Pediatrics Archives - Altus Emergency Centers

Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

In Texas we strive to be number one in everything we do, although this is usually a good thing, there are some instances where it is not. In fact, there is one thing we should try to be last in, and that is infant car heatstroke deaths.

Sadly, in the state of Texas, more kids die in hot cars than in any other state in the country according to noheatstroke.org.

The most recent tragedy stroked close to home and our hearts, as a 9-month-old baby girl died this week in Baytown; our prayers go out to the family and to the members of the community we lovingly serve.

The hardest thing to accept about this is that all these deaths were preventable. We are not trying to place blame on anyone, even the best of parents and caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping child inside a car, causing injuries or death.

What we would like to do, is provide parents and caregivers with facts and tips to help avoid these unfortunate accidents. This week we celebrate National Sun Safety Week, but instead of posting tips to enjoy your time in the sun safely, we would like to dedicate this article to preventing car heatstroke accidents so that all families can enjoy the summer months.

Did You Know?

  • – Car interiors heat up faster than we think, with temperatures reaching 125°F in minutes.
  • 80% of the increase in temperature happens in the first 10 minutes
  • – Cracking the windows does NOT help slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature
  • – It doesn’t have to be scorching hot outside for a child to be in danger inside a vehicle, there have been fatal cases of car heatstroke in temperatures as low as 60°F.
  • A child’s body overheats 3-5 times faster than an adult body.

What is a Heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a medical emergency condition that can be fatal if it is not promptly and adequately treated. Heatstroke occurs when there is an increase in body temperature, and dehydration often accompanies it.

Symptoms

  • – Body temperature above 104°F and red, hot, dry skin
  • –  There is sign of sweating
  • – A throbbing headache
  • – Rapid, strong pulse
  • – Nausea or vomiting
  • – Confusion
  • – Agitation
  • – Loss of consciousness

Safety Tips

According to statistics, more than 55% of car heatstroke cases happen when parents or caregivers unknowingly leave a child in the car. Although parents think this is something that will never happen to them, everyday stresses and unexpected changes in routine can cause a loving parent to forget their child is asleep in the backseat.

 

Follow these safety tips to ensure your child is never left alone in a car:

  • – Train yourself to open the back door of your vehicle whenever you exit it to make sure no one is there, an excellent way to do this is to leave something in the back seat, your purse, your phone, or laptop.
  • – Keep one of your kid’s toys in their car seat and move it to the front of the car to remind yourself your child is with you.
  • – Ask your child’s daycare or school to contact you whenever your child does not arrive on time.

Tips to prevent children from entering cars without you knowing:

  • – Always keep your vehicles locked, even when they are in your driveway or garage.
  • – Don’t leave your keys within reach of children.
  • – If you can’t find your child, check the interior of every car nearby, they may have gone in to play or take a nap.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

At Altus Emergency Centers, we care about your child’s safety and well-being, being vigilant and extra cautious can save your child from dying from heatstroke. Please keep in mind that all of our Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7, with no lines.

If you are ever in need of emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

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, 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.

How to Control Asthma

Bring Asthma Under Control

We are in peak season for asthma sufferers, so we thought this was the perfect time to educate and raise awareness of this chronic and potentially life-threatening illness which affects over 1.5 million Texans according to the CDC.

The sad reality is there is no cure for asthma, but, not everything is bad news, people can lead normal happy lives and many deaths are preventable with proper treatment and care. Read on for tips on how to control asthma and improve your quality of life.

What is Asthma? 

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. Asthma is a chronic illness, it means you always have it, however, there are asthma attack triggers, that can cause the symptoms to worsen.  Getting to know the triggers is the first step to control asthma whether it’s for you or a loved one.

 

What Causes an Asthma Attack?

The exact cause of the illness has not been discovered yet, but, it is known that the airways of people who have asthma are very sensitive and tend to overreact to substances you are allergic to or find irritating.

When this happens, the airways get swollen and narrower making it hard to breathe, when the symptoms become worse than usual, this is known as an asthma attack. In severe cases, the airways can close so much that vital organs don’t get enough oxygen, and this is when the disease can be life-threatening.

The good thing is you can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack, staying away from known triggers, and following your doctor’s advice.

Common Asthma Triggers

People react to different allergens, but in general, these are the most common asthma triggers:

  • – Air Pollution: Air quality has a significant impact on the quality of life of people with asthma, industrial and automobile emissions are known triggers.
  • – Mold: Inhaling or breathing in mold can cause an asthma attack, and certain types of mold can cause other respiratory problems.
  • – Tobacco Smoke: Being around people who smoke can cause an asthma attack from breathing second-hand smoke.
  • – Cockroach Allergen: We know, gross! But it has been proven that cockroaches and their droppings are responsible for asthma attacks in many instances.
  • – Dust Mites: Dust mites are present in almost every home, but they don’t present a danger to all, however, if you or a loved one suffers from asthma you should know that dust mites can trigger an attack.

Ways to Control Asthma

We don’t lose hope that someday scientists will find a cure for asthma, but until then the best way to improve your quality of life is by keeping it under control.

 

#1 Learn which Medicines Work Best

This is a trial and error method that you and your doctor need to work together on, there are different types of asthma medications and for some patients, one medication will be enough to control their symptoms, others might need a combination of medications.

 

#2 Take Your Asthma Controller Medicines as Prescribed

Controller medicines are those designed to make your airways less sensitive to asthma triggers, they help prevent asthma attacks or make them less severe when they do occur. The one drawback of these medications is that it may take 2-3 weeks for them to start working, so you need to take them every day even if you are feeling fine.

 

#3 Always Have a Rescue Inhaler with You

Having these small, easy to use portable devices are designed to help you breathe better quickly. For this reason, you should always carry one with you in case you experience an asthma episode.

#4 Learn to Recognize Your Early Warning Signs

If there is one good thing about this illness, its that it gives you clues as to when you are about to get an attack, these symptoms include:

  • – A Headache
  • – Itchy Throat
  • – Itchy Eyes
  • – A Runny Nose
  • – Chest Tightness
  • – Anxiety

#5 Know Your Triggers

Preventing your triggers is vital to control asthma.  Speak to your doctor to help you recognize your asthma triggers, once you know what can cause an asthma attack, you can work towards staying clear of these.

 

#6 Create an Asthma Action Plan

You should never ignore your asthma symptoms; many deaths are caused by patients who think their symptoms are not severe enough to go to the ER for treatment.

Our last recommendation to control asthma is to create an asthma action plan with your doctor.  This plan should help you determine when to use your rescue inhaler, when to call your doctor and when to come in to visit one of our Altus Emergency centers for treatment.

#7 Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Even if you do everything to control your asthma symptoms, a severe attack can still happen at any time, for this reason, all of Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7 and our staff is available to treat your symptoms and get you breathing normally again.

If you are ever in need of emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

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, 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.

BBQ Safety Tips, Grill Safely!

May is National BBQ Month

For most Texans, there is no such thing as a “BBQ season” as we grill year-round.  Still, we can’t deny that this time of year is the best to enjoy some good old fashion family barbecues, and because of this, it should come as no surprise that May is National BBQ Month.

BBQ Safety Tips

Before you go all out and put that nice brisket on the grill to simmer and slow cook for hours, make sure you are taking all the precautions to keep your loved ones, yourself, and your home, safe!

Before you start your BBQ feast, take the time to browse our BBQ Safety Tips.

Grilling is an Outdoor Activity

Our first BBQ Safety Tip is too keep it outdoors.  Aside from the fun of being outdoors on a warm sunny day and not having your home smell like a smokehouse, there are some important reasons why you should never fire up your charcoal or propane gas grill indoors:

  • – You risk something catching fire
  • – You and your loved ones could be affected by smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide

Check Your Grill Before You Use It

Our second BBQ Safety Tip is to make sure that everything is in proper working order before you get the fun started.

  • – Make sure your grill is clean, remove all grease and fat buildup from the grills and catch pans.
  • – Ensure sure all gas connection points on your propane grill are tight and installed correctly before you turn it on.
  • – Check for leaks by applying a little soap and water to the hose, if there are no bubbles your grill is safe to use, if however, you see bubbles, turn off the gas tank and tighten the connections, if the bubbles continue you should have it serviced, if however, the leak continues even after you have turned off the gas tank, back away and call the fire department immediately.

Separate Meats, Veggies, and Other Foods

BBQ Safety Tip #3 is to separate, don’t contaminate.  When you go shopping keep these tips in mind:

  • – Buy non-perishable foods first
  • – Beef, Pork, Poultry, and Fish should be purchased last
  • – Keep meat items separate from other foods to avoid cross-contamination

Refrigeration is Key

“Don’t be a spoiler”, is BBQ Safety Tip #4.  Regardless of whether you are grilling at home or at a park, food needs to be kept at the right temperature, so it won’t spoil.

  • – Raw Meats, produce, and dairy products need to be stored at temperatures below 41°F to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • – If you are transporting the food do so in an insulated cooler with a temperature below 40°F.

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Our forth BBQ Safety Tip is, “Don’t be mean and keep it clean!”  Starting from your prep station all the way to your grill, things should be kept clean.

  • – Wash your hands before and after handling raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
  • – Wash all surfaces and utensils before and after cooking
  • – Use clean utensils and plates when removing cooked items from the grill
  • – Don’t reuse marinades or sauces that have touched raw meat juices

Cook Your Meat Properly

It’s showtime!  Our BBQ Safety Tip #5 is a cooking temperature guide. Meat, fish, and poultry need to reach a minimum internal temperature to ensure harmful bacteria are killed. The following chart will show what temperatures are needed for each meat type:

  • 145°F for all cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (stand-time of 3 minutes at this temperature)
  • 145°F for seafood
  • 160°F for hamburgers or other ground meats
  • 165°F for all types of poultry and pre-cooked meats like hotdogs
  • Keep meat at a temperature of 140°F until served.

Storing Leftovers

Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours of having been cooked. On hot days you have a maximum of 1 hour to store your leftovers.  Our final BBQ safety tip is to avoid from eating leftovers that are too old label them and include the date.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Remember to heed our BBQ Safety Tips to stay safe and don’t overdo it with food or alcoholic beverages!
We hope you have a lovely time grilling safely from all of us here at Altus Emergency Centers.  If you are ever in need of emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

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, 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.

The Most Common Food Allergies

Food Allergies

When we think about food allergies, we tend to limit them to peanuts, shellfish, and gluten, however, there is a long list of food allergy triggers, and because symptoms tend to mild in most cases you may not know you are experiencing an allergic reaction.

Food allergies are a lot more common than we think, this condition affects some 15 million Americans especially children, according to statistics 1 in every 13 kids in America has a food allergy, and every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room.

As part of Altus Emergency Center’s educational efforts during Food Allergy Action Month, we have compiled a list of the most common food allergies and their symptoms, to help you recognize this potentially deadly condition.

What are Food Allergies

Like other allergic reactions, food allergies are an abnormal immune response; they happen when the immune system wrongfully identify certain proteins found in food as harmful.

The severity of the allergic reaction ranges from mild symptoms to life-threatening ones, and it can be triggered even by very small amounts of the problem food.

In most instances, the symptoms of an allergic reaction happen a few minutes after exposure, but they can also manifest a few hours later, the most common allergic reaction symptoms include:

 

  • – Swelling of tongue, mouth, or face
  • – Itchy rash
  • – Hives
  • – Difficulty breathing
  • – Low blood pressure
  • – Nausea and vomiting
  • – Diarrhea

Most Common Food Allergies

Because symptoms can manifest hours after the exposure, sometimes the cause of the allergic reaction is not easily recognized, and if the symptoms are mild most people may ignore them.

The following list includes the most common food allergies, however, there are many more triggers, if you suspect you may have a food allergy, schedule an appointment with a specialist to determine which foods are harmful to you.

 

Peanut Allergy

Peanuts are one of the food allergens most commonly associated with anaphylaxis, a sudden and potentially deadly condition that requires immediate emergency medical treatment.

Allergic reactions to peanuts are one of the most common and deadly food allergies, it affects 1 in every 500 individuals and is responsible for more than half of all deaths from food-related allergic reactions.

Symptoms

  • – Itchy skin or hives that can show in small spots or large welts
  • – Itchy or tingling sensation in the mouth or throat
  • – Nausea
  • – Runny or congested nose
  • – Anaphylaxis

Shellfish Allergy

Shellfish is the most common and most dangerous food allergens, it is responsible for most of the food allergy related ER visits.

Symptoms

– Stomach cramps

– Indigestion

– Vomiting

– Diarrhea

– Hives all over the body

– Shortness of breath and wheezing

– A repetitive cough

– Tight, hoarse throat and trouble swallowing

– Swelling of the tongue and or lips

–  Weak pulse

–  Pale or bluish skin color

– Dizziness and confusion

 

Corn Allergy

This is a tricky one to recognize since corn and corn by-products are widely used in processed foods, and to make matters worse, it is also difficult to diagnose through standard skin or blood tests, this means that in many cases your doctor may recommend eliminating corn products from your diet to see if your symptoms improve.

Symptoms include

– Hives and Skin Rash

– Stomach cramps, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, or diarrhea

– Stuffy or runny nose

– Headaches

– Asthma

– Anaphylaxis in severe cases

Egg Allergy

This type of allergy affects about 2% of children in the United States, the good news is that studies have shown that 70% of these children outgrow the condition by age 16.

Symptoms

-Skin rash or hives

-Respiratory problems

-Stomachache

-And in very rare cases anaphylaxis

 

Fish Allergy

Unlike most food allergies which develop since childhood, the majority of people who suffer from fish allergies report experiencing them for the first time as adults.

Being allergic to fish does not necessarily mean you are also allergic to shellfish.

Symptoms

– Hives or skin rash

– Stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting and or diarrhea

– A stuffy or runny nose, and or sneezing

-Headaches

– Asthma

– Anaphylaxis

Cow Milk Allergy

Between 2% and 3% of children under the age of 3 are allergic to cow’s milk, around 80% of them will outgrow the condition by age 16 though.

Symptoms

– Hives

– Stomach upset

– Vomiting

– Bloody stools especially in infants

 

Tree Nut Allergy

Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pine nuts are all tree nuts, and along with peanuts and shellfish, they are the most common allergens linked to anaphylaxis.

Symptoms

– Difficulty Swallowing

– Itching and or swelling of the mouth, eyes, and throat

– Abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, and vomiting

– Nasal congestion

– Shortness of breath

– Anaphylaxis

When to Visit Our Emergency Centers

For most people food allergy symptoms are mild and can easily be treated with an antihistamine, however, if you or someone you know experiences, shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue or throat, weak pulse, drop in blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, or their skin turns pale or a blueish tone, rush them to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.

We recommend you download the anaphylaxis emergency action plan and have your doctor fill it out, carry this with you at all times, it will help our doctors save your life.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Food allergies are both serious and can be life-threatening.  For this reason, by being aware of the symptoms of a possible allergic reaction, you can help save a life.  It may be your own. If you observe any possible symptoms of a food allergic reaction, please keep in mind that you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

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, 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.

Why Kids End up in the ER

Common Reasons Why Kids End Up in the ER

More than 25 million children under the age of 18, visit an emergency room for treatment every year.  The fact that the number of underage patients has been growing steadily makes it vital for parents be aware of the most common reasons why kids end up in the ER and their prevention tips.

One of the biggest challenges for our staff at Altus Emergency Centers is to tend to an injured or sick child as quickly as possible.  It is heartbreaking to see a child in distress, for this reason, we have compiled a list of the most common reasons why kids end up in our ER and offer some helpful advice for parents and caregivers.

how to prevent your child from an emergency

Fevers

The first on our list of reasons why kids end up in the ER is the fever.  While not an actual illness it is an underlying symptom of infection, most fevers are mild and can be treated at home with an over the counter fever reducer medicine. However, if your child has a fever of 104°F or higher or if the fever persists even after administering medication, then you should bring your child to one of our emergency centers for evaluation and treatment.

If you have a baby under 3 months and they have a rectal temperature above 100.4, rush to the nearest Altus ER Center.

Tip: Closely monitor your child’s temperature, if it continues to rise or if you are unable to lower it with over the counter medications, you need to see a doctor. If your doctor’s office is closed keep in mind that we’re Open 24/7 at Altus Emergency Centers.

fevers common reason for a visit to the ER

Breathing Problems

All year long, for one reason or another, many kids end up in the ER due to breathing problems.  This is of special concern with the usual flu epidemics and Texas Spring pollen allergy outbreaks.  Children are especially vulnerable to suffer complications from the flu, and if your child suffers from asthma then they are at a higher risk.

Breathing problems can be caused by a range of conditions, including pneumonia, whooping cough, allergies or as we mentioned asthma.

Signs of a breathing emergency in children include:

  • – Rapid breathing
  • – Barking cough
  • – Trouble breathing even without physical exertion
  • – Severe wheezing or squeaking sound when breathing
  • – Chest and abdomen going up and down at different paces

Tip:  If your child shows any of the above symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.  At Altus Emergency, we’re Open 24/7, No Lines.

Breathing problems are a common reason for a visit to the ER

Injuries & Traumas

Kids are unruly and love to run around without regard for their personal safety.  Due to the little daredevil spirit in most, there will be times when even the most vigilant parents won’t be able to prevent a fall.  For this reason, injuries and traumas are common reasons why kids end up in the ER.

The most common injuries and trauma treated at Altus Emergency Centers are:

  • – Sprains and Strains
  • – Broken Bones
  • – Cuts and scrapes
  • – Concussions
  • – Burns

Tip: You don’t want to prevent your child from playing or practicing a sport, but you should make sure they:

  • – Have all the appropriate gear,
  • – Make them wear a helmet when riding their bikes,
  • – Don’t let them climb onto unsafe structures,
  • – Don’t allow them to play with sharp edge toys,
  • – Never let them play in the kitchen while you are cooking.
Injuries and trauma are a common reason for a visit to the ER

Stomach Bugs

School-aged children are exposed to many viruses during a year, but stomach bugs that provoke nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are especially concerning as they can lead to dehydration.

Sometimes the vomiting and diarrhea are not caused by the stomach flu, but, by food poisoning, or an infection such as gastroenteritis.  While the tummy ache is usually treated at home, keep an eye open as some “stomach bugs” may be a sign of some more serious condition.

Tip: You should head to the nearest emergency center if your child shows any of the following symptoms:

  • – Severe, prolonged, or abrupt abdominal pain,
  • – Pain that radiates to the back,
  • – If the abdomen is tender to the touch.
stomach bugs are a common reason for a visit to the ER

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Keeping children safe is a priority for every parent and one that is shared by the pediatric emergency staff of all our Altus Emergency Centers, if your child shows any alarming symptoms do not hesitate to bring them in for an evaluation.

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, 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.

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.

The-Flu-is-Here-but-So-Are-We-Altus-Emergency-Centers-Texas-Surviving-the-Flu-Epidemic

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.

Children-Under-5-are-High-Risk-Altus-Emergency-Centers-Texas-Surviving-the-Flu-Epidemic

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

Signs-of-Alert-Altus-Emergency-Centers-Texas-Surviving-the-Flu-Epidemic

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

Find-an-ER-Near-Me-Altus-Emergency-Centers-Texas-Surviving-the-Flu-Epidemic

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.

Fun Handwashing Tips for Kids

Fun Handwashing Tips for Kids

Tricks to Show Your Kids How to Wash Their Hands Correctly

This is the final day of National Handwashing Awareness Week. For adults who don’t spend a lot of time with children, this celebration might seem a little unnecessary, but to parents who are constantly trying to get their kids to wash their hands before eating, after going to the restroom and when they come inside from playing, this is an extremely important event.

As always, we at Altus ER have some effective tricks up our sleeve to help you parents instill good hygiene habits onto your kids, handwashing can seem a boring chore for kids, but we are here to help you make it less of a chore and more of a fun activity.

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Why Should You Teach Your Kids Proper Handwashing Techniques?

Proper handwashing is the best way to prevent children from becoming sick and spreading germs. Teaching your kids to wash their hands with soap and water will help prevent them from contracting the following illnesses:

  • The common cold and flu virus

  • Hepatitis A

  • Meningitis

  • Bronchiolitis

  • And many types of diarrhea

What is the proper way to wash your hands?

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Are your Hands Really Clean?

A study conducted by researchers at the Michigan State University in 2013, revealed that an alarming 95% of people do not properly wash their hands.

The CDC’s guidelines for washing hands include the following steps:

  • Wet your hands with water (temperature does not matter).

  • Lather your hands with soap, make sure you apply soap to the back of your hands as well.

  • Scrub your hands for 20 seconds or more, make sure to scrub the back of your hands, wrists, in between fingers and under the fingernails.

  • Rinse with plenty of water.

  • Dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel or air dryer.

Fun Ways to Get Your Child to Wash Their Hands

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Sing a Song

The CDC recommends you sing happy birthday twice when you are scrubbing your hands to ensure you do it for at least 20 seconds, it’s probably not the best song to have your kids sing every day as they might expect a birthday present and cake.

You can create your own song about washing hands, or you can use a popular one that is sung to the tune of “Row your Boat” it goes like this: “wash, wash, wash your hands, wash them nice and clean. Scrub the fronts and scrub the backs and scrub the in-between” You will need to sing this at least twice.

Buy Fun Soaps

Kids love to play, so why not let them play with soap? Buying fun shape soap bars or liquid soap that have their favorite characters on the label is a good way to get kids to want to wash their hands.

Get Creative

Here are some more fun and creative ideas to get your kids to want to wash their hands:

  • Mix some glitter with water in a spray bottle, spray their hands with this mixture then have them wash it off, if you have more than one kid turn it into a friendly competition to see who can get the glitter off first.

  • Teach your kids how to blow soap bubbles, have them later and scrub their hands properly and then show them how they can make a circle with their thumb and forefinger and blow bubbles.

  • Buy them a water safe toy and have them give it a proper wash.

  • Make a game where you task your kids to get rid of pesky germs by scrubbing their hands, make funny noises and in the end, say bye, bye germs.

When Should You Pay Altus Emergency Centers a Visit?

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Teaching your children to properly wash their hands is something that will safeguard them for life, however, regardless of how careful you are with their hygiene, there will be times when they will get sick, and that is when Altus Emergency Centers will be there to take care of your little ones.

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.

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

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  • 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.

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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.

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.

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A Safe Ride to School

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

Better Ways to Clean Children’s Ears – Emergency Medical Services for Children Day 2017

ALTUS SAFETY TIPS:
Better Ways to Clean Children's Ears

We’ve All Heard About the Dangers of Cotton Swabs.  What are Better Ways to Clean Children’s Ears?

Over the years there has been a lot of debate centered around what are better ways to clean children’s ears.   In honor of Emergency Medical Services for Children Day 2017 (EMSC), we think it is vital to shed light on this subject.  Despite the amount of information available these days, most parents still do not know that a human’s ear canal is designed to be self-cleaning.

The ear canal is lined by skin that slowly moves out of the canal pushing the wax out towards the pinna or outer ear where it will become dry and flaky and eventually fall out on its own.

Having self-cleaning ear canals is great, but as every parent knows, children have an uncanny ability to get dirt and small objects into tiny orifices, so, these must be checked and cleaned regularly. If when inspecting your child, you find that they have inserted a foreign object into their ear canal, it is crucial that you do not attempt to remove it on your own, as you may cause serious damage to your child, instead head out to the nearest Altus Emergency Center to have one of our expert ER doctors and nurses safely remove the object.  Below we list five better ways to clean children’s ears.

There Are Better Ways to Clean Children's Ears

Time to Move Away from the Cotton Swab Tradition and say, “Hello” to Altus Safety Tips!

Pediatricians have been warning parents about the hazards of using cotton swabs to clean a child’s ear for some time now, which prompts the question of which are the best ways to clean children’s ears on a routine basis.  We want to keep them safe!

The following are Five Alternative Ways to clean your child’s ears:

  • #1 Wash Cloth: Since only the outer ear needs to be cleaned, the safest way to do it is with the use of a soft wash cloth. This is best done after a bath or shower as the moisture will soften the wax and any dirt that may have lodged itself in the outer ear. Be gentle and never insert your finger or other object into the ear canal.

  • #2 Mineral Oil: If you suspect your child’s ear wax has hardened or that they may have a buildup, you can use a few drops of mineral oil or olive oil. The oil should be the warmed up to skin temperature, have your child lie on their side and use a dropper to apply the oil to affected ear. After a few minutes, have your child sit up and let the oil and buildup wax drip out.

  • #3 Hydrogen Peroxide: The use of hydrogen peroxide mixed with water in small children is not advisable, it may cause dizziness and vertigo not to mention it may scare and even traumatize the child.

  • #4 Ear Drops: For school age children, the use of over the counter ear drops like Debrox can be useful, but you should consult your pediatrician before applying them.

  • #5 Candling: This method is not recommended for several reasons. First there is a risk of burn injury to the child, inserting the candle in the ear canal may cause damage to the ear drum, not to mention there is no real evidence that candling has any real effect in ear wax removal.

Keep an Eye Out for Any Signs of Danger

Know the Signs – When to Visit an ER

The Following are Three Signs of Alert

  • #1 – If you notice any blood or pus oozing from your child’s ear,

  • #2 – If they are experiencing pain or discomfort in one of both ears,

  • #3 – Or have any change in their hearing.

Hearing is one of the five senses.  The fact that a child’s ears are fragile and are in development must be taken seriously.  You can prevent permanent damage.  If they experience any of the three symptoms listed above, visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center for a thorough evaluation and treatment.

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Happy Emergency Medical Services for Children Day 2017

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

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GET QUALITY & AFFORDABLE 24/7 ER CARE WITHOUT THE LINES. In the event of an emergency, stop and remain calm. At Altus ER Centers we’re open 24 hours, 7 days a week with zero lines. There’s no time to wait. You’re in good hands!

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.

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FATHERS are just Ordinary Men who do EXTRAORDINARY Things out of LOVE. ❤️ Thank you for all that you do! 🧔 Happy #FathersDay from all of us at #AltusERCenters. We're here for you & your family! Altus Emergency Centers, Open 24/7, No Lines. ... See MoreSee Less

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