Health and Safety Tips Archives - Altus Emergency Centers

Cheerleading Safety Month – Cheer Safe!

National Cheerleading Safety Month

Cheering for Safety

Give us an S, an A, an F, E, T, Y!  What do we have? SAFETY! Why are we cheering? Because March is Cheerleading Safety Month, and as always, the staff at Altus Emergency Centers is cheering for your child’s safety.

Cheerleading has come a long way since it’s early days, and it is now a highly competitive and demanding sport, and like with any other sport, cheerleaders are susceptible to sports injuries. There has been a lot of debate regarding the number of injuries sustained by cheerleaders, some claim it is on the rise while others feel critical injuries have diminished in recent years thanks to new safety rules applied to the sport.

ER Treatments for Cheerleading Injuries Altus ER Centers Lumberton Texas

Common Cheerleading Injuries


Both are correct, thankfully catastrophic cheerleading injuries have declined considerably during the last decade, however, the number of cheerleader emergency room visits for non-catastrophic injuries has increased, these injuries include:

• Ankle Sprains

• Knee Injuries

• Wrist Injuries

• Shoulder Injuries

• Lower Back Pain, and Concussions

Altus ER Tips to Cheer Safe!

School cheerleading programs must have a certified cheerleading coach managing the program, and there are safety guidelines that must be followed to ensure the wellbeing of the athletes, these include:

cheer safe to avoid common injuries altus er centers texas

Using the Right Equipment

The use of landing mats is not currently mandatory either during practice sessions or performances, but these are recommended.

Most cheerleading-related injuries occur during practice especially when learning new maneuvers, it is advisable to always practice using 4-inch landing mats to avoid serious injuries.

Footgear is an important factor in injury prevention, cheerleaders should wear properly fitting rubber-soled shoes with adequate cushioning and ankle support. Additionally, flyers should consider wearing a cheering vest during practice to protect themselves from bruising and injury.

Choose a Safe Place to Practice

Back in the day when cheerleading was mostly about waving pom-poms and chanting, it was safe to practice out in the open. Because cheerleading now involves advanced acrobatics and gymnastics, practice spaces should be chosen carefully. Never practice on wet or uneven surfaces like grass or turf, instead look for smooth, level, and dry places to practice in which are clear of obstacles that may cause injury.

Stay in Shape

Cheerleading requires a great deal of strength and balance, and therefore athletes should take great care of their fitness all year-round.

Like with any sport it is important not to overdo it, cheerleaders should take time to rest between training sessions to avoid overuse injuries.

Given that cheerleading now requires gymnastic skills, it is not a bad idea to enroll your child in a gymnastics program, this will serve to improve the child’s skills, and confidence which will help prevent injuries.

Cheering for You Altus ER Centers

Stretch, Warm Up, and Cool Down

We cannot stress how important warming exercises and proper stretching techniques are, these have been proven to reduce muscle strain and prevent injuries, however, cool down exercises and after workout stretching exercises are just as important in injury prevention.

Follow Stunt Progression

The saying you need to learn to crawl before you learn to walk applies to everything in life, especially advanced gymnastic sports. Coaches need to ensure cheerleaders learn the basic skills before introducing more advanced movements and stunts.

Altus Emergency Cares About Cheerleading Safety

At Altus Emergency Centers, we applaud the level of commitment and skill being a cheerleader requires, we encourage students to challenge themselves, improve their skills and push themselves to do things they never thought were possible, but, we urge, parents, coaches, and athletes alike to always put safety first.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

What You Need to Know About Measles

What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself from the Measles

Six cases of measles have been confirmed so far in Ellis County South of Dallas, one such case involves an individual in Waxahachie. This patient reportedly went to the movies on January 9th at the Showbiz Cinemas in Waxahachie, health officials’ advice that anyone who attended the same cinema on or around that date monitor themselves for measles symptoms until the end of the month.

The number of confirmed cases represents a significant increase compared to 2017 where only one confirmed case of measles was reported. Because of this, the Texas Department of State Health Services issued a measles outbreak advisory on Tuesday of last week.

Altus Emergency Centers joins the Texas Health and Human Services efforts to educate the community in how to recognize the signs of this serious illness that is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 5 according to the World Health Organization (WHO).


What is Measles?

Measles is a viral infection of the respiratory system because the virus can be transmitted by infected individuals when they sneeze or cough, this type of infection is highly contagious.

How is Measles Contracted

An infected patient can release the virus into the air by sneezing or coughing, the virus can survive on surfaces for several hours, therefore even if an individual was not present when the infected patient sneezed or coughed they can still become infected by touching an infected surface.

Drinking from the same glass or sharing eating utensils with an infected patient increased the risk of contagion.

Infected individuals are contagious from 4 days before the onset of the skin rash and up to 4 days after the appearance of the rash.

Keep a Lookout for Measles Symptoms


Symptoms of Measles

The incubation time for the virus is 14 days on average, although symptoms may manifest within 7-21 days.

Symptoms include:

  • Cough

  • Fever over 101°F

  • Red eyes

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Muscle aches

  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • White spots inside the mouth

  • Widespread skin rash

The skin rash is the most easily recognizable symptom of measles, the rash is widespread and appears as red itchy bumps, it usually starts in the head and slowly spreads to other parts of the body. The skin rash usually develops within 3-5 days of having been exposed to the virus and can last for up to 7 days.

Complications, Treatment & Prevention


Complications Associated with Measles

In all infections the risk of severe complications is always present.  The complications associated with the measles include:

  • Pneumonia

  • Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)

  • Blindness

  • Miscarriage

  • Severe diarrhea

  • Ear infection

  • Bronchitis

  • Decrease in blood platelets

How to Treat Measles

There is no specific medication for the treatment of measles, symptoms usually disappear within two or three weeks, and doctors may prescribe the following course of treatment:

  • An over the counter pain medication usually containing acetaminophen like Tylenol, this will help relieve the patient’s fever and muscle aches.

  • Plenty of bed rest, this will help boost the immune system

  • Drink plenty of liquids, at least 6-8 glasses of water per day

  • Take a vitamin A supplement

  • Use a humidifier to help ease the patient’s cough and sore throat

Preventing Measles

Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles, the MMR vaccine is a 3 in1 vaccine that will protect children and adults from measles, mumps, and rubella or German measles.

Individuals who have not been vaccinated and come in contact with an infected patient may receive the vaccine within 72 hours to prevent infection.

The infection can also be prevented by taking a dose of immunoglobulin (blood serum containing antibodies) within 6 days of contact with an infected person.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7


In Texas, Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies. We urge the population to be aware of the measles advisory and take necessary steps to avoid them.

Dangers of Extreme Weight Loss Routines

Dangers of Extreme Weight Loss Routines

ER Doctors Recommend:

Stay Away from Extreme Weight Loss Routines

The beginning of the year is great time to set goals for ourselves, and losing a few pounds, getting more exercise, and improving our fitness level is a wonderful way to start the year, not to mention these goals and easily achievable, but, in our eagerness to get in shape we might end up taking things a little too far.  Avoid any type of extreme weight loss routines.

When our focus lies only on the result, we are more likely to make bad choices, instead, we should be focused on planning the best route to achieve our goals, this way we will avoid making common diet and fitness mistakes that can end up harming our health.


Eating Healthy vs. Dangerous Diets

The Dangers of Extreme Dieting

Anyone who is carrying a few extra pounds dreams of a quick, easy effortless solution to losing their muffin top or love handles, a pill that burns all the fat in a matter of days, a shake that will make us drop a couple of dress sizes in a week, unfortunately, those products are not only ineffective, they can be extremely dangerous, as are fad diets.

Extreme dieting is a very unhealthy way to diet, most fad diets center around cutting back on calories, they do this not taking into account the type or quality of the calories consumed, what they do is limit the amount of food a person ingests to a point where it can border on starvation. This is the reason most fad diets usually don’t last more than 2 weeks, in addition, the body’s response to starvation actually slows down the metabolism, making it harder to lose fat.  Extreme weight loss dieting is dangerous.

Extreme weight loss dieting can have serious health consequences including:

  • Fatigue

  • Gallbladder Disease

  • Muscle Atrophy

  • Malnutrition

  • Constipation

  • Acidosis

  • Rashes

  • And worst of all the regain of any weight loss achieved

Extreme dieting can also have negative effects on our psychological well-being, causing:

  • Irritability

  • Depression

  • Reduced Sex Drive

  • And an increased risk of developing eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia.


Signs of Alert! Tell Tale Signs that you need to
Visit the ER Immediately

If you have been trying dangerous diets and experience any of the following signs, please seek immediate emergency medical assistence:

  • You can’t keep food down.  Constant vomiting for over 2 days.

  • Diarreah for more than 3 days, bloody diarreah,

  • Fever higher than 103 F (39.4)

  • Confusion and Lethargy

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Unbearable abdominal pains or cramps

  • Dizziness and Fainting

  • No urine in the last 12 hours

  • Heart Palpitations, Chest Pains

If you are in Texas, go to Altus Emergency Center for the best ER Care 24/7 with No Lines in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton and Waxahachie.

The Benefits of Healthy Dieting

In contrast, healthy dieting will produce an overall feeling of wellbeing helping you:

  • Feel more energetic

  • Become stronger

  • Strengthen your immune system

  • Improve the body’s natural ability to heal itself and repair cell damage

  • Sleep better

  • Ward off diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney, and liver disorders

  • Keep your bones strong

So, this year focus your efforts in eating right, choose fruits instead of sugary treats, drink more water and less carbonated drinks, eat more vegetables and lean meats instead of fried foods, small changes in our eating habits go a long way in improving our health.

Exercising Safely vs. Reckless Workouts

The Dangers of Extreme Weight Loss Exercising

Being motivated to get fit and adopt an exercise regime is great, we can all benefit from some physical activity, but extreme exercising is not something any of us should contemplate. We have been bombarded by reality TV shows where contestant’s workout 8-10 hours a day, this is not only unrealistic, it’s not healthy.

Exercising too much can have the following negative side effects:

  • Severe wear and tear of muscles and joints

  • Dehydration

  • Increased risk of injury

  • Electrolyte imbalance

  • Rhabdomyolysis, a rare condition that occurs when muscle fibers break down and enter the bloodstream, these fibers called myoglobin circulate through the body and cause severe damage to the kidneys, this condition can be fatal.


DANGER! Tell Tale Signs that you need to
Visit the ER Immediately

Whether or not you have been practicing unsafe extreme weight loss type workouts, please visit your nearest emergency center, emergency room or urgent care if you or a loved one exhibit any of the following signs:

  • When an injury is accompanied by a pop or a crack and it doesn’t go back to normal.

  • Inability to walk or bear weight on a limb

  • A joint that locks up or feels unstable

  • A muscle pull, strain that is badly bruised

  • If you experience ANY type of symptoms after a head injury

  • You have bleeding that will not stop

  • Numbness, tingling or weakness

  • Any pain that is unbearable or gets worse with time

  • You feel a dull ache in your chest and you are unusually out of breath

  • You have the mother of all headaches.

Don’t wait in line!  Visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center.  We are Open 24/7, with No Lines to get the best ER care.

How Much Exercise is Safe?

The American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association recommend healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, this can be achieved with 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week or 20 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise 3 times a week.

Adults should also train each major muscle group 2-3 times a week, making sure to wait at least 48 hours between resistance training sessions.

If you don’t already exercise regularly, ease yourself into the habit, don’t try to do too much in the first day, if your goal is to walk for 30 minutes a day, start with 10-15 minutes and work yourself up to 30 minutes, there is no rush, go at your own pace, avoid extreme workout videos and if possible join a gym and have an expert design your workout plan.

Best ER Care in Texas Open 24/7, No Lines


This year our goal at Altus Emergency Centers is for the members of the communities we serve to improve their health, eating better and exercising more in a safe and responsible way.

We are here for you to help you prevent but we are also Open 24/7/365 if you need us.  It’s good to know that you have where to go in the event of an emergency.  At Altus Emergency Centers, you are in good hands.  Plan today to be safe tomorrow.

Surviving the Flu Epidemic – Complications & Signs of Alert

Surviving the Flu Epidemic - Complications & Signs of Alert

How to Fight the Flu Epidemic!

The flu epidemic this year is hitting the United States harder than predicted, as some circulating strands of the influenza virus were not included in the annual recommendations report, this means these strands were not contemplated when creating the flu vaccines for this year.

The state of Texas is one of several experiencing a higher than normal rate of influenza virus contagions, for this reason, Altus Emergency Centers is sounding the alarm for residents of Texas to take extra precautions to avoid being infected and to reduce the risk of complications which could lead to death.  View the most recent Study of Influenza Cases in Texas released by the Texas Human and Health Services.


Avoiding Infections During a Flu Epidemic

The vaccines that are made available to the public each year may not prevent a person from being infected with the influenza virus, but it can help diminish the effects of the illness and aid in a speedier healing process.

Because of this, it is recommended that individuals constantly wash their hands, especially before eating, we recommend you carry a small container of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when washing your hands with soap and water is not possible.

Clean your workspace with antibacterial towels, make sure the label says it has been tested to kill the flu virus.

Eating right and getting plenty of rest is a good way to keep your immune system healthy, consider taking a vitamin C supplement this time of year, to help keep your defenses up.

Get to Know the Dangers of a Flu Epidemic

When Things Take Turn for The Worse

As awful as the flu symptoms can be, most of us are able to fight the infection on our own and make a full recovery within a few days or weeks, some individuals, however, are at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu, some of these complications are extremely severe can lead to death if not treated properly.

Patients with increased risk factors include:

  • Individuals over the age of 65

  • Young children under the age of 5, especially infants and toddlers

  • Pregnant women and women two weeks postpartum

Patients suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD, heart disease, kidney, or liver disorders, obesity, and anyone with a weakened immune system.


Complications from the Flu

The flu virus is extremely aggressive and reproduces very fast, this results in a strong response from the immune system, in most healthy adults this response is enough to combat the virus, this, however, can tax the immune system and lead to secondary infections.

Secondary infections range from mild-moderate to more severe which if left untreated can result in the death of the patient.

Mild to Moderate Complications of the Flu

  • Ear Infections

  • Sinus Infections

  • Dehydration

Severe Complications from the Flu

These can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated on time.

  • Pneumonia: A lung infection most commonly caused by bacteria, but it can also be caused by viruses or fungi.

  • Myocarditis: Inflammation of the heart

  • Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain

  • Myositis or Rhabdomyolysis: Inflammation of the muscle tissue

  • Overwhelming Immune Response: In some patients, the immune system response can be so severe it can damage too much tissue in the lungs, making it difficult to deliver oxygen to the blood, resulting in hypoxia and death.

Warning Signs You Should Not Ignore


Anyone is susceptible to flu and its complications if you suspect you may have been infected with the flu virus visit your neighborhood Altus Emergency Centers where we can apply one of our rapid flu tests, the results are available within minutes and receiving early treatment can prevent deadly complications.

If you or a loved one show any of the following symptoms head to the nearest emergency center for diagnoses and treatment:

  • Trouble breathing

  • High fevers, sweats, or chills

  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

  • Sudden dizziness

  • Elevated blood pressure

  • Symptoms that show no improvement within 3-4 days

  • Symptoms that seem to improve but later worsen

  • If your child’s skin turns a grayish or bluish color

  • Intense or persistent vomiting

  • Trouble swallowing

  • If your child seems lethargic or has trouble responding to stimuli

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Ready to Fight the Flu Epidemic 24/7


In Texas, Altus Emergency Centers are ready to help you fight the flu, our centers are open 24/7/365, we guarantee no lines and our facilities are equipped to diagnose and treat any complication from the flu before it escalates to life-threatening symptoms. We urge the population to be aware of the symptoms of possible flu complications and to immediately head to one of our facilities if you suspect you may have fallen victim to one of them.

Together, we can help end this flu epidemic and begin 2018 off right.

Safe Toys and Gifts Month – Avoid a Trip to the ER

A Guide for Safe Toys and Gifts Month

Avoid Injuries Associated With Unsafe Toys

Tis the season for giving, December is a special month as there are many religious and cultural celebrations this time of year. Because of this, the tradition of gifting our loved ones this time of year as a way to show our love and appreciation has become widespread.

We at Altus Emergency Centers would also like to show our appreciation for the loving support we have received from the communities we serve this year, and taking advantage of December being Safe Toys and Gift Month, we have prepared a simple safe toys guide for holiday gift shopping.

According to the latest report from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries were treated in Emergency Rooms across the country in 2016. This highlights the importance of gifting safe toys this Holiday Season.



What to look for and what to avoid when buying toys?

Most of the toy-related injuries reported to the CPSC last year were children under the age of 15, and 39% of these injuries were due to lacerations, contusions, or abrasions.

New toys are constantly entering the market, we recommend you follow a watchdog site to receive updates on recalled toys, so you can avoid purchasing them or return them if you already have.


The Safe Toys Guide:  What to Look For

It’s important to acknowledge that unless you know what to look for, it’s difficult to know the difference between the safe toys and gifts and the potentially dangerous ones.  Please read the following to be aware:

  • Always look for the “ATSM” label on toys, having this label means the toy has passed the standards set by the American Society of Testing Materials.

  • If your gift includes art supplies these should be labeled as non-toxic.

  • Read labels to ensure toys do not contain led paint.

  • Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant.

  • Make sure the label on any stuffed animals indicates it can be washed.

  • Always make sure you are gifting a toy appropriate for the child’s age, maturity, and abilities.

  • Always read the warnings and safety precautions that come with the toys.


The “Bad Toys” – What to Avoid

  • Toys with sharp edges, or those with spikes, rods, or dangerous rigid points.

  • Projectile toys or those that include flying parts as these can cause unintentional injuries. Remember that BB guns are not toys.  If you insist purchasing one, be mindful if the child’s age and never leave them unsupervised.

  • Only buy toys that will withstand impact, if you fear the material might break into dangerous shards do not buy it.

  • Avoid excessively loud toys, if the sound is too loud it could damage your child’s ears.

  • Avoid toys with long pull strings, try keeping these to less than 7 inches.

  • If you have children under the age of 3 avoid any toys with small parts that they can put in their mouths

Most Common Toy Injuries in Children


The risk of not heeding the warnings associated with Safe Toys and Gifts Month are many.  According to the CPSC report, the top toy categories that are related to injuries in children are:

  • Nonmotorized Scooters which accounts for 20% of all reported injuries in 2016.

  • Toys Not Specified were responsible for 24% of all incidents reported last year.

  • Toy Balls accounted for 9% of injuries

  • Toy Vehicles caused 6% of the injuries

Top Toy Related Injuries Resulting in Trips to the ER

The most common injuries attended by emergency room medical staff last year were:

  • Lacerations

  • Contusions and Abrasions

  • Strains and Sprains

  • Fractures

  • Internal Injuries

  • Ingestion of toys or toy parts

  • Concussions

  • Dislocation

  • Puncture Injuries

Toy Gifting Safety Tips

Buying the perfect gift involves a lot more than just buying the most popular toy this season.  The gift of safety is priceless, and it doesn’t require much work, all you need to do is follow these Safe Toys and Gifts Tips:

  • Buy age-appropriate toys, all toys describe the age they are appropriate for, even video games.

  • Do your homework, investigate which toys are not considered safe and avoid those.

  • Read all the warning labels and follow the precautions that accompany the toy.

  • Learn how to properly use the toy, and then teach your kids how to do use it.

  • Buy quality toys, we know they might be more expensive, but good quality materials are less likely to break and cause injury.

  • Have an adult present when children are opening their gifts, inspect the toy to ensure it is safe before allowing your kids to play with it.

  • If you are giving or have received edible gifts, beware of ingredients that may trigger allergies or food sensitivity symptoms.

  • Ask your friends and family to place their presents in a safe place where children cannot grab them.

Altus Emergency is Open 24/7 During the Holidays


Altus Emergency Centers is here for you 24/7 during all of the holidays.  We implore you to keep these toy safety tips in mind to help avoid a possible injury.  However, if your child sustains any type of injury or any other type of emergency situation please visit your nearest Altus ER. We provide the very best medical emergency care in the most urgent of situations.

From our family at Altus Emergency Centers to yours, we wish you a happy and safe Holiday Season!

How to Avoid the Flu

Bypass the Misery of Flu Season

How to Avoid the Flu

The dreaded flu season is fast approaching, and we know nobody wants to feel miserable for 2 whole weeks, and if you are a parent then you know it is going to be a domino effect, one by one everyone in the household will fall ill.

The flu isn’t a simple cold, the symptoms are much more severe and for those individuals who are high-risk: adults over the age of 65, children under the age of 6, women who are pregnant or anyone with a chronic disease like diabetes, asthma, or cardiovascular disease, complications from the flu can prove deadly.

As part of our ongoing commitment to help the members of our community stay healthy and avoid the flu (influenza) and other viral infections, the medical staff at Altus Emergency Centers would like to share some important facts and safety tips to avoid getting bedridden this season.

Not so Fun Facts About the Influenza Virus


Know the Flu Facts

  • The flu is caused by various strains of the virus that mutates constantly, this is the reason why a new flu vaccine is released every year.

  • It is estimated that anywhere between 140,000 to 710,000 people are year are hospitalized due to the flu.

  • The CDC estimated that the number of deaths associated with the flu between 2015-2016 was between 12,000 and 56,000.

  • The flu virus can travel up to 6 feet with every time someone infected coughs or sneezes.

  • An individual can be contagious 1-4 days before symptoms manifest and can remain contagious for another 5-7 days after symptoms begin.

How to Avoid the Flu Season Blues.

The flu is a viral respiratory illness.  This means that anyone can easily become ill by coming into contact with airborne droplets from an infected individual.  Due to the fact that contaminated droplets can travel up to 6 feet when someone coughs or sneezes, it is very difficult to avoid contact altogether, but there are ways to safeguard yourself and your loved ones to avoid the flu.

Get Vaccinated as Early in the Season as Possible

You can still contract the virus from someone else up to 2-weeks after getting vaccinated, so early vaccination is important.

The yearly flu shot will protect you from 3-4 flu strains that are predicted to cause the most damage that year. Also, it can help you recover from the illness faster, often avoiding 2-4 days in bed.  Most importantly, it helps prevent serious complications from the flu such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear or sinus infections.  The small prick of a needle is better than days or weeks of agony.  Avoid the flu by getting vaccinated early on each year.

Become Obsessed with Good Hygiene

Avoid the flu and other viruses by washing your heads with soap and water frequently.  This is especially important when you are at work, or after riding public transportation, as you could come in contact with the virus and not know it.

Teach your children to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, and not to share food and drinks with their friends.

If you don’t have access to soap and water, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good substitute, also keep antibacterial cleaning towels handy, so you can clean your desk and other surfaces with regularity.

Take Good Care of Yourself

A healthy immune system will be instrumental in helping your body avoid and fight the flu virus. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, a recent study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University concluded that getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night decreases the chances of getting a cold or flu by 30%.

How do I avoid the flu by being healthy? We recommend that you maintain a well-balanced diet, avoid fatty foods, and too many sweets that are plentiful this time of year, make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Also, make sure to stay away from other bad habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol in excess.

When Should You Pay Altus Emergency Centers a Visit?

Altus Emergency Doctors ER

Regardless of how careful you are, sometimes getting sick with the flu is unavoidable, and unfortunately, the symptoms will make you feel miserable for a few days, but, there are some warning signs that could signal flu complications that will require medical attention:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, these are not normal symptoms of the flu, if you experience them it could be something more serious such as an asthma attack, or pneumonia.

  • Chest Pain, this could be a signal heart disease, and you should get immediate medical care.

  • A persistent cough especially one accompanied by phlegm, if you notice blood in your phlegm, go to the nearest Altus ER Center immediately.

  • If you are suffering from confusion or sudden dizziness, there are several reasons why you could be feeling this way, so, it is best to get a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional.

  • Severe and persistent vomiting, this could lead to dehydration, and you may require intravenous fluids.

  • Pain or trouble swallowing, although a sore throat can be a symptom of the flu if you experience severe pain or have trouble while swallowing, it could be you have strep throat.

  • Persistent fever, a fever lasting more than 3 days could mean you have a bacterial infection and require antibiotics.

  • If your cough, fever, or other symptoms return in the second week after the onset of the flu or if your symptoms never get better and instead become worse, you may be developing pneumonia.

Altus Emergency Centers is here for you during the worst of the flu season and the rest of year 24/7.  We hope you don’t fall victim to the flu virus this year, but if you do, and you show any of the above signs, visit your nearest Altus ER.  We will be here to nurse you and your loved ones back to health and enjoying the December holidays.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Turkey Day is Here! Be Thankful and Stay Safe

This has been a challenging year for most, and some of us are still recovering from the devastation hurricane Harvey caused, but, it is because of all these challenges that we have so much to be thankful for this year.

Altus Emergency Centers and its staff are thankful for our communities, for demonstrating that together we can do anything; we are honored and humbled for the trust and loyalty you have shown us, and we are thankful for the opportunity to still be here to help you and your loved ones during a medical emergency.

We want everyone to have a happy and most of all safe Thanksgiving this year, so please read on, and follow our Thanksgiving safety tips.  Injury prevention is always the best policy.


Travel During Thanksgiving Safety Tips

This year the American Automobile Association (AAA), estimates that close to 51 million Americans will drive 50 miles or more from their homes to spend the Thanksgiving Holiday with family or friends, this means you should expect heavy traffic in the days leading to and after Turkey Day, so plan ahead, to avoid accidents and delays we recommend the following Thanksgiving Safety Tips:

  • Check the weather along your route, make sure to subscribe to a service that can provide updates, and drive around storms never through.

  • Make sure everyone in the car is wearing their seatbelts.

  • Don’t drink and drive.

  • Don’t drive if you are extremely tired, it is better if you stop and rest for a bit, or have one of your companions take the wheel while you rest.

  • Do not text while you are driving, it is deadly and illegal.

  • Respect the speed limit, road signs, and general rules of the road.

  • Keep your distance from other vehicles.

  • Make sure your windshield is clean, and headlights, taillights, and signal lights are all working properly.

  • Turn your headlights on at dusk, or if it is raining.


Thanksgiving Cooking Safety

Thanksgiving Safety Tips are particularly important to keep in mind when cooking. For those of you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, safety should be your number one priority, there are many Thanksgiving Safety Tips to consider:

Turkey Safety

This is the star of the evening, and therefore it should be handled with extreme care when you are preparing it.

  • If you are buying a fresh turkey, wait until the last possible moment and certainly no more than 2 days before cooking it, keep it in the refrigerator at a 40°F or less.

  • If your turkey is frozen, the USDA recommends you thaw it in the fridge, alternately you could use cold water or the microwave if you are running short on time.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before handling any food to prevent the spread of infection and other illnesses.

  • Do not wash the turkey, this only serves to spread viruses and bacteria onto kitchen surfaces.

  • Keep the uncooked turkey separated from other foods to avoid contamination.

  • Cook the turkey until it reaches a temperature of 165°F, fully cooking the bird is the only way to ensure any bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses has been eliminated.


Cooking Safety

Sadly, Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires.  The good news is that with a little preparation and some simple Thanksgiving Safety Tips as guidelines, these can easily be avoided.

  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing and long dangling sleeves when cooking, to avoid your clothing catching fire.

  • Never leave the stove unattended.

  • Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the stove or oven as steam or splashing from hot liquids can cause severe burns.

  • Keep children away from knives and other sharp kitchen utensils.

  • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

  • Keep items like kitchen towels, pot holders, oven mitts, and wooden utensils away from heat sources as they could catch fire.

  • Keep your kitchen clean, grease build-up can easily start a fire.

  • Before going to bed check the oven and stove top to ensure everything is turned off.

  • Store leftovers properly in the fridge.

Have a Safe and Blessed Thanksgiving from All of Us!


Cuts and burns can happen to the best of chefs, and most won’t require medical attention, but, if you happen to seriously injure yourself or someone that’s with you gets hurt, we’re open 24 hours a day through the Thanksgiving Holiday at Altus Emergency Centers. With any luck we will have you back in time to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving Weekend from all of us at Altus Emergency Centers!

ACL Injury Causes and Prevention

Inside ACL Injuries

ACL injuries are an ever-present threat to the health of professional athletes who participate in high demand sports like football, basketball, and soccer. The latest victim being the Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, who suffered a torn ACL during practice this weekend.

However, this type of injury does not only target pro athletes, anyone can suffer an ACL injury regardless of age or gender, from kids playing sports at school to weekend warriors who want to have a little fun outdoors, and yes even us couch potatoes can sustain an ACL injury.


What is an ACL Injury?


The knee joint is comprised of three bones, the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone) and the patella (kneecap). These three bones connect to each other via ligaments that hold the bones together and provide stability to the knee.

There are two kinds of primary ligaments in the knee:

  • Collateral Ligaments: Found on either side of the knee, these ligaments are responsible for controlling the sideways movement of the knee.

  • Cruciate Ligaments: These are inside the knee, there are two of them the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which is in front and the posterior cruciate ligament located in the back. These ligaments cross each other to form an X and are responsible for controlling the back and forth motion of the knee. The ACL prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur and provides rotational stability to the joint.

An ACL injury occurs when there is a tear in the ligament, more than half of ACL injuries cause damage to other structures in the knee such as cartilage, meniscus, and other ligaments.

Injured ligaments are considered sprains, but, depending on the severity they can be:

  • Grade 1 Sprains: Ligaments are slightly stretched but are still able to keep the knee stable.

  • Grade 2 Sprains: In this type of sprain the ligament has stretched to the point where it becomes loose, this is considered a partial tear of the ACL. This type of injury is rare.

  • Grade 3 Sprains: Known as a complete tear of the ligament. In these cases, the ligament is so severely stretched it splits into two pieces, causing the knee to become unstable.

Causes and Symptoms of ACL Injuries


The most common causes of an ACL injury include:

  • Being hit hard on the side of the knee, as is the case in a football tackle.

  • Overextension of the knee joint.

  • Changing direction rapidly.

  • Stopping suddenly.

  • Slowing down while running.

  • Landing from a jump incorrectly.

  • Pivoting with your foot firmly planted.

Symptoms of an ACL injury include:

  • Feeling or even hearing a pop in the knee at the time the injury occurs.

  • Pain on the outside and back of the knee.

  • Swelling within the first few hours of the injury, sudden swelling is usually a sign of a serious knee injury.

  • Loss of full range of motion.

  • Instability of the knee joint, feeling as if your knee is “giving way” or buckling with weight bearing.

Preventing ACL Injuries


Proper training and exercise is the best way to prevent ACL injuries, the ER Trained Physicians at Altus Emergency Centers recommend:

  • Doing exercises to strengthen your leg muscles, particularly the hamstring to ensure overall balance in leg muscle strength.

  • Exercises to strengthen your core which includes your hips, pelvis, and lower abdomen.

  • Use proper techniques and knee position when jumping and landing.

  • Improve pivoting techniques.

  • Wear footwear and padding that is appropriate for the type of activity you are engaging in.

We are Open 24/7, No Lines

When Should You Head for the Nearest Altus Emergency Center?

Seek immediate medical attention if you display any of the symptoms listed above; if you suspect you have an ACL injury, suspend any sports playing or other activity you might have been doing and go to the nearest Altus ER to get a proper diagnosis of your injury.

Before arriving at the ER, try to keep your leg above the level of the heart, apply ice, and if the pain is too severe you may take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (such as ibuprofen).

If you notice your leg or foot is cool and turning blue, seek immediate medical attention, as this could signal the knee joint has dislocated and the blood vessels to the foot were injured.

Altus Emergency Centers are fully equipped to diagnose and treat ACL injuries. All our facilities have on-site x-rays, CT Scans, and specialists that will have you back on your feet in no time.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention. Our expertly trained staff is available 24/7. We are here for you in the event of a medical emergency.

Altus Emergency Centers
Freestanding ERs. Saving Lives 24/7. No Lines.

Find an Altus ER Near You.

10 Deer Hunting Season Safety Tips

Deer Hunting Season Safety

According to the latest Texas Parks and Wildlife hunting incident analysis, the number of hunting accidents across the state has significantly decreased since the hunter education program became mandatory in 1988.

Last year, there were 24 reported hunting accidents involving either a firearm or a bow and another 3 non-firearm/bow hunting-related incidents. Out of the 24 incidents involving a firearm/bow, 5 were fatal, and 2 of the non-firearm/bow hunting-related incidents resulted in death. Sadly, all these incidents were easily preventable, had the hunters followed correct hunting protocols.

This weekend marks the start of the general deer hunting season for white-tailed deer, while mule deer hunting season will commence on November 18th. The staff of Altus Emergency Centers is all too familiar with hunting-related accidents, which is why we would like to remind the members of our communities how easy it is to avoid incidents by just following these safety tips.

Enjoy Deer Hunting Season the Safe Way

  • Make Yourself Visible: Texas law requires that all hunters on public hunting lands wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material, of which 144 must be on the chest and back areas, orange headgear is also mandatory. Avoid using colors and patterns that blend with your surroundings.

  • Always Point the Muzzle in a safe direction: Never rest the muzzle on your foot, always point the muzzle in a safe direction. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire and never fire your hunting weapon unless you are sure your target is an actual deer.

  • Assume Every Gun is Loaded: Whenever you up a firearm point the muzzle in a safe direction and check if it is loaded. Be sure the chamber and the magazine are empty, and the action is open until ready to fire. Always have the safety on until you are ready to fire.

  • Identify your Target and Know what is In Front of and Beyond It: Use binoculars to properly identify game animals, never use your scope to identify them. Make sure there are no hunters or dogs in front of or beyond your target. Never shoot at an animal is on top of a hillside since you don’t know what lies beyond it. Understand how far your bullets or arrows can travel to determine the chances of hitting an unintended target.

  • Never Shoot at Flat Hard Surfaces: Bullets ricocheting off rocks, the ground and unbelievably even water can cause terrible injuries to people nearby.

  • Handle Firearms and Bows Carefully: Guns and hunting bows are not toys, never leave weapons unattended around children, always unload firearms and unstring bows when not in use. Store and transport firearms and ammunition separately, make sure they are under lock and key. Carry arrows in a protective cover or quiver.

  • Know Your Safe Zone: Hunters should be spaced 25 to 40 yards apart and always in sight of one another. A hunter’s safe zone of fire normally spans about 45 degrees in front them, but, the hunting party should make the final determination based on how experienced the hunters are. For safety purposes, there should be no more than 3 hunters in a party, for young or inexperienced hunters 2 is preferable.

  • Don’t Drink Alcohol or Take Drugs When Hunting: The use of alcohol and drugs impairs physical and mental abilities, they affect emotions, judgment, vision, and reflexes, increasing the chances of injury.

  • Be Careful When Using a Tree Stand: Always use a full body safety harness when climbing up or down the tree stands, don’t remove it until you are safely down from it. Use your own tree stand and make sure it is installed properly.

  • Keep Your Loyal Companion Safe:  Make sure that you equip your pet with proper deer hunting gear and train them accordingly to keep them safe.

We are Open 24/7, No Lines

Have a Fun & Safe Deer Hunting Season!

Deer hunting season is meant to be a fun recreational activity, but, it is not without its dangers, which is why we at Altus Emergency Centers advocate for education and safety, and if an unfortunate accident should happen to you or a loved one, all our centers are fully equipped to handle all types of deer hunting incidents, our no wait times policy means you will receive immediate medical attention that can save your life.

Should you or someone you know require immediate ER care, it is never the time to wait in line for hours or drive long distances. Give yourself the best possibility to get well. If you or someone you know need emergency medical assistance, visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center immediately.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention. Our expertly trained staff is available 24/7. We are here for you in the event of a medical emergency.

Altus Emergency Centers
Freestanding ERs. Saving Lives 24/7. No Lines.

Find an Altus ER Near You.

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

Trick–or–Treating Safety Tips

Halloween is by far the most fun filled night of the year for children and yes, for adults too, let’s face it, what can be better than dressing up, staying up late and eating a ton of yummy treats?

But, there is a scary side to Halloween that tops any ghost, goblin, ghouls, or things that go bump in the night, we are of course referring to accidents. Sadly, we at Altus Emergency Centers know all too well how devastating these can be.  This year, we would like to ensure that all enjoy the fun of Halloween without the dangers by practicing good trick-or-treating safety tips.

Horrifying Halloween Facts

  • Kids are twice as likely to be hit by a motor vehicle and sustain serious injury or even death on Halloween night than any other night of the year.

  • Kids with severe food allergies are especially vulnerable during a trick-or-treat run.  As much as they can’t wait to enjoy a bite of delicious candy, please remember that food safety is an important part of trick-or-treating safety.

  • Elaborate costumes especially those that include long or loose-fitting clothing, masks, or props such as swords, can impair vision and make it difficult for a child to move, increasing their risk of falling and injuring themselves.

  • Carving a pumpkin is a dangerous affair, especially for small kids, deep cuts that require stitching are common this time of year.

  • Severe burns from a candle lit Jack O’ Lanterns are all too common.

Halloween Safety Tips

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

As frightening as these facts are, you need not worry, the heroic staff of Altus Emergency Centers is here to help you avert the terrors of the night, follow our trick-or-treating safety tips, and enjoy a fun night with your family.

  • Our first trick-or-treating safety tip is important at all times, not only on Halloween.  Never let kids under 12-years of age go trick-or-treating alone if you cannot accompany them, make sure a trusted adult is with them.

  • If you have older kids that will be going out on their own, make sure they are traveling in a group, and follow their route with the use of the GPS tracking system on their phones. Agree on a specific time they should return home.

  • Plan your route in advance, if possible avoid heavy traffic areas. Stick to a route you and your kids are familiar with.

  • Choose costumes that are bright or attach some reflective tape to the costume and trick-or-treat bags to increase visibility and help motorists spot your kids from a distance.

  • Make sure shoes are comfy and well fitted, trick-or-treating could take you several blocks away from home, comfy shoes are necessary to prevent blisters.

  • Masks can block or limit eyesight, making it difficult for your child to navigate and increasing their risk of injury, to avoid this consider using non-toxic makeup and well-fitted hats instead.

  • Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no allergic reactions, if your child suffers one, take him/her immediately to the nearest Altus ER Center for treatment.

  • Remove all makeup before your kids go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.

  • When out shopping for costumes, wigs, and other accessories, make sure the label clearly states they are flame resistant.

  • The next trick-or-treating safety tip begins with costume selection to avoid potential injuries associated with falling.  Ensure your child’s costume is the appropriate length, long costumes increase the chances of your child tripping and hurting themselves.

  • If possible avoid costumes with weapons, but, if your child won’t have it any other way, make sure swords, knives, guns, etc. are short, soft, and flexible.

  • Never use over-the-counter decorative contact lenses, as these can cause pain, inflammation, infections, and other serious eye disorders which may lead to permanent vision loss. All contact lenses should be prescribed by an eye care professional.

  • Teach your kids how to call 911 or any other emergency number if they get lost or feel they may be in any sort of danger.

  • Instruct your kids to never get into a stranger’s car.

  • Tell your kids not to eat any treats until they return home, especially if they have food allergies. Inspect all treats before allowing your children to consume them.

  • Limit the number of sweets your kids can eat at once, hide the candy and allow them to consume it a little at a time over the next few days or weeks.

  • Never let small children carve a pumpkin, instead have them draw a scary face on it with a marker.

  • Choose to light up your Jack O’ Lantern with a flashlight, battery operated led light, or glow stick instead of a candle.


No Need to Fear When Altus ER is Here

Have a Fun & Safe Halloween!

Altus Emergency Centers wants you to have a fun and safe Halloween, follow our trick-or-treat safety tips but know that accidents can happen even when you are being careful, which is why we will be here to take care of you and your loved ones on the scariest night of the year and every other night too.

Should you or someone you know require immediate ER care, it is never the time to wait in line for hours or drive long distances.  Give yourself the best possibility to get well.  If you or someone you know need emergency medical assistance, visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center immediately.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention. Our expertly trained staff is available 24/7. We are here for you in the event of a medical emergency.

Altus Emergency Centers
Freestanding ERs. Saving Lives 24/7. No Lines.

Find an Altus ER Near You.


Ready for the Rodeo? Enjoy a safe, happy & healthy weekend everyone from all of us at #AltusERCenters. Remember that if you are in the need of immediate ER care, visit any of our @AltusEmergency in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton and Waxahachie. Open 24/7, No Lines.

Happy International Women's Day! Brave, Strong, Beautiful, Wise, Funny & Simple Incredible. Women deserve to be respected & admired. A shout out to all of the fabulous ladies of @AltusEmergency , Thank You for Being So Awesome! #AltusERCenters Open 24/7, No Lines. #IWD2018


A COWBOY IS A TRUE GENTLEMAN. 🐎 Three Cheers for All Texas Cowboys! We wish you a Happy Week that's filled to the brim with Great Success from everyone from all of us at #AltusERCenters. Remember that if you are in the need of immediate ER care, visit any of our Altus Emergency Centers in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton and Waxahachie. Open 24/7, No Lines. ... See MoreSee Less

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Happy International Women's Day! Brave, Strong, Beautiful, Wise, Funny & Simply Incredible. Women deserve to be respected & admired. A shout out to all of the fabulous ladies of Altus Emergency Centers, Thank You for Being So Awesome! #TeamAltusER #AltusERCenters Open 24/7, No Lines. #IWD2018 ... See MoreSee Less

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