Outdoor Safety Tips for Spring

A group of children lined up with bikes wearing helmets for safety

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.

Weather safety

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.

Melatonin and Children’s Sleep

a toddler boy wearing a blue shirt laying on a tan couch pillow

Lack of sleep affects around 15-25% of children and adolescents. Your child’s lack of sleep can lead to health problems and even begin to affect her school performance. Because of this, parents are seeking out alternative methods to help their children get the sleep they need.

Good Sleeping Habits are Often the Best Medicine

Often, sleep issues in children resolve themselves and can usually be solved with good bedtime routines. The key to successful sleep routines is consistency. If your child is struggling to fall asleep, try these things first:

  1. Set a consistent bedtime: routine is key for children. Setting a bedtime will teach them that it is time to wind down and sleep.
  2. Turn off the screens: stop TV and electronic usage at least an hour before bed. Light from electronics can signal the body to halt the production of Melatonin. Turn off the screens to help your body produce Melatonin.
  3. Develop a bedtime routine: quiet play, baths, and brushing teeth in a set routine each night can help your kids know that sleep is approaching.

If you’ve tried these tactics and your child is still struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep, talk to your pediatrician about what you can do to help and if melatonin, a popular sleep-aid, is an appropriate method for your child.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is often referred to as the “sleep hormone” as it assists the body in determining when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up. This cycle, the circadian rhythm, is also called an internal clock. In the evening, Melatonin levels rise signaling to the body that it is time to sleep. Before it is time to wake up, Melatonin levels will drop.

Is Melatonin Safe for Kids?

Melatonin is sold as a sleep aid over the counters. Since it is not a medical drug, the dosing and instructions for use are not regulated by the FDA. If you are looking to use it as a sleep aid for your children, you should consult with your pediatrician first and make a decision together.

Additional Information:

How to Develop Bedtime Routines
American Academy of Pediatrics

How to Develop Bedtime Routines

happy family reading together before bedtime

It’s not uncommon to struggle to get your children to bed each night. In some cases, it might really feel like pulling teeth to get your little one to bed at a time that suits you and your family. Before bedtime woes become worse, it is important to develop a bedtime routine. Here are our suggestions for developing a bedtime routine for your children.

Quiet play

An hour before bedtime, you should switch to quiet play. This will help your child enter a state of relaxation. Make the switch from running around and tickling to coloring or reading. While some parents may think that the more active play will make for a more tired child, making sure they have time to wind-down from those activities is going to help to get them to bed much easier. It is also important to discontinue use of all screens and electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime because the light from the screen signals the brain to stay awake.

Be Consistent

Bedtime should be at the same time every night.  Establish a bedtime routine that works for your family and that can be easily replicated even if you are not at home.  Reading a book, listening to music, brushing teeth, taking a bath can all be a part of this routine.

Giving cues

Something as simple as asking your children to start putting their toys away can be used as a cue to let them know the day is coming to an end. Some parents will also set timers to let their kids know that it is time to get ready for bed. Over time, these cues will work on their own to get children ready for bed.

Make “good nights” brief

Try not to return to your child’s room every time he complains or calls out. The AAP recommends the following:  

  • Wait several seconds before answering and make your response time longer each time he calls. This will give him a chance to fall asleep on his own.
  • Reassure your child that you are there. If you need to go into the room, do not turn on the light, play with him, or stay too long.
  • Move farther from your child’s bed every time you go in until you can reassure him verbally without entering his room.
  • Remind him each time he calls that it’s time to go to sleep.*

Following these simple actions can help you develop a bedtime routine, making nights a bit easier for everyone. Not all children and families are the same, so use the tools that work best for you. It could be a combination of these things or none of them.

*source:  healthychildren.org

Baby Proofing Checklist

baby crawling on carpeted ground in bedroom

Whether you are a first-time parent or a seasoned professional, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your baby proofing knowledge. We want you and your children to be safe, so we put together a checklist of items for your house that you should do while baby proofing.

The Baby’s Room

  • Keep diapering supplies out of reach of baby and toddlers.
  • Keep loose blankets out of the crib. If you are worried about baby staying warm at night, dress them appropriately and consider using sleep sacks or wearable blankets.
  • Avoid attaching pacifiers to the crib or to your baby with a string, as the baby can get tangled up when they are asleep.

The Kitchen

  • Latch any drawers, cupboards, and doors shut that are within reach of your child.  Be sure to store any cleaning supplies in one of these latched or locked places. Keep glasses and dishware out of reach.
  • Install oven or stove knob covers.
  • Place knives and forks pointed side down in the dishwasher. When you are finished with the dishwasher, be sure you securely close it.

The Rest of the Home

  • If you have stairs, be sure to place baby gates on both the top and bottom.
  • Anchor your TV to the wall and keep cords out of reach.
  • Place safety covers on all electrical outlets. Remember to unplug and store electric appliances that are not in use.
  • Remove blinds with looped cords.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors on each story of your home.

 

Following this simple checklist will help you keep your child safe which is a priority of Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado. We have extended hours because we know that injury and illness don’t abide by a 9-5 schedule.

Best Sledding Hills In Northern Colorado

a group of three children sledding in the winter

Snow has finally made its way to Northern Colorado, and if you’re not planning on packing up the family and heading to the slopes, you can still enjoy the snow close to home! Northern Colorado has plenty of sledding hills that you and your family can enjoy this winter. Here are just a few of them.

City Park | Fort Collins

1500 W. Mulberry Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521

This hill is for our experienced sledders out there! Expect to catch some serious speed with plenty of stopping room. There are trees just past the bottom of the hill so you might want to consider having the kids wear helmets while sledding on this hill.

Kroh Park | Loveland

5200 N. Garfield Avenue, Loveland, CO 80538

The hill at Kroh Park in Loveland is one of the regions most popular sledding hills and is certainly a hot spot for Loveland residents. Get there early, because this place gets packed! The hill at Kroh Park is great for all experience levels, so take the whole family!

Nottingham Field | Greeley

17th Ave Reservoir Road, Greeley, CO 80639

Right on the west side of the University of Northern Colorado’s campus, next to Nottingham Field, is Greeley’s best and oldest sledding hill! The hill has an impressive view of UNC’s central campus and there is plenty of parking and room for sledders. Sledders of all ages love this hill!

Aggie Greens Disk Golf Course | Fort Collins

2449-2543 S. Overland Trail, Fort Collins, CO 80526

Often referred to as “the best sled hill on Fort Collins,” the hill at Aggie Greens Disk Golf Course is tall enough to get a thrill, but not tall enough to worry about the kids’ safety. People come to this hill from all over the region to feel the thrill of sledding on this hill!

Water Valley Senior Living Resort | Windsor

805 Compassion Drive, Windsor, CO 80550

The large hill behind the Water Valley Senior Living Resort in Windsor is a go-to location for the town residents. There are a few obstacles that can get in the way, so be sure that you are sledding in a clear area.

Sledding Safety

While sledding is a fun way to enjoy the winter weather and spend some time playing outside, we also want to remind you and your family to be safe while sledding. Here are some easy sledding rules to follow this winter:

  • Avoid sledding in crowded areas as to not hurt yourself or anyone else
  • Keep sledders away from motor vehicles
  • Children must be supervised by an adult at all times
  • Consider wearing helmets to avoid head injuries
  • Dress in many layers so you stay warm
  • Sled feet first to avoid injury and to maintain control of the sled

If your child happens to get injured, bring them to the Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado. Illness and injury don’t take a day off, so we are open 365 days a year!

Winter Health and Safety Tips

young boy and girl bundled up and building a snowman in the winter snow

Colorado winters are unique in that we can experience winter storms and deep freezes, and turn around the next day and have weather that feels more like spring or fall. No matter the conditions, parents should be prepared to face anything this winter. Here are some winter health and safety tips that parents should keep in their back pocket.

Dress your children in layers

Some of the common health issues kids can experience in the winter are hypothermia and frostbite. Both of these are typically the result of children playing in cold temperatures and snow without the proper clothing. Dress your children in several thin layers to keep them dry and warm during outdoor activity. An easy rule of thumb to remember is to dress them in one more layer than you would dress in those conditions. Be sure that your child wears gloves, scarves, hats, and boots if they are playing in the snow. This will help prevent frostbite.

Prepare for winter sports and activities

Your kids likely will want to play in the snow and participate in fun winter sports and activities like skiing, ice skating, and sledding. As with any sport, injury can occur, but there are ways to prevent injury. If your children are interested in ice skating, be sure they skate in the same direction as the crowd, avoid darting across the ice, and wear equipment like helmets and knee and elbow pads, especially while they are learning. If your kids want to go sledding, make sure they are supervised by an adult at all times, they sled feet first, and they stay away from crowds and vehicles. If your family plans on going skiing or snowboarding this winter, make sure all equipment fits properly and is in good shape. Children should never ski alone and should be supervised by an adult.

Winter car seat safety

Winter can be a tricky time for car seats, and for new parents, some of this might be news. As a rule, bulky clothing, like snowsuits and winter coats, should not be worn under the harness of a car seat. The best thing to do is dress your child in thin layers, strap them into the car seat, and place their coat or blanket over them if you think they won’t be warm enough. Make sure the harness is snugly tightened across your child’s chest. Another way to ensure your child will be warm in the car seat is to bring it inside when it is not in use. That way you avoid placing them in a cold environment. Also, avoid putting blankets behind them in the car seat. They will add extra padding, leaving space for your child to potentially slide out of the harness in an accident situation.

This winter, we want all families to be safe from illness and injury. These tips are easy to follow and will be beneficial in the end. If your child falls ill or gets injured this winter, bring them to Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado. We are open 365 days a year, and our staff is committed to providing the best care for your child.

History of The Flu

sick little girl taking her temperature

The flu is the commonly used name for a virus called influenza. The influenza virus has affected the human population for thousands of years. Flu season peaks in the winter months, which means there are separate flu seasons for the northern and southern hemisphere. Typically, the flu causes symptoms two days after exposure to the virus, and the symptoms last about a week.

 

The Flu Throughout History

As many as 2,400 years ago, symptoms of influenza were described in the writings of ancient Greece. During the 1500s, a particularly deadly case of the flu struck Rome, killing over 8,000 people. Flu pandemics continued during the 17th and 18th century, and a period between 1830 and 1833 saw the infection of nearly one-quarter of the population. In 1918, a particular strain of the flu known as “Spanish fever” killed between 50 and 100 million people. The strain of flu that caused the Spanish fever was H1N1, the same strain that caused a worldwide flu epidemic in 2009.

 

Strains of Influenza

Currently, there are four known types of the flu: Type A, Type B, Type C, and Type D, although type D is not known to infect humans. Influenza type A is the most common, and variations of this flu virus have been known to affect other species, such as the H5N1 variation also known as the Bird Flu. Type B is less common, but much more severe while type C is the least common and also the least severe. Although the strength of the flu virus changes, symptoms are similar for each influenza type.

 

Treating The Flu Virus

While the best way to treat the flu virus is prevention with the flu vaccination, once the flu sets in, the primary treatments focus on managing the symptoms. People who have the flu are advised to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and to take anti-inflammatory drugs for the fever and pain. Because the flu is a virus, antibiotics have no effect; antiviral drugs are sometimes prescribed by doctors, but they are not always effective in reducing the duration of the flu.

 

Testing for the flu is quick and painless. If you think you or your child may have contracted the flu, contact Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado today!

Holiday Travel Tips

mother, father, and son waiting at the airport for their flight

The winter holidays are one of the biggest travel seasons of the year. However, the colder months of the year also mean more people are traveling while sick. In order to make it to your destination with a clean bill of health, consider some of these holiday travel tips. With a combination of smart planning and common sense, it will be much easier to avoid being sick during the holidays this year.

 

Planning For Holiday Travel

When packing for holiday travel this year, be sure to add a few extra items into your carry-on bag. These items will help keep you and your children better protected from illness this winter. Be sure to add a bottle of hand sanitizer to your carry-on bag or purse. While it is important to always wash your hands before and after meals, there are plenty of other scenarios where you’ll want clean hands without a bathroom nearby. This includes things such as touching the handrail of an escalator or spending time on public transportation, including airport shuttles. By keeping your hands free of germs, you’ll go a long way to staying healthy.

 

Keep Tissues Handy

Another item to be sure to carry during the winter months is extra tissues. If you find that you or your child has the sniffles or a cough, having spare tissues handy can prevent spreading the illness any further. Plus, the people around you at the airport will appreciate your kids using tissues instead of wiping their hands on chairs and door handles! When combined with the hand sanitizer, tissues can help clean up plenty of messes during holiday travel.

 

Stay Hydrated While Traveling

Finally, it is very important to stay hydrated while traveling. Holiday travels often mean long hours on the road, and this can greatly affect parents and children. For parents, they often forgo drinking water in exchange for coffee or other caffeinated drinks. Children will typically use travel as an excuse to ask for sugary drinks instead of their typical water or juice. Both of these scenarios result in weary travelers who are dehydrated which can lead to an increased chance of children not feeling well. One way to avoid this problem is to travel with refillable water bottles for each person. Not only will this keep your family of travelers well hydrated, but it also will save money on buying drinks during holiday travel.

 

Do you have a tip for staying healthy during holiday travel? Let us know in the comments, or contact the Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado for more information!

Infants’ Ibuprofen Recalled from Walmart, CVS Pharmacy and Family Dollar

Earlier this week, Tris Pharma—a major pharmaceutical company based in New Jersey— issued a voluntary nationwide recall of Infants’ Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension, USP (NSAID) due to potential higher concentrations of ibuprofen. 

The products were labeled as 50 mg of ibuprofen per 1.25 mL, however, the company claims the concentration may be higher than labeled. There’s a remote possibility that the higher dosage in these products could lead to permanent kidney injury, nausea, and vomiting among other adverse effects. To date, the company says it has not received any reports of harmful events related to the recall. 

The products in question were sold at Walmart, CVS and Family Dollar under the brand names Equate, CVS Health and Family Wellness. Infants’ ibuprofen is often recommended by health care professionals as a pain reliever and fever reducer for infants.

(Photos: PRNewsfoto/ Tris Pharma Inc.)

 

Tris Pharma has issued an urgent recall notice and wholesalers and retailers have been instructed to stop further distribution of the affected lots of ibuprofen. 

More information about the recall is available from the company’s official release. 

If you have any health-related questions or concerns about this recall please call us at 970-494-2626. 

 

Attention: NEW EXTENDED HOURS

You Asked. We Listened.

Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado is excited to announce our new extended hours, effective immediately.

Monday – Friday 

9:00am – 9:00pm

Saturday & Sunday 

8:00am – 8:00pm

“The health care providers at Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado are committed to treating children and families with the same respect and quality care as at the best hospital emergency rooms,” said Larry Mortensen, Executive Director of Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado. “By extending PUCNC’s hours, we hope to be the first choice for your family’s medical needs not only during the day but into the evenings and on the weekends.”

Visit our list of Pediatric Services and Treatments or call 970.494.2626 for additional information.

Taking care of your kids 365 days a year.