5 Autumn Activities For Kids

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The fall season brings about cooler temperatures, fall breaks from school and shorter days. Whether your child is home during the day or looking for an after-school activity to keep him or her busy, this list will give you plenty of ideas for autumn activities.

Create an Autumn Leaf Collection

Take advantage of the gorgeous fall weather to take a nature walk with your child. Have him or her collect as many colorful autumn leaves as possible. Once your walk is finished, compare and contrast all the different types of leaves that were collected. Encourage your child to trace all the different leaves to learn about their different shapes and sizes.

Find an Apple Orchard

One of the most classic fall activities of all time is apple picking at an orchard. Pack a picnic and make a day of the adventure. Once your child has picked as many apples as they’d like, bake an apple pie at home to show your child how fresh food goes from tree to table.

Build a Wreath

Refresh your front door with something festive. Wreaths are very simple to put together and can be a fun way to begin decorating for the new season. Stop by your local arts and crafts supply store to find everything you need to build your wreath.

Play Dress Up

Begin brainstorming for Halloween with some old-fashioned dress-up. Whether your child prefers to be a pirate or a princess, find items around the house that can imagined into your child’s favorite characters.

Make a Bird Feeder

This bird feeder is an easy craft you and your child can make together. Pinecones, peanut butter, birdseed and string are the only things you need for this project. Have your child identify the birds or count them as they begin to visit the feeder to make this activity educational as well.

Play Old-School Games

Classic games like tag, four square and hide-and-go-seek never go out of style. Teach your child some of your favorite childhood games and take some time to play with them.

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For more new parenting and 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.

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Natural Cures for a Sore Throat

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While sore throats will typically go away without medical treatment, they can still be painful and annoying. It’s a good idea to use some natural remedies for your child’s sore throat to help alleviate the pain and prevent it from turning into something more serious. If your child is suffering from a sore throat, there are a few things you should know as you treat the infection.

What Causes Sore Throats?

  • Viral infections: Your child’s sore throat may be a result of the common cold, laryngitis, mono or other viral infections.
  • Bacterial infections: Your child’s sore throat could be caused by a bacterial infection—a result of strep throat, tonsillitis, an infection around the tonsils (peritonsillar abscess) or other bacterial infections.
  • Irritants and injuries: If your child has suffered throat irritation from smoking, air pollution, yelling or nasal drainage, he or she may experience a sore throat. An injury to the back of the throat, such as a cut or puncture, can also cause a sore throat.

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How to Treat a Sore Throat Naturally

  • Have your child gargle with salt water to help reduce swelling. It is recommended that he or she gargle hourly with 1 teaspoon of salt mixed with 8 fluid ounces of warm water.
  • Place a humidifier in your child’s room. This will help alleviate pain and stop hoarseness. If you don’t own a humidifier, you can also place a shallow pan of water in their room to provide moisture in the air via evaporation.
  • Keeping your child hydrated is key to treating a sore throat. Hot fluids can also help keep irritation at a minimum.

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If your child is suffering from a sore throat that has lasted a week or longer, 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.

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.

Top 5 Fears of New Moms

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Becoming a new mom can be overwhelming, wonderful and terrifying all at once. Exhaustion from lack of sleep can amplify the typical concerns that come from having a little one in the home. If you are anxious after bringing home your new baby, learning the realities behind some of your fears may help you overcome them.

  1. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Many new moms are worried their baby will suffer SIDS and die in their sleep. It’s important to know that sudden infant death syndrome is very rare and there are ways you can greatly reduce your baby’s risk. Make sure your baby is put to sleep on his or her back, keep your baby’s bed in your room, and keep your baby’s crib free of pillows and stuffed animals.
  2. Inability To Nurse: It can be nerve-wracking if you’re unable to breastfeed your new baby immediately. It’s actually pretty rare that a woman physically can’t breastfeed, but many women do struggle to get it down at first. A lactation consultant may be able to help you learn the ins and outs of breastfeeding.
  3. Preparing For Baby At Home: There can be so much to do before you bring baby home from the hospital. It’s important to prioritize things like a safe car seat, well-made crib, clothes, receiving blankets and diapers and wipes.
  4. Not Bonding With Baby: While some new moms bond with their baby before it’s even born, others take some time. If you’re feeling PPD (also known as the baby blues), try to catch up on your sleep, allow friends and family to help as much as possible and get out of the house, even if just to get groceries.
  5. Mishandling Baby: Because babies are so small and fragile, many people worry they are going to mishandle him or her. The reality, however, is that most new parents feel this way and the chances of something like this actually happening are very slim. If you have a valid concern, call your pediatrician.

For more new parenting and 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.

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.