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.

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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.

 

 

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.

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.

What to Do If an Animal Bites Your Child

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When children see a furry animal, like a dog, their first instinct is often to embrace the animal with a hug or aggressive pet. While the intentions are usually pure, the dog may take this physical touch the wrong way and react. If an animal bites your child, there are several actions you need to take immediately.

  • Control the Bleeding: If the bite is bad enough to break skin, you need to control any bleeding as soon as possible. Use a clean washcloth or towel to gently apply pressure to the wound until the bleeding subsides. If the bite is severe enough, you may need to elevate the injured area.
  • Clean the Bite: As soon as the bleeding has stopped, clean the site of the injury with soap and water. If possible, hold the affected area under running water for a bit to rinse the bacteria away.
  • Cover the Area: After drying and gently placing antibiotic ointment on the dog bite, cover the area with a fresh bandage to keep infection from occurring.
  • Seek Information: If you can determine the owner of the animal, it’s important to find out whether the dog is up-to-date on shots and other vetting.
  • Visit a Doctor: If your child’s bite breaks skin, you should seek a doctor immediately. Typically a bite of this nature will require antibiotic therapy to prevent infection.

If you don’t know the animal that bit your child, you should see a doctor immediately as a rabies shot may be necessary. It’s also important to seek medical care if the wound is very deep or if the bite is on your child’s face.

If your child has suffered a dog bite and is need of medical care, 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.

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.