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Your Child’s Health and Wellness Checklist

Your Child’s Health and Wellness Checklist

Children depend on their parents for everything. We know how much effort you as parents put in to provide them with love, food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care. But despite everything you do, the demands of daily life sometimes make it challenging to cover all the bases when it comes to your children’s well-being.

So, to help you keep track of all the issues concerning your child’s well-being, our health experts have put together this helpful checklist.

Emotional Well-Being

Children are dealing with a lot these days, and it can lead to mental and emotional distress. But unlike physical symptoms, a child’s mental or emotional problems can be harder to identify. But you can learn to recognize some of the signs that your child needs help.

The most important thing in any relationship, including parent-child ones, is communication. Build solid and honest communication channels with your children from a young age. Let them know you they can talk to you about anything.

Signs your Child May Need Help

  • Changes in school performance
  • They are anxious and worry too much
  • They experience long periods of sadness
  • They have persistent nightmares
  • Explosive behavior, including anger or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Intense fear of weight gain
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Substance abuse

If you notice any of these signs, do some research and learn everything you can about the behavior or symptoms that worry you. Then, reach out to the school or community counselor, don’t be afraid to ask questions, remember the goal is to help your child get well.

Physical Well-Being

Regular Doctor Visits

Schedule routine physicals, including a visit to the eye doctor and dentist for your children at the start of every school year.

Keep up with Your Child’s Vaccination Schedule

Here are some of the immunizations the CDC recommends for children depending on their age:

Babies

  • Hepatitis B
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b disease
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • DTaP
  • Rotavirus
  • Polio

12 to 23 Months

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis) (DTaP)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Hepatitis A (HepA)
  • Hepatitis B (HepB)

11 to 12 years

  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine
  • HPV vaccine
  • Tdap
  • Flu vaccine every flu season

Speak to your pediatrician about which vaccines your child needs.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Teach Them Healthy Habits

Here are some healthy habits you can teach your children that will help them lead a healthy life:

  • How to properly wash their hands
  • Brush and floss their teeth at least twice a day
  • Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Choosing healthy foods over junk food
  • Exercising regularly
  • Keep their rooms clean and neat

Teach Them Basic First Aid

As your children grow, it’s essential to teach them some basic first aid so they can tend to their minor wounds or assist others when needed.

Teach your children how to clean scrapes properly and use Band-Aids. Also, teach them whom to call for help in case of an emergency, make sure to keep a list of emergency numbers on the fridge. It’s also helpful to teach them how to call 911 and give directions to your home.

COVID-19 Checklist

The pandemic has made parenting even more challenging. Now that schools have reopened, it’s essential to keep your eyes open to spot the first signs of the disease.

  • Check Temperatures Daily – Allow your child to stay home if their temperature is 100.4 degrees or greater. If the fever doesn’t go down, call your doctor
  • Check for COVID-19 Symptoms Daily: Do basic screenings for COVID-19 symptoms of everyone in your household every day
  • Let Them Stay Home: Don’t send your child to school if they are unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms, instead call your doctor and monitor their symptoms
  • Inform the School: Inform the school immediately if you suspect your child has COVID-19 or if they’ve tested positive for the SARS-CoV2 virus. This way, school officials can notify other parents and isolate teachers and students to prevent further infections.
  • Get Familiar with Community Testing Sites: Learn where to go to get tested if you suspect your child or other family members may have COVID-19
  • Stay Informed: Ask your school for updates on any new COVID-19 policies and procedures

Your child deserves the best in life, and that includes the best medical care possible. That is why our doctors and nurses are trained in pediatric emergencies, and we have specially designed pediatric examining rooms at all our centers.

Altus Emergency Centers will always be there for you and your family if you have a medical emergency.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Toddler Head Injuries: My Toddler Bumped their Head, What Should I Do?

A Parent’s Guide to Toddler Head Injuries

“My Toddler Bumped their Head, What Should I Do?”

One of the biggest fears among parents with toddlers is to have your baby suffer an accidental head bump. For this reason, today, we will learn more about toddler head injuries, what they are, how to prevent them, and when to go to the ER.

Bruises and bumps are inevitable during the toddler years, thanks to your young one’s developing motor skills and their increasing curiosity and need for independence.

Toddlers are by nature accident-prone, think stumbles, trips, falls, and a host of other minor accidents that could lead to a bump to the head.

Most head bumps are usually nothing to worry about. Still, occasionally, your toddler’s head injury could be serious and result in a concussion, and in rare cases, if the blow is severe enough, it can cause bleeding or swelling of the brain.

That is why it’s good to learn how to spot the signs of a severe toddler head injury and when you need to seek medical help.

What Is A Head Injury?

Let us first explore the different types of toddler head injuries. A head injury is any impact or trauma to any area of the head, including the forehead, the scalp, the skull, the blood vessels, and rarely the brain.

In toddlers, mild head injuries usually result in bruises or bumps on the head or a small wound like a scrape or cut.

More serious blows, although less common, tend to cause more serious symptoms. The most common types of severe head injuries include:

Contusion: Contusions are bruises and happen when small blood vessels become damaged by the impact.

Most contusions are superficial and can be painful to the touch, but they typically heal on their own. However, when a serious head injury happens, deeper bruising can occur, affecting the brain; this is known as a brain contusion and will require medical attention.

Scalp Wound: Shallow cuts on the scalp are nothing to worry about, as long you keep the injured area clean. However, deep or gaping wounds may require stitches.

Concussion: Forceful hits to the head or the body can cause the brain to move within the skull. The sudden movent can result in chemical changes and cause damage to some of the brain cells. This type of injury is serious; if you think your child has a concussion, you should see visit the ER right away.

Skull Fracture: When the impact is strong enough, a bone in the skull can break. Skull fractures usually happen along with other types of injuries, such as a concussion and bleeding.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Toddler Head Injury Prevention Tips

The following are some basic toddler head injury prevention tips to keep in mind:

  • Childproof your home: Add baby gates to the stairs, childproof door locks, cabinet locks, door handle, etc.
  • Have them wear proper footwear.  Sneakers on hard play surfaces, while sandals are famous for trips & falls. As toddlers have large heads, they do not react fast enough to catch themselves to prevent head hitting.
  • Never leave them unattended. Adult supervision is particularly needed while at the playground or on high surfaces such as decks.
  • Proper equipment during play.  Make sure that they use helmets for bike rides, scooters, power wheels, toddler skates, etc.
  • Childproof are sharp corners.  Cover all sharp furniture edges and corners with bumpers or safety padding.

When to Go to The ER for a Toddler Head Injury

When it comes to severe toddler head traumas, prompt medical attention is critical, especially if you think they may have a concussion or a skull fracture.

You should go to the nearest ER if your toddler fell from a height of 5 feet or more. You should also seek medical help or if they were hit with fast-moving or heavy objects such as a ball or a piece of furniture.

You should call 911 or bring your child to the emergency room if you spot any of the following symptoms:

When to Come to Altus Emergency Center

Bring your baby to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • They’ve lost consciousness (even for a moment) or appear dazed.
  • They can’t stop crying.
  • They vomit, especially if they do so more than once after hitting their head
  • They seem clumsier or exhibit less coordination than usual afterward or aren’t speaking or walking normally
  • You have trouble waking them up after they’ve dozed off
  • You notice that their pupils (the dark central part of the eye) are different sizes.
  • They are bleeding heavily in the head or face, including bleeding from the nose or ears.
  • There’s an object sticking out of the head wound.
  • They show signs of memory loss or confusion
  • They have a persistent or worsening headache, or they have significant neck pain.
  • They are acting more aggressive or are more irritable than usual.
  • You notice a visible dent on their head or bruising under the eyes or behind the ears
  • Seizures

Thankfully, most toddler head injuries are mild and won’t cause any lasting damage. However, if it’s a severe head injury, the most important thing you can do is stay calm, check your child, and bring them to the ER if they are awake. If your child is unconscious, don’t move them and call 911 immediately.

The pediatric trained physicians at Altus Emergency Centers is always ready to treat your child. Remember, we always treat our patients like family, so you know your child is in the best hands.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Top Reasons for Baby ER Visits

Baby Safety Month – Top Reasons for Baby ER Visits

Becoming a parent is the greatest blessing; it is also the scariest experience of anyone’s life.

Babies don’t come with manuals, and although we all try to do our best, they will get sick, and they will get hurt at some point.

Prevention is always the best option, but accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.

a family and their baby
  • Approximately 20% of all ER visits in 2015 were children 18 or younger
  • 17% of all children in the United States visited the ER at least once
  • Children under the age of five accounted for 40% of pediatric ER visits
  • ER visits for respiratory conditions are more frequent between October and March
  • Injury-related ER visits are more common from April through September

Here is a list of the most common reasons for pediatric ER visits and tips to help you prevent them, and signs you need to go to the ER.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Upper Respiratory Infections and Bronchiolitis

Several viruses, including the influence (flu) virus, can cause upper respiratory infections. When the infection settles in the lungs, it’s known as bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis is a common condition in infants and can cause trouble breathing, wheezing, and coughing.

Babies under the age of one have a harder time fighting upper respiratory infections than older children. The reason is that their airways are smaller, so they have more trouble breathing and even feeding when they have a respiratory infection.

Top Reasons for Baby ER Visits respiratory

Preventing Respiratory Infections

The biggest concern when a baby develops a respiratory infection is that it can quickly turn into a more severe condition such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia, which can be life-threatening.

You can help prevent respiratory infections by:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Keep your baby away from anyone who has flu-like symptoms
  • Don’t allow anyone to smoke near your baby
  • Keep hard surfaces clean and disinfected
Top Reasons for Baby ER Visits baby safety month

When to Come to Altus Emergency Center

Bring your baby to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Trouble Breathing
  • Cough with mucus that is green, grey, or yellow
  • They are unusually inactive or upset
  • Doesn’t want to breastfeed or bottle-feed
  • Shows signs of dehydration which include little or no urine for 4-6 hours and shed no tears when they cry
  • Your baby is exhausted for no reason, breathes rapidly, or their lips and fingernails turn a bluish color

Head Injuries and Fractures

Infants and toddlers are prone to falls. They can accidentally roll out of bed or fall while learning to walk.

Head Injuries

Head injuries are common in small children, so as a parent, you need to be on the lookout for any unusual symptoms after a head injury.

You should come to our ER when:

  • Your baby shows signs of a concussion, including severe crankiness, slurred speech, vomiting, trouble walking
  • Your child has a soft spot on their head, and it feels like it’s bulging
  • If your baby has a weak pulse
  • If they have any seizures
Top Reasons for Baby ER Visits head injuries

Fractures

Some of the most common baby and toddler injuries are fractures.

You need to bring your child to our ER center if they show any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe swelling at the site of injury
  • Unwillingness to use the injured body part
  • An obvious bone deformity
  • Severe pain
  • Paleness
  • Weak pulse
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Are unable to move the injured body part

If you are not sure but suspect your baby might have a broken bone, you need to bring them to the ER so we can X-ray the injured area.

Texas Pediatric ER

At Altus Emergency Centers, we can diagnose and treat even the youngest babies when they are struggling with an illness or injury.

Our certified pediatric emergency doctors and nurses can provide the necessary care in a calm and soothing environment.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

COVID-19 Mental Health Concerns for Moms

COVID-19 Mental Health Concerns for Moms

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down, and while everyone’s experience is unique, we cannot deny that parents, especially moms, are experiencing unusually high-stress levels.

The sudden changes in work, school, and everyday life have forced families to adapt quickly, and moms especially bear the brunt of these adjustments.

Without notice, you may have found yourself without childcare, and having to assume homeschooling responsibilities, while juggling working from home. Or you may be one of the 2.5 million women who had to leave the workforce during the pandemic to care for their families, adding a financial strain to an already stressful situation.

Given how much life has changed in the last year and a half, it’s no surprise that studies show elevated rates of depression and anxiety amongst mothers. With all of the additional responsibilities and uncertainties, it’s harder to find the time to care for your emotional and physical needs.

We want to encourage all the moms in our community to make themselves a priority and start caring for their minds and bodies. So, we’re sharing some tips to help reduce stress and lessen the burden of everyday life during the pandemic.

Common COVID-19 Mental Health Concerns for Moms

Set Boundaries

We know as a mom, you are a go-to person in your family. However, it’s important to set boundaries and outline appropriate times when family members can call on you to help them with something.

Split Household Responsibilities

We can all agree that moms are superhumans. But, it doesn’t mean you have to do all the work all the time. Split household chores like cooking, going grocery shopping, taking out the trash, and caring for the kiddos with your partner. Also, make your older kids responsible for setting the table, washing dishes, doing laundry, and keeping the house tidy.

Schedule Some Alone Time

It may be difficult at first because you will probably feel selfish for taking some time just for yourself, but you are entitled to this alone time, and you deserve it.

You spend enough time focusing on keeping your family happy and functioning smoothly. Still, you won’t be able to do that if you get sick, so you need to stop canceling yourself and dedicate time to healthy stress relief activities like reading, listening to music, meditating, and exercising.

Make Time to Socialize with Friends

Even if you cannot meet with friends in person, try to make a virtual date with your friends. Talking to other moms going through similar situations will help relieve stress and help you feel less isolated.

Make a Budget and Stick to It

The economic effects of the pandemic hit many families. Financial burdens are among the top stress factors.

If you don’t already have a budget, now is a great time to start. If you have a budget, revisit past expenses and see if there are any areas you can cut back to save money.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

We all struggle sometimes, and it’s ok and even expected to feel overwhelmed during these uncertain times.

If you are dealing with depression and/or anxiety, speak out, let your husband or partner know what you are feeling.

Remember, there is always help available. Reach out to your church’s prayer group or join an online support group.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we know moms are the pillars of our community, and we will always be here to help.

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 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top-of-the-line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts 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.

Common New Mom Health Concerns

Common New Mom Health Concerns

Having a baby is one of the greatest blessings in life. And it’s only natural that as a new mom, you are focusing all their attention on your new bundle of joy, but let’s face it, giving birth is hard on your body.

It’s normal to experience some pain and discomfort in the days and weeks after delivery. Still, it’s important to listen to your body and not ignore potential warning signs, as some of these could be life-threatening.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the risks of maternal mortality. Researchers list several leading causes of postpartum deaths, including hemorrhage, heart disease, infection, and mental health issues. The good news is that many of these unfortunate deaths are preventable.

Common Postpartum Health Issues

Infection

Infections at the site of a C-section or a tear in the perineum are not uncommon. However, it’s possible to develop infections in other parts of your body after delivery, such as the uterus, bladder, and kidneys.

Women who experience prolonged labor and prolonged rupture of membranes are more likely to develop these infections than those with uncomplicated deliveries.

It’s easy to treat infections that are in the early stages; however, if left untreated, infections can develop into more severe conditions and become life-threatening

You should seek emergency care if you have:

  • Fever of 100.4 F or higher
  • Fast breathing or heart rate
  • Chills with clammy or sweaty skin
  • Extreme or increasing pain
  • Discharge at the wound site
  • Redness at the wound site
  • The wound site is warm to the touch

Clogged Breast Duct or Mastitis

When your baby suckles on your breasts, it stimulates nerve endings that push the milk through a duct system and out through the nipple so your baby can feed.

However, these ducts can sometimes become blocked, preventing the milk from flowing correctly. When this happens, you may feel localized pain and tenderness in the affected breast. Your breast may also change coloration, becoming redder than usual.

Unless treated, the blockage may cause an infection in your breast known as mastitis. Once the condition develops, the affected breast will be red, warm, swollen, and painful on one side. Additionally, mastitis may also cause flu-like symptoms, including fever, fatigue, and aches.

If you have a clogged duct or mastitis, you should continue to breastfeed your baby from both sides and apply warm compresses before feeding to help reduce pain and promote milk flow. Additionally, massaging the blocked area can help unclog the duct.

Signs Your Clogged Duct or Mastitis Needs Medical Attention

  • There is no symptom improvement after 24 hours
  • You have a persistent fever or your fever spikes to 101°F or higher
  • Your breast becomes redder than usual, swollen and hot
  • You see red streaks on your breast going from the areola to the underarm
  • You see pus or blood in your milk
  • Your nipple looks infected

Hemorrhage

Hemorrhage, or heavy bleeding, is a well-documented cause of postnatal death. 

Although there’s little you can do to prevent hemorrhage, you can pay close attention to how much you’re bleeding during the two weeks following the birth of your baby.

 If you have excessive bleeding that soaks more than one sanitary pad per hour, let your doctor know and call 911.  

High Blood Pressure

Postpartum high blood pressure is a condition called preeclampsia. In most cases, it occurs within 48 hours after the delivery; however, it can develop up to six weeks after the birth of your child.

Preeclampsia is a serious condition classified as a medical emergency. If left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to kidney and liver failure, cause seizures, and even death.

Signs of Preeclampsia:

Get emergency medical care if you experience any of the following:

  • High blood pressure (140/90 mm Hg or higher)
  • Decreased urination
  • Severe headaches
  • Pain in the upper right portion of your belly or shoulder
  • Swelling in the legs, hands, or face
  • Vision changes (flashes of light in your vision or lasting dark spots)
  • Trouble breathing

Heart Failure

Some women experience a weakening of the heart, known as peripartum cardiomyopathy, during or shortly after pregnancy.

Your heart pumps up to 50% more blood while you are pregnant to nourish your growing baby. Scientists believe this added stress could be the cause of this type of heart failure.

Known risk factors for peripartum cardiomyopathy include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Being over 30
  • Having twins or more

Please rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you have:

  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Palpitations (your heart feels like it is skipping beats)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Swelling in the feet or ankles

Blood Clots

Although rare, blood clots are a leading cause of postpartum death. 

Most blood clots originate in the legs and, if dislodged, can travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.

New moms who had a C-section, have high blood pressure, are older than 35, or are obese, have a higher risk for blood clots after childbirth. Still, blood clots can happen to anyone, so it’s essential to recognize the emergency signs.

Get emergency care if you experience any of the following:

  • A red or swollen leg that’s painful or warm to the touch
  • Coughing or gasping for air
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

The birth of a child is an exciting time in your family’s life, but it’s crucial not to lose sight of your health. If you feel like something is wrong, don’t delay. Instead, trust your instincts and seek medical help.

Altus Emergency Centers is closer than ever, with four convenient locations in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie. All our sites are available 24/7 to help you get through any postpartum emergencies.

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 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top-of-the-line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts 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.

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. Falls are one of the top ER issues for older patients, they can happen to anyone at any age.  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 Slipping, Tripping & Falling 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 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts 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.

COVID-19 Variants – What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Variants

The following article on COVID-19 Variants is based upon official health sources such as WHO, CDC, and Texas Health & Human Services.  With so much information floating around about the pandemic, we hope to be able to break it down to the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 variants to help clarify a highly complex and quickly changing topic.  We recommend everyone to fact-check anything they hear, see or read with the official healthcare authorities.

Understanding the Variants Video Source: CDC

What is a COVID-19 Variant?

Before we even begin to get into COVID-19 variants, we’ll need to give you a quick biology class to understand what a variant really is.  As long as a virus is transmitted and allowed to thrive from host to host, it is expected to mutate and eventually create new variants.

 

As our human genetic material is called DNA, the virus genetic material is called RNA (ribonucleic acid).  A virus (which is not a living organism) needs to invade a happy and healthy cell in order to reproduce or replicate itself.  When it attacks the cell, it transmits its RNA making it a “sicky cell” and replicates it to basically make more virus-contaminated cells.  As the cells multiply, some errors can occur along the way so that they are not “perfect copies”, these unperfect copies of the original are called mutations.  When enough mutations occur, the strongest ones eventually set themselves apart from the rest (through natural selection) and become the dominant strain, a new variant.  (Source: Tufts University)

 

While there may be many mutations and variants, most will die but the stronger ones that survive can become dominant strains.  In the case of the COVID-19 virus, these are the ones who are being referred to as the “variants of concern”.

COVID-19 Varients of Concern in the US

Now, let’s get to know what the top COVID-19 Variants of Concern are within the US.  Since the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) was officially identified by Chinese authorities on January 7, 2020 (source: WHO), there have been four main variants of concern (source: CDC).

Alpha – B.1.1.7

First Identified: United Kingdom

When: November 2020

Spread: Spreads much faster than other variants

Severe illness and death: May potentially cause more people to get sicker and to die

Vaccine: Currently authorized vaccines do work against this variant. Some breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people are expected but remain rare. All vaccines are particularly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Treatments: Treatments are effective against this variant

Beta – B.1.351

First identified: South Africa

When: October 2020

Spread: May spread faster than other variants

Severe illness and death: Current data do not indicate more severe illness or death than other variants

Vaccine: Currently authorized vaccines do work against this variant. Some breakthrough infections are expected but remain rare. All vaccines are particularly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Treatments: Certain monoclonal antibody treatments are less effective against this variant

Gamma – P.1

First identified: Japan/Brazil

When: 6 January 2021

Spread: Spreads faster than other variants

Severe illness and death: Current data do not indicate more severe illness or death than other variants

Vaccine: Currently authorized vaccines do work against this variant. Some breakthrough infections are expected but remain rare. All vaccines are particularly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Treatments: Certain monoclonal antibody treatments are less effective against this variant

Delta – B.1.617.2

First identified: India

When: Late 2020

Spread: Spreads much faster than other variants

Severe illness and death: May cause more severe cases than the other variants

Vaccine: Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. Some breakthrough infections are expected but remain rare. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others. Learn more here. All vaccines are particularly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Treatments: Certain monoclonal antibody treatments are less effective against this variant

Consult the WHO website for an updated list of COVID-19 common, less common, and more severe symptoms.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Is There a Test for a Specific Variant?

You may be wondering, “If I get tested, can they tell which variant I may have?”  The simple answer is, “No” but it’s not that simple.  According to the CDC,

“All COVID-19 tests can detect all variants, but they will not tell you which variant you have.”

 

There are two types of tests:
  • Antigen Tests (Rapid Tests): Involves the detection of protein fragments associated with the virus.
  • PCR (Molecular):  This particular test detects the RNA (virus genetic material as previously described).

 

So basically, if you get an antigen test they cannot determine the specific variant.  However, scientists can track and investigate the COVID-19 variants through genomic sequencing.  As you can see, molecular testing does reveal genetic material that allows researchers to investigate the variants and be on the lookout for new ones.

The CDC answers the question, What is CDC doing to track SARS-COV-2 variants?

 

“In the United States, CDC tracks emerging variants through genomic surveillance with the following approaches:

  • Leading the National SARS-CoV-2 Strain Surveillance (NS3) system. Since November 2020, CDC regularly receives SARS-CoV-2 samples from state health departments and other public health agencies for sequencing, further characterization, and evaluation. On January 25, 2021, the NS3 system was scaled up to process 750 samples per week. Notable strengths of this system are the regular collection of numerous representative specimens from across the country and the characterization of viruses beyond what sequencing alone can provide.
  • Partnering with commercial diagnostic laboratories
  • Collaborating with universities
  • Supporting state, territorial, local and tribal health departments
  • Leading the SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology, and Surveillance (SPHERES) consortium”

 

Imagine all of the samples that the CDC, commercial diagnostic laboratories, and universities get on a daily basis.  That’s a lot of samples!

This helps give researchers the data to continuously look into the variants.  You may ask, “Why is genomic surveillance important for public health?”  Now that we have a good idea about what a variant of concern is, we can talk about the Variant of High Consequence.

What is a Variant of High Consequence?

Right now, the term, “variant of high consequence” is not circulating through the news.  We hope and pray that it never does.  While a variant of concern is basically what it says, causes concern but there are vaccines and treatments available, in the case of a variant of high consequence, there is none.

This would be a variant that would force scientists back to square one to find a new vaccine and treatments.

In other words, a variant of high consequence would render our current countermeasures useless. 

The CDC describes it as follows:

  • Demonstrated failure of diagnostic test targets
  • Evidence to suggest a significant reduction in vaccine effectiveness, a disproportionately high number of vaccine breakthrough cases, or very low vaccine-induced protection against severe disease
  • Significantly reduced susceptibility to multiple Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or approved therapeutics
  • More severe clinical disease and increased hospitalizations
The good news is that currently there are no COVID-19 Variants of High Consequence.

Source: CDC

However, as it is in its nature, as long as the virus continues to spread, it will most likely continue to mutate into other forms of variants.  Some of the COVID-19 future variants may potentially be much more dangerous than the current variants.

Now is the time to prevent the rise of a COVID-19 Variant of High Consequence.

If you are presently unvaccinated, please take the time to read and educate yourself on the current overcrowded hospitals with so many unvaccinated suffering from severe COVID-19 complications. Vaccines in the US are highly effective, including against all variants including the Delta which is the strongest variant of interest in the US today.

“The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including against the Delta variant.” – Source CDC.

For those who are fully vaccinated, if you live or visit a place that is of high transmission you should consider wearing a face mask while indoors to avoid the spread.  To find out the transmission rating of your county, visit the CDC’s COVID Integrated County View.

Together We Can Stop the Spread

At Altus Emergency, we have been through natural disasters and now the pandemic without having closed our doors even once.  It is during these harsh times that we dive into the cause wholeheartedly.

With hospitals being severely overcrowded and emergency rooms closing, we put everything into helping our communities, day in and day out.  This has been a rough time for everyone, we hope and pray that if we all work together to help educate our communities, we can help put an end to this pandemic.  Please keep in mind that the unvaccinated are the most at risk for severe complications of all COVID-19 variants. 

According to health authorities, “Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.”  Putting an end to this pandemic is in all of our hands.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to care for you and your family 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. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Back to School Tips for 2021

Back to School Tips for 2021

In honor of parents all over Texas who are scrambling to get their kids ready for school, here are some Back to School Tips for 2021.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend our daily life and the start of the new school year just a few weeks ahead, stress levels are running high for both parents and children.  Now with the COVID-19 Delta variant, parents need all of the help they can get.

School districts continue to weigh learning options for this school year, and we still don’t know when things will be back to normal. However, there are steps you can take as a parent to help prepare your children for in-person classes.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Get to Know About the Delta Variant

The first of our Back to School Tips for 2021 is to get to know more about the Delta variant.  This most recent COVID-19 mutation or variant has quickly become the dominant strain accounting for more than 93% of all new COVID-19 cases in the US. (Source: CDC).

One of the reasons for Delta’s expansion according to the CDC, is that it’s twice as contagious as the previous COVID-19 strains. 

Another reason for its quick rise is that recent studies have shown that the Delta virus is stronger, packing 1000 times the “viral load” than previous COVID variants. As a result, the unvaccinated have been the worst hit and have overrun hospitals and emergency rooms all over Texas.  According to the latest data from Becker’s Hospital Review, during the last 14 days,

Texas hospitals have experienced a 102% increase in COVID-19 hospitalization rates with every 30 out of 100 hospitalizations being COVID-19 related.

With this knowledge in mind, it is important for parents to take the insertion of the Delta variant into consideration when sending their children back to school.

RSV Cases Are Still On the Rise

Hospital overcrowding leads us to our next of the Back to School Tips for 2021.  In our recent news article, CDC WARNING: Rise in RSV Cases in Children and Adults, we alerted our communities on the recent out-of-season spike in respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus which if left untreated can be deadly. Like most respiratory viruses, RSV is spread by touching an infected surface and by air. In fact, the virus can survive on hard surfaces for many hours. Once infected with RSV, a healthy individual can remain contagious for 3-8 days. However, in some cases, “individuals can continue to spread the virus even after they stop showing symptoms, for as long as 4 weeks.” Source: CDC.

RSV Symptoms

It is vital to know how to recognize RSV signs and symptoms.  These tend to show up within 4-6 days and usually appear in stages.  “In very young infants with RSV, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity, and breathing difficulties.” Source CDC.   The following are the most common RSV signs and symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing & Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing

Should you or a loved one exhibit any of these RSV symptoms (which do not come all at once), visit your local Altus location to have it evaluated by an ER physician and avoid possible complications.

 

RSV Complications in Infants and Children according to the CDC:

  • Bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung)
  • Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)

Considering that hospitals are packed full, it is important that parents take all necessary steps to safeguard their children from the RSV virus.

Pediatric Emergencies Capability

Texas Schools Reopening Guidelines

Now that we have discussed the current health situation, the next of our Back to School Tips for 2021 is to get to know the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) reopening guidelines to know what to expect.  According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) new COVID-19 health guidance :

  • Children are not required to wear facemasks (this is entirely optional)
  • Texas schools are not required to inform parents of positive COVID cases (contact tracing)
  • They are required to notify the Texas Department of State Health Services authorities
  • They are required to notify the parents of the children who came into close contact with the COVID-positive child or teacher.
  • They are required to exclude the child from classes and remote learning for up to 20 days.
  • “For individuals who are determined to be close contacts, a 14-day stay-at-home period was previously advised by the CDC based on the incubation period of the virus” or they may end the period sooner having received “a negative result from a PCR acute infection test.”

If Kids Get Infected with Delta, Are They at Serious Risk?

The following was passed along by the Texas Department of State Health Services from the CDC Stance on the Delta Variant as of July 2021.  Source: CDC Update on COVID-19

“Most children who get COVID19 have less symptoms than adults. However, the Delta variant is more transmissible than other variants, therefore protection against exposure is more important than ever, especially among those who are unvaccinated or too young to be vaccinated.

  • We knowbased on national antibody studiesthat children experience COVID19 infection, even if they have had fewer symptoms. National seroprevalence data show that children (age 017) have the highest level of antibodies of any age group (27.8%).
  • CDC recommends that parents take appropriate protective actions, such as having children older than age 2 who are unvaccinated wear masks in public indoor settings.”

In other words, although children that had been exposed to the virus experienced “low transmission rates”, the data was derived from previous COVID-19 variants and not the Delta.  As children tend to be either asymptomatic or very mild symptoms, they are still potential transmitters of the virus and can endanger those who have not been vaccinated.  For this reason, the most important of our Back to School Tips for 2021 are for parents to take the necessary steps to help prevent and protect their children and their communities.

Teach Them How They Can Stay Safe

Kids are more aware of their surroundings than many of us think. They can feel the stress and anxiety of grownups, and they see the news. The problem is that they don’t always understand why things happen.

For this reason, it’s important to teach our kids, especially the smaller ones, how harmful germs spread, and how they can make us sick. The critical point, however, is also to teach them how they can keep themselves safe.

So, while you explain that virus and bacteria can enter their system when they touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with dirty hands, you also explain what they can do to keep safe.

  • Help them create the habit of washing their hands with soap and water regularly. You can make up a fun song together or teach them how to blow soap bubbles while they wash their hands.
  • Explain why they shouldn’t touch their faces (eyes, nose, and mouth) with unwashed hands. No need to scare them, simply remind them of how much fun they missed out on the last time they were sick.
  • Teach them about social distancing. Personal boundaries are hard to understand for most kids, but as we get used to our new normal, teaching them about personal space is vital. Find creative ways for them to express how much they care about a classmate or teacher that doesn’t involve hugging or close contact.

While PPE is completely optional in Texas, for those parents who consider following the CDC’s recommendations, here are some tips on facemasks:

  • Not sharing is caring. Children need to understand that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) cannot be shared with anyone else. You don’t want to send your child to school with a Superman face mask only to have them return home with a Spiderman face mask.
  • Instruct them on the proper way to wear PPE. Show your kids how to put on their face coverings, and how to remove them safely. Insist they always wash their hands before putting on or taking off their PPE

Other tips for preventing the spread of viruses:

  • For current COVID-19 case counts across Texas, please visit the Department of State Health Services dashboard.  If you are in a “hot spot” you will have a greater chance of exposure and transmission.
  • Set up a mom’s network.  While the schools may not be broadly reporting the COVID cases, a mom’s chat network can help keep parents informed.
  • For parents with older kids (ages 12 and up), many school districts are hosting back-to-school COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. Should you wish to get your teen vaccinated, contact your local school district to find out which one may be near you.
  • For younger children, parents may opt to “cocoon them in” which means that they take the steps to ensure that everyone in their close proximity is vaccinated and when they are around others who are not, they consider wearing facemasks and social distancing.

Positive Outlook

Kids don’t all feel the same way about school. Some love it and others not so much.

As parents, it’s important to point out the positive aspects of going to school. Bring up the friendship bonds they’ve developed at school, and always try to link their studies to their interests.

Most importantly, listen to your child. Talk openly about their concerns and fears about returning to school and reassure them that both you and their teachers will do everything you can to keep them safe.

How to Prepare Your Children to Go Back to School

Schedule Check-Ups in Advance

Don’t leave your kids’ medical checkups for last. Call your doctor to schedule a routine checkup well ahead of the start of face to face classes. This way, you will have time to treat any minor condition that can compromise your child’s health at school.

Stay Informed

Health and safety guidelines are continually changing, depending on how COVID-19 is spreading through our communities.

Therefore, establish communication channels with teachers, principals, and other parents to ensure you are up to date with all safety measures.  Please keep in mind that as long as their are transmissions, the COVID-19 virus will continue to mutate.  Together, we can help end the spread!

At Altus Emergency Centers, we know how much you love your children and how you always want what is best for them. That is why all our centers have special pediatric examining rooms, and medical professionals to treat your child when necessary.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Dry Drowning – Facts & How to Save Your Baby

Dry Drowning, Facts, Prevention & When to Go to the ER

Dry Drowning: Preventing Another Tragedy

Back in 2017, the tragic death of a 4-year-old in Texas, shocked us all, when doctors told the parents they suspected the child had died from dry drowning a week after going on a family vacation.  Source: CNN. The medical staff at Altus Emergency Centers extends their condolences to the family of Frankie Delgado. Since then, many parents learned of this potentially fatal emergency, its warning signs and symptoms and were able to help save the lives of their children by getting them to emergency care early on.

Image Source: nydailynews.com

While rare, we would like to take this opportunity to remind parents about the dangers and prevention of dry and secondary drowning to prevent another tragedy.

What is Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning?

Both dry drowning and secondary or delayed drowning, occur when a child breathes or inhales water. This can happen in a pool, the ocean, a river, or even in the bathtub.

These submersion injuries can affect both adults and children, however, children are more susceptible because of their size.

The terms dry drowning and secondary drowning, are commonly used interchangeably, but they are in fact very different conditions.

 

Dry Drowning

Occurs when the individual takes in a small amount of water through their mouth or nose. This water does not reach the lungs, instead, once it reaches the back of the throat, it causes the vocal cords to spasm and close, causing the airways to shut off, making it hard to breathe. The symptoms of dry-drowning usually happen immediately after the incident in the water.

 

Secondary Drowning

In this type of incident, the airways do not close themselves up, but rather open, letting water into the lungs. Once there, liquid can build up causing inflammation and swelling, making it difficult for the body to get enough oxygen; this condition is known as pulmonary edema. Symptoms of secondary drowning may take between 1 and 24 hours to manifest.

Symptoms of Dry Drowning

Know the Warning Signs

 

Both conditions share many of the same symptoms, the main difference is how fast they manifest. Typical signs of either incident include:

  • Trouble Breathing
  • Coughing
  • Sleepiness or unusual drop in the child’s activity level
  • Chest Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal irritability

These types of submersion injuries are rare, and there is no cause for parents to panic every time the child comes in contact with a body of water. According to a 2006 study published in the British Medical Journal the percentage of submersion incidents which result in either dry or secondary drowning is between 2% and 5%.

Having said that, parents who spot any of the above symptoms in their child after it has spent time in the water should immediately rush to any of Altus Emergency Centers for evaluation and treatment.

Most of the time, symptoms can be mild and improve on their own, however, there is no way of telling if this this will happen, and because the symptoms can progress rapidly and become life-threatening, it is better to have medical attention sooner rather than later.

How to Prevent Dry Drowning

Prevention Submersion Injuries

 

Prevention is always the goal, these recommendations will not only prevent dry or secondary drowning, but any type of submersion incident.

  • Swimming Lessons: Children who are comfortable in and around water are less likely to panic and breathe or inhale water. The recommended age to start swimming lessons is 4-years.
  • Educate: Teach your child to close their mouth when jumping or diving into a pool to avoid water getting in and causing spasms.
  • Beware of extremely cold water: Instruct your child not to jump or dive into a pool if, the water is extremely cold, the natural response will be to gasp due to the temperature increasing the chances of inhalation. Instead teach them to gradually enter the cold water.
  • Keep a close eye: Incidents can happen in a matter of seconds, never leave your child in a body of water, even if it is the bathtub alone for any reason. Children should always wear flotation devices on boats, or when they are learning to swim.
  • Drugs and Alcohol: Parents of teenagers should ensure their children know and understand the danger involved in swimming under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Knowledge Saves Lives

There is Hope

A toddler from Colorado is alive today because of Frankie Delgado’s story.  Gio, a 2 year old from Colorado demonstrated symptoms of dry drowning and his father, Garon Vega rushed him to an emergency room.  Vega had heard about Frankie’s dry drowning tragedy and was able to recognize similar symptoms after a visit to a community pool.

“The X-rays did show that he had a significant amount of water in his lungs, and that it was a good thing that we brought him in because if we hadn’t have, he wouldn’t have made it through the night,” said Vega.  – Source: Fox6Now. Today, Vega thanks the parents of Frankie Delgado for creating awareness as their story saved his son’s life.

If it Happens, We Can Help

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention, but, we also understand that there will be accidents that are unavoidable, and that is the reason our expertly trained staff is available 24/7.

Should you observe any of dry drowning or secondary drowing, there is no time to hesitate, head to our nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top-of-the-line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, 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.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions for the Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk in, to when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Summer Camp Safety Guide

Summer Camp Safety Guide – Keep Your Kiddos Safe!

Hey parents, here’s an easy Summer Camp Safety Guide!  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 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

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

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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.

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