Introducing Miss Hap

As parents, we know that there will always be little mishaps in life. Whether it is taking a tumble or scraping a knee, our little ones can always find their way into less than happy situations.

Meet Miss Hap! This little ball of energy is here to walk you through the various mishaps you might experience with your own little ones. In the coming months, we are going to follow Miss Hap around through her adventures and remind parents how to keep their kiddos safe and healthy.

Topics we will cover:

  • Nutrition
  • Kitchen Safety
  • Allergic reactions
  • Injury Prevention
  • Illness Awareness
  • And More!

No matter the mishap, our expert and kid-friendly staff can help your child get back to feeling better. Stay tuned for more helpful information and to follow Miss Hap on her journey through childhood on Facebook and Instagram!

Avoiding Illness on Vacation

Avoiding illness on vacationIt’s a parent’s nightmare: You save for months, spend hours planning and tie up a zillion loose ends before going on vacation. Then on the second day of your trip, your child comes down with an illness. While it’s impossible to avoid sickness altogether, travelers can adopt strategies for avoiding illness on vacation.

Know the risk factors that expose you to germs – often germs you don’t encounter at home – and minimize them. While children’s immune systems usually aren’t as strong as adults’, you can reduce losing time to illness while you’re on vacation by:

  • Wash your hands: It’s always good advice, but frequently washing your hands while on the road is extra important. While bottles of sanitizer are a good backup, they don’t replace soap and water. Wash frequently, wash often.
  • Change clothes after air travel: Airplanes are an incubator for germs, and avoiding exposure to your fellow travellers’ germs is difficult. Minimize your family’s risk by bathing and changing into fresh clothes as soon as you’re in your hotel room.
  • Drink bottled water: When traveling abroad, particularly to Mexico or Latin America, avoid tap water, which can contain bacteria that causes stomach problems. Be wary of drinks that contain ice as well, as they’re often made with tap water.
  • Don’t overdo it: Getting ready for a vacation can be stressful, with last-minute to-dos, late nights and hurried trips to the airport. Likewise, it’s easy to want to cram as much as possible into each day. That’s a great way to weaken immune systems. Avoid overextending yourself or your kids before or during your trip.
  • Consult your doctor: Are you headed to an exotic locale? Talk with your doctor about precautions and other strategies based upon your destination.

Avoiding illness on vacation does require a bit of luck in avoiding being exposed to germs. That doesn’t mean you can’t stack the deck in your favor and adopt habits that extend your chances of staying healthy.

Spring Break Safety Tips

Spring break is just around the corner! If you’re traveling with the kids, don’t forget to check “Travel Vaccinations” off your to-do list. Our sister company, The Youth Clinic, offers Travel Clinics to help make sure you and your family enjoy a worry-free vacation.

If this is your first time traveling with your kids, you may not know that travel vaccinations are actually an essential part of holiday planning, especially if you’re heading to an exotic destination or somewhere “off the beaten path.” While many travel vaccines are targeted towards diseases typically found in the tropics, travel emergencies can happen anywhere. Please note, different countries have different health risks and may require specific vaccines. It’s important to let your physician know where you are traveling to so you can both plan accordingly.

The Youth Clinic Travel Clinics

  • Comprehensive & individualized assessment of travel itinerary & health history
  • Any necessary travel immunizations & prophylaxis
    • This includes: Hepatitis A, TdaP and Malaria
  • Information on travel illnesses
  • Advice on food & water safety
  • Completion of any necessary travel paperwork
  • Customized Travel Handbook & Travel Kit

We typically recommend getting the kids in at least six weeks prior to travel to ensure proper spacing of immunizations. If you are already within the six weeks, still give the Youth Clinic a call to schedule an appointment because you and your child will still benefit.

Spring Break Safety Tips & TRICKS

  • If traveling by airplane, allow your family extra time to get through security. It’s better to get there early than rush or miss your flight!
  • Consider having the kids wear shoes and outer layers of clothing that are easy to take off for security purposes.
  • Check with your airline but they usually allow families to bring a child’s car safety seat as an extra luggage item at no extra charge.
  • Be prepared: pack a bag of toys and snacks to keep the kids entertained, especially during long flights.
  • Wash hands frequently and consider bringing hand sanitizer to prevent illness during travel.
  • Always bring mosquito protection to countries where mosquito-borne diseases are present.
  • Be mindful of what you eat and drink.
  • Most rental car companies can arrange for a car safety seat if you are unable to bring your own.
  • Do not touch animals such as monkeys, stray dogs or birds.
  • Always wear a seatbelt, even in a taxi.
  • If traveling by car, plan to stop driving to give yourself and the kids a break about every two hours.
  • Never leave your child alone in a car, even for just a minute.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics 

For more information on The Youth Clinic Travel Clinics or to schedule an appointment, call 970-267-9510.

Practice Safe Snow Days with These Tips

Snow angels, snowmen and snowball fights are the ingredients for the perfect snow day! Prepare your little ones for fun and safe outdoor play this winter with these tips:

Layering

Layering is tricky. Too many and they’ll overheat; too few and they’ll freeze. The rule of thumb: Dress your kids in one more layer of clothing than you (an adult) would wear in the same weather.

Protect Hands

With all the snow-fort building and snowball throwing, little hands will get cold and wet.  Make sure to buy insulated and waterproof gloves and mittens.

Sunscreen

Cold temperatures bring out coats and snow pants instead of bathing suits, but that doesn’t mean the sun isn’t in the sky. Snow reflects at least 80 percent of the ultraviolet rays that cause sunburns. Before sending your kiddos out in the cold, lather their faces in water-resistant sunscreen.

Sled Safety

Before flying down a hill on a sled, take precautions. Make sure to choose well-sledded areas that are open and free of cars, trees, posts and rocks.

Frostbite Dangers

Exposing fingers, toes and ears to cold temperatures for long periods of time can cause frostbite. Review with your children the dangers of frostbite as well as the symptoms of it. For more information, check out our frostbite treatment tips.

Hydration

Just like sunscreen, water is just as important during the winter months as it is in the summer. Kids and adults lose large amounts of water breathing in cold, chilly air. Keep water handy when playing in the snow!

 

Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado is ready to help repair your winter accidents every day until 9:00 pm on the weekdays and 8:00 pm on the weekends! If you have any questions on the severity of accidents we can repair versus the emergency room, check out this post or call us at 970-494-2626!

Fireplace Safety Tips

Lighting a fire on a snowy winter night is a great way to stay cozy. It’s an indulgence for many families, but it poses risks if there is little to no awareness of the hazards or ways to prevent them. Before cuddling up next to your crackling fire, brush up on these fireplace safety tips.

Clear the Area

Look above, below and next to your fireplace for objects that could catch fire, especially flammable ones. Keep all items at least two feet away to keep them from catching.

 

Remain in the Room

Never leave an active fire unsupervised. The fire can easily get out of hand and you will want to make sure your children are staying away from the open flames and hot surface!

 

Safety Screens

The glass door on fireplaces doesn’t protect all from getting burned.  Put up safety screens to provide a barrier between the hot glass and anyone near the fire.

 

Tools & Accessories

Brooms and pokers make fireplace management easy, but they look like toys to children. Store these items away to avoid accidents.

 

Hard Surfaces

The materials used to build fireplaces like stone and marble are not soft. Make sure to keep an eye on your child while he or she is around the fireplace to prevent hard landings.

 

Education

Teach your children the dangers of fires by creating and practicing a home fire escape plan. Make sure they feel confident in knowing where to go and what to do if a fire were to occur.

 

Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado is ready to help repair your fire-related accidents every day until 9:00 pm on the weekdays and 8:00 pm on the weekends! If you have any questions on the severity of accidents we can repair versus the emergency room, check out this post or call us at 970-494-2626!

Common Sports Injuries in Children

Common Sports Injuries in Children

Roughly 75 percent of all families have one child involved in youth sports sometime in their childhood. With the sheer volume of children in athletics, it’s inevitable that sports injuries in children occur: More than 3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive care in an emergency room every year for sports injuries, and children aged 5 to 14 years account for about 40 percent of all sports injuries treated in hospitals.

Acute Sports Injuries in Children

Many of the sports injuries suffered by children are acute injuries, those caused by a sudden accident or trauma. These injuries range from injured eyes, brain injuries such as concussions, broken bones and connective tissue injuries. Most sports’ rules and safety equipment are designed to protect athletes from acute injury, so a large portion of trauma-based sports injuries in children stem from lack of proper safety equipment or poor supervision.

Some sports are inherently more dangerous than others, however. High-contact sports like football or extreme sports like skateboarding are more likely to produce acute injuries than swimming or running.

Overuse Sports Injuries in Children

As their name implies, overuse injuries are caused by repetitive motions that produce stress on bones or muscles over time. Overuse injuries can impact bone growth, so parents should monitor for them. They’re as common in non-contact sports as contact sports. Common overuse injuries include:

  • Pitchers: Caused by repetitive motions involved in throwing a ball, elbows can become stiff and hard to fully extend.
  • Swimmers: Stroke recovery places significant strain on swimmers’ shoulders. They may experience pain while swimming or, if untreated, constantly in the back of their shoulders.
  • Soccer players: Overextension of the back, known as spondylolysis, is common in soccer players, as is shin splints, caused by overtraining at the beginning of a season.

To reduce the risk of injury:

  • Rest.  Plan to have at least 1 day off per week and at least one month off per year from training for a particular sport to allow the body to recover. Breaks during practice and games are also important in preventing over heating and injury.
  • Protective equipment.  Children should wear protective gear such as helmets, mouthpieces, pads, face guards, protective cups, and eyewear. Make sure gear is the appropriate fit.
  • Strengthen muscles. Conditioning exercises can strengthen muscles used in play.
  • Stretch. Stretching both after practice and on a regular basis can increase flexibility.

Save Time & Pre-Register Online From the Comfort of Your Home

Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado is excited to announce that you can now pre-register online to save time! Your child’s care is important to us and we want to make the experience of a trip to urgent care as easy as possible. The next time your little one gets in a pinch, cut down on your time in the waiting room and visit this link to pre-register online so your child can stay in the comfort of your home as long as possible.

 

If you do not see an open time slot, please feel free to walk-in during open hours Monday-Friday 9 am-9 pm and Weekends 8 am-8 pm.

 

* This feature is to allow Pre-Registration, We are an Urgent Care and will see patients in order of severity. Time is not guaranteed. 

 

What Is the Difference Between a Cold and the Flu?

The terms cold and flu are often interchanged, but they are not the same thing. Although a lot of the symptoms between a cold and the flu are very similar, there are key differentiators between the two. To understand the severity of your child’s sickness, this is the difference between symptoms of a cold and symptoms of the flu.

The Common Cold

The common cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). It’s usually harmless, but it might not feel that way.

Symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Coughing
  • Post-nasal Drip
  • Watery Eyes
  • Mild Head and Body Aches

Treatment:

If your child is suffering from the common cold, they should be getting plenty of rest

and drink plenty of fluids.  A nasal saline spray and/or a cool-mist humidifier may help decrease congestion.

The Flu

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can range from mild to severe.

Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Runny/Stuffy Nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Exhaustion
  • Diarrhea
  • Watery Eyes
  • Headaches
  • Muscle/Body Aches
  • Chest Discomfort

Treatment:

If you think your child has developed the flu, visit a medical provider as soon as possible.

 

If you are worried and your doctor’s office is closed, PUCNC is there with extended hours to help make sure your child gets the care they need.

 

Read Tips for Preventing Sickness in the Fall here.

Tips for Preventing Sickness in the Fall

It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing, school is back in session, and the typical runny nose is bound to make an entrance. There are many reasons why Fall is the time of year that children get sick (classroom germs, rapid change of weather, allergies, etc.,) but there are also many ways that you as a parent can try to prevent it. Here are our tips for preventing sickness in the fall:

 

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants supports immune function to help fight off infections.  Vitamin A, D, E, C, Folate, Zinc, Selenium and Iron play a key role in keeping your body healthy.  Include leafy greens, dark orange foods such as sweet potatoes and carrots, fatty fish (salmon and trout,) lean meats, legumes, fortified milk (cow/soy/almond) nuts and seeds in your weekly meal planning.  Think about adding spinach to a smoothie, make a soup loaded with veggies and legumes, snack on bell peppers and hummus or a handful of nuts.

 

Sleep

Children and adults alike who do not get enough sleep are more likely to catch a cold or virus. A great way to prevent sickness is by sticking to a sleep routine. Especially for children, when a routine is thrown off, so is their immune system. Try to stick to a specific bedtime. Luckily, this is especially easy to establish in the fall when school is in session.

 

Hand Washing

This should come as no surprise as an important factor when it comes to fighting sickness. When your child is in school, they are exposed to even more germs than they are at home. Make sure your child knows the proper handwashing technique, and encourage them to stay on top of it.

Send hand sanitizer or wipes for them to use before and after lunch.

 

Get a Flu Shot

The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot!  Protect your family, and have everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated. Read more about the history of the flu here.

 

While these tips can not guarantee that your child will not get sick, they will definitely help prevent it. This fall, take all precautions, but if they do end up getting sick, know that pediatric urgent care has extended hours to help get your child healthy again.

Best Sunscreen for Kids & Babies

Summer is here, and you and the family are likely to get out and catch some rays. However, you need to be sure to protect your kids and babies delicate skin from sunburn. If you’re planning on spending time outside, it’s important to always be prepared with sunscreen.

How to choose a sunscreen for your kids and babies

First, we want to remind parents that children under 6 months of age should avoid direct sunlight altogether. If they are out and about with you, be sure to dress them in lightweight clothes that cover their limbs and shade their faces. For your older kids, there are 3 important things to look for in a sunscreen.

  • The sunscreen is SPF 15 or above
  • The sunscreen has “broad spectrum” protection which blocks both UVA and UVB rays
  • The sunscreen is water resistant which means it can protect skin for up to 40-80 minutes in water.

Cream sunscreens are best used on dry skin and provide the best coverage. Gel sunscreens are great for areas with lots of hair, like the scalp. Spray sunscreens should be avoided as they don’t usually provide the best or most accurate coverage and can be inhaled.

When, Where, and How to Properly Use Sunscreen

It is important to follow the directions on the sunscreen’s label. In addition to those guidelines, we recommend the following.

  • Apply sunscreen to your children 15-30 minutes before outside play.
  • Be sure to apply sunscreen on the face, ears, hands, feet, neck, and shoulders. These areas are often missed.
  • If you are planning on swimming, be sure to apply sunscreen under swimsuit straps.
  • Use a generous amount of sunscreen. We recommend an ounce of sunscreen for full-body coverage.
  • Reapply sunscreen to your children every 2 hours or after they have been wet (whether that is from sweat or swimming.)
  • Regardless of the water-resistant labels on sunscreens reapply when you kids get out of the water.

In the case that your child gets a sunburn, read our post here on How To Treat a Child’s Sunburn