What You Need To Know About Pediatric Dehydration

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Dehydration in children can be a very scary thing. Because infants and small children can lose fluid more quickly than older children and adults, they are much more likely to suffer from dehydration. Knowing the symptoms of pediatric dehydration is key to seeking the proper medical attention quickly.

Causes Of Dehydration

Most often, fever, diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty drinking or eating (this may be caused by serious bacterial infections) are the cause of dehydration. If your child is participating in activities that are outdoors during the summer, they may become dehydrated due to increased sweating. Excessive urination, usually caused by diabetes, can also cause dehydration.

Symptoms Of Dehydration

If your child is suffering from dehydration, he or she may begin urinating less frequently. You may also noticed they become more irritable and lethargic. For infants, dehydration is often identified by a lack of tears when crying. Sunken eyes, a sunken soft spot on the front of the infant’s head and dry or sticky mucous membranes are also signs your child may be dehydrated.

Diagnosing Dehydration

If your child is suffering from dehydration symptoms, it’s important that you seek medical care immediately. A doctor will likely complete a blood culture, blood count and urinalysis to determine what’s wrong.

Treating Dehydration

In less serious instances, dehydration can be treated at home with Pedialyte and similar products that will provide your child with sugar and electrolytes. In more serious cases, your child may require professional medical treatment using an IV.

If your child is suffering from symptoms of dehydration, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. 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.

Foreign Body Removal Services

iStock-471774748.jpgWhile you’d like to keep an eye on your child at all times, it’s just not possible. There will be times they sneak out of sight. If your child has managed to place a foreign body in his or her ear, nose or airway, don’t panic.

It should be noted that if your child has a battery in their ear, nose or throat, they should be taken to an emergency room immediately. It’s important that a medical professional removes the battery as soon as possible.

Foreign bodies in the ear: If your child has managed to force an object in the ear canal, it’s possible there may be pain in the ear accompanied by redness or drainage. Your child may also experience difficulty hearing. Unless the object is very easily removable, a medical professional should be the one to remove it. If the object in the ear is metal, a magnet may be used to remove it. Your child’s ear may be doused with water to fully clean it.  A machine may also be used to suction the object out.

Foreign bodies in the nose: Foreign bodies in the nose are often removed the same way as those in the ear. In some instances, sedation is needed to remove the object successfully. Your child’s doctor may prescribe nose drops or antibiotic ointments to avoid infection.

Foreign bodies in the airway: In most cases, this is a very serious situation, especially if the foreign object is completely blocking the airway. In some instances, surgery is needed to remove the object. If your child is still talking and breathing, but showing other symptoms, he or she should still be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible.

If your child has placed a foreign body in his or her ear, nose or airway, 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.

Ear Piercing Care For Children

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Most girls dream about the day they can get their ears pierced. As soon as young girls realize mom wears pretty jewelry, they want to mimic that. However, when your daughter gets her ears pierced is a very personal decision – both for you and her. It’s also important to know there are potential risks associated with ear piercing. Being educated on these risks as well as other common questions is smart before you take your daughter to get her ears pierced.

What is the right age?

Experts advise that children are at least 6 months old before getting their ears pierced. Because the immune systems of infants are still developing, they are more prone to infection. Waiting until a child is at least 6 months old cuts down on the potential greatly. At Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, we are able to start ear piercing at the age of 5-years-old. However, if you want your child to make their own informed decision on ear piercing, age 10 is recommended.

What metal is best?

When choosing your daughter’s first earrings, it’s essential to pay attention to the metal type. Surgical stainless-steel earrings and posts are the safest as they don’t contain nickel or any alloys that may cause an allergic reaction. Other safe options include platinum, titanium and 14K gold.

Where should you go?

It’s always smart to try your dermatologist or pediatrician first; however, if they don’t do piercings, find out where they recommend. Once you’ve found a place you feel comfortable, you should be sure the technician follows basic safety protocol such as washing their hands, using gloves and cleaning your daughter’s earlobes.

How do I care for the piercings?

It’s crucial to avoid infection after your daughter’s ears are pierced. Clean your own hands before touching your child’s ears. Twice a day, clean the front and back of the earrings with a cotton ball dampened by hydrogen peroxide or cleaning solution. The earrings should be gently rotated a few times a day and should not be removed for six weeks. Your daughter should keep earrings of some sort in for 6 months to avoid the hole closing.

If your daughter is interested in getting her ears pierced, visit Medical City Children’s Hospital 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.

When Are IVs Required?

Doctor applying bandaid to arm of little girl after vaccinations

Most people think of intravenous rehydration (more commonly called an IV) as a scary tool with a sharp needle that is often used at hospitals for severe medical cases; however, an IV can be used for something as minor as moderate dehydration. More commonly used for children than adults, the IV typically consists of water with some salt or sugar added. Knowing what an IV does and when it’s required can be important to calm your child if he or she ever needs one.

When is an IV required?

Dehydration occurs when a person loses fluids from their body. The fluids lost contain water and dissolved salts, also referred to as electrolytes. If your child suffers from a mild case of dehydration, he or she should drink water and fluids that are full of electrolytes (sports drinks are great). However, moderate to severe cases of dehydration will most likely require IV rehydration.

How does an IV work?

A nurse or doctor will normally administer the IV to your child by inserting the IV line into a vein in his or her arm. This line will be attached to a bag of fluids – the contents of which will be determined by your child’s doctor – on the other end. The amount of fluid will be regulated by the doctor or nurse and will enter your child’s bloodstream via an automated pump or adjustable valve.

Are there risks associated with an IV?

The risks associated with an IV are very low for most people and most often the benefits outweigh the risks. There is a minor risk of infection at the injection site any time an IV is administered. While even more minor, there is also a risk of the vein collapsing if the IV remains in it for an extended period of time. However, a knowledgeable nurse or doctor will know to move the needle to a different vein.

If your child is displaying signs of moderate or severe dehydration, he or she should receive medical attention immediately. 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.

4 Fun After-School Activities

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By the time summer is done, kids (and parents) are often ready for school to return. However, once school is out each day, your child will likely be looking for something to keep busy. While homework needs to be completed, there are also a number of fun after-school activities that your child can enjoy as an alternative to sitting in front of the TV all afternoon and evening.

Get Creative With Snack Art

Most kids get hungry after school. Have your child help out with their after-school snack by creating fun snack art. A few examples are sandwiches cut by cookie cutters, fun creatures made from hard-boiled eggs and healthy dips served with animal crackers.

Build An Art Gallery

Have your child get creative outside with sidewalk chalk. Offer suggestions for an artwork theme, such as family members, favorite animals, etc. and let your child go crazy. Invite neighbors over to check it out and vote on their favorite drawings.

Do Something Nice For A Friend

Decide on a friend or neighbor who is in need and do something nice for him or her. Whether you water the plants of an out-of-town neighbor, bake cookies for a friend who’s been sick or simply go visit an assisted living home for senior citizens, teaching your son or daughter to give of their time is a great activity and life lesson.

Go Exploring

Take a walk to a new park or go on a bike ride to the library on a different path. Wherever you decide to explore, make sure it’s somewhere new and exciting that will get your child wanting to be outdoors.

For more information on family safety, helpful health tips and up-to-date medical information, check back in on the Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care blog regularly. We are also open seven days a week to serve you when medical attention is needed for your child. 

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 Most Contagious Classroom Illnesses

My daughter isn't afraid to pay a visit here

Whether it’s in the classroom or even at daycare after school, your child is exposed to many illnesses being around other children. While it’s impossible to keep your child from being exposed, there are things you can do to ensure he or she remains healthy and at a lower risk of catching the illness-of-the-week. Below are the most contagious classroom illnesses and what you can do to keep your child healthy.

Colds: The common cold is just that: common. Sniffles, sneezes and possibly a sore throat are all signs that your child, or someone in their classroom, is suffering from a cold. In fact, children catch as many as eight colds each year. 

Sore Throats: It’s referred to as a sore throat, strep throat and even tonsillitis, but it all refers to the same thing: an illness for your child.  The most common cause of a sore throat for children is a viral infection, with most children suffering from a sore throat also experiencing a cold at the same time. 

Coughs: Because young children should generally steer clear of over-the-counter cough medication, a cough is easily spread and not easy to treat. Alongside coughing, your child may also have a runny nose, blocked nose and difficulty sleeping. 

Vomiting: While vomiting will usually go away without medication, it’s still a miserable illness for your child to catch and can even result in dehydration. If your child is vomiting, be sure he or she is well hydrated. 

Diarrhea: If your child suffers from diarrhea, it’s essential that you monitor for signs of dehydration. Most children can continue to eat a normal diet when experiencing this illness, although you may want to give him or her smaller amounts of food than normal so you don’t disrupt his or her stomach.

If your child is exposed to an illness in the classroom, there are a few ways to help your child reduce their risk. Teach your child to never eat or drink after another child and to always wash his or her hands before eating. If you believe your child is ill, keep them at home to minimize the risk of other children getting sick, as well.

If your child is ill and in need of medical attention, consider seeking care at an urgent care facility. 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.

When to Visit Urgent Care vs the Emergency Room

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If your child is injured, there is often a mad rush to get him or her the quickest medical care possible. While there are times that an emergency room is required, an urgent care facility can often provide the same care at a lower price and in less time. But how do you know when your child should be taken to an emergency room and when you can take advantage of urgent care?

Emergency Room

An emergency room should be utilized for just that: emergencies. If your child is experiencing an allergic reaction to food, animal or bug bites; a broken bone; chest pain; constant vomiting or bleeding; shortness of breath; head injuries or unconsciousness, they should be taken an emergency room immediately. For life-threatening injuries, call 911.

Although the ER can care for a number of additional medical situations, it will also cost you more than an urgent care. In fact, emergency rooms cost on average three times more than a visit to an urgent care facility.

Urgent Care

If your child is suffering from a non-emergency medical situation, an urgent care can often offer the same care as an ER. A few of the conditions commonly treated at an urgent care include flu and cough; high fevers; cuts and severe scrapes; sports injuries; earaches; stomach aches and more.

Many people are worried about visiting an urgent care center because they don’t think the doctors are qualified or services are limited. At Medical City Children’s Center Urgent Care, the doctors are all qualified residency-trained pediatricians who are board certified or board eligible.

If you have a child who has suffered an injury that is not life threatening, consider taking them to Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care. With medical centers that are focused toward children and open at convenient hours, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care is 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.