How To Treat a Child’s Sunburn
From the park to the pool, children need to be protected from the sun. Even if SPF (Sun Protection Factor) has been applied, a child can still get a sunburn in as little as 15 minutes. This summer, we want to make sure parents know what steps to take if their child gets too much sun!
Here are our top tips for treating a child’s sunburn:
- Use cool water during showers or baths, and apply a cool compress when needed. Too cold or too hot of water will make your child’s skin extremely sensitive.
- Make sure your child is drinking extra water to prevent the dehydration that can happen from their body temperature being higher than usual.
- For discomfort, give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed. Make sure to view our dosage chart beforehand, so you know how much your child needs depending on their weight.
- Keep all sunburned areas covered fully to protect the skin while it heals.
To prevent needing to take these steps, make sure to seek shade, apply sunscreen, and keep hats and sunglasses handy for your kids this summer! For more information on sunscreens, read our post here on the Best Sunscreens for Kids and Babies.
*Keep in mind that if your child is under 1 year of age, and/or has blisters, severe pain, lethargy, or a fever higher than 101 degrees after getting a sunburn, contact your pediatrician or take them directly to urgent care.
Outdoor Safety Tips for Spring
Now that warmer weather is on its way, you and your kiddos may choose to spend more time outdoors. However, before you do, we want to remind you of some outdoor spring safety tips to keep your kids safe and healthy this spring.
Remember the bug spray
Nice weather means those pesky bugs are also ready to get out and play. Whether your kids are spending time out at the local park or you are on a family hike in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, bug spray will be essential. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents contain no more than 30% DEET, and children under 2 months of age should not be sprayed with insect repellent. For more information, check out these additional guidelines. Be sure to spray the kids before they go out and remember to reapply after they get wet. It’s the best defense against any unwanted bug bites!
Put on the helmets
Spring weather means dusting off the bikes, scooters, and rollerblades. Be sure your kids are following safety procedures and wearing their helmets properly. Helmets are vital to your child’s safety when biking or rollerblading. They protect them against serious injury and death in the event of a crash or accident. Make sure that your kid’s helmet fits correctly and replace any helmets that are damaged.
Protect from the sun
Yes, you still need sunscreen in the spring. It might not feel as hot as summer, but the sun can still have damaging effects on the skin, even in the cooler spring months. In addition to covering skin with lightweight clothing or wearing a hat, sunscreen of at least 15 SPF can add extra protection. Remember to reapply sunscreen to your child every two hours or after they have gotten wet. For infants under 6 months of age, limited sun exposure is the goal (keep them in the shade, covered with lightweight clothing, use a hat). That said, you can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands.
In Colorado, you must always be prepared for the unexpected. Be sure that the kids are dressed in layers so that they can take layers off if they get hot and put layers back on if the weather suddenly changes. Remember that Colorado can see snowstorms all the way into May, and be prepared for the unexpected.
Keeping your kids safe and healthy is our priority. We hope your family can enjoy the outdoors this spring, but if an accident does occur, Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado is ready to help repair your spring adventure.
Face Mask Safety, Protocol and Tips for Children
Wearing a face mask in public (doctor’s office, grocery store, etc.) is now recommended by the CDC. Cloth masks serve as an additional health measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This is especially important among asymptomatic individuals who pose a risk of spreading the virus to others. Social distancing remains our first-line defense. Hand-washing is our second and wearing a mask is our third.
Mask Fit and Cleanliness
Ideally, a cloth mask should fit snugly on your cheeks and chin. They can easily be fashioned from an old shirt, bandana or cloth at home and secured with elastic hair ties or ribbons. We recommend doubling the cotton cloth for added protection, but a filter is not necessary. Ideally, these should be able to withstand being washed and dried with each wearing. Remember to wash your hands before and after placement and to try not to touch your face while wearing it.
Mask Protocol for Children
Your children are best to be left at home when venturing out to the grocery store; however, when coming to the doctor, having them wear a mask right now is preferable. CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 2 SHOULD NEVER HAVE A MASK ON because of the risk of suffocation. Infants in car seat carriers may simply have a blanket or appropriate cover placed over their seat to maintain airflow as long as they are directly supervised by an adult. A pleated cotton mask with elastic straps that go behind the ear will most likely work best for your child.
Making Your Children Comfortable
- Practice with your children at home wearing a mask or bandana.
- Tell them that they are superheroes that are helping all of us stay safe and healthy.
- Place one on a favorite stuffed animal friend.
- Model this behavior for your children as well – they are far more likely to wear a mask if you are also wearing one.
- In circumstances when you can maintain appropriate social distancing outside the home (on a walk, bike ride, etc.) then they don’t need to wear a mask necessarily.
On a final note, we recommend following CDC guidelines as much as possible to keep you and your family healthy and safe.
Can I Give Emergen-C to My Child?
Many adults reach for Emergen-C at the first sign of a cold. While that’s fine for adults, when you see cold symptoms coming on for a child, you shouldn’t give your child under 15 Emergen-C or a similar supplement.
Emergen-C is a high dose of Vitamins C, B-6 and B-12 that’s formulated for adults. Each dosage contains 1,000 mg of Vitamin C (about 16 times the USDA recommended daily value). While this is well within safe dosage for an adult, the upper intake level for children is considerably less: Children aged 1- to 3-years old should only consume 400 mg Vitamin C and those 4- to 8-years-old should consume no more than 650 mg.
Adult doses of Vitamin C won’t have severe adverse affects, but they can cause upset stomach in children. In both children and adults, absorption of Vitamin C is best at low dosages: You (and your child) can absorb up to 90 percent of a moderate dosage, while up to 50 percent of a dose higher than 1,000 mg is not absorbed.
Although wasteful, unabsorbed Vitamin C is typically not dangerous. Although excessive levels of the vitamin, which is acidic, can cause upset stomach, unused Vitamin C is passed in urine.
Instead of giving your child Emergen-C or a similar supplement, seek to provide enough Vitamin C though a balanced diet. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit, bell peppers, strawberries and cantaloupe are all rich in Vitamin C. If you’re concerned your child isn’t receiving enough Vitamin C in her diet, supplement it with a kids’ vitamin that contains is.
And the idea of beating back a cold with big doses of Vitamin C? It’s mostly a myth. Treating the common cold with Vitamin C reduces the length of a cold about 14 percent in children and 8 percent in adults.
Read More Children’s Health Tips
Pool Safety Tips
Memorial Day weekend is almost here, which means many families will be making plans to spend time at the neighborhood pool. While most parents understand the dangers inherent in aquatic recreation, many aren’t quite as clear on the best way to protect their families.
Most children will overestimate their swimming abilities, which may put them in dangerous situations. Pool safety begins with parents, so follow a few pool safety tips to reduce your family’s risk.
Talk With Your Children
Before you pack the swim bags, chat with your kids about their abilities and limitations and the dangers involved in pool play.
Floaties Are Toys
Inflatable rings, water wings and pool noodles offer buoyancy, but they’re not reliable enough to guarantee to keep your child floating.
Don’t Rely on Lifeguards
Lifeguards should be your last line of defense against drowning. Pools will be crowded, making identifying distressed swimmers difficult even for seasoned lifeguards.
Stay within Reach
When kids are in water above their heads, stay close by, even when they’re strong swimmers. It only takes a moment of struggle to turn into full-blown distress that can lead to a near-drowning incident.
Mind the Crowds
On holiday weekends and especially hot days, pools will be crowded, increasing the likelihood of trouble. Swimmers may be jostled or pushed underneath other kids’ floatation devices in the most crowded pools.
Teach Children To Speak Up
Many adults don’t have the swimming skills to pull off a water rescue, so beginning swimmers should never attempt it. Teach children to yell for the attention of an adult if they see an incident rather than attempting rescue themselves.
Don’t risk debilitating spinal injuries: Head-first dives should never be attempted in water less than 10 feet deep.
Even when you’re playing it safe, a trip to the pool can be a great time for the whole family. Prepare beforehand to reduce your family’s risk of a near-drowning incident.
What You Need to Know About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
What is COVID-19?
The COVID-19 virus (also commonly known as Coronavirus) has been circling the news, social media, and conversations in the last few weeks. As you are probably already aware, the virus started in China and has spread to numerous countries including Japan, S. Korea, Italy, Iran and the US.
What Parents Need to Know
As far as our patients are concerned, the virus seems to be very mild in children. The CDC put out a report earlier this week that children seem to have mild upper respiratory symptoms. At this time, we are unaware of any reports that children have died from this illness (to compare- 125 children have died from influenza this season alone). The average number of flu cases in the US alone is 60 million whereas there have been about 90 thousand cases of COVID-19 throughout the world. Our phone nurses have been fielding many calls regarding this, and we are recommending reassurance to families that their kids aren’t at risk.
There have been a few reported cases of COVID 19 in the US and one who didn’t have known contact with someone at risk. The CDC is putting out daily updates on the virus and is concerned that it could become more widespread. Please be assured that the Colorado State Department of Health and Larimer County and Weld County Departments of Health will notify us of cases in Colorado as they are identified.
As cases are identified in Colorado, we will be asking our patients’ families specific questions to identify if they or their children are at risk of being infected by this virus. If they are at risk, we will follow recommendations of the CDC and the Colorado State Department of Health as to how to proceed with their care.
Many are concerned about an epidemic of COVID-19 occurring in the US. We would like to remind everyone that we have been in the midst of an epidemic of influenza for the past 3 months and we have all done well. Influenza will always be more dangerous to the world than COVID 19 will be.
The CDC put out a review of the rate of illness from the COVID-19. They found that the risk for people living in the home of documented COVID-19 cases in the US had a 10% chance of developing the illness. The risk for all potential exposures to documented cases was less than ½ of 1% (0.45%). To give perspective on this, the infection rate of people exposed to chickenpox by family members approaches 90% We need to continue to have perspective on the COVID-19. It will be a problem, but it likely won’t be the problem that the media is predicting.
How Can We Reduce Risk?
General recommendations for all of us during the sick season are to keep our fingers out of our noses, hands away from our faces, clean our hands frequently with hand sanitizer or with washing and keep areas clean where patients and families have been by using cleansing agents on countertops, phones and computers.
We will be sending out intermittent updates about the COVID-19 virus and our response plans as things progress. If you have questions about the virus or about our process in responding to its potential effects on our community, please let us know. We will be happy to address questions to the best of our ability.
Lastly, please realize that this virus may have started in China, but it could have begun anywhere. We need to be culturally sensitive to our peers and clients who are Asian. There have been reports of mistreatment of people of Asian descent throughout the country due to fears of the COVID-19 virus. We are all on this hurtling orb called Earth and all have the same hopes desires and fears. A little gentleness and compassion will go a long way at a time like this.
If you have questions about the virus or how to reduce risk during the sick season please contact Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado at 970.494.2626
Additional information can be found on this fact sheet from the CDC and this frequently asked questions document.
Warning Signs of the Flu
Although we’re starting to see some warmer weather days here in Northern Colorado, winter and cold & flu season is still with us. Knowing the warning signs of the flu can help get your child they help they need before anything gets too severe because no one likes to see their little one sick. While most symptoms are similar to adults, there are a few differences parents should be aware of.
While it’s typical for almost all individuals with the flu to have a fever, children can tend to have higher fevers than adults which can be as high as 103° – 105°. Fevers can also cause chills and shivering as a side effect.
Body Aches & Headaches
The flu can cause severe body aches and headaches, which may be difficult for your child to explain or describe to you. Listen for signs from your child such as, “it hurts all over”, which might explain what they are feeling.
Coughing and/or Chest Pain
Coughing can be a very common flu symptom for both children and adults. Coughs can range from being dry to very moist and wet. Something to pay close attention to is if you hear a whistling or wheezing at the end of the cough. This may be a sign that your child may be having breathing problems, so make sure you visit your health care provider to make sure everything is okay.
While some children may experience this at a higher degree than others, it’s an important symptom to look out for. Often times if congestion from the flu goes untreated it can potentially lead to ear infections and/or sinus infections.
Vomiting & Diarrhea
While neither of these are very common in adults with the flu, they can be very common in children with the flu. While the stomach flu can also have these symptoms, stomach flu will generally not be accompanied by symptoms such as coughing or congestion.
It is also important to note that many of these symptoms can overlap with symptoms of the common cold. Not sure what your child might have? Check out our post on knowing what the difference is between a cold and the flu.
If you’re concerned that your child may have the flu, be sure to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider right away or come see us during our extended hours to make sure your child gets the health care they need.
Tips for Managing Your Child’s Asthma This Spring
Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner here in Northern Colorado and although we still have snow on the ground, temperatures are beginning to rise and warmer days are on their way! If your child has asthma, however, this can be a tough time as pollen counts rise which can lead to more intense asthma symptoms. Keep reading for our tips for helping to manage your child’s asthma this spring.
Have a plan and stick to it
One of the hardest parts of having a child with asthma, is you’re never 100% sure when a flare-up might happen. Reduce this fear by creating an “Asthma Action Plan”, which outlines what exact steps need to be done if an asthma attack occurs. Work with your doctor to understand what steps need to be included and make sure everyone is on the same page. Share this plan with any adult in your child’s life who might need to know these steps. This can include teachers, baby sitters, coaches, etc. Ensure they understand what steps need to be taken in case you aren’t there.
Identify & Avoid Triggers
By understanding what triggers your child’s asthma, and knowing how to avoid these triggers, this can be a large part in avoiding asthma flare-ups. Common triggers can include pollen and mold, weather changes, viral infections, irritants such as tobacco smoke or some cleaning products, exercise, etc. Keep an asthma diary that tracks activities and flare-ups and get a much better understanding of what is causing attacks, so you can know to avoid in the future.
Take all medications as prescribed
If your child has asthma, you’ve likely worked with your doctor to understand which medicines are the best fit for your child. Understand the difference between daily medications which are going to be long-term control treatment and quick-relief medications that act fast to treat the flare-up. Take these medications on a regular schedule and ensure that if your child does need an inhaler, that they carry it with them at all times, or a trusted adult carries one with them at all times.
Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado is here to help with asthma attacks every day until 9:00 pm on the weekdays and 8:00 pm on the weekends. For any life-threatening emergencies, please call 911.
Why You Should Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands isn’t just good advice. It’s the best advice you and your family can follow to prevent illness on a daily basis. Not only is it tremendously effective in reducing the spread of germs, it’s so simple that even preschoolers can be taught to do it correctly. (We’ll talk about correctly later.)
Scientists estimate that there are more than 1,500 microorganisms per square inch on your hands. Similarly, germs can congregate anywhere people touch – from door knobs and shopping carts to your computer’s mouse and your favorite coffee mug. It’s easy for germs to piggyback from an object you touch, onto your hand and onto whatever you touch next.
Although nearly everyone understands the importance of washing up before cooking or eating, it’s just as important to give your hands a scrub throughout the day. Many people touch their eyes, mouth or nose without realizing it. From there, it’s easy for the bacteria, fungi and viruses to enter a body and make you sick.
When to Wash Your Hands
When in doubt, wash your hands! This instills habits in your family to always lather up after these activities where germ transmission is easiest:
- After using the restroom or changing a diaper
- Before and after preparing raw foods
- Before eating
- After blowing your nose
- After working in dirty environments, such as gardens, garages and basements
- After shopping trips
Wash Your Hands Correctly
Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t wash their hands correctly, with many people rushing it or skipping steps. To properly wash your hands, use warm water to wet your hands, including wrists and between fingers. After lathering your hands, rub them together for 20 seconds – about long enough to sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself twice – making sure to cover all surfaces with soap.
Wash your hands to prevent disease transmission and keep your family safe. An extra 30 seconds at the sink can prevent days of illness!
5 Winter Activity Safety Tips
Before participating in outdoor winter activities, keep in mind these tips to help keep you safe and ready to take on the elements!
Cold muscles are more prone to injury, so make sure that you are properly stretching and that you are performing light warm-up exercises before you begin any outdoor winter activity!
Check Your Equipment
Be sure to check all of your equipment to ensure it is in good condition and fits properly. This includes skis, ski poles, snowboards, bindings, sleds, snowshoes, skates and more. Ill-fitting or outdated equipment can cause accidents or injuries.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Multiple layers are strongly encouraged in the winter even though you are likely to warm up while performing your activity. Wear fabrics that provide the best insulation to keep you warm and are moisture-wicking to keep you dry.
Drink plenty of water before, during and after any activity. Inadequate water intake can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, and dizziness. This is just as important in the winter months as it is in the hot summer sun!
Even in cold temperatures, your skin can be damaged by the sun. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed skin. Remember to put this on your face, lips, and neck since those are the areas that are most likely exposed in the winter.
For more winter-weather related tips, read our blog about practicing safe snow days!
Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado is ready to help repair any winter activity-related accidents every day until 9:00 pm on the weekdays and 8:00 pm on the weekends!