How to Manage Your Child’s Case of Pink Eye

girl with hands covering face due to pink eyeAs kids head back to school and communal settings, they face an increased risk of catching a contagious illness. Pink eye, in particular, spreads rapidly through classrooms and playgrounds. Learn what to do if infectious pink eye makes an appearance in your household.

Pink eye (AKA conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that lines the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. This inflammation makes the blood vessels in your eye more noticeable, and gives the eye the telltale reddish pink appearance. According to the National Eye Institute, about 3 million cases of pink eye occur in the United States each year!

Symptoms may affect one or both eyes, and include:

  • Reddish or pink appearance of the eye
  • Eye discomfort, itchiness or grittiness (a feeling of sand in the eye)
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Swelling and/or crusting of the eyelid
  • Tearing
  • Sensitivity to light

If your child is suffering from any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to head to the doctor.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Pink eye can be caused by the same viruses responsible for common colds, sinus infections, and sore throats, and also by the bacteria behind chlamydia and gonorrhea. Allergies or environmental irritants can also cause conjunctivitis, and in these instances, the condition is not contagious.

Treatment for conjunctivitis depends on the root cause. Get a fast diagnosis and proper care at our clinic today. Our medical team will perform an eye exam, review symptoms and go over recent health history to help determine an underlying cause. If the infection is due to a bacteria, your child may need antibiotic eye drops or ointment. If allergies are the culprit, the provider might prescribe an anti-allergy medication. Viral conjunctivitis will usually clear up on its own in a few days, but cool or warm compresses and acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve discomfort.

Kids with contagious conjunctivitis should be kept out of school and childcare until the contagious stage has passed (usually 3-5 day) . Be sure to wash your hands well after touching a child’s infected eye and avoid sharing items such as eye drops, tissues, washcloths, towels, and pillowcases. It’s also important to clean and sanitize common toys, table tops, drinking fountains, faucet handles, and other surfaces.

Visit our clinic when you need fast, affordable pink eye treatment and advice.

Know the Signs of Dehydration

The hot summer days of August are upon us, and as temps rise, so too does your risk of dehydration. Learn the signs and symptoms of this common condition, and when it’s time to seek professional medical care.

water glass - dehydration symptomsIn hot and humid weather, your body sweats as a means to cool itself down. But excess perspiration can reduce body water levels, and if you are not replacing those fluids at the same rate, you become dehydrated.

Water is essential for the body to function– it plays a role in nearly all its major systems. Regulation of body temperature, digestion, and joint health all depend on water. Not getting enough fluids can lead to dehydration symptoms that range from mild to severe.

Mild Dehydration Symptoms include:

  • Dry lips, tongue and mouth
  • Headache
  • Weakness, dizziness, and fatigue
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Nausea

If you are a healthy adult, you can generally treat these symptoms on your own. Stop activity, drink water or a sports drink with electrolytes, and place a cold compress on your neck to cool off. However, since young children and older adults are at higher risk of serious complications , they should see a doctor for the above symptoms. It’s also important to seek treatment if you are experiencing severe dehydration symptoms, such as:

  • Diarrhea for 24 hours or more
  • Feeling irritable, disoriented, much more tired, or less active than usual
  • Can’t keep down fluids
  • Bloody or black stool

If your symptoms are not life-threatening, our urgent care center is a great option for dehydration treatment. Simply walk in for quick, high quality medical care from friendly doctors! We offer shorter wait times and more affordable prices than the ER.

Now you know the signs and symptoms of dehydration. This condition is easily preventable by drinking plenty of water, so be diligent about your fluid intake this summer. If you do need care, we’re here for you!

Grilling Safety Tips to Prevent Foodborne Illness

person grilling meat and veggies - food safety to prevent foodborne illnessFiring up the grill this summer? Follow these BBQ food safety tips to prevent foodborne illness.

As the weather warms up, many of us will take our dinner prep outdoors and enjoy food from the grill. But it’s important to remember that instances of food poisoning rise in the summer months, with bacteria multiplying more quickly in higher temps. Make sure you are taking the necessary precautions to protect against foodborne illness and all its unpleasant symptoms. Below, we highlight helpful grilling safety tips to minimize germs.

Grilling Safety Tips

  1. Wash your hands. Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling food. If there is no running water where you’re cooking, plan ahead and bring disposable wipes, hand sanitizer, or water, soap, and paper towels.
  2. Keep uncooked meat, poultry and seafood below 40°F. Leave your meat in the fridge until it’s time to grill. Or if you are on the go, use an insulated cooler.
  3. Avoid cross-contamination with marinades and utensils. If you plan on using a marinade as a dressing or sauce, save a separate portion in the fridge or cooler. Throw out marinades that have contacted raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Use clean utensils and a clean platter to serve cooked foods.
  4. Use a food thermometer. Cook your food thoroughly and ensure it reaches a safe temperature by using a food thermometer.
    • 145°F – whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (let stand for 3 minutes before serving)
    • 145°F – fish
    • 160°F – hamburgers, ground beef
    • 165°F – poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs
  5. Refrigerate. Don’t let food sit out too long. Food should be refrigerated after 2 hours — 1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90° F.

Always follow these guidelines to reduce your risk of foodborne illness! Consuming contaminated food can lead to food poisoning, with mild to severe symptoms, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever
  • Dehydration

If you develop severe symptoms after a cook-out, head into our clinic. Our friendly medical team is available to evaluate and treat instances of foodborne illness, with no appointment necessary.

Concussion Signs & Symptoms

football player in helmet at risk for concussionA concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurs when a sudden blow or jolt to the head causes your brain to slide back and forth against the walls of your inner skull. This forceful movement creates chemical changes in the brain and can stretch or damage brain cells. Concussions can occur during contact sports and motor vehicle/bicycle accidents, or from falling or physical abuse.

This type of injury can temporarily affect your brain function, and lead to serious long term complications. General symptoms include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. You may have a concussion and not realize it.

Concussion symptoms

  • Headache or pressure in the head
  • Confusion
  • Feeling foggy, dazed, groggy, in a haze
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness and balance problems
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Other symptoms may appear hours or days after the injury. You may experience issues with concentration, memory, and sleep. Irritability, personality changes, sensitivity to light and noise, and disorders of taste and smell are also common.


Signs of a concussion, as seen by others:

  • Amnesia or confusion surrounding the traumatic event
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Appears dazed
  • Slurred speech
  • Forgets instructions, or is confused during simple tasks
  • Loss of consciousness

For any head injury, it’s important to seek an evaluation from a doctor, even if emergency care isn’t required.

As long as you did not experience a loss of consciousness, nausea or vomiting as a result of your head injury, our urgent care center is a good place to seek care. Our providers are available to perform quick diagnostics and can ensure that the injury is not life-threatening or require emergency treatment. Always err on the safe side in regards to a brain injury! Walk into our clinic today for a fast, affordable evaluation and an expert treatment plan.

When to seek emergency treatment:
Call 911 or head straight to the emergency room for any head injury associated with a loss of consciousness, seizures, neck pain, vomiting or numbness, prolonged confusion or amnesia, or weakness in arms or legs.

When and Where to Seek Treatment for Burns

person with bandage and medication for burn We run the risk of burns throughout our daily lives. Burns can occur during simple activities such as making dinner, curling your hair, ironing clothes, or making a pot of coffee. And while some burns can be safely treated at home, others require professional medical attention. Underestimating the severity of a burn can delay proper treatment, lead to infection, and in extreme cases, life-threatening conditions. Learn when and where to seek the appropriate treatment for burns.

Consider the following factors to determine the level of care your burn needs:

Depth

Superficial, or first-degree, burns are red and painful like a sunburn, affecting only the outer layer of the skin. These burns can usually be treated at home.

Deeper second-degree burns cause swelling and red, white or blotchy skin. Blisters can develop, pain may be severe, and scarring is possible.Head to an urgent care for this type of burn.

Full-thickness third-degree burns involve the entire epidermis and dermis layers of the skin, may have patches of black, brown or white, and appear leathery or charred. At this point, emergency care is necessary.

Location and Size

Most minor burns can be safely treated at our urgent care center. However, any burn involving the face or covering a large area of the body should be treated at a hospital.

Infection

It’s important to see a doctor if your burn is showing any signs of infection. Our urgent care can assess your burn, and provide antibiotics or referrals as necessary. Symptoms include:

  • Increasing pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Drainage
  • Odor
  • If you’re unsure of your burn’s severity, it’s best to seek professional care. Walk into our clinic for a fast, affordable evaluation and high quality treatment of minor burns.

    Seek emergency care for:

  • Burns that cover the face or a large area of the body
  • Deep burns, which means burns affecting all layers of the skin or even deeper tissues
  • Burns that cause the skin to look leathery
  • Burns that appear charred or have patches of black, brown or white
  • Burns caused by electricity
  • Difficulty breathing or burns to the airway