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.

5 Kid-Friendly Side Dishes for BBQs

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Summer BBQs can be a great family activity. But if you have picky eaters, it can be difficult to find side dishes that everyone will enjoy. These five kid-friendly side dishes will have the kids begging for more at your next cookout.

Macaroni & Cheese

You’d be hard pressed to find a kid that doesn’t like macaroni and cheese. Homemade macaroni and cheese doesn’t have to be difficult to make either. The main ingredients are simple: macaroni, butter, whole milk, cheddar cheese and flour are all it takes to make a delicious side dish. See the full mac and cheese recipe here.

Fruit Kabobs

This is a great side dish to have the kids help make. Cut up your children’s favorite fruits and simply have them stick the fruit onto a kabob stick (these can be bought in most grocery stores). Good fruit choices for kabobs include: cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, honeydew melon and watermelon.

Sweet Potato Fries

A healthier take on traditional fries, sweet potato fries can be made by simply slicing sweet potatoes, tossing them in olive oil, sprinkling with seasoning and baking for 20 minutes.

Baked Beans

There are a number of great canned baked beans that make this a great easy side dish that the whole family will love. Beans are a great source of fiber too, so this dish is both nutritious and delicious. For added taste, cut up cooked bacon and add to beans before cooking.

Watermelon

No recipe needed for this side! Simply cut up fresh watermelon and serve. At only 40 calories per cup, watermelon is full of vitamins A, B and C. Make sure kids know that watermelon has seeds before eating.

For more healthy summer 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.

5 Tips To Keep Kids Healthy During Winter

Happy familyKeeping your kids healthy during the winter months can seem like an impossible task. With germs being spread all over your child’s classroom and daycare, cold and flu season can take any kid out for weeks. By incorporating a few proactive practices, you can help your child stay healthy and strong this school year.

Immune-boosting food and drink

Certain foods and drinks will help improve your child’s immune system. Garlic, ginger, fresh green juices and vitamin C-packed foods are great to start including in your child’s lunchbox. There are a number of immune-boosting smoothies that make a great breakfast and can get your child’s immune system off to a great start in the morning as well.

Minimize sugar

Taking in too much sugar has been linked to decreased immune systems and increased inflammation. If your child is consuming too much sugar on a daily basis, they could end up with a chronically depressed immune system. Try to cut back on sugary drinks and minimize the amount of candy and desserts your child eats.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is crucial to keep our bodies healthy. The hours we are asleep allows our bodies to repair and heal. If your child has difficult falling asleep, try setting a cut-off time for electronics and diffusing a calming essential oil that will help him or her fall asleep.

Keep the calendar clear

Stress is a huge reason immune systems get compromised. When we are under stress, our immune function declines. During the school year, when schedules tend to fill up, it’s important to allow time for your child to de-compress so they don’t get too stressed.

Teach your kids

One of the best ways for your child to stay healthy is for him or her to avoid eating and drinking after others. It’s also important for your child to wash their hands regularly.

If your child gets sick this winter, it’s a good idea to get him or hers checked out by a doctor. At Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, our staff is 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.

Thanksgiving-Themed Crafts For Kids

preparations for autumn craft with kids at home.When your child is home for Thanksgiving break, he or she will likely need some activities to stay busy. Having a few craft ideas on hand is perfect for those times when your child gets bored. Let him or her know that you will proudly display these Thanksgiving-themed crafts during your Thanksgiving get together too!

Paper-Bag Turkey

Not only is this craft festive, it’s perfect to make during snack time. This simple craft can be created using printer paper, brown paper lunch bags, popcorn and a large brown paper shopping bag. Follow these directions to make the turkey, then fill the bag with popcorn and enjoy!

Balloon Cornucopia

This craft can double as a table centerpiece or homemade decoration. All you need is different colored balloons, tape, green paper and a brown paper bag. Have your child make his or her favorite fruit and vegetables and explain the benefits of each for an added educational touch.

Painted Handprint Turkey

With only four supplies, your child can create a beautiful turkey. Paint, a paintbrush, paper and markers are all you need for your child to complete this craft. This is also a fun craft to do annually so you can see how much bigger your child’s hand gets each year!

Pilgrim Paper Hat

This craft can be both fun and educational. With white poster board, construction paper, scissors, tape and glue, your child can get into the spirit of the holiday and pretend he or she is a pilgrim.

Caramel Apples

Give your child something to do and a tasty treat to enjoy with these easy caramel apples. By adding fun ingredients like sprinkles, chocolate chips, candy corn and nuts, your child can get creative with their apple. Be sure to let the apples chill overnight or they will be too hard to eat.

Continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care blog for more kid-friendly activities, 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.