Updated COVID Safety Protocols
We are open and continuing to provide care for children in Northern Colorado. Doctor appointments are considered essential services and the Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado is here for your family’s healthcare needs. We are ready to see your family and are continuing to work diligently to provide a safe place for children to receive health care by taking precautionary measures to ensure that all patients and staff remain safe and healthy. Below are some updated protocols to ensure the safety of our patients, parents and staff.
NEW SAFETY PROTOCOLS
- Families will be limited to one adult/parent to accompany a patient.
- Families will be asked to wait in their cars upon arrival to the urgent care.
- Upon arrival, families will need to let the office know they have arrived by using a specific direct number which will be posted on the front window/door.
- Infants and children under 3 do not have to wear a mask, everyone else will need to have a mask on when entering the building.
- Families will be contacted by Nursing staff and given instructions on entering the building.
- All Families will have their temperature taken upon entering our buildings.
- If a high temperature is detected, families will be asked to reschedule their appts.
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.
Fall Asthma Triggers
The changing of the seasons means playing in leaves, trick-or-treating and enjoying fall sports such as football and soccer. For some kids, it may also mean breathing difficulties. Asthma can flare up in autumn months, so keep an eye out for common fall asthma triggers to keep your young ones out of urgent care.
- Temperature Changes: Autumn months see wide swings in temperatures. Most patients know that cold air bring on an attack, but the quick drops from warm to cold make fall particularly tricky: Chilly nights can come on fast, and in some cases, be more difficult to deal with than consistently chilly air.
- Fireplace/Campfire Smoke: When plans to stay warm including huddling around a backyard fire pit or snuggling in front of a fireplace, asthmatics should be careful. Smoke’s a common trigger, whether it’s from summer forest fires or autumn campfires.
- Mold: Colorado’s dry climate is forgiving to kids with mold allergies, but it’s still present – and more so in fall than summer. Keep windows closed on high-mold allergy days.
- Clothing: Are you pulling jackets, sweaters and long pants out of storage? If so, consider washing them before use. Stored clothing tends to gather dust, especially when tucked away in the attic or basement, than clothes in normal use, which can lead to allergy-related asthma attacks.
- Forced Air Heating: Turning on the furnace for the first time is likely to stir up dust, mold and pollen that collected in duct work and around vents. Vacuum around heat registers to minimize airborne dust. Make sure to swap out furnace filters every month to keep allergens under control through the cold months.
- Fallen Leaves: They’re a blast to rake into piles and jump into, but they’re also a great place for mold to grow. Limit play in leaves for asthmatics, and always change clothes after coming in from leaf play so mold doesn’t hitch a ride on kids’ shirts, pants and jackets.
- Seasonal Illnesses: Colds and influenza are known fall asthma triggers, so closely monitor any sick asthmatics to keep pulmonary health in check. Of course, minimize your risk by frequently washing hands, covering your face when you cough or sneeze and receiving flu shots from your primary care provider.
Autumn sees an increase in pulmonary problems, but you can help your child manage her condition with awareness of common fall asthma triggers.
Treating a Nut Allergy
With the number of children suffering a nut allergy growing, it’s likely your child or his classmates may have a sensitivity to peanuts or tree nuts. Knowing how to identify and start treating a nut allergy can save a life.
Symptoms and their severity of nut and other food allergies can be varied among sufferers, but they may include:
- Difficulty breathing or tightness in throat
- Swollen or tingling face, throat or tongue
- Hives or rash
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of consciousness
Depending upon the severity of the symptoms, you may choose to treat the reaction with an antihistamine such as Benadryl. About 33 percent of people who suffer an allergic reaction to nuts suffer a secondary one about eight hours after the first, so continually monitoring your child’s condition is important, even after it seems she’s recovered.
A more severe allergic reaction is known as anaphylaxis, and it can be fatal if not treated immediately. Anaphylaxis symptoms include severe difficulty breathing, bluish skin, low blood pressure, tongue swelling and mental confusion. Patients suffering anaphylaxis should be treated immediately with an epinephrine auto-injector pen if it’s available. Call 911 immediately for treatment, even after administering a shot.
Treating Bee Sting Allergy
Bzzzzz … sting! Some little ones get stung by a bee and it is over as fast as it started, but for others who are allergic, these stings are life-threatening. Springtime is just around the corner and these yellow, fuzzy insects sitting on your child’s favorite flower can be dangerous, so it is very important to be prepared for sting treatment and what symptoms lead to a trip to Pediatric Urgent Care.
Treating a bee sting:
- Remove the stinger as soon as possible. This will stop the spread of venom.
- Gently and carefully clean the area on the skin with water and soap. This will disinfect the area and prevent further infection.
- Apply an ice pack or cold, wet washcloth directly to the sting for a few minutes.
- Raise the infected area to reduce swelling.
- If your child gets stung inside the mouth, take her to a doctor immediately. The mouth may swell so much that airways may become closed .
Parents may not know their child is allergic to bees until after a sting occurred. Consult your doctor if your young one experiences any of the following symptoms:
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Swollen lips, tongue or face
- Hives, flushed or pale skin
- Stomach cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weak or rapid pulse
- Dizziness or fainting
- Rash or swelling around the sting
If your children deal with bee allergies, it is important for you to educate him or her on the severity of stings. Here are some tips for avoiding these pesky insects:
- Wear shoes, long pants and long sleeves when playing outdoors.
- Stay far away from hives or nests.
- Avoid wearing bright colors or floral patterns.
- Cover food when eating outside.
- Do not wear sweetly smelling perfume, lotions or hair products.
When accidents occur, Pediatric Urgent Care is ready to put the “spring” back into your little one’s step.
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.
Barbecue Safety Tips
It’s the time of year when families like to take food preparation out of the kitchen and into the yard or park. While nearly everyone loves a good cookout, families with children will want to take extra precautions to enforce barbecue safety this summer.
While it’s important to keep a sense of responsibility toward cooking , inquisitive children may want to help cook, or may just be curious about open flames. Use it as an opportunity to teach them about safety – as well as shore up your own safety practices.
Regardless of whether you’re cooking on gas or charcoal, you’ll be around open flame. Use the moment to teach or reinforce fire basics such as stop, drop and roll.
Keep It Clean
Remove grease and other drippings from the grill while it’s still cool. Grease can ignite during cooking, causing flare-ups that may burn cooks.
Loose clothing, fringes or bangles may brush flames and ignite. Ensure you and any of your children at the barbecue dress in tight-fitting clothes to avoid burns.
Use Proper Utensils
Use spatulas, tongs and other utensils designed for use on a grill. They’re typically longer to keep hands away from flames, and made of flame-resistant materials (metal rather than plastic) for safety.
Watch for Cuts
Maybe surprisingly, common barbecue-related injuries are cuts as well as burns – and not necessarily from knives. Barbecues are often made of metal with exposed edges. Corners, holes and other sharp edges can scrape or cut little hands.
Grill in a Safe Place
Avoid grilling next to trees, overhanging eaves or games in the yard.
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