How Much Sleep Should Your Child Get?

iStock-576709304.jpgThere are few things more challenging to a parent than a fussy, tired child. Because children are constantly growing, they need much more than the standard 8 hours of sleep that adults require. There are obvious signs to tell if your child isn’t getting enough sleep, but many children will act like they’re not tired to avoid bedtime. By educating yourself on just how much sleep your child needs, you can avoid the consequences of sleep deprivation.

Newborn to 3 months

Newborn babies usually only sleep two or four hours at a time. With that said, they will typically sleep many times throughout the day, which should add up to 14 to 17 hours total. When a baby is this young, their sleep patterns (at least what little they have of a pattern) is linked to the daylight and nighttime cycles.

Infants to 11 months

As babies continue to grow, they still need around 12 to 15 hours of sleep a day. By the time babies have reached six years of age, they will start to establish more regular sleep patterns, which is great news for parents! At six months old, when babies start sleeping through the night more, they will drop from three naps to two.

Toddlers to 2 years

By this time, most children are down to one nap a day. It is ideal for kids this age to get a total of 11 to 14 hours of sleep, with a bedtime between 7pm and 9pm, depending on their morning wakeup time.

Preschoolers to 5 years

It is during this age range that children typically stop napping altogether. If children are still napping at age 5, their naps are usually shorter than they used to be. In total, children of this age should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep each day.

School-aged children to 13 years

By the time children are in school, their sleep schedules are usually much more rigid and reduced to 9 to 11 hours a day. Because their days are filled with many more activities, children may be going to sleep later, so it’s very important to focus on getting the recommend amount of sleep.

Continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog for more healthy living tips and medical information. We love to make your life as a parent as easy as possible!

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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When Are Lab Services Needed?

iStock-535721777.jpgLab testing can be nerve-wracking enough for adults, let alone children. Used to sample blood, urine, other bodily fluids or tissue, lab tests are an excellent way to make sure you or your child is in the best health and that there are no underlying health concerns. While it’s easy to see why lab work is needed, it can be difficult for children to understand. By educating yourself and your child on lab services, it may ease the unknown the next time lab work is recommended for either of you.

When are they needed?

Laboratory tests are most commonly ordered to determine if there are any health conditions that can be proactively diagnosed or any changes in you or your child’s health. If you or your child already suffer from a disease, lab tests can be the best way to come up with a treatment plan and to monitor the disease over time.

How are they analyzed?

The time between when the test is done and when the results are given can be excruciating. It may be helpful to know what is being done while you wait. Once the sample is collected, the doctor’s office will send it to a lab where they will check to see what reactions the sample has to different substances. In some instances, the sample will be compared to you or your child’s previous tests to see if there are any changes.

What factors can affect results?

It’s important to note that there are some factors that can affect the results of lab work. Gender, age, race, medical history, diet, overall health and whether or not preparatory instructions are followed are all factors that may have an effect on the results of lab services. It’s best to be straightforward with you or your child’s doctor so he or she knows what should be factored in. It’s also important to follow prep instructions as closely as possible.

If your child is in need of lab services, consider taking him or her to Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. Our technicians are highly qualified and will treat your child with the utmost care. Be sure to check in online to wait wherever you are!

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.

Helping Your Child Choose a Hobby

iStock-186566205.jpgSome children may show an interested in certain activities or hobbies at a very young age, while others may need a parent to help them figure out what they enjoy doing. Whether it’s sports, arts, dance, or something completely unique, there are a few ways to steer your child towards the activity that would be a great fit for him or her. When deciding what hobby your child would excel at, it’s important to determine if they’re most interested in a physical, mental or creative outlet.

Physical

Activities that are more physical give your child the ability to become stronger, fitter and generally healthier. Outside of the typical sports offered at your child’s school and in the community, consider activities such as skiing, horseback riding and sailing. If your child enjoys playing outdoors and has a competitive nature, a physical hobby might be the best fit. 

Mental

There are many benefits to your child participating in a hobby that provides mental stimulation. Games like chess, puzzles, and reading can provide your child with a lifelong hobby that can be enjoyed no matter what age he or she is. If your child loves to learn and always wants to know how things work, a mentally stimulating hobby might be a good idea.

 Creative

If your child displays a love for all things creative, a hobby such as singing, acting or playing a musical instrument is ideal. A creative hobby is a great creative outlet for your child as well as a great form of self-expression.

Encourage your child to embrace whatever he or she is interested in. They may try several hobbies before landing on the one they’re most passionate about. Continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog for more kid-friendly activities, healthy living tips and medical information. We love to make your life as a parent as easy as possible!

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.

Identifying The Flu In Young Children

iStock-533072795.jpgIt can be tough to tell what is wrong with young children when they’re suffering from an illness. Many sicknesses have very similar symptoms, making it easy to incorrectly diagnose your child. Two of the most easily confusable illnesses are the common cold and the flu. To help determine if your child has come down with the flu, compare the symptoms below:

  • If the onset of your child’s illness was sudden and not slow, there’s a greater chance it’s the flu instead of a cold.
  • A high fever is a strong symptom of the flu. Mild fevers may be symptomatic of something else.
  • A decrease in appetite is a tell tale sign that your child is suffering from the flu.
  • Achy muscles, a headache and chills are also a strong sign of the flu.

Other illnesses that can share similar symptoms include strep throat and pneumonia. If your child begins to have difficulty breathing, begins to seem confused or has a headache that continues to worsen, he or she should be taken to a medical facility immediately.

When young children are suffering from the flu, they will feel sluggish and suffer from fatigue. A doctor will likely recommend your child get plenty of fluids and rest. One way to prevent your child from catching the flu is to take him or her to get a flu vaccine. It’s also a good idea to teach your child to avoid sharing food and drinks with other kids in their class, as this is one of the key ways the flu is spread.

If you believe your child may be suffering from the flu, consider taking him or her to a doctor as soon as possible. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care our technicians are highly qualified and will treat your child with the utmost care. Be sure to check in online so you can wait from home!

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 is Bone Splinting?

iStock-535002929.jpgBecause children are constantly on the go, from the jungle gym to the soccer field, they are constantly at risk of broken bones and fractures. Typically when a child breaks a bone, it will require a cast or splint to keep it protected during the healing process. A splint is usually the first type of treatment a child will receive at a doctor, urgent care or emergency room facility. Knowing what to expect with this procedure can help alleviate some of the stress a parent feels when faced with this situation.

What A Splint Is

A splint differs from a cast in that it does not surround the broken bone. Splints are only hard on two sides and can provide support surrounding the injury, reducing the risk of injuring the bone further. A splint also allows room for swelling, which a cast does not. Normally, the splint is applied immediately and is worn prior to the cast being placed — when the swelling has subsided enough. In some cases, a cast may not be needed at all.

What A Splint Is Made Of

Usually consisting of three or four layers, a splint is held in place by a bandage, making it vulnerable to accidental movement. The first, optional, layer of a splint is cotton-stocking material that protects the skin and adds some comfort. The second layer is a soft cotton material intended to further pad the appendage, while the third layer typically consists of fiberglass. Finally, the fourth layer is the bandage that keeps everything in its place.

Caring For A Splint

If your child is given a splint, it’s important to keep it dry, as it may lose its strength and no longer keep the bone in place when wet. Your child should never attempt to adjust his or her splint; only a doctor or trained medical professional should handle this. Also, if your child complains of the splint being too tight, you should seek medical attention immediately to have this fixed so circulation is not cut off.

If your child has suffered a broken bone or fracture, he or she should see a doctor as soon as possible. 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.

Understanding Urine Tests for Children

iStock-498573772.jpgIf you aren’t aware of what a urine test does, it can be somewhat unnerving when a doctor orders one for your child. A doctor will typically order a urine test for a child to ensure the kidneys and other organs are functioning properly. Also, if your child’s doctor believes he or she has a kidney, bladder or urinary tract infection, a test may be ordered as well. If your child’s urine contains glucose, protein or other irregularities, it could indicate a health problem that needs medical attention.

What Is A Urinalysis?

If your child’s doctor believes he or she is suffering from a urinary tract infection, more commonly called a UTI, a urinalysis can help provide certain numbers needed for an accurate diagnosis. A urinalysis will measure the following presence:

  • Red and white blood cells
  • Bacteria or other organisms
  • Substances, such as glucose
  • pH, which is an indicator of the acidity of the urine

Considerations

If the tests reveal your child’s urine contain white blood cells or protein, it may be a result of how or when the urine was collected. For instance, the urine of a child that is dehydrated may be darker than usual and contain small amounts of protein. However, this is not necessarily an indication of health problems. The doctor will be able to determine the levels of protein and whether or not further testing is required.

How Is A Urinalysis Done?

Your child will usually be asked to urinate in a clean container in order to perform this test. Once this is completed, a nurse will place a small plastic strip with chemicals on it into the urine. This strip will change colors depending on what is present in the urine. If the strip reveals the presence of specific cells, the urine may be sent to a lab for a urine culture.

If you believe your child is suffering from a UTI or other health problem, consider taking him or her in for a urinalysis. 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.