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Honey Pacifiers Trigger Infant Botulism Alert by Health Officials

Health Officials Urge Texans to Not Give Children Under 12 Months of Age Honey

Honey Pacifiers Trigger Infant Botulism Alert

The Texas Department of State Health Services is warning parents and other adults not to give babies pacifiers containing honey after four babies were treated for botulism in Texas. Each infant had been given a honey-containing pacifier purchased in Mexico.

The four illnesses occurred from mid-August to the end of October and caused all four babies to be hospitalized for life-saving treatment. The unrelated infants are residents of West Texas, North Texas and South Texas.

What is Botulism?

Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.  When ingested, the bacteria releases a toxin which attacks the body’s nerves and can cause difficulty breathing, paralysis and even death.

What is Infant Botulism?

As we grow and develop, we acquire more “good” bacteria in our bodies to fight any that may be damaging and make us much more resiliant to getting sick.  However, as infants are still in the process of of acquiring these natural internal superheros, they must be shielding from potential threats until their system is ready.  For this reason, infants are are particularly vulerable to infant botulism with 90% of the cases ocurring in babies less than 6 months old. Botulinum spores may be found in dirt and honey which, if consumed, the spores can germinate into bacteria within their small intestine. 

Avoid botulinum

Infant Botulism and Honey

According to medical experts, a baby’s intestinal microflora (normal flora) is not sufficiently developed to ingest botulinum spores. As spores of the bacteria, found in dirt and dust, can contaminate honey, it’s best to wait until a child is one year old (12 months) before they may consume it.

“The DSHS issued a health alert today asking health care providers to look out for cases of infant botulism and to remind parents not to let babies eat honey. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics have long advised that children under 12 months old should not consume honey.”

Quality honey is rich in antioxidants and delivers a wealth of health benefits, however, it’s best to not give it to any infant under 12 months of age.

 

Infant Botulism Alert

The Culprit: Honey-Filled Pacifers

“Honey-filled pacifiers, chupones con miel in Spanish, are not common in the United States but may be available in some specialty stores and through online retailers. Most aren’t designed for the honey to be consumed, but some have a small hole so a child could eat the honey, or the pacifier could accidentally rupture or leak. Parents should also avoid pacifiers containing any other food substance, because they could also pose a risk of botulism.” – The Texas Department of State Health Services.

Botulism Symptoms in Infants:

Symptoms in infants often include:

  • Constipation
  • Lethargy
  • Generalized weakness (the “Floppy” baby syndrome)
  • Poor feeding
  • Drooling
  • Weak cry
  • Poor head control
  • Poor gag and sucking reflex

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, 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.

Head Injury – Concussion – ER or Urgent Care?

Is My Head Injury a Concussion?

Should I go to the ER or Urgent Care?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are of great concern amongst the medical community, as numbers suggest these types of injuries contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there some 2.8 million TBI-related emergency room visits per day, and 153 people in the United States die every day from injuries that include traumatic brain injuries.

Given how big this problem is, we should ask ourselves when does a head injury require emergency medical attention, and can these be treated at an urgent care center or should we go to the ER?

Let’s start with understanding what a Traumatic Brain Injury is.

Head-injury-ER Texas

What Is a TBI and What Causes It?

As may have guessed, a traumatic brain injury involves injuries to our head, it can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head and it is strong enough to create a disruption to the brain’s normal functioning. Thankfully, not all bumps to the head result in a TBI, and those don’t require you visit the emergency room.

Traumatic Brain Injuries range from “mild” where there is a brief change of mental status or consciousness to severe where patients are unconscious for an extended period or present symptoms like memory loss. Mild TBI’s are known as concussions, and they are the most common type of brain injury.

This does not mean that concussions can be ignored, any type of brain injury regardless of how harmless it may seem requires immediate medical attention.

Can Traumatic Brain Injuries Be Treated at an Urgent Care Center?

The answer is no, and here is why. The severity of a traumatic brain injury is difficult if not impossible to diagnose without the use of CT Scans, and X-rays, the blow might have caused a small skull fracture that is not visible, or there might be swelling around the brain.

Since urgent care centers do not have direct access to the necessary diagnostic equipment, they cannot treat these types of injuries. If you suspect you may have a concussion or other type of brain injury and you visit an urgent care center, they will refer you to the emergency room, and you will have to pay for both consultations.

If you believe you or a loved one has sustained any type of brain injury, you need to come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center as soon as possible. Getting diagnosed and treated for a brain injury promptly can significantly reduce any permanent or long-lasting effects from the injury.

Head-injury-ER Texas

When Should You Visit Altus Emergency Centers for a Head Injury?

As we mentioned, not all head bumps will require you pay us a visit, however, if you receive a blow to the head either from playing sports, falling, or being in a car crash, and experience any of the following symptoms, you need to come in for a medical evaluation as soon as possible:

  •    You lost consciousness at the time of the injury
  •    You feel confused or disoriented after the injury
  •    You experience a headache along with nausea or vomiting

You should monitor anyone who has hit their head and bring them in for evaluation if you notice any of these symptoms:

  •    Unusual behavior or confusion
  •    Their symptoms seem to progress or worsen
  •    They seem weak, complain of numbness or have trouble speaking (slurred speech)
  •    They have difficulty with their eye movements
  •    Their headache won’t go away or becomes more severe
  •    Seizure
  •    They have difficulty waking up or staying alert
  •    There is discharged of clear fluid or blood from their nose or ears

 

As you can see, all brain injuries are dangerous as they can quickly develop complications. For this reason, if you suspect that you or someone you know has a traumatic brain injury, your best bet is to visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center for a proper diagnosis and fast treatment.

Concussion Emergency

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.

Texas Influenza Awareness Day 2018

Health Officials Urge Texans to get a Flu Shot Now

Today is Texas Influenza Awareness Day

As flu season begins, the Texas Department of State Health Services encourages everyone 6 months old and older to get vaccinated now to protect themselves from getting the flu. Early vaccination is important because it takes about two weeks for the body to make flu antibodies after the vaccine is administered.

“This year, there are many different flu vaccines available, and they have all been updated for this flu season. The nasal spray flu vaccine, also known as FluMist, is once again on the list of recommended flu vaccines for the upcoming flu season,” said Dr. Jennifer Shuford, DSHS Infectious Disease Medical Officer. “There are also special flu vaccines designed for people 65 years and older. Your doctor can help you figure out which vaccine is right for you.”

influenza symptoms

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

People with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children, older adults, and the people who live with them should get vaccinated in order to minimize the risk of developing serious complications from the flu. Caregivers should get the flu shot to protect themselves and to prevent spreading the flu to the vulnerable people they care for in their families and communities.

influenza symptoms

What is Influenza and How Can it be Prevented?

Influenza is an illness caused by one of a number of related viruses. Symptoms usually start suddenly and include fever, body aches, chills, a dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches and extreme fatigue and can last a week or longer. It is important to note that not all flu sufferers will have a fever.

People can help stop the spread of illness and reduce their chance of catching the flu by getting vaccinated, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home if they’re sick. Additional flu information and tips are at TexasFlu.org.

Influenza symptoms

Which Flu Strains Does this Vaccine Cover?

All flu vaccines this season are made to protect against viruses similar to the strains

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1),
  • A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2) and
  • B/Colorado/06/2017 (B/Victoria lineage).
  • Some vaccines include an additional vaccine virus strain, B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage).

People can contact their health care provider, local health department, local pharmacy or use the Vaccine Finder at TexasFlu.org to find out where flu shots are available.

Health officials encourage people to seek treatment promptly if they are experiencing flu symptoms. Antiviral drugs may help shorten the duration or lessen the severity of the flu if started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

influenza symptoms

More Information on Influenza Awareness, Prevention & Complications

At Altus Emergency Centers, we believe in spreading awareness to help protect and prevent complications that can result from the influenza virus.  For more information on the influenza virus, what it is, how to prevent it, treatment and complications, please feel free to browse the following:

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.

Broken Bones – ER or Urgent Care?

Where to go for Broken Bones?

When to go to the ER or the Urgent Care.

Growing up, whenever we got sick or injured the only treatment options we had were: schedule a doctor appointment or go to the hospital. Today, however, there are many treatment options available and knowing which one you should choose can be confusing.

Part of this confusion comes from not understanding what the differences between an Urgent Care center and an Emergency Room are; after all urgent and emergency are often used as synonyms, but, when it comes to medical care, the difference is clear.

Let’s start with understanding the difference between an Urgent Care clinic and an Emergency Room.

Urgent Care Centers: These healthcare facilities treat many of the same minor injuries and illnesses as your family doctor. Issues like allergies, mild respiratory illnesses, small cuts, and sprains can all be treated at an urgent care facility.

Sprain-Urgent-Care

Emergency Rooms: ER’s can treat any of the illnesses and injuries mentioned above, however, if you are able to get treatment at an urgent care you will most likely save money, as copays for minor injuries tend to be more expensive if treated in the ER. You should, however, go directly to the ER if you are suffering from a life-threatening condition such as a heart attack, stroke or severe trauma.

Emergency-room Texas

Where to Go in Case of a Broken Bone

When it comes to bone fractures, most of the time diagnosis cannot be made by a regular physical exam, diagnostic imaging such as x-rays and CT Scans are necessary. This means that if you suspect you or a loved one has a broken bone, they need to be examined by a qualified physician.

Not all bone fractures are the same, there are many types and treatment varies depending on the type and severity of the injury. In some cases, a brace, along with some rest will be enough, other times surgery might be required.

Types of Bone Fractures

  • Simple Fractures: When the broken bone does not break the skin or muscle tissue
  • Compound Fractures: In this case, the bone does pierce the surface exposing the bone and surrounding deep tissue
  • Comminuted Fractures: These are severe fractures where the bone breaks in different places
  • Greenstick Fractures: Common in children due to the flexibility of their bones, these fractures occur only on one side of the bone, meaning it is just a partial break
  • Avulsion Fractures: When a small piece of bone is torn from the main bone due to extreme force placed on a ligament or tendon, the injury is known as an avulsion fracture

The location of the fracture will also help you determine where you should go for treatment. The following chart was designed to help you make the right decision on where to go in case of a suspected broken bone injury.

Easy Services Comparison Chart ER vs. Urgent Care.

Type and Location of Injury

Emergency Room

Urgent Care Center

Simple fracture on small bones such as a finger, wrist, toe

The ER has all necessary equipment to diagnose and treat these types of injuries. However, these types of fractures can be treated at an urgent care center

If the urgent care has X-rays available, they can place a temporary splint and then refer you to an orthopedic M.D.

Compound and Comminuted Fractures

These need to be treated at an emergency room as soon as possible

Urgent Care centers are not equipped to handle these types of injuries

Bone Fractures in Arms or Legs

Fractures on long bones like those in your arms or legs require more specialized treatment available at any ER

If you visit an Urgent Care center with a fracture to a long bone, they will refer you to the ER or an orthopedic M.D., and it will cost you more money

Centralized Bone Fractures (Skull, Hip, Neck)

Skull, hip, or neck bone fractures are very serious, you will require CT Scans and possibly surgery. Therefore, you need to go to the ER

Urgent Care centers are not able to diagnose or treat bone fractures on the skull, hip or neck

Bone Fracture that Restricts Blood Flow

If the broken bone is restricting the flow of blood in the area, you must immediately be transported to the ER

Urgent Care centers cannot treat this type of injury

Visible Deformity at the Injury Site

This is a sign of a severe bone fracture, and you should be transported to the ER

Urgent Care centers are not able to treat these types of fractures

Bottom Line: If you ever suspect you might have a broken bone your best choice is to visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center. Our physicians will take x-rays or CT Scans and accurately diagnose the severity of your injury, and the best course of treatment.

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.

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?

Cuts and Scrapes-wrist

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
Cuts-and-scrapes-child

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
Cuts-and-scrapes-ER

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.

Cuts and Scrapes – ER or Urgent Care?

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.

Summer-camp

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 GroupDay CampOvernight Camp
4-5 Year Old’s6:15:1
6-8 Year Old’s8:16:1
9-14 Year Old’s10:18:1
15-18 Year Old’s12:110:1

summer-camp-sleeping

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.
emergency-protocol

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.
summer-camp-safety

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!

Summer Camp Safety Guide

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.

Preventing accidental injuries at work

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.

work-injury

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
Preventing accidental injuries at work

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
wet-floor-sign- prevention

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 accidental injuries at school

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
Preventing accidental injuries

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.

Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

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.
Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

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
Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents

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.
Preventing car heatstroke

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.

How to Control Asthma

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.

How to Control Asthma

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.
How to Control Asthma

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.

How to Control Asthma

#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.

How to Control Asthma

#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.

Grilling-Safety-Tips-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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
BBQ-Safety-Tips-Keep-it-Outdoor-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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
Grilling-Safety-Tips-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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
BBQ-Safety-Tips-Keep-Grilling-Utensils-Clean-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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.

BBQ-Safety-Tips-Keep-Grilling-Utensils-Clean-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

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.

HEALTH NEWS, EVENTS & MORE.

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Don't let an emergency stand in the way of a beautiful December #weekend visit us at #AltusERCenters for the best ER care for all ages. It's such a relief to know that we'll be open Christmas, New Year's Day & Eve. We're Open 24/7, No Lines. #TexasFreestandingER

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Don't let an emergency stand in the way of a beautiful December weekend, visit us at #AltusERCenters for the best ER care for all ages. It's such a relief to know that we'll be open Christmas, New Year's Day & Eve. We're Open 24/7, No Lines. ... See MoreSee Less

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