Pediatrics Archives - Best Texas ER Open 24/7, No Lines - Altus Emergency

Cuts and Scrapes – ER or Urgent Care?

When to go to the ER or Urgent Care for Cuts and Scrapes

When it comes to cuts and scrapes, our bodies can take quite a beating over the years. Luckily most of the incidents we will experience will be minor injuries which won’t require medical attention.

However, there will be instances where we might not be sure if we need medical attention or not, and if we do where should we go for treatment, the Emergency Room or an Urgent Care center?

How to Tell If Your Cut or Scrape Requires Medical Attention?

Scrapes can usually be treated at home with the use of an antibiotic ointment and a thorough cleaning. Determining if your cut is deep enough to warrant seeing a doctor, however, is not always easy, but, we can safely say that your wound will require stitches and possibly other medical attention when:

  • The cut is deeper than a ¼ inch and gapping or jagged
  • The cut was made by a dirty or rusty object
  • Fat, muscle, bone or other deep body structures are visible through the wound
  • The cut is over a joint and continues to open every time you move the joint
  • After 10-15 minutes of applying direct pressure, the cut is still bleeding

If you feel your injury requires medical attention, then you should know that the sooner you see a doctor, the better. You should be checked by a medical practitioner preferably within a few hours of being injured, as this will help reduce the risk of infection and minimize scarring.

If your cut was caused by a dirty or rusty object, you will require a tetanus shot if you haven’t had one within the past five years. Tetanus is a disease caused by bacteria that is transmitted through open cuts or wounds.

So, how can you know if your wound can be treated at an urgent care center or if you need to go to the emergency room instead? Here is a helpful guide to help you make an informed decision:

Visit Altus Emergency Centers When:

  • You have a deep gaping wound where muscles, veins, subcutaneous fat or bone are exposed
  • Your injury has cut through a major vein or artery, and the bleeding won’t stop
  • The cut is over a joint
  • The edges of the cut are jagged and uneven
  • It’s a deep or long facial laceration
  • You have an object embedded in the wound (don’t try to remove it on your own, this should always be done by a physician)
  • A partial or complete amputation such as a severed finger or any that has resulted in the partial or full removal of an appendage or tissue from on your body
  • You’ve sustained a scalp cut

Visit an Urgent Care Center When:

  • The cut requires stitches, but the edges are straight, and even that can easily be pushed together
  • Shallow facial cuts
  • Cuts and scrapes that are embedded with dirt
  • Minor animal or human bites
  • Non-life-threatening wounds that were caused by a dirty or rusty object

An urgent care is good for a minor emergency.  However, you can save time, money and a great deal of pain by knowing when to go directly to the emergency room.  To learn more about the different types of Cuts & Scrapes and Treatments, Cuts and Scrapes.

Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7 and will always be available to treat non-life-threatening injuries that would typically be handled by urgent care clinics when these are closed.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you are ever in need of quality 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 24 hr ER Texas

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.

Summer Camp Safety Guide

Summer Camp Safety Guide – Keep Your Kiddos Safe!

When you are a kid, one of the things you look forward to during summer aside from not having to go to school is summer camp! And why wouldn’t it be? At camp, kids get their first taste of independence by being away from the watchful eyes of mom and dad, they get to meet new friends and have an enriching experience that will last a lifetime.

For you as a parent though, sending your kids off to camp, whether it be for a day, a week or longer, can be a little scary, but, we are here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be. At Altus Emergency Centers we want to help parents and kids create a summer of happy memories which is why we are sharing our Summer Camp Safety Guide.

Ask the Right Questions 

As a parent, you have the right to ask as many questions as you need before sending your kids off to summer camp. Here are a few questions we like to ask:

  • Who are the counselors?
  • Who supervises the counselors?
  • What kind of staff training is in place regarding physical boundaries, use of language, and disciplinary actions
  • How are staff screened, do the camp organizers conduct thorough background checks, fingerprinting and most importantly do they check to see if their potential staffer is registered as a sex offender?
  • Ask where everyone is going to sleep, bathe, and change. Counselors, supervisors, and volunteers should never be allowed to change in front of the children.
  • What is the ratio of counselors to campers? The American Camp Association has set the following staffing ratios based on the age of the campers, make sure your child’s camp complies with these:

Age Group Day Camp Overnight Camp
4-5 Year Old’s 6:1 5:1
6-8 Year Old’s 8:1 6:1
9-14 Year Old’s 10:1 8:1
15-18 Year Old’s 12:1 10:1

Make Sure there is an Emergency Protocol in Place

This is a critical step while evaluating camp options, even though most summer camp activities are safe when planned correctly, we all know an accident can happen at any time, and it is because of this that it’s important for parents to understand the emergency protocols that are in place.

These are some of the key factors you should look for:

  • Find out what kind of medical staff will be on the premises and where your child will receive care should they become ill or be involved in an accident. Feel free to instruct the camp organizers to bring your child to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for any injury that requires emergency medical attention.
  • Ask if the counselors, supervisors, and volunteers are CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) certified.
  • Make sure the staff has been trained to recognize common summer ailments like heat exhaustion, and that they know what protocols need to be followed.
  • If your child must take medicine to treat a particular health condition, find out who manages and dispenses the medications, make a point of meeting with them to ensure they understand how and when the medication needs to be administered.

Research the Camp’s Safety Precautions

There should be a written health policy and prevention protocols, if the camp you considering cannot provide you with these, start looking elsewhere, this is not a safe place for your child to be.

All camps should have these necessary safety precautions:

  • Dehydration protocols; staff should follow a protocol to prevent dehydration, this includes hourly water drinking schedule and shade breaks.
  • Sports camps should have mandatory weigh-ins and weigh-outs to ensure the children have proper hydration and they maintain a healthy weight.
  • The camp must provide lifejackets for water sports like canoeing, or swimming in lakes or rivers. They should also provide helmets and other appropriate gear for activities such as biking, climbing, and horseback riding.

Don’t Forget the Food

Physical activity will make any kid hungry, as a parent you need to make sure your child will be fed a balanced diet while at camp.

  • Ask what kind of snacks will be provided, are they compatible with your child’s diet?
  • If your child has a food allergy, everyone at the camp should be made aware
  • Make sure all food is stored at the right temperature

Let’s make this a summer to remember for the all the right reasons, Altus Emergency Centers is committed to working with families, summer camp organizers and kids to help minimize the risk of accidental injuries, together we can make this the best summer of our lives!

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you are ever in need of quality 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 24 hr ER Texas

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.

Preventing Accidental Injuries at Work and School

SAFETY STARTS WITH YOU!
Preventing Accidental Injuries at Work and School

At Altus Emergency Centers we’re the biggest fans of health and safey.  Today we’d like to show you a few easy pointers on preventing accidental injuries.

When it comes to improving safety measures in our daily lives, we can safely say, it’s a team effort. Every one of us can make small changes to our routines that will help make our workplace, schools, and communities safer.

We will start by looking at the most common preventable injuries, some tips to avoid them and what steps to take if they do happen.

Preventable Injuries at Work

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Let’s begin preventing accidental injuries at work by learning about and how to avoid repetitive motion injuries.  Constantly making the same movements at our workplace, can create wear and tear on our muscles, tendons, and joints. Repetitive motion injuries don’t always require strenuous activity to develop; work activities such as typing and using the computer can slowly cause damage to our eyesight, increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, and chronic back pain.

The pain you experience is due to damage to the muscles, tendons, and nerves, and can become irreversible if it continues for too long.

How to Prevent Repetitive Motion Injuries

  • – If your job requires heavy lifting, follow proper lifting techniques such as:
  • – Lift heavy objects slowly and avoid jerky movements
  • – Face the item, do not twist your body when lifting
  • – Keep the object close to your body, your feet apart and lift with your legs, not your back
  • – Ask for help lifting items that might be too heavy to lift on your own
  • – Use ergonomic tools, like fatigue mats if you must stand for long periods, or adjustable chairs if you work at a desk.
  • – If you have a desk job make sure your workstation is adjusted to your needs, consider things like:
    • – Setting your chair where your back is straight and relaxed
    • – The top of your monitor should be at eye level to avoid having to bend your neck
    • – When typing your elbows should be at your sides, feet comfortably flat on the floor, and keep your wrists straight

Slips, Falls, and “Walking Into” injuries

When we think of preventing accidental injuries the first thing that comes to mind is the typical slip and fall. Not paying attention where we are walking, as well as misplaced office furniture or equipment can cause a person to slip, fall, or walk into a static object resulting in head, knee, foot, back or neck injuries, depending on the speed and height at which the fall occurs the wounds could be severe.

How to Prevent Slips, Falls and Walking into Injuries

  • – Maintain a neat and tidy workplace
  • – Mark potential hazards/obstacles like glass doors, windows, and stairs so people can easily see them
  • – Place non-slip rugs in potentially slippery areas like entrances
  • – Use appropriate signs to indicate wet surfaces
  • – Cover and label uneven floor surfaces as well as cords on the floor

Preventable Injuries at School

Schools are supposed to be these safe havens where we send our kids to learn all about all the wonders of this world; but, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 9.2 million kids visit an emergency room every year for non-fatal unintentional injuries, and many of these occur in schools.  We hope that by focusing on preventing accidental injuries at school, we’ll have safer, happier kids.

The most common school injuries include:

Playground Injuries

While most of us can remember an instance where we suffered a minor injury on the playground when we were children, the reality is kids can be seriously injured while playing. Falling from monkey bars and swings, or tripping over equipment sends some 200,000 kids to an emergency room every year.

Preventing Playground Injuries

  • – Demand that school playgrounds have soft materials covering the ground such as mulch, sand, or wood chips, this will help lessen the severity of the falls
  • – Kids need to be supervised by adults while on the playground, to ensure they only use equipment that is right for their age
  • – Playground equipment needs to regular maintenance, and guardrails installed to prevent falls
  • – Obstacles like tree stumps and roots should be cleared to avoid children tripping over them

Slipping, Tripping and Falling Injuries

  • – Aside from the embarrassment and bruised egos of kids, falling on stairs or wet surfaces can cause severe injuries like broken arms or legs, and concussions.

Preventing Playground Injuries

  • – Teach your kids never to run while going down the stairs
  • – Wet surfaces should be clearly labeled
  • – Place non-slip mats at all entrances and exits in the school
preventing playground injuries

Sport Injuries

Sports programs at school are essential for the development of kids. Sports help kids learn how to play as part of a team, embrace challenges, and push themselves to do more and better, but, safety must also be an integral part of every sports program.

Preventing Sports Injuries at School

  • – Kids should have access to proper fitting sports gear, helmets, shoulder pads, shin guards, and footwear
  • – Coaches need to teach proper techniques, and correct postures when necessary
  • – Keep kids hydrated
  • – Take breaks; even young bodies need to rest
preventing school sports injuries

What to do in the Event of an Unintentional Injury

We lead busy lives where we are often distracted by our phones or computers, and sometimes we are so used to our routines that we stop paying attention to our surroundings, this inevitably leads to unintentional injuries.

Depending on the severity of the injury immediate medical attention may be required, here is when you should come into the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment:

  • – If you sustained a head injury where you lost consciousness, or are feeling disoriented, tired, have nausea or trouble speaking
  • – Deep cuts where the bleeding does not stop
  • – Severe pain
  • – Severe swelling in the injured area
  • – You suspect you may have broken a bone

Altus Emergency Centers cares about preventing accidental injuries.  However, should you or a loved one ever experience an injury, we are the best place have the latest diagnostic technologies and the most qualified emergency doctors and nurses to treat you and your loved ones; remember we are open 24/7 every day of the year.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

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.

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 24 hr ER Texas

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 24 hr ER Texas

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 24 hr ER Texas

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 24 hr ER Texas

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.

Teach-Your-Children-to-Wash-Their-Hands-Properly.

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?

6-Steps-to-Wash-Your-Hands-Correctly.

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

Learning-Good-Health-Habits-Can-be-Fun-with-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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?

Find-an-ER-Near-Me-Altus-Emergency-Centers-Texas

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.

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