How to Improve Children’s Allergy Symptoms

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If your child is constantly sneezing or coughing, he or she may be suffering from allergies. Identifying your child’s allergies early can help you find a treatment that works and keep your child from feeling miserable during peak allergy season.  Learning what causes allergies can help you start a treatment plan for your child.

During spring and fall, there are a number of things that can trigger your child’s allergies. Tree pollen and plant pollen are two of the main suspects during these two seasons. Some indoor triggers include pet or animal hair, dust mites and mold.

If your child is suffering from hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, he or she will likely have a runny nose, constantly be sneezing, and experience postnasal drip and nasal congestion. Coincidentally enough, hay fever isn’t actually triggered by hay.

Typically, allergies are the number one reason behind chronic nasal congestion in children. This can result in your child being forced to breath through their mouth at night, leaving them exhausted the next day.

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To help alleviate your child’s allergy symptoms, be sure to keep windows and doors shut on high-pollen count days. If your child has been playing outdoors, make sure they take a bath that night to remove all allergens. Your child’s diet plays a large part in their allergies. Try to include one fresh fruit and veggie at every meal. Finally, make sure your home is clean. Dust and other particles in your home can trigger your child’s allergy symptoms, making it impossible for them to recover.

YouTube_Cover.jpgIf your child is suffering from chronic sinus infections, consider visiting Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. We have kid-friendly physicians that are board-eligible in pediatric 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.

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What to Do If an Animal Bites Your Child

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When children see a furry animal, like a dog, their first instinct is often to embrace the animal with a hug or aggressive pet. While the intentions are usually pure, the dog may take this physical touch the wrong way and react. If an animal bites your child, there are several actions you need to take immediately.

  • Control the Bleeding: If the bite is bad enough to break skin, you need to control any bleeding as soon as possible. Use a clean washcloth or towel to gently apply pressure to the wound until the bleeding subsides. If the bite is severe enough, you may need to elevate the injured area.
  • Clean the Bite: As soon as the bleeding has stopped, clean the site of the injury with soap and water. If possible, hold the affected area under running water for a bit to rinse the bacteria away.
  • Cover the Area: After drying and gently placing antibiotic ointment on the dog bite, cover the area with a fresh bandage to keep infection from occurring.
  • Seek Information: If you can determine the owner of the animal, it’s important to find out whether the dog is up-to-date on shots and other vetting.
  • Visit a Doctor: If your child’s bite breaks skin, you should seek a doctor immediately. Typically a bite of this nature will require antibiotic therapy to prevent infection.

If you don’t know the animal that bit your child, you should see a doctor immediately as a rabies shot may be necessary. It’s also important to seek medical care if the wound is very deep or if the bite is on your child’s face.

If your child has suffered a dog bite and is need of medical care, consider visiting 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.

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

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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

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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

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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.