Open Water Safety

Open Water SafetyIn Northern Colorado, outdoor recreation is a part of many families’ lifestyles, and enjoying Poudre River and Horsetooth Reservoir are favorite spots for activities. While they’re a great way to enjoy an afternoon, parents should be familiar with open water safety to protect children.

Children above the age of five are more likely to drown in natural water, such as a lake or a river, than in a pool, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Two thirds of those deaths occur between May and August. Even strong swimmers can struggle in natural water, so parents should be aware of the hazards associated with open water.

  • Hypothermia: Even on hot days runoff can be chilly enough to be harmful. In standing water such as lakes, water temperatures in water under the top 12-18 inches can still be extremely cold. Be wary of cold-related issues such as hypothermia or cramping when enjoying open water.
  • Mind Your Footing: Walking in a pool is simple because of its flat, stable surface, natural bodies of water are far more unpredictable. Rocks in riverbeds are uneven, often unstable, and sometimes slippery, while debris such as stumps, water plants or garbage can make wading in rivers and ponds treacherous.
  • Current: Colorado’s open water doesn’t feature the threat of tides, but water currents can still be deadly. River currents, swiftest in the spring and early summer, can make even relatively shallow rivers dangerous to experienced swimmers.
  • Drop-Offs: A particular danger for children with poor swimming abilities, drop-offs can transform a stroll through waist-deep water into dangerous depths in just a step.
  • Exhaustion: Even strong swimmers can bite off more than they can chew in natural waters. Distances are often greater than they appear outdoors, and currents can challenge even competitive swimmers.

Keep your family safe in the outdoors by minding basic open water safety measures. Respect “no swimming” signs, and stick to established swimming areas when you venture into the water. Wear properly fitted personal flotation devices for all river activities, even wading. Stick to maintained trails next to rapids, and avoid wading upstream from waterfalls.

Kids’ Sports Safety

As the weather warms up, more children are headed outside to participate in sports. From casual pickup games to competitive leagues, sports are a great way for children to stay fit and socialize. They’re also an opportunity to suffer injuries if your child isn’t prepared. Kids’ sports safety often starts with parents, so instill good habits to help keep your child safe while she is active.

Nobody wants to be sidelined with an injury, and preparations can keep your child in the game and health all season long. Follow basic safety guidelines to ensure your child stays active:

  • Sports Physicals: CHSAA requires all high-school athletes to ensure they’re fit to play, and we recommend all child athletes receive a sports physical every year, regardless of their age. The Youth Clinic offers affordable sports physicals

    Sports Physicals at The Youth Clinic

    for athletes of all ages.

  • Protective Gear: Ensure all equipment is in good shape and in good working order. Worn-out straps, busted clasps and compressed padding aren’t just unsafe. They’re likely to be uncomfortable, which may tempt little ones to skip gearing up properly.
  • Warm Up: Everyone benefits from a warm up before athletic activity. Start with light activity such as jogging and stretching for 10 minutes to prepare for competition and workouts.
  • Mind the Field: Playing on poorly maintained surfaces can be dangerous and lead to injury from falls.
  • Stay Cool and Hydrated: Allow your child time to adjust to heat, and offer plenty of cool-down time in the summer when heat’s the worst. Encourage athletes to drink plenty of fluids 30 minutes before a competition, and keep water handy throughout practices and competitions to ensure they’re hydrated properly.

More than 2.6 million children are treated in emergency rooms every year for sports and recreation-based injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Luckily, most of these are preventable when parents pay attention to kids’ sports safety.

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:

  1. Remove the stinger as soon as possible. This will stop the spread of venom.
  2. Gently and carefully clean the area on the skin with water and soap. This will disinfect the area and prevent further infection.
  3. Apply an ice pack or cold, wet washcloth directly to the sting for a few minutes.
  4. Raise the infected area to reduce swelling.
  5. 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.

Treating Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are a common part of growing up: About 56 percent of 6- to 10-year-olds and 64 percent of 11- to 15-year-olds suffer from nosebleeds that aren’t caused by trauma to the nose. While spontaneous nosebleeds can be distressing to parents, treating nosebleeds at home is typically effective.

Children with seasonal allergies and sinusitis are prone to nosebleeds, particularly in Colorado’s dry climate, and it’s not uncommon for children to trigger them by picking. In most cases, you’ll be able to treat them with first aid at home.

Treating nosebleeds:

  • Don’t encourage the child to tilt her head backward. This causes blood to flow down her throat, which can cause nausea or discomfort.
  • Sit upright and lean forward. This position relieves pressure from the capillaries in the nose, and prevents drainage into the throat.
  • Pinch the soft part of the nose. This staunches the bleeding and allows for natural clotting to occur. Keep her nose pinched for at least 10 minutes to allow for clotting.
  • Apply ice or a cold compress to the rigid portion of the nose. This causes capillaries to constrict, helping reduce blood flow.

In the vast majority of cases, basic first aid will be all your child requires to treat his nosebleed. However, you should seek treatment with your physician or urgent care facility if:

  • Bleeding doesn’t stop after 30 minutes of treatment.
  • Your child feels faint or lightheaded.
  • The bleeding was caused by an accident or injury to a part of the body outside the nose, such as a blow to the head or a fall.

If your child experiences nosebleeds more than once a week, it’s a good idea to consult with your pediatrician. While most are easily treated irritants that are tied to allergies or an arid climate, nosebleeds can be a sign of a more persistent illness.


Phone Lines Will Be Temporarily Down Thursday, March 1 around 5PM


The Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado phone system is being switched over to a new carrier TODAY, Thursday, March 1. For a brief time (between 5-15 minutes), our phones will not function and you will not have the ability to leave a message or be transferred to the answering service. This should take place around 5PM.

We apologize for any inconvenience!

Treating Tick Bites

Treating tick bites

Fresh air and vitamin D are two of the benefits of sending your children outdoors to play. With perks come pests. In particular, ticks, when your family is exploring the Colorado outdoors. While ticks are typically a minor nuisance, they can be vectors for serious diseases. It’s important to remove them quickly and without leaving their head under the skin.

Any time your little ones play in grassy or wooded areas, check the following body parts:

  • In and around hair
  • In and around ears
  • Inside the belly button
  • Between the legs
  • On the back of knees

All clothing should be checked and tossed in the wash on high heat to ensure a stowaway doesn’t sneak past your inspection.

Tick Removal 

Ticks feed on blood by burrowing their heads into the skin. If you spot a tick somewhere on you or your child, follow these removal tips:

  • Soak a warm, wet cotton ball in soapy water. Apply it to the infected skin for 30 seconds. When you remove it, the tick should come with it.
  • Remove the tick with your hands or tweezers by grasping its head. Do not jerk or twist the tweezers, as that could cause the head to detach from the body and remain under the skin. If this does happen, the rest will eventually fall out, but call your pediatrician and have your child tested for Lyme disease.
  • Clean the bite area with warm soap and water before applying an antibiotic ointment.

Preventing Tick Bites 

It’s easier to prevent tick bites than remove them.

  • Dress your children in long sleeves and long pants before playing outdoors. Tuck the bottom of their pants into shoes and socks.
  • Apply insect repellent to all exposed skin, which also keeps away mosquitos and other insects.
  • Treat clothing with insect repellant.
  • Be cautious about walking in humid and moist areas such as leaves, wooded or grassy areas.

When to Call Your Doctor

Bring in your child to a pediatrician for treatment if:

  • Removal of the tick is unsuccessful.
  • The tick has been burrowed in the skin for more than 24 hours.
  • Flu-like symptoms spark including fever, headache, fatigue, vomiting and body aches.
  • Circular, red rashes appear near infected areas.
  • Red dots on the ankles and wrists appear on your child.
  • The bite becomes warm, swelling or oozing.

Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado is the ideal solution for treating insect bites. The center is available for after-hours treatment until 10 p.m. Save time and money with urgent care instead of emergency room visits.

Caring for a Child with the Flu

Flu season in childrenThis flu season has been tough, particularly on children, so much that the Centers for Disease Control has called the 2017-2018 season a flu epidemic. While that sounds scary, many parents are likely to be forced to nurse a child with the flu this year.

Most cases of flu can be treated at home with rest, fluids and acetaminophen. Read about in-home flu treatment from our sister pediatrics facility, The Youth Clinic of Northern Colorado.

If you visit a doctor within 24 hours of your child’s first symptoms, she may be able to be treated with antiviral medications that lessen its duration and severity, so recognizing symptoms early is essential for a quick recovery.

Not all cases of the flu will be treatable at home. The CDC reports that 22.7 people per 10,000 have been hospitalized for flu this season, and the virus has claimed the lives of at least 30 children, so seeking treatment should always be an option.

Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado can provide after-hours access to antiviral medicines and is the affordable alternative to emergency room care with moderate flu symptoms, such as aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, fatigue or sore throat.

Infants or children with a depressed immune system should seek treatment from an emergency room, as with anyone suffering from chest pain, respiratory distress or sudden dizziness.

The 2017-2018 season has been particularly bad this year. It’s the first flu season where flu activity has been high in all regions of the country, including Colorado. Healthcare professionals have seen two strains of flu, H3N2 and H1N1, in circulation this year, and the H3 strains have been the cause of severe flu seasons in the past.

While contracting the flu isn’t ever an enjoyable experience, most children who contract either strain will return to health after several days of rest and home care.

Safe Snow Days

“No school! Happy snow day!” Your kids lose their minds with excitement. Snow angels, snowmen and snowball fights are the ingredients for the perfect snow day. But, are you prepared? Prepare your little ones for fun and safe outdoor play this winter with these tips:

  1. Layers On Layers On Layers: 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Yes, Sunscreen: Cold temperatures bring out coats and snow pants pants instead of bathing suits, it 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 out into the cold, cover your kids in water-resistant sunscreen.
  1. Going Downhill: Before flying down a hill on a sled, take precautions. Make sure to choose well-sledded areas with that are open and free of cars, trees, posts and rocks.
  1. Frostbite Dangers: Exposing fingers, toes and ears to cold temperatures for long periods of time can cause. Review with your children the dangers of frostbite and what to look for if something were to happen. For more information on treating frostbite, check out Pediatric Urgent Care’s tips.
  1. Drink Water: Just like sunscreen, water is just as important during the winter months as summer. Kids and adults lose large amounts of water breathing in cold, chilly air. Keep water near to stay hydrated

If an accident does occur outside of office hours, Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado is ready to help repair your snow day until 10 p.m. Save time and money with urgent care instead of emergency room visits.

Fireplace Safety Tips

Lighting a fire at the start of a long, snowy winter night is a great way to stay cozy. It’s a snow-day indulgence for many families, but it poses risks if not treated with respect. Before cuddling up next to your crackling fire, brush up on these fireplace safety tips.

  • Up Down & Around: Clear the area around your fireplace of flammable objects. Keep all items at least two feet from the fire to keep them from catching sparks.
  • Tend the Fire and the Children: Never leave a child alone with an active fire. Children cannot be protected from the extreme heat, open flames and hot surfaces when you’re in another room.
  • Safety Screen: 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 the ones you love.
  • Tools & Accessories: Brooms and pokers make fireplace management easy, but they look like toys to children. Store these items away to avoid accidents.
  • Hard Hearth: The materials used to build fireplaces 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 your children feel confident in knowing where to go and what to do if a fire were to occur.


Top Reasons Kids End Up in the ER

Top reasons kids end up in the ERIt’s a fact of parenting: Children get sick or injured. You’re likely to get used to emergency or after-hours care as a parent. While it’s unavoidable that you’ll avoid medical drama, Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado stands ready to provide care for the top four reasons kids end up in the ER.

Head Injuries: Whether it’s falls from bikes, skateboards or scooters or sports-related injuries, head trauma is one of the most common reasons children are admitted to the emergency room. While adequate protective headgear can help prevent many of these injuries, PUCNC is on hand as an alternative to ER treatment for head injuries.

Broken Bones and Sprains: It’s almost a right of passage of childhood. Kids’ active lifestyles offer ample amount of opportunity for injury. While broken bones used to mean a trip to the emergency room, PUCNC is perfectly suited to providing care. Our on-site x-ray facilities make treatment convenient and easy, and urgent-care staff are perfectly equipped to handle these non-life threatening injuries.

Asthma: Managing asthma is always the best way to stay out of urgent care, but attacks come on suddenly. If your child suffers an attack and can still breathe with difficulty after using a rescue inhaler, urgent care is a more economical solution than an ER visit. Our staff treats asthmatics regularly, so we’re ready to help your child breathe easy again.

Fever: It can be scary when your child’s fever can’t be controlled, or is accompanied by other symptoms – splotchy skin, stiff joints, difficulty breathing – urgent care is an ideal alternative to emergency room treatment. Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado offers treatment for infants, children and teenagers.

Unless your child faces a severe injury, urgent care is often the ideal solution for care. Patients at Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado often receive treatment for the top four reasons kids end up in the ER faster and at a lower cost than emergency treatment.