Injury Prevention 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.

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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.

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.

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!

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.

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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.

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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.

Traffic Safety Awareness

Traffic Safety Awareness - Respect and Share the Road

Traffic safety: It’s the difference between life and death.

One of the biggest problems society faces today is coexisting, this problem goes beyond the work place, or family life, it also extends to our roads. Most injuries resulting from car accidents were completely preventable using proper traffic safety. Let’s learn to respect and share the road!
According to the World Health Organization

“About 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among people aged between 15 and 29 years.”


Learning to share the road with cyclists, pedestrians, and other car drivers, is the first step in making our commutes safer and more enjoyable. Traffic safety is not a choice, it saves lives and it’s the law.

With the roads full of parents and children on their way to and from school, it’s particularly important to pay special attention to traffic safety. Altus Emergency Centers urges you to respect traffic signals and speed limits. We are all responsible for making our roads safer, with a little common sense a little courtesy and following the rules, we can all do our part in preventing accidents, whether you are driving a car or motorcycle, are out bicycling, walking, or running be aware of your surroundings and respect your fellow travelers.



Traffic Safety Tips for Pedestrians

  • Never Assume a Driver Has Seen You:  Be aware of cars turning into or getting out of driveways, or parking spaces. Stop, and make sure the driver has seen you before continuing. Also, when you are crossing a street or intersection, make eye contact with the drivers to be sure they have seen you.

  • Use the Sidewalks:  Sidewalks are roads for pedestrians, use them, they are there for your safety. If there are no sidewalks available, always walk facing traffic, and take extra precautions when walking around curves in the road, as visibility for motorist is limited and they may not see you.

  • Use Crosswalks:  If you need to cross a street or intersection, look for a crosswalk, if there none, keep in mind that as a pedestrian, you must yield to all other traffic when crossing, make sure you are crossing in a well-lit area with good visibility.

  • Be Alert:  These days it’s easy for us to become distracted by our mobile devices; these distractions are responsible many accidents. Keep your eyes on the road as you walk or run, if you are listening to music, make sure the volume allows you to still hear what is going on around you.

  • Make Yourself Visible:  This is especially important at night; if you plan to go for a walk, jog, or a run, at night make sure you wear light colored, reflective clothing.


Traffic Safety Tips for Drivers

  • End Distracted Driving.  According to the CDC 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in distracted driving caused crashes. Distracted driving is when the conductor becomes distracted from driving. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 1 in 5 vehicle accidents is caused by driver distraction. Distractions can be: tending to children, eating, searching for something within the car, arguing, talking on the phone and texting. Fortunately, as of September 1st, 2017, texting and driving in Texas illegal.

  • Obey Speed Limits: We understand the need to be on time, and we even understand the thrill of fast driving, but speed limits are in place to safeguard all who travel on that road. Did you know that a pedestrian hit by a car going 40 mph has an 85% chance of being killed, while the risk at 20 mph is only 5%?

  • Expect and look for Pedestrians, Runners, Cyclists, and Motorcycles: Some roads prohibit pedestrians and cyclist but there is still a chance you will encounter one. Drive with the mindset that there might be others on the road, look out for them and respect their space.

  • Respect All Traffic Signals: Come to a complete stop when you encounter a stop sign or red light. Signal your turns and look both ways when changing lanes.

  • Respect Cyclists:  Cyclists cannot ride on sidewalks, they must do so on the road, this means they have the same responsibilities and rights as motorcar drivers. When passing a cyclist always give them at least 3 feet for safety, never honk as you approach them, as this may startle them and cause an accident. Before you open your door make sure there are no cyclists coming that can crash against your door.

  • Never Drive Under the Influence or When Overly Tired: Impaired driving is the leading cause of traffic accidents, if you have been drinking alcohol, have taken any drugs, prescription or otherwise, that can impair your driving, or are exhausted for any reason, do everyone a favor, and call a cab or opt for public transportation.

  • Be a Defensive Driver.  Remember that many drivers DO NOT practice proper traffic safety.  By staying alert to other drivers, you may avoid an accident.  Do not fall into road rage, this can only aggravate the problem.

  • Be Aware of Weather Dangers.  Make sure that your vehicle is rain-ready.  Keep in mind that during a rainstorm you could stand to lose two-thirds of your traction.  With this in mind, please driver slower, two-thirds slower could be a good rule to follow.   Appy the three-second rule during moments of poor visibility to allow yourself a safe stopping distance.


Traffic Safety Tips for Cyclists

  • Follow the Rules of the Road:  As we mentioned before, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers. So, respect traffic signals, come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights; keep as far right in your lane as you deem safe but avoid riding on the extreme right edge of the road.

  • Be Visible:  Wear bright colored clothes during the day, reflective gear at night, and always ride with lights at night.

  • Be Predictable:  Ride in a straight, predictable manner, avoid unnecessary swerving and sudden stops. Look ahead to spot drains, potholes, or debris on the road, this will give you time to go around them safely.

  • Signal Your Turns:  Use proper hand signals ahead of time to alert other drivers where you are going. Look, signal and look back again when you turn or change lanes.

  • Wear a Helmet:  Helmets only work if worn correctly, make sure your helmet is level and not tilted up, down or to the side. The chin strap should be snug and properly buckled.



Turning Your Back on Traffic Safety: The Possible Consequences

A vehicle is not only a means of transportation; it can also be a dangerous weapon. The following are the most common types of traffic injuries:


  • Head Injuries:  These can range from contusions, brain lacerations to hemorrhage. As the brain injury is the #1 cause for mortality in accidents, a CT Scan is recommended to get a real assessment of the degree of injury.

  • Spinal Cord Injuries:  These can range from mild to severe cases that may result in disability.

  • Neck Injuries ranging from mild to severe

  • Chest and Airway Injuries

  • Lower Back Injuries

  • Abdominal and Pelvic Injuries

  • Spinal Prolapsed, Slipped or Herniated Discs

  • Shoulder and Arm Injuries

  • Seatbelt Injuries, which can include damage to the shoulder, stomach, chest, ribs, neck, hips.

  • Bone Fractures of all Types

  • Damage to the Heart and Heart Attacks.

What Can Happen in an Accident?

Each time that you’re behind the wheel, you put your life and others’ in your own hands. In order to drive home the urgency of traffic safety, the following is a detailed account of the most common traffic injuries per accident:

  • Frontal Collisions: On frontal collisions fracture/dislocation of the ankles, knee or hip dislocations and femoral fractures. Depending on the severity, head, cervical and spine injuries are common as well.

  • Lateral Collisions:  Compressive pelvic injuries, pulmonary contusion, intra-abdominal solid organ injury and diaphragmatic rupture are common.

  • Rear Collisions:  Cervical spinal injuries are common.

  • Cyclists & Motorcyclists:  Head injuries and fractures of the lower extremities.

  • Pedestrians: Depending on the type of impact bumper, windscreen or ground, the following may occur: lower limb injuries, which can include everything ranging from gashes to fractures, torso, head and spinal injuries.

Source: WorldWideWounds

Let us make a pledge to learn to coexist on our roads, respecting traffic safety laws and our fellow travelers.

Spread the Knowledge to Help Save Lives


Don’t Put Anyone at Risk! Practice Good Traffic Safety.

A traffic accident can range from minor to major injuries.  In many cases, the risk of a more serious injury to the brain or internal organs cannot be determined without having the correct medical equipment that will not be available at urgent care centers or clinics.  This is not the time to wait in line for hours or drive long distances to receive ER care.  Give yourself the best possibility to get well.  If you or someone you know are in a traffic accident 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.

children’s eye health and safety blog header Children’s Eye Health and Safety

Children’s Eye Health and Safety: Safeguard Your Child’s Eyesight

Children’s Eye Health and Safety: Warning Signs and Injury Prevention Tips

Now that our kiddos are back in school, they will be exposed to many new experiences.  It’s important to keep them safe during these years of exploration and formation to prevent potential injuries and health issues.  However, the subject of children’s eye and health safety usually does not get the importance that it deserves.  Most parents have a myriad of issues to worry about but do not think that their child could lose their eye sight.  Unfortunately, according to statistics, during the year 2015, a total of 61,739 children of school age up to 21 years old were reported to have sustained some type of vision loss by pertinent agencies including state departments of education.

Altus Emergency Centers is committed to educating our communities about children’s eye health in safety in order to recognize the warning signs of child vision loss and most importantly preventing it.


Know the Signs of Alert


Children’s Eye Health and Safety:
Warning Signs

Very few people have 20/20 vision.  Many must use eye glasses, contact lenses or get eye surgery to correct their vision impairment.  However, if you do not practice proper children’s eye health and safety, a moderate vision issue can become more severe over time if left untreated.  If your child frequently displays the following signs it could signify they have a vision problem.

  • Rubs eyes frequently – complains of itchy, scratchy, or burning eyes

  • Closes or covers one eye

  • Tilts or thrusts head forward

  • Has trouble reading or doing close-up work

  • After performing some close-up task has a headache, feels sick, nauseated, or dizzy

  • Squints eyes or frowns frequently

  • They frequently complain that they are having problems understanding what their teacher writes on the classroom board.


Most common eyesight problems in children


Our interest in Children’s Eye Health and Safety coincides with the start of the new school year.  If you haven’t already, we recommend you have your child’s eyes thoroughly examined by a professional.

Vision plays an important role in a child’s development, and studies have put in evidence that vision problems can affect a child’s mental, physical, social, and learning abilities, this means that early detection and correction are imperative to the well-being of a child.

Children’s Eye Health and Safety: The most common eye problems in children


Commonly known as lazy eye, it is the leading cause of decreased vision among children. The condition develops when nerve pathways between the brain and the eye aren’t properly stimulated during infancy. Treatment options may include eye patches, eye drops, eyeglasses, or contact lenses and in some cases surgery.


This condition is what we normally refer to as crossed eyes, a child with this condition will have eyes that do not line properly, there is no known cause for this condition but it is believed to be genetic. In most cases, strabismus can be corrected with the use of eyeglasses or surgery.

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors occur when the shape of the eye prevents light from focusing directly on the retina. There are different types of refractive errors the most common in children are:

  • Myopia or nearsightedness: With this condition, objects that are close can be seen clearly, while objects that are far will seem blurry.

  • Hyperopia or farsightedness: In this case objects that are a certain distance away can be viewed clearly, while objects that are close by will be blurry. However, people experience farsightedness differently, some patients especially younger ones, may not notice any problems with their vision, while others with severe hyperopia will have blurry vision regardless of distance.

  • Astigmatism: This condition prevents the eye from evenly focusing light on the retina which is the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. As a result, vision will be blurry and may seem stretched out.

All refractive errors in children can be treated with the use of prescription eyeglasses, or contact lenses.

Preventing Eye Injuries


A major part of Children’s Eye Health and Safety is injury prevention.  Aside from the conditions mentioned, one of the leading causes of child vision loss is injuries. Most injuries occur at home, in the car, school or while playing outside. Experts believe that more than 90% of eye injuries sustained by children could have been prevented by the use of protective eyewear.

Here are some ways you can prevent eye injuries in kids.

  • Children who play sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, hockey, tennis or even paintball, should wear protective eye gear made from polycarbonate lenses.

  • Keep sprays and chemicals out of reach from small children.

  • Kids doing yard work or helping with house repairs or projects should also wear protective eyewear.

  • Avoid purchasing projectile style toys such as darts, or missile-firing toys.

  • Only purchase toys which are marked “ASTM”, this means the toy complies with the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials

  • Prevent your children from playing with BB guns, non-powder rifles, pellet guns, rockets, or fireworks.

Step to Take if an Eye Injury Occurs


What should I do if my child sustains an eye injury?

The eye is a particularly delicate organ.  Should your child suffer an eye injury, you should immediately transport him or her to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment.

In addition, you should avoid doing the following:

  • Do not touch, rub, or apply pressure to the injured eye.

  • Do not attempt to remove any object that is currently stuck in the eye.

  • Do not apply any type of ointment or medication to the eye.

  • Cuts or puncture wounds should be gently covered, do not apply pressure.

  • In the event of a chemical exposure, rinse with water.

There is no need to call ahead of time when you are in route to our facilities, as there is minimal to no wait times at any of our ER centers.

Take Care of Yourself and Your Loved Ones.


Practice Good Children’s Eye Health and Safety!

This is a great opportunity to apply what you have learned about proper children’s eye health and safety and pay close attention to your child’s vision.

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. Don’t drive far distances to receive proper care! Visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center!

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

Find an Altus ER Near You.

Flood Recovery Safety Tips

Flood Recovery Safety Tips That Could Save Your Life

Flood Recovery Safety: Prevention & Treatment Tips

The devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has left thousands of displaced families who are just now returning to their homes to assess the extent of the damages.

Our hearts go out to those who, one way or another have been affected by this terrible natural disaster, and reiterate our commitment to safeguarding the health of the members of our communities.

Now that the flood waters have receded in most counties, and people are preparing to go back to their homes, we would like to share some important flood recovery safety tips for homeowners and volunteers.

Flood Recovery Safety Tips to Prevent Skin Injuries

Flood recovery safety is necessary to avoid potential cuts and scrapes that are common when re-entering damaged homes.  Most of occur when clearing debris or moving furniture and other household items.

Preventing Skin Injuries

  • Wear appropriate clothing, long pants, long sleeve t-shirts are recommended when possible.

  • Wear well-fitting closed footwear, rubber or construction boots are ideal if you don’t have these sneakers will work, avoid wearing sandals.

  • Wear protective gloves, waterproof gloves are best, but even rubber gloves will serve to protect your hands.

Treating Skin Injuries

  • Wash the wound with clean water and soap as soon as possible.

  • Remove any particles that might become lodged in the skin.

  • Keep the wound covered to avoid contamination. If you see swelling, redness or if your wound starts to ooze, seek medical attention.

  • If you are experiencing profuse bleeding, apply pressure to the wound area and drive to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for medical assistance.

  • A Tetanus booster shot may be in order.

Flood Recovery Safety to Avoid Orthopedic Injuries

With so much debris around, there is a high risk of trips, falls and stumbles which result in minor orthopedic injuries such as sprains and strains. However, in some cases, the injury may involve broken bones.  Often, the difference between a minor or a major orthopedic injury is unclear, please seek immediate medical attention.

Preventing Orthopedic Injuries

  • Use proper lifting techniques, lift with your knees, not with your back.

  • Assess the terrain in and around your home, before you step on wooden planks or other debris.  This way, you will make sure they are not loose and are sturdy enough to carry your weight.

  • If you have weak joints, wear appropriate knee, ankle, or wrist braces to support your joints.

Treating Orthopedic Injuries

  • If you twist, sprain, or strain some part of your body, put ice on the injury to avoid swelling.

  • If the joint has already started to swell, elevate it to prevent or slow down the swelling.

  • In the event of a strain, stretching exercises will help to alleviate the pain.

  • Ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen will ease the pain may ease the pain in minor injuries.

  • If you suspect that you have a fractured bone or you experience a severe pain, please rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment.


Power Tools and Flood Recovery Safety


During the flood recovery period, many will be repairing their homes which require the use of power tools.  Inappropriate use of home repair equipment may result in serious injuries.

Preventing Power Tool Injuries

  • Wear protective gear, goggles, gloves, headphones, etc.

  • Saws should be used on a firm surface that will not slip or fall while operating it.

  • Nail guns should be used with extreme caution.

Treating Power Tool Injuries

  • Deep cuts and puncture injuries will require immediate medical attention. If this occurs to you or someone around you, wrap the wound in a clean cloth and apply pressure to stop the bleeding while you seek help.

Do not Risk Electrocution During Flood Recovery

Anytime water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits there is a high risk of electrocution. Damp electrical panels and outlets are prone to short circuits that may cause fires or electrocute anyone who comes into contact with them.

Preventing Electrical Hazards and Injuries

  • Watch out for downed power lines around your home.  If there is one within your property, contact your power company to verify the power line has been de-energized.

  • Do not plug in any equipment to outlets who were submerged during the flood.

  • Disconnect the main power supply to your home before you start removing appliances.

  • If a fire breaks out in your home due to a short circuit, evacuate the home immediately and contact the fire department or call 911.

  • Practice wise flood recovery safety by never attempting to repair or clear a damaged power line or switch box. This should only be done by qualified technicians.

Treating Electrical Injuries

Cases of electrical shocks always need emergency medical attention, even if the person appears to be fine afterward.

  • If someone has been electrocuted, the first step is to separate them from the power source.  First, make sure you are standing on a dry surface.  Then, always use non-conductive objects such as a dry wooden plank, plastic broom handle, a non-metallic chair, etc.

  • Rush the patient to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for er medical attention.


Rodents, Snakes, Insects, and Other Animals and Flood Recovery Safety


During a flood, humans are not the only ones who are displaced, wild animals will seek shelter wherever they can, and some may have taken refuge in your home or surrounding areas.

Preventing Injuries from Animal Attacks

  • Wear heavy leather gloves when clearing debris, snakes, and rodents may be living under it.

  • Always wear insect repellents that contain DEET or Picaridin.  It is vital to use insect repellent after a flood as there will be a proliferation of insects such as mites, ticks, and mosquitos, some of which spread dangerous viruses and diseases.

  • Wear long pants, socks, and long-sleeved shirts.

  • Wear boots that are at least 10 inches high

  • Avoid contact with live or dead wildlife, and wash your hands regularly.

Treating Snake and Insect Bites

  • Insect bites can be treated with over-the-counter medications that relieve pain and prevent infections.

  • Beware of fire ant colonies.  Their bites are extremely painful and can cause blisters or severe allergic reactions that include chest pain, nausea, trouble speaking, loss of breath and extreme swelling.  Should you or anyone around you experience any of these symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention.

  • If bitten by a snake, keep calm and still to slow the spread of the venom and rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center to receive treatment. If possible take a picture of the snake so our doctors can apply the appropriate antidote.

Air Quality Hazards and Flood Recovery Safety

After a flood, the spread of mold is a factor that worries many, especially those who suffer from respiratory problems.

Preventing Air Quality Hazards

  • Always work in well-ventilated spaces.

  • Mold can develop within 24-48 hours of a flood.  You can control its growth by cleaning surfaces with a non-ammonia detergent or pine oil cleaner and disinfect with a 10% bleach solution. Caution: Never mix ammonia and bleach as the resulting fumes are highly toxic.

  • Never use power generators or water pumps inside as they release deadly carbon monoxide.

Treating Breathing problems

  • Mold can cause allergies and other respiratory problems, if you have been exposed to black mold, seek medical assistance.

  • If you suspect there has been a carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 or rush to nearest Altus Emergency room.


Heat Injury Safety During Flood Recovery


Both heat stroke and heat exhaustion must be considered in flood recovery safety as they are real concerns.

Preventing Heat Injuries

  • Drink plenty of clean water.

  • Avoid being in direct sunlight between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm if possible.

  • Wear sunscreen.

  • Wear sunglasses.

Treating Heat Injuries

  • Take the individual to a cool place out of the sun and provide them with plenty of drinking water.

  • Replenish fluids with hydrating beverages rich in electrolytes such as Gatorade and similar sports drinks.

  • If the person becomes seriously disoriented or experiences a swelling of the tongue or difficulty speaking, rush them to the ER right away.

Water Contamination, Chemical and Biological Hazards During Flood Recovery

Water Contamination

Contaminated water can cause diarrhea, rashes, and host of other unpleasant symptoms.

Preventing Water Contamination Symptoms

  • If the water supply in your area has been contaminated, do not drink from it.

  • Avoid getting contaminated water in your eyes or open wounds.

  • Throw away any food that has been into contact with flood water.

  • Do not let children play in flood water puddles.

Treating Contaminated Water Symptoms

  • In the case of diarrhea, keep hydrated and take over the counter medication. If these do not stop the episode then seek medical attention.  Cases that involve small children and the elderly are particularly sensitive.  Please seek immediate emergency medical attention if your baby or toddler experiences diarrhea and/or vomiting accompanied by a fever.

  • If allergic skin reactions occur such as rash, it is best to have a doctor examine it.

  • Open wounds that have come in contact with contaminated waters should be seen a doctor as they could become infected by bacteria.


Chemical and Biological Hazards

There have been serious reports of chemical and biological spills in some areas, encountering these through flood waters, or inhaling toxic gases can prove fatal.

If you suspect you may have been exposed to any chemicals or biological hazards, get to the nearest Emergency Center right away.

Together We Will Heal From Hurricane Harvey

Stay Safe, Stay Together and Stay Strong Texas!

By heeding flood recovery safety tips you help prevent an additional tragedy from occurring.  Thank you for inspiring us with so many amazing people who have reached out to their fellow Texan during Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath.  This is a clear reflection of the big hearts that live in our great state of Texas.  Thank you to all of the first responders and volunteers that have pitched in to help.  Together, we will rebuild a bigger, better Texas!

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. Don’t drive far distances to receive proper care! Visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center!

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

Find an Altus ER Near You.

National Safe at Home Week

Top Home Safety Tips for National Safe at Home Week

Avoiding Unintentional Home Injuries

National Safe at Home Week, celebrated from August 22 through 26th is a great time to prevent potential accidents at home.  According to the latest statistics from the Home Safety Council, every year some 18,000 people in the United States lose their lives due to injuries sustained at home. In addition, there are some 21 million yearly doctor and emergency center visits to treat home accident victims.

Sadly, most of these accidents that result in death or severe injury are preventable. Both the medical and administrative staff of Altus Emergency Centers have seen firsthand how devastating these incidents can be for families. 

We celebrate National Safe at Home Week, by sharing with you some important precautions that can be very easily implemented to safeguard your family.



A Recipie for Safety


National Safe at Home Week:
Kitchen Safety Tips

  • Do not leave children unattended in the kitchen even if it’s for a few minutes especially if you are cooking.

  • Keep flammable objects away from open flame appliances as gas stoves and ovens, as well as other heat sources like toasters, electric cooktops, portable heaters, etc.

  • Use cleaning solutions with extreme care, make sure to wipe surfaces well to avoid accidental poisoning, and when cleaning ovens or stovetops make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the room.

  • Properly store harmful products such as cleaners and keep them out of reach of children and pets.

  • Never leave sharp kitchen utensils like knives, and scissors unattended, and make sure to put them back where they belong once you are done using them.

  • Leave plenty of space between appliances to allow proper ventilation and minimize the risk of them overheating.

  • Electrical cords should be kept away from heat sources.

Rub a Dub, Dub Safety


National Safe at Home Week:
Bathroom Safety Tips

  • Keep the bathroom as clean as possible, mold can cause severe respiratory distress.

  • Hair dryers, curlers, and irons as well as electric razors should be kept and or used at a safe distance from water.

  • Use non-slip bathroom rugs and mats to avoid slipping.

  • Keep shampoos, soaps, creams, and perfumes out of reach of children.


The Banana Peel Trick is Not a Laughing Matter


National Safe at Home Week:
Staircase and Floor Safety Tips

Falls are the leading cause of home injury deaths claiming an average of 6,000 lives every year. Young children and adults over the age of 65 are especially vulnerable to falls in the home.

  • Keep floors clean, free of obstacles and dry, especially on high traffic areas and stairs.

  • Install stable and sturdy railing on all staircases in your home, including those on your deck and front porch.

  • Distance between spindles on your staircase should be narrow enough to prevent children and pets from accidentally falling through, the rule of thumb on this is 4 inches or less between spindles.

  • Every room in the house should be properly lit to ensure complete visibility.

Keep Your Garage Clean and Safe


National Safe at Home Week:
Garage Safety Tips

  • Ensure your garage is properly ventilated to prevent accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Keep all chemicals like paint thinner, gasoline, heady duty cleansers and others locked in a secure place out of reach of children and pets.

  • Do not leave tools outside, as they could easily fall and injure someone, especially children.

  • Keep sharp gardening tools and power tools stored in a cabinet away from kids.

Say YES! to a Safe Yard


National Safe at Home Week:
Yard Safety Tips

  • Fences should be kept in good condition, to avoid children and pets wandering outside the yard and to keep intruders out.

  • Pools should be fenced and locked to prevent children from entering it unsupervised.

  • Never leave gardening tools unattended especially sharp ones.

  • Weed killer, fertilizer, insecticide, and other potentially poisonous substances should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.

  • Keep the grill a safe distance from any flammable surface including tree branches, decks, curtains, and outdoor furniture.

Take Care of Yourself and Your Loved Ones.


Happy Safe at Home Week!

This is a great opportunity to sit down with your family and discuss home safety tips in order to reduce the risk of accidents down the road.  Teach your kids to remain calm and what to do in event of an emergency. Finally, keep a list of important phone numbers handy for all members of the family, include the local police, emergency, a trusted neighbor, and the number and address of your nearest Altus Emergency Center.

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. Don’t drive far distances to receive proper care! Visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center!

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

Find an Altus ER Near You.

Get Ready for Kindergarten Month

Time to Get Ready for Kindergarten! Preparing for Your Child’s First Academic Milestone

August is Get Ready for Kindergarten Month

This is an emotional time in the life of parents and kids alike, the first day of kindergarten can be stressful and scary, but, it doesn’t have to be.  It’s not too late to make sure that you and your child are ready for kindergarten.  Let the adventure begin!

Altus Emergency Centers strongly supports every child’s right to an education, and we believe every kid has the potential to change the world for the better, which is why we have put together a list of school safety tips, to ensure your child is well equipped and ready for kindergarten.  Let’s make sure that their first step in their academic career is both fun and safe.


A Safe Ride to School


Getting Ready for Kindergarten Transportation

Depending on how far you live from your child’s school they could be traveling by bus, car, or walking. Here are some important safety tips to teach your child to make sure that they arrive back home safe and sound.

On the Bus

Riding the bus to school provides kids with a level of independence previously unknown to them and this can be both scary and confusing for first time riders. Make sure you get them ready for kindergarten transportation by the following:

  • Introduce your child to the bus driver and give them a little tour of the bus, so they become familiarized.

  • Teach your child not to step onto the street while waiting for the bus.

  • Children should use the bus’s handrail to get on and off the bus.

  • If your child needs to cross a street to get home, teach them they should wait for the bus driver to signal them it is safe to do so.

  • Instruct your child to stay seated during the entire bus ride.

Walking to School

Ready for a kindergartener walking to school?  Not only is it important to not allow your child to walk to school unaccompanied, it’s important to consider the following:

  • If you cannot walk to school with your child every day, make sure you have practiced the route with them at least for a couple of weeks before you let them go accompanied with a responsible older child or adult.

  • It is advisable that young students travel in groups preferably accompanied by older students such as siblings or neighbors.

  • Instruct your kids to stick to the route you practiced with them, they should avoid detours or shortcuts.

  • Tell them not to play around when they are walking to or from school, they should not push, shove when they are close to the street.

  • Dress your child in brightly colored or reflective clothing.

  • Teach them how to safely cross a street and to respect traffic signals.

Eating and Snacking Safely at School


Ready for Kindergarten Snack Time!

Another very important factor to ensure that your child is ready for kindergarten is food safety.  All parents worry about what their children are eating when they are not around, but, this concern is greater for parents of children with severe food allergies that could endanger the child’s life.

Most common food allergies in children include: peanuts and other nuts, dairy products, gluten, eggs, and soy.

If your child has food allergies, these are some tips on how to reduce of risk of exposure to the allergen:

  • Inform your child’s teacher and the school’s administrative staff of your kid’s condition and provide the school nurse with emergency treatment such as an EpiPen.

  • It is a good idea to have your child wear a medical ID bracelet.

  • Provide the school with your contact information and instructions to take your child to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment in case of an allergic reaction.

  • Although its a common practice to share snacks in kindergarten, it’s important to instruct your child to not try other foods in cases that they have very bad food allergies.  It is a good idea to provide the teachers with safe snacks for your child, to help steer them away from the temptation of trying unsuitable snacks.

Playground Safety


Recess will probably be the most fun part of your kindergartner’s day, but, as fun as the playground can be, it’s also where most injuries happen. During the get ready for kindergarten month, it’s especially important to learn about the risks of injuries and how to prevent them.

According to the CDC:

More than 200,000 children under the age of 14 need emergency care treatment for playground related injuries. Of these, children between the ages of 5 and 9 have higher rates of Emergency Center visits than any other age group, and most of their injuries happened on the school playground.

To minimize the risk of injury, we suggest:

  • You teach your kids to know their physical limitations, most injuries sustained by kindergarteners are from falls from swings, monkey bars, and other climbing activities.

  • Kids should only use playground equipment that is suitable to their age, they should avoid playing with older students who might cause unintentional harm to your child.

  • Demand that school officials provide a safe play environment for children, one where the playground equipment is in good working condition and free of obstructions such as tree stumps and rocks that might cause a child to fall.

The overall emergency center visits for playground related injuries especially traumatic brain injuries such as concussions has significantly increased in recent years. Please make sure the school’s administrative staff has your emergency contact information as well as instructions to how to get to them to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.


Take Care of Yourself and Your Loved Ones.


We Wish All Parents and Children a Safe and Fun Time Learning!

We wish all parents and children a wonderful school year filled with many great accomplishments.

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. Don’t drive far distances to receive proper care! Visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center!

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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