Most Common Summertime Injuries

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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

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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

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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

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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.

What To Do If Your Child Has Mono

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There’s a common misconception that mononucleosis, typically called mono, can only be spread from kissing. While the virus can be spread that way, there are a handful of other ways to spread it, making young kids susceptible to the virus as well. It’s important to determine if your child is suffering from mono so that he or she can recover, but equally important that the virus not be spread to friends and classmates.

Signs and Symptoms of Mono

If your child has developed mono, he or she will likely begin to experience symptoms 4 to 7 weeks after the virus was contracted. Signs of mono include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever and sore throat (often with swollen tonsils)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Sore muscles and weakness
  • Skin rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Larger-than-normal liver or spleen

While symptoms will usually dissipate within 2 to 4 weeks, fatigue and weakness have been known to last as long as a few months. If your child is suffering from the above symptoms, a doctor will need to perform a blood test and physical exam to properly diagnose the virus.

Treating Mono

The best way to treat mono is to make sure your child gets plenty of rest, especially toward the beginning of the illness when symptoms are at their worst. If your child is suffering from a fever and aching muscles, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may offer some relief. It’s important to note that aspirin should never been given to a child with a viral illness. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids as well while recovering. Doctors suggest that children who get mono stay away from sports for at least a month after the symptoms have subsided because the spleen is usually still enlarged and at risk of rupturing.

If you believe your child may be suffering from mono, it’s important a medical professional sees them. 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.

Do First Aid Kits Expire?

First Aid KitIn order to be prepared when accidents happen, most of us have a first aid kit on hand, or even in the car. Because these kits can tend to be an afterthought, they don’t get updated often. It’s also tough to throw out a half used tube of antibiotic ointment. So how do you know when to toss certain items in your first aid kit and when you can keep others?

Let’s back up a second and take a look at what items should be included in a home first aid kit in the first place. A standard first aid kit should be kept within easy reach (although out of the reach of children) and include the following items:

  • Sterile gauze pads in a variety of sizes
  • Adhesive tape and adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Antiseptic wipes and antiseptic solution like hydrogen peroxide
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Tweezers, sharp scissors and safety pins
  • A thermometer
  • Elastic bandages
  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • For additional suggestions for your first aid kit, read here.

It’s important to know that many of the items above will expire. In fact, many items have expiration dates from 3-5 years after purchase. However, it’s suggested that you review all of the products in your first aid kit on a yearly basis to avoid items expiring or becoming less effective.

Most medications will be marked with an expiration date on them. Typically these dates can be found on one end of the packet or tube. These dates are usually an indication of how long the manufacturer feels comfortable that the product will be effective or sterile.

Slightly less easy to identify is the expiration of dressing and bandages. There are usually no expiration dates on these items, but you can inspect them by checking non-sterile gauze pads or rolls for the smell of mildew and signs of discoloration. Sterile versions of these items can be more difficult to inspect, so it’s recommended you look at the packaging to search for discoloration and signs of fading.

You can read more about first aid kit expiration here. For more up-to-date medical information and healthy tips, 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.

Identifying Heart Disease In Children

iStock-489486064.jpgIt’s a known statistics that heart disease is a leading cause of death for adults, but most don’t realize there are several types of heart problems that affect children as well. These heart problems include congenital heart disease, viral infections and genetic syndrome-related heart disease. But how do you identify heart disease in children? First off, it depends on the type of disease. Below are the types of heart problems commonly affecting children and how they can be identified.

Congenital Heart Diease

Congenital heart disease ranks as the most common birth defect in the United States. With an estimated 40,000 cases each year, CHD affects nearly 1 in 100 babies. Usually, CHD involves an issue with the heart muscle or valves, including narrowing of the aortic valve or defects in the wall that separates the left and right sides of the heart. Symptoms of congenital heart disease in children include rapid breathing, swelling in legs, abdomen and area around the eyes, shortness of breath and flared nostrils.

Viral Infections

It’s not well known that viruses can affect heart health, but a viral infection can create inflammation in the heart muscle, which affects the ability of the heart to pump blood through the body. Heart problems caused by viral infections can be difficult to identify as symptoms are very similar to those caused by the flu, including fatigue, shortness of breath and chest discomfort.

Arrhythmias

An abnormal rhythm of the heart, known as an arrhythmia, may appear in children in the form of a fast heart rate, a slow heart rate, long Q-T syndrome or Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Symptoms of a heart arrhythmia include weakness, fatigue, dizziness, fainting and difficulty feeding.

If you believe your child may be suffering from heart disease, 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.

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.