How To Avoid 3 Common Illnesses This Winter

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Each year as the weather cools down, the number of illness increases. There are certain illnesses that peak during the winter months, including the flu, ear infections and bronchiolitis. To keep from catching these widespread illnesses, there are several things you can do.

  1. Seasonal Flu: Flu season begins as early as the fall and continues through May, with January and February as the worst two months for the sickness. Because the flu is so easily spread from one person to another, it’s one of the hardest illnesses to avoid. In fact, as many as 20% of the population will be affected by the flu annually. The illness, which is spread by coughing, sneezing and even just talking, can be prevented by regular hand washing, avoiding eating after others and constant cleaning of regularly-touched surfaces
  2. Ear Infection: As a result of changes in climate, ear infections are most common during the winter months. Caused by bacteria that are often accompanied by a sore throat, cold or other respiratory infection, an ear infection occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. While an ear infection is difficult to prevent, your child can greatly reduce his or her risk of coming down with one by washing hands frequently, getting vaccinated every year and staying away from second-hand smoke.
  3. Bronchiolitis: Mostly impacting children under the age of two, bronchiolitis is a result of swelling and mucus buildup within the smallest lung air passages. Typically, bronchiolitis is contagious when your child comes in direct contact with fluids of an infected person. Teaching your child to wash his or her hands frequently—along with disinfecting regularly touched items—can make a huge difference in your child’s health this winter.

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If your child has managed to come down with an illness this winter, consider visiting Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. We have pediatricians that are board certified, 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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Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Side Dishes

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On Thanksgiving Day, most people think of overeating. However, if you have a picky child, they could do the opposite. Some of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes like green bean casserole, potato salad and stuffing may not be appetizing to a young child. By taking the time to prepare a few kid-friendly dishes, you increase the chance your child will enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.

GET THE KIDS INVOLVED

When thinking through what dishes your child would enjoy this Thanksgiving, get him or her involved in the process. If your child is included in the cooking process, he or she is much more likely to eat the dish. This is also a great way to connect with your child and teach them the value of a healthy (yet tasty) side dish.

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SURVEY YOUR CURRENT DISHES

Some of the dishes you already make on Thanksgiving may be turned into kid-friendly dishes with just a few slight tweaks. For instance, a standard broccoli dish can be morphed into cheesy rice with broccoli with very few additional steps and your child will likely go crazy for it. Brussels sprouts are another example. By themselves, they are not that appetizing to children. However, throw in some cranberries and a balsamic glaze and they take on an entirely different taste.

DON’T OVERTHINK IT

Many parents can get too worried their child won’t eat a single thing on the table. There is so much going on Thanksgiving Day, it shouldn’t be an extra stress on you to find dishes for your child to eat. Sit down before you create your grocery list and learn what your child may want to add to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. You never know—they may add a dish they becomes a staple for years to come! Here is a list of kid-friendly Thanksgiving side dishes that may be helpful.

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For more fun holiday and health tips for children, 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. We have pediatricians that are board certified, 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.

Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids

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Buying your child a costume at a Halloween-specific store any time in October can be chaotic. Not only that, costumes sell out very quickly—especially the popular ones most kids want! If you have yet to buy your child’s Halloween costume, consider making one at home. Not only will you save money, you can avoid the mass chaos of the party stores this time of year.

A Friendly Ghost

There’s a reason classic costume costumes never go out of style—they’re too cute! This old school ghost costume can be made using white fleece, stiff black felt and fabric glue.

A Lumberjack

Using mostly supplies you have at home, this costume is adorable for young boys. A flannel shirt, blue jeans and suspenders can turn your little guy into a tree-chopping lumberjack! Make a beard with felt and create an axe out of cardboard and a wooden stick to complete the costume.

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A Scuba Diver

Your kids will be ready to dive into Halloween with this adorable costume. Black shirts and pants are the base for this simple costume. Two 2-litter bottles, spray paint, rope and a few other supplies you’re likely to have around the house turn closet staples into a costume of the year!

An Army Man

If you’ve got green spray paint, you’ve got a costume. This fun boy’s costume can be created using adorable clothing (which you can find at a thrift store), an army costume (can be found at a toy store), cardboard and tons of green spray paint. Before you now it, you’ll have yourself a little army man!

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For more fun holiday and health tips for children, 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.

 

 

 

 

Healthy Alternatives for Trick or Treaters

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It’s that time of year again. Kids can’t wait to get their hands on unlimited amounts of candy, while parents are cringing at the thought of cavities and sugar crashes. Although no one wants to be the house that gives out toothbrushes instead of candy, there are other healthy alternatives to candy that you can hand out to trick or treaters this year.

Individual Popcorn Packets

With various flavors available, popcorn packets are a great treat. Because so many sweet treats are handed out on Halloween, popcorn is a nice change for kids. Plus, many brands offer 100-calorie packets, which is great for a very high-calorie night.

Granola Bars

Not only are granola bars tasty, many types of bars actually offer nutritional value, which parents will thank you for. Select flavors like chocolate and peanut butter or chocolate chip so kids will still feel like they’re getting something sweet.

Juice Boxes

Another healthy, and affordable, option for trick or treaters is juice boxes. It will likely come as a relief for thirsty kids also. Be sure to look at the sugar content before purchasing your juice boxes as some contain large amounts of sugar.

Sugar-Free Gum

Kids love chewing gum. Sugar-free gum can be a nice respite from all the candy kids get on Halloween night. Buying gum in bulk can also cut down on the cost per pack.

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Non-Food Items

Fun non-food items that kids can collect are always a good treat. Items like small rubber balls, waxed lips, stickers and bubbles are a good option. These treats can typically be found at dollar stores and stores that sell party supplies.

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For more 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.

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.

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.