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ER Nurses Week 2021 – Front Line Heroes

Happy ER Nurses Week 2021!  Celebrating our Front Line Heroes

Today we kick off a much-needed celebration honoring those in the front lines, ER Nurses Week 2020.  It takes a special heart to become a nurse, but an extraordinary soul to go into the emergency nurse profession.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  these past two years have been particularly challenging and revealing years for ER nurses across the globe.  More than ever before, the vital role of healthcare professionals including the ER nurses has been acknowledged.  We see them on the news and when we go to the doctor, but we can’t begin to understand the amazing sacrifices they make each day in honor of caring for our health.

Just like you and I, ER Nurses are Real People. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, real people feel fear, get tired, frustrated, anxious, and even depressed.  However, the ER Nurse has to put aside their fears and remain strong and focused to care for their patients.  Armed with their PPE gear, they bravely continue on tirelessly and unite with their healthcare coworkers as a tribe to keep pushing forward.  Yes, they miss their families and their families miss and worry about them but understand the importance of their mission.  Still, this is not their biggest concern during Nurses Week 2021.  Like many other healthcare professions, ER nurses are concerned about patients greatly needing emergency care staying away from hospitals and emergency rooms out of worry that they could become ill.

 

During this year, we have seen a massive surge in hospital overcrowding which has complicated receiving care for every patient in need of ER care.

Some individuals will have chest pains for days before getting treatment.  On behalf of Altus ER Nurses, we want everyone to understand the following:

You will be safe coming to any Altus facility.  We are open 24/7, offering safe private rooms.  We are currently offering low wait times. We offer Free Medical Screening, do COVID-19 testing & accept Medicare. There is no good reason to stay at home when you need ER care.  Do not risk your life. Get ER Care.

Altus is proud to celebrate Emergency Nurses Week along with the most talented and dedicated group of ER Nurses ever assembled. While we are grateful every day for the hard work these professionals do, this week we take special care to honor their dedication and commitment to helping patients.

A Look Back into ER Nurses Day From Previous Years

As you can see, at Altus, we have been celebrating ER Nurses Week since we first opened.  You may recognize some of the smiling faces.  This year, we will be releasing updated photos and videos of our ER Nurses.  The difference may be the PPE gear, the glowing smile underneath will still be the same.  Happy ER Nurses Week 2021!  Now, let’s explore, why these special ladies and gentlemen deserve our appreciation.  We will overcome the COVID-19, but there will always be battles to fight.  May we never forget to honor these brave individuals on the front lines of healthcare.

Why Do Emergency Nurses Deserve Special Appreciation?  

Nurses across the country do exemplary work. However, emergency nurses deserve special recognition because the environment in which they must work requires quick thinking and nerves of steel. 

The Emergency Room staff needs to make split-second life or death decisions. Nurses are often the first person a patient sees when they enter our Emergency Room. These people are often in severe pain, shock, and scared. The reassurance, compassion, and empathy of ER nurses make all the difference to these patients and their families.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Role of ER Nurses

Every day, emergency nurses must tackle diverse tasks with professionalism, efficiency, and above all—caring.

Patient-Care: Working at an emergency center means ER nurses will need to care for a wide range of injuries and illnesses. Some might be mild emergencies, while others may involve trauma, heart attacks, or traumatic brain injuries. The wide variety of patient conditions requires that ER nurses have specialized training and qualifications. In addition, a strong character that can keep its cool in extremely stressful situations is indispensable.

Education: The nurses at Altus are outstanding members of the communities that we serve. As such, they are always available to help us promote our wellness programs, and educate the public on how to prevent injuries. Additionally, nurses are the most prominent advocates for patients who visit our ER centers. Not only do they assist the patient during their stay at our facilities, but they also explain the care needed to ensure a speedy recovery once the patient goes home.

Leadership: Part of the company culture at Altus focuses on working as a unit. Our nurses are perhaps the best liaisons in our organization. They work closely with administrators, lab technicians, doctors, and of course, patients. Because of this, emergency room nurses must have strong leadership skills that allow them to build solid relationships with every member of our team.

A Special Thank You to Our Invaluable Nurses

At Altus Health which includes Altus ER Baytown, Altus ER Lake Jackson, Altus Lumberton Hospital, and Altus ER Waxahachie, we know the quality of the people that work with us. Moreover, every patient we see gets a chance to meet the most amazing, professional, and caring nurses ever!

Our organization could not provide the care needed by our communities, were it not for the hard work and dedication that our nurses put into every minute of their workday. 

These brave, compassionate angels help us save lives every day, and we could not be more proud and grateful to have them by our side.

To all of you who give so much to both patients and colleagues, “Thank You” from the bottom of our hearts for a job well done!

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!

Tips for a Safe Halloween

Tips for a Safe Halloween in 2021

We are so excited to have Halloween just around the corner!  During 2021, we have been blessed by having access to the vaccine for COVID-19.  While this has helped open up our social bubbles a bit more, we still should always keep in mind these commonsense tips for a safe Halloween.

So how can we celebrate Halloween safely?

Tips for a Safe Halloween

While last year, some counties banned door-to-door trick or treating over safety concerns. Others are strongly recommended that you skip the activity.  This year, CDC director, Rochelle Walensky, stated:

“I certainly hope so,” Walensky said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” when asked whether it’s safe for children to go trick-or-treating this year. “If you’re able to be outdoors, absolutely,” she said.

The head of the CDC also recommended that parents and kids “limit crowds” on Halloween.

“I wouldn’t necessarily go to a crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups,” Walensky said. “I hope that we can do that this year.”

Source: CNBC

So, the first thing you should do is to keep in mind the standard recommended safety guidelines.

Trick-or-treating is an outdoor activity and, therefore, safer as you have some control when it comes to physical distancing. An added plus is you can work in a fun face mask into your child’s costume.

If you decide to trick or treat this year, here are some tips to protect your family from COVID-19

  1. Don’t replace your face covering with a Halloween mask. Specially made fabric or surgical masks work better at preventing the spread of the virus. Most of the materials used in Halloween masks are not be enough to prevent viral transmission.
  2. Parents should line their children and only have one child at the door at a time. By avoiding gatherings at your neighbor’s door, you can help keep everyone safe
  3. Local health authorities recommend you stay close to home and keep your trick or treating party small. You should avoid going to neighborhoods where you are not sure how the virus is spreading
  4. Encourage children to bring hand sanitizer and use it frequently as they are more likely to touch their face while adjusting their costume
  5. Once you arrive home, the first thing to do is have everyone wash their hands with soap and water
  6. Don’t let your children eat any of the treats before you get home. Their hands may be dirty, and this increased their risk of getting sick not only with COVID-19 but also with the flu or stomach

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

General Safety Tips for Trick Or Treating

If your child has an allergic reaction, please don’t hesitate, bring them to the nearest Altus Emergency Center as soon as possible.

Halloween is a fun time for everyone in the family. Even though we may need to celebrate differently this year, Halloween can still be a joyous occasion if we follow the safety recommendations.

Although COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind these days, it is not the only health concern this time of year. Flu season is about to start, and if not treated, it could cause severe illness and complications.

If you or your child are not feeling well, it’s best to stay home. If you notice symptoms are getting worse, visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center, so our doctors can evaluate your symptoms and help you recover.

Tips for a Safe Halloween

Safe Alternative for Halloween!

If you are looking for a safe alternative for trick-or-treating in 2021?  We welcome you to come to our FREE Trick-Or-Treat Drive Through Events!  It’s a great opportunity to get free candy safely by Halloween personalities. Just Drive Through with your car or broomstick, no need to even get out!

We encourage that you fly off to tell your friends! The more, the scarier!

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!

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!

National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. At Altus Emergency Centers, we want to do our part in helping to raise awareness of the dangers, treatment, and prevention of spinal cord injuries.

Spinal Cord Injury Facts

Earlier this year, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center released the following statistics: 17,730 new cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) occur every year

  • Approximately 296,000 Americans are currently living with SCI
  • 78% of new spinal cord injuries are male patients
  • The average age of injury is 43, in the 1970’s it was 29
  • 59.1% of SCI victims are Non-Hispanic whites, 24.2% are Non-Hispanic blacks, 13.3% are of Hispanic origin, and 2.5% are Asian

 

The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are:

  • Vehicular Accidents 38.2%
  • Falls 32.3%
  • Violence (Mostly from Gunshot Wounds) 14.3%
  • Sports or Recreational Activities 7.8%
  • Medical/Surgical 4.1%
  • Other Causes 3.3%

What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

The spinal cord is made up of all the nerves that run down the center of your back. These nerves carry the signals from our brain that allows us to move our legs, arms, and the rest of our body. The nerves also send messages back to the brain about any sensations we feel, such as pain and pleasure.

Spinal cord injuries usually happen when a blow fractures or dislocates the vertebrae, which damages the nerves and disrupts the signals.

SCI is a medical emergency. Patients who receive immediate treatment have a better chance of reducing the long-term effects of type of injury.

 

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are two types of spinal cord injuries:

  • Complete Spinal Cord Injury: With this type of injury, the damaged nerves can’t send signals below the level of the injury. Therefore, the patient is left paralyzed below the site of injury.
  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: With this type of injury, the patient will still have some movement and feeling below the site of injury.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

You should come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you were in a car crash, fell or were otherwise injured and develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain or pressure in your neck, head or back
  • A Tingling sensation or loss of feeling in your hands, fingers, feet or toes
  • Partial or complete loss of control over any part of the body
  • Urinary or bowel incontinence or retention
  • Abnormal sensations of pain or pressure in the thorax 
  • Difficulty breathing after injury
  • Unusual lumps on your head or spine

How are Spinal Cord Injuries Diagnosed

Trauma patients who come to our ER are immediately evaluated to determine the severity of their injuries. The first thing our doctors will do is to make sure the patient can to breathe and has a pulse. 

Next, we will check the neurologic function of the patient by testing their strength and how much feeling they have in their arms and legs.

If there is weakness or the patient is unconscious, a rigid cervical collar is placed on them to prevent them from further injury.

At this point, the doctor will order a CT Scan of the patient’s spinal cord to determine if there are any fractures or other abnormalities of the spinal cord.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we can diagnose and stabilize spinal cord injury victims, and have them transported to the nearest hospital that can treat them.

Our minimal wait time guarantee means patients can start receiving treatment faster and increase their chances of recovery.

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!

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!

How to Wash Your Hands Correctly

Tricks to Show Your Kids: How to Wash Your Hands Correctly

Clean Hands Save Lives!

Remember when you were little, and your parents told you to wash your hands? Well, they were right to do so!

It turns out a square inch of skin on our hands can be home to an estimated 1,500 bacteria. Some of these are beneficial to us, but the ones that are not can really make us sick.

Bacteria and viruses are microscopic, which means we can’t see them with the naked eye. While some germs peacefully co-exist with us, most are foreign bodies we pick up from handling everyday items like our cell phones, door handles, shopping carts, and even our toothbrush.

The simplest and best way to prevent bacteria-related illnesses and other infectious diseases is to wash your hands with soap and water.

How Washing Your Hands Can Prevent Illnesses

Washing your hands with soap helps remove germs. Removing harmful bacteria from your hands can help prevent infections.

We are always using our hands even without realizing it. If we touch our eyes, mouth, or nose with dirty hands, germs can quickly enter our system.

 

Here are a few facts about how having clean hands can reduce illness:

  • Proper handwashing can reduce diarrheal disease-related deaths by up to 50%
  • Researchers estimate that regular hand washes can help prevent one million deaths a year
  • Washing your hands can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%
  • Contaminated hands are one of the leading causes of foodborne disease outbreaks

 

While the most common form of hand sanitizing is soap and water, alcohol-based gel hand sanitizers have proven to be an excellent way to reduce the overall absenteeism in schools due to infection.

The Proper Way to Wash Your Hands

Altus Emergency Centers is committed to safeguarding the health of the community we serve.

There are many benefits to learning the correct way to wash your hands, including:

 

  • It reduces the number of diarrhea cases by 23-40%
  • It lowers diarrheal illnesses in patients with a weakened immune system by 58%
  • It reduces the spread of respiratory diseases like colds by up to 21%
  • It can help reduce schoolchildren’s absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness by as much as 57%
  • It can help protect one out of every three young children from getting sick with diarrhea, and almost one out of five young kids from contracting respiratory infections like pneumonia
  • It may help improve early child development

Does Washing Your Hands Kill COVID-19?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, practicing proper handwashing techniques has helped save lives.

According to the CDC:

“It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a frequently touched surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes with unwashed hands. Although this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, we are still learning more about how it spreads. Cleaning visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for preventing COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses caused by viruses.”

An easy way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to learn to wash your hands well and when needed.  Let’s get to know when we should wash our hands.

Together We Can Prevent the Spread of COVID-19!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you wash your hands during these times:

 

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before and after eating food
  • Before and after tending a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing a baby’s diaper
  • After helping a child use the bathroom
  • After sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing
  • After touching an animal, its food or waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

5 Steps to Wash Your Hands

  1. Wet your hands
  2. Lather with plenty of soap. Lather the back of your hands, in between your fingers, and under your nails
  3. Scrub at least 20 seconds
  4. Rinse off the soap with water
  5. Dry your hands

Helping you stay safe and healthy is our priority, and when prevention fails, we will be here to help you get healthy once again.

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 are ready to help you get well 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 in 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!

20 Food Safety Tips We Should All Know

20 Food Safety Tips We Should All Know

National Food Safety Month started in 1994 and is observed every year during September. The purpose of this celebration is to increase awareness of food safety education.

Most of us think we know how to handle food products properly, however, according to the CDC

 

Every year, 1 in 6 Americans gets sick, 128,000 need hospitalization, and 3000 die from eating contaminated food.

It takes just a few minutes to review these Food Safety Tips to avoid a potential food poisoning.

Who Is at Risk of Food Poisoning?

Anyone can get food poisoning; however, the following groups have a higher risk of getting sick:

  • Children under the age of 5
  • Adults over 65
  • Individuals with chronic diseases or those taking medications that weaken their immune systems
  • Pregnant women

While the prospect of getting food poisoning can be scary, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy your food. All you need to do is follow these food safety tips.

1. Keep your kitchen, and cooking utensils clean

2. Avoid buying or eating food when the package has a tear, is leaking, bulging, or the containers are rusted

3. Always check the expiration date on the packaging, and don’t eat the food if it’s expired

4. Be aware of any local, state, or national food recalls or alerts. If you bought a recalled item, take it back to the store immediately 

5. Follow the storage instructions on the food labels

6. Your refrigerator should be at 40 degrees F or less, while your freezer should be at 0 degrees F or less

7. Make sure you cook or freeze fresh meat or fish within two days of purchase

8. Securely wrap meats and poultry to prevent them from leaking and contaminating other foods=

9. Wash your hands before and after you handle food products

10. Wash any fruit or vegetable before you eat it even if it looks clean

11. Wash lettuce leaves individually to make sure you remove any dirt or insects stuck on the leaves

12. Thoroughly wash cutting boards, utensils and any hard surface that had contact with raw meats, poultry, or fish

13. Keep raw and cooked foods apart

14. Raw meats need to reach a specific temperature when cooking to kill any germs or bacteria. Follow this easy chart to avoid eating undercooked meats:

Type of Meat

Beef

Poultry

Ground Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb

Minimum Cooking Temperature

160°F

180°F

160°F

15. Cook fish until it flakes, shrimp until they turn an opaque pink color, and oysters until they become plump

16. Don’t leave leftovers out for more than 2 hours, 1 hour on hot days

17. Always marinate your meats in a covered container and place them in the fridge

18. Serve and maintain hot foods at a temperature of at least 140°F

19. Cold dishes need to be served and kept at a temperature of 40°F or lower

20. Thaw your frozen foods in the fridge or submerge them in cold water, so they thaw faster. Change the water every half hour

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Foodborne Germs and When to Come to Altus Emergency Centers

Unfortunately, there are instances that even though you follow the wisdom of these food safety tips, you may get sick.  As there are some foodborne illnesses worse than others, please keep these warning signs in mind to know when to go to the nearest ER.

The top five foodborne illness-causing germs and viruses are:

  • Norovirus: This highly contagious virus causes vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Salmonella: This bacterium causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most patients recover without treatment. However, for some people, the disease can become severe enough to require hospitalization.
  • Clostridium perfringens: This bacterium is present in raw meat and poultry. C. perfringens causes diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 6 to 24 hours of infection.
  • Campylobacter:  Approximately 1.3 million Americans get sick from this bacterium every year. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
  • Staphylococcal (Staph): Staph food poisoning causes a sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea.

You should call 911 or have someone drive you to our nearest Altus Emergency Center if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe diarrhea or diarrhea that lasts more than three days
  • Frequent vomiting and not being able to keep liquids down
  • A fever that is higher than 101°F
  • Bloody vomit or stools
  • Extreme abdominal pain or cramping
  • Not urinating or have very dark urine
  • Seizures 
  • Intense muscle cramps
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Blurry vision
  • Muscle weakness or a tingling sensation in the arms
Common Reasons Men Visit the ER

Altus Emergency Centers is available to treat food poisoning patients 24/7 even on weekends and holidays.

You can use our online check-in form to let us know you are on your way to our facility and the severity of your symptoms. Our nurses and doctors will be waiting for you at the door.

If your symptoms are severe enough to require hospitalization, we will arrange for your transfer to the nearest hospital.

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 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!

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😱 EMERGENCIES CAN BE SCARY!
This Halloween, 💀 Don't Turn into a Skeleton Waiting in Line!
🚨 Go to the NO WAIT ER Open 24/7, In-House Doctors 👨‍⚕️

⏱️ Check it out 👉 https://www.altusemergency.com/
🏥 #AltusERCenters Happy Halloween!

🌝 It looks like we're forecasting GREAT WEATHER AHEAD!
Tonight, we root for the #HoustonAstros . ⚾ 🏆 #TakeItBack Guys!
🎃 On #Halloween, we'll see you at the #TrunkorTreatLumberton2019!
Oct. 31st, 6:30pm - 8:30pm 137@ N Lhs Dr, Lumberton

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