Teaching Your Child After-School Safety

MomNDaughterSchool.jpgAs your child gets ready to head back to school, you’ve likely met their teacher, bought all new school supplies and even stocked the fridge with plenty of after-school snacks. However, it’s imperative you walk through potential after-school safety issues as well. Whether your child walks home from school, stays late for after-school activities or takes the bus home immediately following classes, there are precautions you and your child should always take.

Pick-ups

Most of the time, after-school pick-ups are the safest route to go. However, it’s important that you let the school know if someone is picking your child up other than you. When picking up your child, determine a specific time and meeting place. If he or she isn’t at the pre-decided spot at the right time, you may know something isn’t right.

Walking

If your child is planning to walk home from school, it’s important you know the exact route he or she takes each day. If your child is younger, walk the route with them the first couple of trips to ensure they don’t get lost.  You can also help other children by driving slowly when in school zones or other routine paths that children take.

Stay at Home

If your child is going to stay at home alone after school, make sure they have a key to the house. They should know to always lock all doors and windows as soon as they get home and to not open them to anyone. Emergency contact information should be easily accessible as well.

Strangers

No matter if your child is being picked up after school or walking home, it’s smart to review potential stranger dangers with them. Teach your child to always make loud noises when being approached by a stranger that makes them feel uncomfortable. Also make sure your child knows where to run for help if needed.

For more safety tips, continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog. Medical City Children’s Urgent Care is a kid-friendly medical facility dedicated to providing children the best possible 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.

 

 

When to See a Doctor for Diarrhea

iStock-587952472.jpg

Because it typically resolves without any treatment, most people don’t think twice when they have diarrhea. However, severe diarrhea can cause a myriad of other issues, including dehydration. Diarrhea is most dangerous for children, the elderly and those who already have a weak immune system. Knowing when to seek medical help for diarrhea is essential to recovering quickly before things become severe.

Diarrhea in Children

Because children are already more susceptible to suffering complications from diarrhea, they should be seen by a doctor if it lasts longer than 24 hours. If your child also suffers from a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, has blood or black stools and has not had at least three wet diapers in a 24-hour time span, you should also take them to a doctor immediately.

Diarrhea in Adults

Typically, diarrhea in adults is more likely to resolve on its own. If your diarrhea lasts more than two days, however, you should visit a doctor. Signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth, dizziness, excessive thirst and lack of urination, are also an indication you should see a doctor. If you have a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, have severe abdominal pain or have bloody or black stools, you should also seek medical care as soon as possible.

Treating Diarrhea

If you are suffering from diarrhea, but don’t believe it’s serious enough to seek medical treatment, it’s important to take frequent small sips of water. You should also take small bites of saltine crackers. As soon as you start feeling better, you may begin eating mild foods, but it’s advised that you avoid spicy foods, fruits and caffeine for at least two days after symptoms have dissipated. For children, treatment should include oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte, increased carbohydrates in the diet and supplementation with probiotics.

If you or your child is suffering from severe diarrhea, consider seeking medical attention at Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. We have kid-friendly physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine, offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it and are even open after hours or on the weekend.

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.

How to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Mosquito.jpg

During the summer, kids can spend hours outside each day. While being outdoors is a great way for kids to stay active, it’s also a great way for them to get attacked by mosquitoes. In addition to being pesky, mosquitoes carry a number of diseases, including Zika and West Nile virus. (If you are pregnant and interested in traveling somewhere Zika has spread, you should consult with your doctor.)

Knowing how mosquitoes operate is key to repelling them. Follow these few tips to keep your kids (and yourself) free of bites this summer.

Keep It Breezy

The slightest breeze can keep mosquitoes at bay. Researchers have learned that mosquitoes have great difficulty flying in any breeze over 1 MPH, so try to find a breezy spot or get a fan set up outside to avoid these pesky creatures. It’s a good idea to keep the fan pointed downward as mosquitoes usually fly close to the ground in an effort to avoid wind.

Wear Tighter Clothing

It’s much more difficult for mosquitoes to bite if your clothes have a tight weave. Synthetic fibers work well to keep bugs away, especially high-tech athletic apparel.

Dress in Light Colors

Because mosquitoes rely on their vision in order to find food, dark colors typically stand out to them. By wearing lighter colors, you will be less likely to attract them.

Avoid Dusk and Dawn

During these times of day, the wind usually slows down. Less wind equals more mosquitoes, so try to schedule any outdoor activities during other times of the day.

Don’t Mess With Wearables

Many people swear by DEET wristbands, anklets, etc. Unfortunately, the DEET must be spread on your skin to have an effect, so these items won’t do much to keep away insects.

Wear DEET!

Insect repellants containing DEET can greatly help prevent mosquito bites. It’s important to note that DEET should not be used on children 2 months of age or younger. It is recommended that you use 10% to 30% DEET for best results. For two hours of protection, choose 10% DEET, while 30% DEET while protect for about five hours. Picaridin has also become a nice alternative to DEET, available in concentrations of 5% to 10%.

For more summer tips and up-to-date medical information, continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog.

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.

Most Common Summertime Injuries

KidsPlayingSummer.jpg

Summer can be a great time for kids to spend hours outdoors daily. The long days allow for virtually endless adventure. But it also puts kids at risk for more injuries than normal. However, knowing what the most common summertime injuries are can help you supervise your child properly and prevent those accidental burns, scrapes and bruises.

Biking Accidents

Whether your child is learning how to ride a bike or is a seasoned pro, accidents happen. In fact, bicycling accidents are among the most common reason for emergency room visits. Biking accidents can result in broken arms, mild concussions and even abdominal injuries. Teach your child to always wear a helmet as well as elbow and knee pads whenever they’re on their bike.

Playground Falls

Studies show that more than 200,000 children annually suffer from playground-related injuries in the U.S. From the monkey bars to swings, playground can be dangerous when not used properly. Encourage your child to always follow the playground rules. You can also find playgrounds with soft bedding to further prevent injuries from falls.

Burns

Between campfires and grills, there are a number of ways for your child to burn him or herself during the summertime. Most of the time, this can be prevented simply by adult supervision. Keep your child at a safe distance any time a fire is going and teach them to stay away from grills whenever they’re turned on.

Bee Stings

Because children spend so much time outdoors during the summer, they are at a higher risk of getting stung by a bee. Usually stings will only cause mild discomfort; however, some children may suffer from a severe allergic reaction that could require immediate medical care. Show your children what it looks like to be aware of their surroundings so they can avoid dangerous insects like bees and wasps.

If your child has suffered from an injury, consider seeking medical care at Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified in pediatrics 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.

 

How to Identify Heat Injuries in Children

FatherNDaughter.jpg

Heat injuries can sneak up on children quickly and without much notice. During the summer when kids are playing outdoors for hours at a time, it’s easy for them to get overheated. Knowing the signs and symptoms of heat injuries can help keep your child safe and prevent serious illness or even death.

Identifying A Heat Injury

There are several different types of heat injuries, with varying levels of severity. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat strokes are all risks your child faces when spending ample time outdoors in the hot weather.

Heat cramps: The least severe of the three, heat cramps are brief muscle spasms that happen during or after exerting energy in the heat. If your child isn’t drinking enough fluids, he or she is at risk of heat cramps.

Heat exhaustion: Slightly more severe than heat cramps is heat exhaustion. This can also occur from lack of fluids and may result in fainting, muscle cramps, weakness, nausea, headache and more.

Heat stroke: Finally, heat strokes are the most severe of the three. A heat stroke, typically caused by over-exertion in hot weather, can be life threatening if not treated promptly. If your child is experiencing a heat stroke, he or she will suffer from a severe headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, rapid breathing and possibly even loss of consciousness.

Preventing A Heat Injury

It’s essential that your child continue to drink plenty of fluids any time they will be outdoors on a hot day. You should also make sure they are wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and plenty of sunscreen. Finally, encourage your child to take breaks throughout the day, coming inside or resting in the shade regularly.

If you believe your child is suffering from a heat injury, consider seeking medical care at Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified in pediatrics 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.

What You Need To Know About Pediatric Dehydration

KidsDrinkingWater.jpg

Dehydration in children can be a very scary thing. Because infants and small children can lose fluid more quickly than older children and adults, they are much more likely to suffer from dehydration. Knowing the symptoms of pediatric dehydration is key to seeking the proper medical attention quickly.

Causes Of Dehydration

Most often, fever, diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty drinking or eating (this may be caused by serious bacterial infections) are the cause of dehydration. If your child is participating in activities that are outdoors during the summer, they may become dehydrated due to increased sweating. Excessive urination, usually caused by diabetes, can also cause dehydration.

Symptoms Of Dehydration

If your child is suffering from dehydration, he or she may begin urinating less frequently. You may also noticed they become more irritable and lethargic. For infants, dehydration is often identified by a lack of tears when crying. Sunken eyes, a sunken soft spot on the front of the infant’s head and dry or sticky mucous membranes are also signs your child may be dehydrated.

Diagnosing Dehydration

If your child is suffering from dehydration symptoms, it’s important that you seek medical care immediately. A doctor will likely complete a blood culture, blood count and urinalysis to determine what’s wrong.

Treating Dehydration

In less serious instances, dehydration can be treated at home with Pedialyte and similar products that will provide your child with sugar and electrolytes. In more serious cases, your child may require professional medical treatment using an IV.

If your child is suffering from symptoms of dehydration, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified in pediatrics 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.

How To Know If Your Infant Has An Ear Infection

iStock-184619939.jpg

There are few things worse than knowing your infant is in pain, especially when you don’t know what’s wrong. When a baby is feeling bad, he or she will likely demonstrate a change in mood and begin crying more than usual. Unfortunately, this can indicate a number of problems, including an ear infection. To determine if your child is suffering from an ear infection, there are a few telltale signs to look out for.

Symptoms Of An Ear Infection In Infants

  • Your baby is pulling, grabbing or tugging at his or her ears
  • Your baby is unable to swallow or chew or they pull away from the bottle after only a few sips
  • You notice yellow or whitish fluid draining from the ear
  • You detect an unpleasant smell coming from your child’s ear
  • Your child has difficulty sleeping or lying down

Causes Of Ear Infections

When fluid builds up in the area behind your baby’s eardrum and becomes infected, it can result in an ear infection. Typically, fluid in this area leaves quickly via the eustachian tube; however, if that tube is blocked, it can cause the fluid to get trapped. Because warm, wet places are often a breeding ground for germs, the fluid can easily get infected. Since babies have shorter eustachian tubes, they are more likely to develop an infection than adults. As your child’s body works to fight off the infection, he or she may develop a fever.

When To Seek Medical Care

As soon as you think your child may have an ear infection, you should call a doctor. A doctor will use an instrument called an otoscope to look into your baby’s ear. If the doctor believes it’s an infection, he or she may use another instrument, a pneumatic otoscope, to further assess whether the ear is actually infected.

If you believe your child is suffering from an ear infection, consider seeking medical care at Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified in pediatrics 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.