Signs and Symptoms: Flu Versus Cold

Cleaning nose

While the initial symptoms can seem very similar, the cold and the flu are two very different illnesses. A cold is more of a mild, respiratory illness, while the flu is something that will keep you down and out for weeks. The flu can also result in complications like pneumonia and hospitalizations. To better understand the difference between the cold and the flu, here are the symptoms you’ll experience.

Symptoms of the cold

  • Sore throat which goes away within two days
  • Nasal symptoms: runny nose and congestion
  • A cough towards the end of the illness
  • Fever is possible, but unlikely

Symptoms of the flu

  • Cold-like symptoms, including sore throat, congestion and cough
  • Muscle aches and soreness
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Cold symptoms typically last around a week, with the first three days being the most contagious. During those first few days, it’s important to stay at home. If your cold symptoms persist for more than a week, check with your doctor to determine if you’ve developed an allergy or sinusitis.

For the flu, symptoms are more intense, but last only two to five days. However, because of the intense symptoms, you may feel run down for more than a week. If you begin to notice shortness of breath alongside your flu symptoms, seek medical attention immediately as this could be a sign of pneumonia.

To prevent both the cold and the flu, wash your hands as often as possible. You should also avoid close contact with anyone displaying symptoms of either illness. For the flu, you can also get the annual flu vaccine to prevent getting sick.

If you believe your child have symptoms of either the cold or the flu, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor. At Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, our doctors are highly qualified and will treat your child with the utmost care. You can even check in online at medicalcityurgentcare.com!

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 Tips For A Safe Halloween

Three Children In Halloween Costumes Trick Or Treating

Halloween can be one of the most enjoyable nights of the year for children. Dressing up, going house to house in search of candy, staying up late watching scary movies, kids often look forward to Halloween night for the entire year. However, if you don’t follow the proper safety precautions, the night can quickly turn bad. Below are a few safety tips to follow to ensure your child has a safe, fun Halloween night.

Be with an adult or group

If your child is under the age of 12, an adult should supervise him or her when trick or treating. Because children often venture into unfamiliar neighborhoods, it’s important to have adult supervision at all times. If your child is old enough to go without supervision, they should stay in neighborhoods they know and remain in a group throughout the night. Children should never venture off by themselves.

Practice walking safety

Before your kids go out for the night, remind them of best practices when walking around the neighborhood. Children should always cross the street at corners and look left, right and left again when crossing. All electronics should also be put down when crossing a street so there are no distractions.

Keep costumes safe

If possible, decorate your child’s costume with reflective tape, stickers and light colors. Incorporating glow sticks or having your child carry a flashlight is also a smart move. Finally, be sure your child’s costume fits properly so he or she is not at risk of tripping or falling throughout the evening.

Drive extra cautiously

If you are driving on Halloween night, slowing down is essential. Take an extra second or two to look around when at an intersection and always enter your driveway or alley slower than normal. Most kids like to trick or treat from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm, so it’s important to be especially alert during those hours.

If your child suffers an injury of any kind on Halloween night, consider taking them to Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. At Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, our doctors are highly qualified and will treat your child with the utmost care. You can even check in online at medicalcityurgentcare.com!

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.

When To Keep Your Sick Child Home

Boy measuring fever

Whether your child is sniffling, coughing or complaining of a sore throat, there’s a chance they’re contagious. If your child has just come down with symptoms and you’re unsure what the illness is, there are a few things to keep an eye on to determine whether or not your child should go to school or daycare.

Fever

When your child has a fever, it’s a sign he or she is fighting the germs that are making them sick. If your child’s fever is 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, they should be kept at home until the fever has subsided for at least 24 hours.

Diarrhea

Resulting from an infection, food poisoning or antibiotics, diarrhea can lead to dehydration if enough fluids are not consumed. If your child is suffering from diarrhea, he or she should be kept home until their stool is solid.

Vomiting

Another way for your child’s body to rid itself of germs, diarrhea is normally caused by a stomach virus or infection. Keep your child at home if he or she has vomited more than two times in the last 24 hours. He or she should also not return until the symptoms have completely cleared up. 

Cough

A serious cough may be symptomatic of whooping cough, viral bronchitis or croup. It may also be a sign of asthma or allergies. Because a cough can be contagious, your child should be kept at home when displaying this symptom.

Sore Throat

If your child has a sore throat, there’s a possibility it’s the common cold or strep throat. For a mild sore throat, it’s OK for your child to go to school; however, if he or she has been diagnosed with strep throat, they should be kept at home for at least 24 hours after starting antibiotics.

If your child is displaying any of the above symptoms, they should see a doctor. Consider Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care for qualified, efficient care. At Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified and will treat your child with the utmost care. You can even check in online at medicalcityurgentcare.com!

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 DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

iStock_102116259_MEDIUM.jpgSatisfying your child’s (or your own!) Halloween costume ideas while keeping things on a budget can be a struggle each year. Halloween stores are usually only open a few months a year, so they raise prices high enough to make up for the remainder of the year. If you have the time, it is often easier to make your child’s costume at home to avoid over-priced costumes. Below are a few options for DIY Halloween costume ideas.

Flight Attendant

This look can easily be made with things you likely have lying around the house already. All you need is a white button down shirt, a navy or red skirt, silk neck scarf, luggage of some type (it may be easier to have something that isn’t on wheels if you or your child plan to walk around) and an airline wing pin. If you are like most people and didn’t save the pilots wings you were given as a kid, you can easily recreate them using foam and a sharpie.

Rosie the Riverter

Perhaps the easiest of Halloween getups to create, Rosie the Riverter only requires a denim shirt and a red tied bandana. Tip for photo opportunities: don’t forget to flex that muscle!

Emojis

This is a fun group or family costume. To make the emojis, you need cardboard, yellow spray paint, acrylic paint (in white, black and red), paintbrushes, a pencil and string. So that the yellow emojis really pop, wearing all black underneath the cardboard cutouts is a good idea.

Where’s Waldo?

If you’ve got a red and white striped shirt, a beanie and a pair of round, black-rimmed glasses, you’ve got a Waldo costume. Bonus points for a beanie with a giant pompom on top like the real Waldo!

Continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care blog for more healthy living tips and medical information.

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.

Ear Piercing Care For Children

Smiling Students in the Library

Most girls dream about the day they can get their ears pierced. As soon as young girls realize mom wears pretty jewelry, they want to mimic that. However, when your daughter gets her ears pierced is a very personal decision – both for you and her. It’s also important to know there are potential risks associated with ear piercing. Being educated on these risks as well as other common questions is smart before you take your daughter to get her ears pierced.

What is the right age?

Experts advise that children are at least 6 months old before getting their ears pierced. Because the immune systems of infants are still developing, they are more prone to infection. Waiting until a child is at least 6 months old cuts down on the potential greatly. At Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, we are able to start ear piercing at the age of 5-years-old. However, if you want your child to make their own informed decision on ear piercing, age 10 is recommended.

What metal is best?

When choosing your daughter’s first earrings, it’s essential to pay attention to the metal type. Surgical stainless-steel earrings and posts are the safest as they don’t contain nickel or any alloys that may cause an allergic reaction. Other safe options include platinum, titanium and 14K gold.

Where should you go?

It’s always smart to try your dermatologist or pediatrician first; however, if they don’t do piercings, find out where they recommend. Once you’ve found a place you feel comfortable, you should be sure the technician follows basic safety protocol such as washing their hands, using gloves and cleaning your daughter’s earlobes.

How do I care for the piercings?

It’s crucial to avoid infection after your daughter’s ears are pierced. Clean your own hands before touching your child’s ears. Twice a day, clean the front and back of the earrings with a cotton ball dampened by hydrogen peroxide or cleaning solution. The earrings should be gently rotated a few times a day and should not be removed for six weeks. Your daughter should keep earrings of some sort in for 6 months to avoid the hole closing.

If your daughter is interested in getting her ears pierced, visit Medical City Children’s Hospital 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.