Affordable Summer Field Trips for Kids

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During the summer, it’s easy for kids to get bored without school to keep them busy. If you are ready for your kids to get out and about, consider taking them on a fun field trip alone or with a group of friends. Many people think field trips require a lot of money, but there are a number of them that are very affordable. Next time your kids get antsy to do something this summer, consider one of the field trip options below.

Nature Hike

Early in the morning, before it gets too hot outside, take a trip to a local nature preserve or hiking trail. Print out a fun natural trail checklist so the kids can make a check whenever they spot an acorn, ladybug, feather, etc.

Orchard

Not only will your kids love seeing where apples, cherries, lemons, etc. come from, most orchards will let you take some fruit home with you. With the fruit you receive, you can make a pie or bake something else that lets your kids see fruit from start to finish.

Bakery

Many local bakeries love to show kids what goes on behind the scenes. Call ahead and make sure your bakery allows “tours.” It’s not unusual to get a sweet treat out of the deal too!

Ballgame

While Major League Baseball tickets can get pricey, most towns have at least one minor league team that offers tickets at a very discounted price. Many ballparks even have special games where they cater to kids or give away cool items.

Animal Shelter

Take your kids to the local animal shelter and spend some time with the adoptable dogs and cats. Not only will your kids love this, the animals will be grateful for some much needed TLC!

For more fun 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.

 

 

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.

 

4 Summer Road Trip Tips

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Many people choose the summer to go on that road trip they’ve wanted to take. While road trips can be a much more affordable way to travel, there are also a number of hazards that are avoided when you fly. Before you hit the road, it’s important to make sure you’re fully prepared so you don’t end up stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Check Out Your Car

Before taking off on a road trip, it’s critical that you give your car a full check-up. Take your car to your usual mechanic so they can take a look at the following things:

  • Filter and oil levels
  • Coolant and windshield wiper fluid
  • Air filter
  • Tires, including the spare tire (also rotate if needed)
  • Belts and hoses
  • Battery and brakes
  • Transmission fluid

Map Everything Out

Don’t wait until you’re pulling out of your driveway to start navigating your trip. Plan your route before leaving (even if it’s just done on an app or Google Maps) and make sure to let someone know exactly where you’ll be driving. You should also take the time to check weather conditions and potential road closures before leaving.

Pack An Emergency Bag

Nobody likes to think about an emergency happening, but it’s smart to be prepared just in case. Fill a soft-sided bag with emergency supplies including: jumper cables, a spare tire (be sure to check the air pressure), roadside flares, first-aid kit, flashlight, tool kit and more.

Practice Safety When Driving

Before pulling out of the driveway, make sure everyone is wearing a seatbelt. Any children under the age of 12 should be sitting in the backseat. Finally, if you get tired when driving, pull over to rest or switch drivers.

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.

How To Prepare Children for Pool Season

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As summer approaches, most kids become increasingly excited about jumping in the pool on a hot day. If you have a baby, toddler or preschooler, it’s important to properly prepare them for the upcoming pool days. By following the steps below at each age, your child will be ready to dive in like a pro.

Six Months Old

Test the waters when your child is young to familiarize him with the water. Begin in the bathtub or a kiddie pool so your child can confidently sit up on his own. As your infant becomes more comfortable, gently squeeze a sponge over his head so he can recognize what water on his face feels like. Slowly add in waterproof toys or play games like peekaboo so your child associates the water with fun experiences.

Toddlers

As your child gets older, take him to a family-swim period so he can see everyone having fun in a relaxed kid-friendly environment. Don’t pressure your toddler to get in the water until they’re ready. When that time comes, go into the shallow end together and hold your child under their bottom with one hand, placing the other hand around his back. As your toddler becomes more comfortable, slowly move him throughout the shallow end, constantly reassuring him.

Young Children

When your child starts to feel at home in the pool, you may consider formal lessons. As you are in the water with your child, help him practice floating, stomach down with his head to the side, outside of the water. Then, have him do the same thing on his back. You can also have your child hold onto the side of the pool and practice kicking.

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.

Tips for Traveling On A Plane With Kids

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Taking a trip as a family can be a time to make memories your kids will cherish for a lifetime. However, if you’ve traveled with young children, you know that flying on a plane can be very stressful. Below are a few things you can do to ensure your next flight with kids goes smoothly.

Be sure to print your boarding passes at home. One of the best ways to save time at the airport is by printing boarding passes before you leave home. If you’re unable to print them, at least utilize the electronic check-in kiosks at the airport.

Tell kids what to expect at security. Even for a grown adult, security can be a daunting obstacle when traveling. Let your kids know what they will need to part ways with when going through security and, if your kids are older, be sure they know proper protocol (i.e. which jokes are unacceptable at an airport).

Ask about early boarding opportunities. Most airlines will allow people traveling with young children to board ahead of everyone else to allow them more time to get settled in. Use the additional time to get your bags situated in the overhead bin and make sure everyone is happy and has something to keep them entertained.

Bring snacks and things to keep kids busy. No matter how long the flight, children are likely to get hungry. Come armed with snacks, such as Goldfish, pretzels or fruit snacks, that are easy to pack and don’t make a mess. Books, coloring sheets and portable electronic devices are great ways to keep kids distracted during the flight.

If you and your family are planning to take a trip soon, be sure to take the time before you go to fully prepare so that your flight is more enjoyable. For more information on family safety, helpful tips for those with kids and up-to-date medical information, check back in on the Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care blog regularly.

 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 Know About Sending Your Child Back To School

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When summer winds down, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming school year. While children are likely still in summer mode, it’s important to slowly ease them back into the routine they’ll have during the upcoming months. Most parents aren’t sure what to expect in the weeks leading up to the new school year, but there are a few things to know to help prepare your children for the upcoming year.

Implement a new schedule: Getting your child back into the mindset is half the battle of transitioning from summer to school year. Start by inching up their bedtime 30 minutes a night until they’ve reached their school year bedtime. Try winding down early with a book instead of electronics as well so they’ll get used to reading their homework in the evenings.

Introduce yourself to the teachers: Take advantage of any opportunity your child’s school offers for a meet-and-greet with the teachers. If possible, allow your child to attend as well so they’ll feel comfortable with their new teachers before the year begins. Ask questions such regarding homework, assignment policies, test expectations, etc.

Come up with a plan: Take time to sit down as a family and discuss after-school pickup plans so your child knows exactly what to expect. Figure out how many days a week your child will buy his or her lunch and when you will make it. Also, set a sick day policy so there is an understanding that sick days are taken seriously.

Knock out the back-to-school physical: Most school symptoms require physicals as a prerequisite for certain activities. While physicals vary depending on the school, most local doctor offices will have information on what is required from your child’s school.

If you have a child returning to school, consider taking them to Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care for their back-to-school physical. With medical centers that are focused toward children and open at convenient hours, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care makes it easy to get a school physical at your convenience.

 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.

 

4 Common Injuries Around The Playground

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Most adults have nothing but fond memories of the playground. However, as an adult, there’s a good chance you’re slightly more cautious when your child is running around the playground… and for good reason too. Research shows that, each day, 600 kids in the United States end up in the emergency room due to injuries sustained at the playground.

By learning the most common injuries around the playground, you can help educate your child on how he or she can have fun while still remaining cautious.

  • Head Injuries: Swings and monkey bars both create a high risk of head injuries for children. Head injuries incurred at the playground vary from bumps and bruises to concussions and even traumatic brain injuries.
  • Internal Injuries: Blunt trauma of any kind can cause internal injuries for a child. If a child falls from a high piece of equipment or even collides with a piece of equipment, he or she could easily suffer an injury internally.
  • Broken or Fractured Bones: Because children run quickly throughout the playground area, broken or fractured bones are at the top of the common playground injuries list. The forearm and wrist are the most common fractures in children.
  • Dislocations: Caused by falls and hard impacts, dislocations are a major risk for children at the playground. If your child runs into another child, piece of equipment or even something like a tree, he or she could easily suffer a dislocated joint.

To avoid playground-related injuries, it’s important your child knows the best practices when at the playground, whether in your backyard or at a public park. Be sure your child knows that he or she should only run in wide, open spaces where there is little risk of running into something or someone. Also, children should not hang from high equipment, such as monkey bars, without adult supervision. Finally, it’s smart to walk with your child around the playground if possible to ensure he or she knows each piece of equipment and if there are any unexpected nooks or crannies.

If your child has suffered a playground-related injury and needs medical attention, visit Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care. At Dallas-based Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, we provide quick, efficient service so you can avoid the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit.

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.