It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
It’s winter again, and while parents are excited for their children to return to school, there is almost always one lingering worry in the back of every caregiver’s mind. Despite the best efforts of a health-conscious guardian, there is only so much vitamin C, hand sanitizer and air purifiers can do to prevent the germs that determinedly desire to enter your home. With children being confined to close quarters in tightly packed classrooms for long periods of time, it is nearly impossible to avoid at least one unwanted trip to the local walk in clinic to ensure your child’s respiratory symptoms don’t morph into something more serious. On average, children catch between 6 and 10 colds every year. After all, who wants to wash their hands during play time? Among those colds, complications like ear infections or sinus infections aren’t out of the picture. In fact, five out of six children will get at least one ear infection before the age or three and about 40% of all children will have contracted three or more ear infections by the same age.
Fighting the Unknown
Of course, things can become even more complicated when a concerned parent doesn’t know what they’re up against. While most parents seek to avoid unwarranted trips to a walk in clinic if it can be avoided, many also find themselves stressed about making the best health-care decisions for them and their family. Allergy symptoms can easily mock early cold and flu symptoms and people who get the flu are most contagious several days after the illness starts.
The 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) discovered that 8.4% of U.S. children experience hay fever, 10% suffer respiratory allergies, and 5.4% and 11.6% have food allergies and skin allergies, respectively. Urgent care centers are convenient for common illnesses and minor injuries, but they can also be helpful in determining the source of your child’s symptoms. Services like allergy testing can also be especially useful as a reference to understanding your child’s source of watery eyes and itching skin which can save future trips for more harrowing situations. After all, four out of five urgent care centers offer fracture care services and roughly 25,000 Americans sprain their ankle every day. Even better, an urgent care walk in clinic can intervene when an illness was more serious than you initially thought. Knowing when and how to use your local walk in clinic, especially those specializing in urgent care, can empower any child-care provider to ensure their child is getting the care they need.
Know When to Go
It is especially important to avoid waiting until the last minute to see a health care provider if you or your child’s symptoms are continually worsening as weeks go by. The longer you wait, the longer your illness can have the opportunity to settle in your lungs or throat, causing nasty infections like pneumonia or earaches. Even worse, you might have the flu and be completely unaware. Ignoring worsening symptoms can land you in the hospital like the other 200,000 Americans who are hospitalized each year from complications caused by influenza. Even worse, it takes anywhere from one to four days for flu symptoms to appear once you’ve caught the virus. Thus, the virus remains within your body for a longer period of time than you might realize, so going to a walk in clinic sooner rather than later may save you from a hospital visit. Be cautious and tread carefully when dealing with respiratory symptoms. It is of the utmost importance to protect you and your family by becoming knowledgeable about health care options available to you.