signs of moderate or severe dehydration, he or she should receive medical attention immediately. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified 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.

4 Fun After-School Activities

Fruit dessert for child

By the time summer is done, kids (and parents) are often ready for school to return. However, once school is out each day, your child will likely be looking for something to keep busy. While homework needs to be completed, there are also a number of fun after-school activities that your child can enjoy as an alternative to sitting in front of the TV all afternoon and evening.

Get Creative With Snack Art

Most kids get hungry after school. Have your child help out with their after-school snack by creating fun snack art. A few examples are sandwiches cut by cookie cutters, fun creatures made from hard-boiled eggs and healthy dips served with animal crackers.

Build An Art Gallery

Have your child get creative outside with sidewalk chalk. Offer suggestions for an artwork theme, such as family members, favorite animals, etc. and let your child go crazy. Invite neighbors over to check it out and vote on their favorite drawings.

Do Something Nice For A Friend

Decide on a friend or neighbor who is in need and do something nice for him or her. Whether you water the plants of an out-of-town neighbor, bake cookies for a friend who’s been sick or simply go visit an assisted living home for senior citizens, teaching your son or daughter to give of their time is a great activity and life lesson.

Go Exploring

Take a walk to a new park or go on a bike ride to the library on a different path. Wherever you decide to explore, make sure it’s somewhere new and exciting that will get your child wanting to be outdoors.

For more information on family safety, helpful health tips and up-to-date medical information, check back in on the Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care blog regularly. We are also open seven days a week to serve you when medical attention is needed for your child. 

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 Most Contagious Classroom Illnesses

My daughter isn't afraid to pay a visit here

Whether it’s in the classroom or even at daycare after school, your child is exposed to many illnesses being around other children. While it’s impossible to keep your child from being exposed, there are things you can do to ensure he or she remains healthy and at a lower risk of catching the illness-of-the-week. Below are the most contagious classroom illnesses and what you can do to keep your child healthy.

Colds: The common cold is just that: common. Sniffles, sneezes and possibly a sore throat are all signs that your child, or someone in their classroom, is suffering from a cold. In fact, children catch as many as eight colds each year. 

Sore Throats: It’s referred to as a sore throat, strep throat and even tonsillitis, but it all refers to the same thing: an illness for your child.  The most common cause of a sore throat for children is a viral infection, with most children suffering from a sore throat also experiencing a cold at the same time. 

Coughs: Because young children should generally steer clear of over-the-counter cough medication, a cough is easily spread and not easy to treat. Alongside coughing, your child may also have a runny nose, blocked nose and difficulty sleeping. 

Vomiting: While vomiting will usually go away without medication, it’s still a miserable illness for your child to catch and can even result in dehydration. If your child is vomiting, be sure he or she is well hydrated. 

Diarrhea: If your child suffers from diarrhea, it’s essential that you monitor for signs of dehydration. Most children can continue to eat a normal diet when experiencing this illness, although you may want to give him or her smaller amounts of food than normal so you don’t disrupt his or her stomach.

If your child is exposed to an illness in the classroom, there are a few ways to help your child reduce their risk. Teach your child to never eat or drink after another child and to always wash his or her hands before eating. If you believe your child is ill, keep them at home to minimize the risk of other children getting sick, as well.

If your child is ill and in need of medical attention, consider seeking care at an urgent care facility. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified 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.

Safety Tips for Families with Pets

Girl and her best friendThere are numerous benefits to having a family pet. Whether it’s a cat, dog, frog, etc., adopting a pet increases self-esteem in your child, teaches nurturing skills and creates a loving bond that will bring joy to your entire family. However, before you bring a new furry member into the family, it’s important that your child knows how to interact with your pet.

Below are a few tips that will ensure your child and pet have a happy, healthy relationship.

  • Make sure your child knows that loud noises or sudden movements will startle the animal, which could cause an unknown reaction. Tugging or pulling at any animal is never acceptable, and your child should be taught to approach the animal from the front in a gentle manner.
  • Never leave your child unsupervised with an animal. Even if you trust your pet and your child, accidents happen.
  • Keep your child away from a dog or cat’s waste. Animal waste can carry disease, which is easily transferable to your child. Small children are often intrigued by animal waste, especially a cat’s litter box, which resembles a sandbox.
  • Any time your pet is excitable, for example when they are eating or interested in something outdoors, he or she should be left alone. During this time, an animal is more likely to react unexpectedly.
  • Your child should be taught what is needed to care for a pet. Have him or her help out with feeding, bathing and walking your pet. It’s also important a dog is exercised regularly, which your child can help out with as well.

Having a family pet is a truly remarkable experience, but children must be taught that animals have feelings too and they should be treated with respect. When treated properly, a pet will offer years of companionship and joy to your family.

For more information on family 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.