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.

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 To Do If Your Child Has Mono

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There’s a common misconception that mononucleosis, typically called mono, can only be spread from kissing. While the virus can be spread that way, there are a handful of other ways to spread it, making young kids susceptible to the virus as well. It’s important to determine if your child is suffering from mono so that he or she can recover, but equally important that the virus not be spread to friends and classmates.

Signs and Symptoms of Mono

If your child has developed mono, he or she will likely begin to experience symptoms 4 to 7 weeks after the virus was contracted. Signs of mono include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever and sore throat (often with swollen tonsils)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Sore muscles and weakness
  • Skin rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Larger-than-normal liver or spleen

While symptoms will usually dissipate within 2 to 4 weeks, fatigue and weakness have been known to last as long as a few months. If your child is suffering from the above symptoms, a doctor will need to perform a blood test and physical exam to properly diagnose the virus.

Treating Mono

The best way to treat mono is to make sure your child gets plenty of rest, especially toward the beginning of the illness when symptoms are at their worst. If your child is suffering from a fever and aching muscles, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may offer some relief. It’s important to note that aspirin should never been given to a child with a viral illness. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids as well while recovering. Doctors suggest that children who get mono stay away from sports for at least a month after the symptoms have subsided because the spleen is usually still enlarged and at risk of rupturing.

If you believe your child may be suffering from mono, it’s important a medical professional sees them. 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.

Top 3 Benefits of a Children’s Urgent Care Clinic

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Children are full of energy and always adventurous. Because of this, they are also accident prone. When your child gets injured or sick, getting medical attention immediately is crucial.

Unlike most other urgent care facilities, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care is designed exclusively to meet the needs of children. With six locations around the DFW area, our facilities are open weekdays from 4 pm to 11 pm and weekends from 11:30 am to 8 pm to provide you with after-hour medical services when you need them most. And, because our urgent care facility is a sister to Medical City Children’s Hospital, your child will be sent there immediately should he or she require a higher level of care.

So why should you choose a pediatric urgent care clinic for your child in place of a standard urgent care facility?

  • A children’s urgent care facility will be staffed with a pediatric-trained staff who know the needs of your child.
  • From a sticker collection to a kid-friendly clinic design, your child will feel much more at home.
  • With an average 30-minute total visit time, you will get in and out so your child can get back to feeling like himself or herself in no time.

For injuries and illnesses that are not life-threatening but require medical attention immediately, consider an urgent care facility such as Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care. Open after hours and on weekends, we can treat a multitude of illnesses and injuries for your child. To see the Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care locations near you, visit our website today.