Now that it’s fall, your kids are getting back on the bus every morning and heading off to school. Although these days are all about learning (with a bit of fun mixed in), it’s not all good news. Being surrounded by a bunch of other kids means that your children may be more vulnerable to coming down with the sniffles -- or worse. A common cold is bad enough, but parents need to watch out for some major maladies in order to keep their children safe and sound this season.
Promoting healthy habits can stave off a lot of the most worrisome illnesses. Reminding children to wash their hands frequently and to not share drinks with others can help to improve their immunity. But sharing other items -- such as hats, towels, and brushes -- can be bad news, too.
In a school environment, head lice can quickly spread in classrooms when children share personal belongings or keep these belongings in areas like cubbies or class closets. Lice infestations are common among young children. In fact, anywhere from 6 million to 12 million lice infestations occur among children ages three to 11 each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of course, most schools will perform lice checks on a semi-regular basis. But parents need to do their due diligence, too. Watch for signs of head lice, which include itching, head sores, sleeping problems, and a tickling feeling on the scalp. If you suspect your child might have head lice (or their school, community center, or extracurricular facility has reported a lice outbreak), take action to have them checked and follow all healthcare provider recommendations.
Young children are particularly vulnerable to other illnesses, as well. Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease is one that primarily affects children under the age of five, which means daycare workers and preschool teachers need to be on the lookout.
This contagious viral infection actually has no treatment and will typically go away on its own; however, proper hydration is key and the disease may become serious under certain circumstances. It’s often caused by person-to-person contact with an infected individual’s saliva, blister fluid, nasal or throat discharge, or stool. Symptoms of HFMD include a suppressed appetite; sore throat; mouth sores; rash on the hands, feet, elbows, knees, buttocks, or genitals; irritability; and general feeling of unwell. Talk to your doctor if your child’s fever and other symptoms persist after a few days or if their sores/sore throat keep them from drinking liquids.
Another disease that spreads rapidly in schools and childcare settings is conjunctivitis. Also known as pinkeye, this inflammatory illness is one of the most common eye-related conditions worldwide. As such, it causes a lot of kids to miss school; an estimated 3 million school days are lost every year due to pink eye infections. Pinkeye has many possible causes and typically dissipates fairly quickly, assuming you follow your physician’s recommendations. But it can certainly be uncomfortable while it lasts, as its symptoms may include swelling, discharge, sensitivity to light, itching, burning, crustiness, blurriness, and discoloration.
While many of the most common diseases in schools and childcare may clear up quickly with no complications, there are others that need to be taken very seriously. Meningococcal meningitis is one of these diseases.
Although individuals of any age can develop this illness, the rates of development are highest in those under the age of one and those in adolescence. If left untreated, the consequences can be dire: brain damage is common and the disease can prove fatal in 50% of cases. Be sure to watch for sudden fever, neck stiffness, headache, confusion, light sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. Even though these symptoms can occur with other conditions, their sudden onset coupled with rash and joint pain should raise alarm. It’s imperative to seek out immediate medical treatment if you suspect meningococcal meningitis in your child.
Back-to-school season can be an exciting time, but all that new contact makes this time of year rife with illnesses. Parents, educators, and other trusted adults must stay alert and take action quickly if one of these diseases presents itself in the classroom or at home.
Urgent care clinics are a welcome solution when you are unable to obtain a convenient appointment with your doctor or are struggling with an illness or injury outside of normal business hours. It's easy to receive convenient care whenever you need it by going to a walk-in medical facility. However, not all urgent care centers will provide the exact same experience when you visit. You can get the most out of your next urgent care visit by following the three tips below.
As urgent care clinics become more and more prevalent across the United States, there is an increasing need for pediatric urgent care availability. In a study by the University of Michigan, 26% of parents took their sick children to an urgent care facility when they were excluded from day care services. In fact,ore and more daycare centers are sending children home with minor illnesses and requiring a doctor's note before they are permitted to return. Working parents, attempting to cope, are utilizing urgent care to satisfy the day care so they can get back to work. More often than not, though, the minor illness affecting your child in these situations do not need urgent care.
Why go to urgent care, and how can you know when your child truly needs urgent care? Here are some warning signs that will help you determine whether you should start looking for an urgent care center for kids near you.
Why Go To Urgent Care:
Urgent care clinics offer many benefits for busy parents. It is often more convenient than a traditional emergency room, which is necessary for more severe medical emergencies. In 2015, up to 92% of urgent care facilities reported consistent wait times of 30 minutes or less.
Knowing when to take your kid to urgent care will help save you time and money. The American Academy of Pediatrics has released guidelines for child care centers, to help them understand when children need medical attention. As child care centers begin to utilize this information, your day care may insist you seek medical attention for minor illnesses. Urgent care facilities are a convenient option when needed.
By the end of 2019, Beaumont Health plans to invest approximately $30 million in urgent care centers in Metro Detroit. They are planning to open about 30 urgent care clinics in the area, creating 150 new jobs for medical care providers and support staff.
Beaumont is a Royal Oak-based health care system and they are partnering with Atlanta-based WellStreet Urgent Care in order to open and operate this large number of new facilities. Increased demand from patients for low-cost and convenient care options have spurred the development of healthcare clinics across Detroit.
According to officials, they are still in the process of selecting the exact locations of the centers, but they will be in high-traffic areas, near high-volume emergency centers, large employers, and areas that are dense with commercial enterprises. The centers are expected to range in size from 4,000 to 5,000 square feet.
While there are certainly times when it's appropriate for a person to go to the emergency room for medical treatment, a recent study shows that approximately 44% to 65% of all ER episodes could have been treated at urgent care locations. Beaumont Health CEO John Fox sees the addition of numerous urgent care clinics connected in one comprehensive network as a way to lower health care costs for consumers and employers. Trips to emergency rooms are often costly, but going to the ER can circumvent those prices.
Fox also says that the urgent care centers will be incorporated into Beaumont's electronic health record system. When patients go to a Beaumont urgent care clinic, the staff will notify their primary care physician and share clinical information. In this way, primary care doctors are never left out of the loop and a patient can have coordinated medical treatment at all levels.
Beaumont's urgent care centers are meant to service patients with coughs, sore throats, skin irritations, fevers, mild intestinal illnesses, minor lacerations, and orthopedic injuries. The facilities will also have an x-ray and lab on premise to diagnose less complicated injuries or illnesses. Prepackaged medications, such as short-term antibiotics, will be available, although there will not be any pharmacies on site.
In an effort to provide truly immediate and convenient care, the centers will be open every day of the year for 12 hours a day. Patients will be able to walk in as usual, but can also make appointments online or through a new app. Officials estimate that a typical visit will be completed in under 50 minutes.
Early September, excitement fills the air when it’s time for kids and teens to head back to school. But while their minds may be preoccupied with reconnecting with their peers, finding the correct classrooms, and finishing their homework (you hope), there may be even more concerning matters to worry about. This time of year brings new schedules and new activities that can make students more prone to injury -- which is why parents and kids need to discuss proper safety procedures beforehand.
And, of course, if an injury does occur, you’ll need to seek out fast medical treatment.
Staying safe while en route to school is a must. If your child plans on riding their bike to and from school, make sure they always wear a helmet. That way, if they fall or in any type of collision, their risk of injury will be significantly less; in fact, helmets reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85%. You should also instruct your child to ride in the same direction as car traffic and to stay on the right-hand side of the road. Teach them the proper hand signals, to always be aware of their surroundings, and to ride with others to amp up their safety.
Many children rely on the school bus to transport them each morning and afternoon. While that might be a relief for many families, that doesn’t mean your kids can go on autopilot while waiting for and getting onto the bus. Morning pick-ups may take place quite early, sometimes even before the sun has really come up. That’s one of the reasons why it’s essential to wait in the proper location and stay out of the street before the bus arrives. Before getting on or off, students must wait until the bus has come to a complete stop. To prevent injury mid-ride, school children must remain in their seats any time the bus is in motion and must not distract the driver.
Following these transportation rules can keep kids safe before they get to school and after the school day is done. But what about safety in school itself? While most classes will be relatively uneventful, one place students must practice caution is the playground. Recess is meant to be a fun and physical activity -- but those efforts can be derailed if students don’t protect themselves during play. For one thing, children must use the equipment as intended; climbing back up a slide or horsing around on the swings can result in surprisingly serious injuries. And speaking of horsing around: teach your children not to engage in horseplay or any type of violence. Around 70% of all playground injuries are related to falls, which means that pushing, shoving, or crowding should be avoided at all costs. In general, teaching your children to “play nice” can actually pay off.
Of course, those aren’t the only playtime conditions that can cause concern. Whether they’re outside for recess or engaging in outdoor activities in P.E., it’s important that both teachers and students take the proper precautions. Extreme weather conditions necessitate inside play, for example. If the heat index is at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or the wind chill factor is at or below minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit, no one should be spending time outdoors. And when it is nice enough to head outside, protection is needed. In addition to required sports equipment, students should always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an adequate SPF, even on cloudy days. Sunglasses are a must on sunny days, regardless of the season, and proper winter clothing and accessories should be worn when the weather calls for it. Don’t forget about good footwear, either! Look for shoes that are comfortable and durable with treads or even water-resistant features to ensure your child stays safe during outdoor play.
Undoubtedly, this time of year can be quite a thrill. But unless you want your kids to also take a spill, these tips will make sure that September will be totally chill.
Legacy ER & Urgent Care
Legacy pioneered retail healthcare in 2008 and is now ranks in the top 1% of global retailers for customer service.