When Are X-Rays Needed?

DSC_4858Used for decades as a way to help doctors see inside the human body without the need for an incision, X-rays can help doctors diagnose, monitor and treat a number of medical conditions. For children, X-rays can be unknown and scary. If your child is in need of an imaging test, it’s best if you can explain what’s happening beforehand to help alleviate fears. Here are some important facts that you can share with your child before he or she gets an X-ray.

Why Are X-rays Performed?

Doctors may recommend an X-ray if they need to examine an area where your child is experiencing pain, monitor the progression of a disease or see how well a prescribed treatment is working. There are a number of other conditions that may require an X-Ray as well, including:

  • Bone cancer
  • Enlarged heart
  • Blocked blood vessels
  • Conditions affecting the lungs
  • Digestive issues
  • Fractures
  • Infections
  • Tooth decay
  • Retrieval of a swallowed foreign object

How Should Your Child Prepare for an X-ray?

Because X-rays are fairly standard procedures, there aren’t any special steps to take for preparation in most cases. If your child’s doctor is examining an area that may be restricted by clothing, your child should wear loose, comfortable clothing. In some instances, your child may be asked to wear a hospital gown. A lead apron may be worn to protect him or her from radiation during the X-ray process.

How Is an X-ray Performed?

Your child will be directed by a technician, who will let him or her know how to position themselves to make sure the X-ray comes out clearly. Your child may be asked to lie, sit or stand in a variety of positions, depending on the area that needs to be examined. It’s important that your child remain still while the images are being taken for the clearest images possible.

If your child is in need of an imaging test, consider taking him or her to 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.

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When Are Lab Services Needed?

iStock-535721777.jpgLab testing can be nerve-wracking enough for adults, let alone children. Used to sample blood, urine, other bodily fluids or tissue, lab tests are an excellent way to make sure you or your child is in the best health and that there are no underlying health concerns. While it’s easy to see why lab work is needed, it can be difficult for children to understand. By educating yourself and your child on lab services, it may ease the unknown the next time lab work is recommended for either of you.

When are they needed?

Laboratory tests are most commonly ordered to determine if there are any health conditions that can be proactively diagnosed or any changes in you or your child’s health. If you or your child already suffer from a disease, lab tests can be the best way to come up with a treatment plan and to monitor the disease over time.

How are they analyzed?

The time between when the test is done and when the results are given can be excruciating. It may be helpful to know what is being done while you wait. Once the sample is collected, the doctor’s office will send it to a lab where they will check to see what reactions the sample has to different substances. In some instances, the sample will be compared to you or your child’s previous tests to see if there are any changes.

What factors can affect results?

It’s important to note that there are some factors that can affect the results of lab work. Gender, age, race, medical history, diet, overall health and whether or not preparatory instructions are followed are all factors that may have an effect on the results of lab services. It’s best to be straightforward with you or your child’s doctor so he or she knows what should be factored in. It’s also important to follow prep instructions as closely as possible.

If your child is in need of lab services, consider taking him or her to Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. Our technicians are highly qualified and will treat your child with the utmost care. Be sure to check in online to wait wherever you are!

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.

Identifying The Flu In Young Children

iStock-533072795.jpgIt can be tough to tell what is wrong with young children when they’re suffering from an illness. Many sicknesses have very similar symptoms, making it easy to incorrectly diagnose your child. Two of the most easily confusable illnesses are the common cold and the flu. To help determine if your child has come down with the flu, compare the symptoms below:

  • If the onset of your child’s illness was sudden and not slow, there’s a greater chance it’s the flu instead of a cold.
  • A high fever is a strong symptom of the flu. Mild fevers may be symptomatic of something else.
  • A decrease in appetite is a tell tale sign that your child is suffering from the flu.
  • Achy muscles, a headache and chills are also a strong sign of the flu.

Other illnesses that can share similar symptoms include strep throat and pneumonia. If your child begins to have difficulty breathing, begins to seem confused or has a headache that continues to worsen, he or she should be taken to a medical facility immediately.

When young children are suffering from the flu, they will feel sluggish and suffer from fatigue. A doctor will likely recommend your child get plenty of fluids and rest. One way to prevent your child from catching the flu is to take him or her to get a flu vaccine. It’s also a good idea to teach your child to avoid sharing food and drinks with other kids in their class, as this is one of the key ways the flu is spread.

If you believe your child may be suffering from the flu, consider taking him or her to a doctor as soon as possible. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care our technicians are highly qualified and will treat your child with the utmost care. Be sure to check in online so you can wait from home!

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 is Bone Splinting?

iStock-535002929.jpgBecause children are constantly on the go, from the jungle gym to the soccer field, they are constantly at risk of broken bones and fractures. Typically when a child breaks a bone, it will require a cast or splint to keep it protected during the healing process. A splint is usually the first type of treatment a child will receive at a doctor, urgent care or emergency room facility. Knowing what to expect with this procedure can help alleviate some of the stress a parent feels when faced with this situation.

What A Splint Is

A splint differs from a cast in that it does not surround the broken bone. Splints are only hard on two sides and can provide support surrounding the injury, reducing the risk of injuring the bone further. A splint also allows room for swelling, which a cast does not. Normally, the splint is applied immediately and is worn prior to the cast being placed — when the swelling has subsided enough. In some cases, a cast may not be needed at all.

What A Splint Is Made Of

Usually consisting of three or four layers, a splint is held in place by a bandage, making it vulnerable to accidental movement. The first, optional, layer of a splint is cotton-stocking material that protects the skin and adds some comfort. The second layer is a soft cotton material intended to further pad the appendage, while the third layer typically consists of fiberglass. Finally, the fourth layer is the bandage that keeps everything in its place.

Caring For A Splint

If your child is given a splint, it’s important to keep it dry, as it may lose its strength and no longer keep the bone in place when wet. Your child should never attempt to adjust his or her splint; only a doctor or trained medical professional should handle this. Also, if your child complains of the splint being too tight, you should seek medical attention immediately to have this fixed so circulation is not cut off.

If your child has suffered a broken bone or fracture, he or she should see a doctor as soon as possible. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified 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.

Understanding Urine Tests for Children

iStock-498573772.jpgIf you aren’t aware of what a urine test does, it can be somewhat unnerving when a doctor orders one for your child. A doctor will typically order a urine test for a child to ensure the kidneys and other organs are functioning properly. Also, if your child’s doctor believes he or she has a kidney, bladder or urinary tract infection, a test may be ordered as well. If your child’s urine contains glucose, protein or other irregularities, it could indicate a health problem that needs medical attention.

What Is A Urinalysis?

If your child’s doctor believes he or she is suffering from a urinary tract infection, more commonly called a UTI, a urinalysis can help provide certain numbers needed for an accurate diagnosis. A urinalysis will measure the following presence:

  • Red and white blood cells
  • Bacteria or other organisms
  • Substances, such as glucose
  • pH, which is an indicator of the acidity of the urine

Considerations

If the tests reveal your child’s urine contain white blood cells or protein, it may be a result of how or when the urine was collected. For instance, the urine of a child that is dehydrated may be darker than usual and contain small amounts of protein. However, this is not necessarily an indication of health problems. The doctor will be able to determine the levels of protein and whether or not further testing is required.

How Is A Urinalysis Done?

Your child will usually be asked to urinate in a clean container in order to perform this test. Once this is completed, a nurse will place a small plastic strip with chemicals on it into the urine. This strip will change colors depending on what is present in the urine. If the strip reveals the presence of specific cells, the urine may be sent to a lab for a urine culture.

If you believe your child is suffering from a UTI or other health problem, consider taking him or her in for a urinalysis. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified 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.

Common Symptoms of Mono

child sick in bed with fever and thermometerMost people misidentify mononucleosis, more commonly known as mono, as the kissing disease. While kissing can spread mono, coughing, sneezing or any other contact with the saliva of someone who’s been infected can also spread it. While symptoms will typically go away on their own within a few weeks, it’s important that you know if your child has mono so he or she can get enough rest and fluids.

Symptoms of Mono

Because mono symptoms are so similar to that of the flu and strep throat (sore throat, fever, fatigue), the virus is often misidentified. However, additional symptoms of mono include headaches, sore muscles, swollen tonsils, skin rash and abdominal pain. Some kids with mono may have a combination of these symptoms, while others experience very mild symptoms.

Monitoring Mono with Sports

Because so many kids who get mono are involved in sports of some sort, it’s important you know how to handle the situation. Because mono is often associated with enlargement of the spleen, it’s recommended that kids who get mono stay away from sports for at least one month after the onset of symptoms. In addition to sports, kids who have mono should also avoid vigorous activity of any kind.

Preventing and Treating Mono

While there is no vaccine for mono, there are efforts your child can take to avoid getting the virus. Teach your child to wash their hands regularly, to never share utensils and to never drink after someone else. If your child does contract the virus, he or she should get plenty of rest and fluids. While ibuprofen and acetaminophen can both help relieve a fever and aching muscles, aspirin should be avoided as it can lead to liver failure or even death when given to a child with a viral illness.

If you believe your child has mono, a doctor should see him or her as soon as possible. At Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, our staff is highly qualified 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.

5 Tips To Keep Kids Healthy During Winter

Happy familyKeeping your kids healthy during the winter months can seem like an impossible task. With germs being spread all over your child’s classroom and daycare, cold and flu season can take any kid out for weeks. By incorporating a few proactive practices, you can help your child stay healthy and strong this school year.

Immune-boosting food and drink

Certain foods and drinks will help improve your child’s immune system. Garlic, ginger, fresh green juices and vitamin C-packed foods are great to start including in your child’s lunchbox. There are a number of immune-boosting smoothies that make a great breakfast and can get your child’s immune system off to a great start in the morning as well.

Minimize sugar

Taking in too much sugar has been linked to decreased immune systems and increased inflammation. If your child is consuming too much sugar on a daily basis, they could end up with a chronically depressed immune system. Try to cut back on sugary drinks and minimize the amount of candy and desserts your child eats.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is crucial to keep our bodies healthy. The hours we are asleep allows our bodies to repair and heal. If your child has difficult falling asleep, try setting a cut-off time for electronics and diffusing a calming essential oil that will help him or her fall asleep.

Keep the calendar clear

Stress is a huge reason immune systems get compromised. When we are under stress, our immune function declines. During the school year, when schedules tend to fill up, it’s important to allow time for your child to de-compress so they don’t get too stressed.

Teach your kids

One of the best ways for your child to stay healthy is for him or her to avoid eating and drinking after others. It’s also important for your child to wash their hands regularly.

If your child gets sick this winter, it’s a good idea to get him or hers checked out by a doctor. At Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, our staff is highly qualified 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.