What To Do If Your Child Swallows A Foreign Object

DocChildThroat.jpgWhile most moms like to think they have eyes in the back of their head, it can be difficult to keep track of your child every second of every day. Because infants and toddlers are naturally curious, they tend to put various items in their mouths, putting them at high risk for swallowing a foreign object. In some instances, your child may be able to pass the object; however, some cases may require surgery.

THE RISK

The majority of people that swallow foreign objects are under the age of 3. Infants and toddlers left unsupervised are at an increased risk. It’s important to keep the following objects out of the reach of children under the age of 3:

  • Coins
  • Small batteries
  • Buttons
  • Marbles
  • Rocks
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Pins
  • Small magnets

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IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM

The most common symptoms that can help you know if your child has swallowed a foreign object are choking, difficulty breathing, coughing and wheezing. If the object has already passed onto the digestive tract, there may be no immediate symptoms. If the item has become lodged in the esophagus or bowel, your child may experience vomiting, drooling, gagging, chest or throat pain, refusal to eat, abdominal pain and fever.

TREATING THE PROBLEM

If your child is unable to breath because the foreign object has blocked the airway, emergency treatment is necessary. You may be able to remove the object by using back blows, the Heimlich maneuver, or CPR. If you suspect a battery has been swallowed, your child should be seen immediately. Batteries can cause erosion of the wall of the GI tract and will need to be removed.

If the object appears to be swallowed completely with no choking necessary, you may be able to wait for it to pass naturally. If the foreign object is causing pain or damage to the bowels, surgery may be needed.

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If your child has swallowed a foreign object that needs to be removed immediately, 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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How To Keep Your Kids Flu-Free This Season

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Everyone enjoys the cooling temps, fall foliage and approaching holidays; however, the ensuing flu season is not nearly as welcome. Kids who are in school or daycare are at a much higher risk of catching the flu than those that stay at home. To ensure your child stays healthy this flu season, there are some tips you can keep in mind.

GET YOUR CHILD VACCINATED

Although the vaccine is not 100% successful in preventing the flu (according to the latest numbers, it is actually 62% effective), it can certainly reduce your child’s chance of getting sick. Even if your child does end up with the flu, the vaccine can help shorten the illness and keep symptoms mild.

TEACH THEM GOOD ETIQUETTE

Because the flu can spread as much as 6 feet when a child coughs or sneezes, it’s important that your child covers their mouth and nose with a tissue. Make sure your child knows to throw the tissue away afterward and to then wash their hands.

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KEEP EVERYTHING CLEAN

This probably sounds impossible with a child, but it’s smart to wipe down toys, handles, counter tables, phones and TV remotes regularly. The flu virus can live up to 8 hours on surfaces, so keeping everything in your home as clean as possible will prevent it from spreading. Hot soapy water or a cleaning product works best.

DIET, EXERCISE AND REST

One of the best ways your child can stay flu-free this season is to eat right, exercise daily and get enough rest each night. For school-age children, adequate rest is at least 10 hours, while toddlers need a minimum of 12 hours each night. Your children’s diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetable, milk and water. Also, it’s important your child gets at least an hour of physical activity each day.

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If your child has not had his or her flu shot, 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.

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.

Is The Flu Shot Right For Your Child?

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Many people are skeptical about getting the flu shot themselves, let alone taking their child to get one. While there is a remote chance of your child having a negative reaction to the flu shot, the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to the vaccine. In order to know whether or not the flu shot is right for your child, it’s important to know why the shot is recommended in the first place.

Why Your Child Should Get Vaccinated

The flu is a highly contagious disease that peaks between October and May each year. Typically, the flu is spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact. Symptoms of the flu include fever, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache and runny nose. If your child gets the flu shot, it can:

  • Prevent your child from getting the flu
  • Lessen the severity of the flu if your child gets it
  • Keep your child from spreading the flu to others if he or she gets it

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Who Should Not Get The Vaccine?

While the flu shot is beneficial to most people, there are some people who should not get this vaccine. If your child has a severe, life-threatening allergy, he or she should not get vaccinated. Also, if your child is not feeling well, the shot should be delayed temporarily. While this affects very few people, those who have suffered Guillain-Barré Syndrome before should avoid the vaccine all together.

What Are Potential Reactions Of The Vaccine?

While most people will not experience any complications from the shot, some people may have:

  • soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • hoarseness
  • sore, red or itchy eyes
  • cough
  • fever
  • aches
  • headache
  • itching
  • fatigue

Typically these problems only last a day or two after the shot is given. Severe complications, even more rare, include a small increased risk of GBS or seizure (for those who also get pneumococcal vaccine and/or DTaP vaccine).

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If your child has not has his or her flu shot, 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.

How To Treat Cold Symptoms for Children

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Children can get up to eight colds per year. When your child has a cold, their symptoms can keep them miserable for weeks, causing them to miss school. While there is no cure for the common cold, knowing how to treat your child’s symptoms can have him or her feeling better quicker.

Causes of the Common Cold

Knowing what causes a cold is key to treating, and preventing, it. Typically, a cold is caused by the rhinovirus living in droplets in the air or on things we touch every day. Once these viruses have made their way into the protective lining of the nose and throat, your child’s immune system will react, causing typical cold symptoms.

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Signs and Symptoms of a Cold

If your child is suffering from the common cold, he or she will likely experience a tickle in the throat, a runny (or stuffy) nose, headache, a sore throat and muscle aches. One way to identify a cold is thick yellow or green mucus in the nose.

Treating Cold Symptoms

While medicine can’t treat your child’s cold, it can help lessen the symptoms. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can alleviate symptoms such as muscle aches, headache and fever. It’s important to never give aspirin to children or teens.

To relieve congestion, you can put saltwater drops in your child’s nostrils. Hard candy and cough drops may help your child’s sore throat. Have your child take a warm bath if he or she is complaining of muscles aches. For stuffiness, the steam from a hot shower can help.

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If your child is feeling under the weather, 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.

What Do Chronic Sinus Infections Mean?

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It’s not news that sinus infections are no fun. If your child is suffering from one, he or she may be experiencing congestion, drainage down the throat, swelling around the eyes, ear pain, a sore throat, nausea, fatigue, aching in the upper jaw and teeth and more. If your child has suffered from inflamed and swollen sinuses for at least 12 weeks, despite treatment, he or she has chronic sinusitis.

But what do chronic sinus infections mean?

  • Nasal Polyps: Tissues that grow inside the nasal passage can block the sinuses from working correctly, causing an infection.
  • Deviated septum: If the wall between your child’s nostrils is crooked, it could block the sinus passages and create chronic sinusitis.
  • Allergies: Colds and other infections in your child’s respiratory tract can inflame and thicken the sinus membranes, blocking the drainage of mucus.
  • Respiratory Tract Infections: If your child has an infection in his or her respiratory tract, it can thicken the sinus membranes and block mucus drainage.
  • Other medical conditions: Any immune system-related diseases can cause chronic sinusitis for your child.

Diagnosing Chronic Sinusitis

To diagnose your child’s sinus problems, a doctor will feel his or her nose and face, then likely look inside their nose. A nasal endoscopy—a thin tube inserted through the nose to see inside the sinuses—is sometimes needed. Other ways to diagnose include CT or MRI scans, nasal cultures and allergy tests.

Treating Chronic Sinusitis

Any doctor will likely treat your child’s chronic sinus issues in the same way: saline nasal irrigation or antibiotics. The nasal spray will help reduce drainage and rinse out irritants, while an antibiotic can help with any bacteria. Other treatments include nasal corticosteroids and oral corticosteroids.

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If 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.