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!

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

How To Treat a Child’s Sunburn

child sunburn while swimming

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Make sure your child is drinking extra water to prevent the dehydration that can happen from their body temperature being higher than usual.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

How Much Does Urgent Care Really Cost?

Bandage wrapped by nurse

An unexpected trip to urgent care can be just as unexpected as the total on the bill that comes at the end, but we don’t want that to be the case.

At Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado, we understand that nothing is more stressful than a sick or injured child, so we want to make sure that the costs associated with the care your child may need are discussed to relieve some of your worries.

According to Dr. Franz Ritucci, President of the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, the average urgent care visits range from $50 to $150, depending on the patient’s co-pay and level of treatment.

Choosing urgent care over the emergency room can save you a great deal of money. America’s Debt Help Organization states that it is estimated that more than $18 billion could be saved annually if patients whose medical problems are “avoidable” or “non-urgent” did not rely on ERs for their medical needs.

Of course, emergency rooms and urgent care centers serve different purposes in regard to the level of sickness or injury, so it is important to know when you can cut costs and when you need to go to the ER.

To understand the difference, read our related post: Emergency or Urgency? Save on Healthcare Costs When You Know the Difference here.

Kid-Friendly Summer Activities in Northern Colorado

Kids enjoying the view after hiking

Art

  • Free Craft Room at The Museum of Art in Fort Collins

Bowling

  • Visit Kids Bowl Free to get passes at different lanes throughout Northern Colorado. Options include Sweetheart Bowling, Chipper Lanes and more.

Construction

  • Saturday morning builds at Home Depot for kids of all ages on the first Saturday of the month
  • Free Birthday Parties for kids at Home Depot

Climbing

  • Ascent Climbing Gym

Movies / Theatre

  • Kids’ Sumer Movie Club at Rialto Theatre in Loveland – this is free for ages 2 to 16 and they have opportunities to earn prizes
    Outdoor movies in Old Town, Centerra, City Park and Winona Pool in Loveland

Museums

  • The Museum of Discovery has an annual pass that you can use at the Denver Museum of Nature and Art and other museums around the country.

Music

  • CSU Lagoon Series Concerts – free on Wednesday evenings on the CSU Lawn (food trucks and lots of room to run and play!)
    Outdoor music at Foothills Mall

Nature

  • Gulley Greenhouse Butterfly Pavilion is usually free in early June
    Gardens at Spring Creek
  • Free days at Denver Botanic Gardens: Tues., June 4th, Wed, July 10th and Tues., Sept 3rd
  • Tuesday Activities at Bath Nursery on Prospect
  • Lee Martinez Farm
  • Zippity Zoo Barnyard in Loveland
  • Tinkergarten.com – fun outdoor classes

Outdoor activities:

  • Spray Park in Loveland at the Fairgrounds Park
    Train ride in Loveland at North Lake Park – $1 rides
    Benson Sculpture Park
  • UC Healthy Family Fit Pack – low-cost family activities

Outings:

  • Take spare change and go to Scheels for arcade games, bowling, and the ferris wheel
    MOPS First Presbyterian Church has hikes and play dates
    Hike to Horsetooth Falls – 1.2 miles

Reading:

  • Libraries and Barnes and Noble have reading programs that give away free prizes
    Story Time at the Libraries
    Storytime and Sing-Along at Clothes Pony

Tours:

  • Morning Fresh Dairy Free Tour – get free samples and Noosa Yogurt!
    Recycling Center

Treats:

  • Dairy Delite in Loveland – $1 ice cream cones

Follow this link for a list of 10 Things to do with Kids in Colorado This Summer!

10 Things to do with Kids in Colorado This Summer

children at the zoo in front of a giraffe exhibit

It’s that time of year again! The kids are getting out of school, but you’re not quite sure how to keep them busy all summer long. Here is a list that won’t disappoint your kids no matter what age.

 

Cheyanne Mountain Zoo

Visit nearly 800 animals in Colorado Springs! This zoo has kid-friendly exhibits, rides, games, and shows that ensure a fun-filled day. Don’t forget to see the giraffes!

Buy Tickets Here

 

Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center

The largest invertebrate education, research and conservation institution in the world is located right in Westminster. Take the kids for a unique, hands-on experience where they can interact with butterflies, tarantulas, crabs and more!

Buy Tickets Here

 

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

Located in the heart of Fort Collins is a hands-on history, science and culture museum filled with interactive exhibits and artifacts from Northern Colorado and more. They have summer camps for all ages, or you can just go for the day! Registration for camp is now open.

Learn about Camps Here

 

Telluride Adventure Center

This Adventure center is located at the base of the Gondola in the Mountain Village core. They have kids eco-camps for ages 5-14 as well as their ropes course, water walkers, bungee trampolines, and other guided adventures.

Learn More Here

 

Bananas Fun Park

This family entertainment center in Grand Junction includes miniature golf, rookie carts, go-karts, bumper boats, inflatable playland, laser tag, a laser maze, and an arcade. They also have a 6,000 square foot aquatic play center filled with water slides, tipping buckets and more. All of this for $37.50!

Learn More about the Attractions Here

 

Boulder Creek Swimming Hole

One of the most kid-friendly swimming holes in Colorado is in the upper sections of the creek by the Boulder Public Library. There you will find calm pools that aren’t crowded with kayakers and tubers.

Get More Information Here

 

Downtown Aquarium Denver

Your underwater adventure starts in Denver! 50,000 gallons of water, floor to ceiling! They have 500+ species of fish plus a 4-D theatre, aquatic carousel and an express train that surrounds the property.

Learn More Here

 

Lookout Mountain Hiking Trails

One of the most family-friendly hikes in Colorado is just outside of Denver. As a shorter hike (0.6 – 0.8-mile loops,) it is perfect for families with younger kids. Pack a picnic and keep your eyes open to see some friendly wildlife!

View the Full Trail Profile Here

 

Summer Tubing Hill

Brought to you by the YMCA of the Rockies is this summertime tubing hill! This thrilling experience is fun for ages 3 and up! They provide tubes, helmets, and concessions at the top of the hill.

Read More Here

 

Captain Zipline

Ages 6+ can embark on the adventure of a Canyon Aerial Tour in Salida, Colorado. There are nine courses rated from serene to extreme with more than 100 challenge elements. It will be fun for the young and the young at heart!

Read More Here

 

Follow this link for additional Kid-Friendly Northern Colorado Summer Activities!

 

Get outside, enjoy the weather, and do something new this summer with your kids!