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Safety in the Sun: Pediatric Care for Preventing Sunburns

Posted on Fri, Aug 04, 2017

Pediatric Care

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The Jersey Shore is known for its abundance of sunshine that lifts our spirits and encourages plenty of outdoor activity in the summer months. It’s important for children to spend time playing outside, but it’s vital to remember that ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can pose a danger in as little as 15 minutes. July is UV Safety Month, so the pediatric care physicians at eMedical Urgent Care have put together the following sun safety recommendations to help protect your children from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

UV Safety Awareness Month

Sun is necessary for life. It gives us the light and heat we need to survive plus it offers us the best source of Vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. However, overexposure to damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays can put you at risk for skin cancer — particularly melanoma, the deadliest form. The good news is that prevention is possible.

UV Safety Awareness Month, recognized annually in July, is an opportunity for organizations nationwide to raise the level of awareness about this preventable disease that claims the life of one person every 50 minutes. UV rays can also lead to eye damage and suppress the immune system.

By taking the right precautions to protect you and your family from UV rays, everyone can enjoy the outdoors safely all year long.

Sun Protection for Children

The CDC recommends the best protection for your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside—even when you’re in the shade. Year-round prevention is key:

  • Minimize summer sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, approximately 30 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Be sure to check your sunscreen’s expiration date. Typically, the shelf life of sunscreen is no more than three years; shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.
  • Always provide enough protective clothing, sunglasses and hats for your children while they’re spending time outdoors.

Pediatric Care for Sunburns

If your infant is one year of age or younger and gets a sunburn, never hesitate to get fast pediatric care right away. If your older child or teen experiences blistering, pain, headache, fever or chills, seek urgent pediatric care.

For any mild sunburns, use the following tips to relive discomfort:

  • Keep child hydrated (sunburns are dehydrating).
  • Keep child out of the sun until fully healed.
  • Give child a cool (but not cold) bath or shower to reduce heat and pain.
  • Use fragrance-free moisturizing creams or aloe gel to offer additional comfort.

Walk-In Pediatric Care at eMedical Urgent Care

Living in New Jersey, sun exposure is pretty much unavoidable in the summer. However, with the proper precautions, you can prevent short-term discomforts and long-term problems. It is extremely important to set a good example for your tots and teens so they develop good sun protection habits early in life.

Always stay informed by checking the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) UV index. This index measures the daily intensity of UV rays from the sun on a scale of 1 to 11. A low UV index indicates the need for minimal protection, whereas a high UV index indicates maximum protection.

Find out more about pediatric care and sunburn treatments at eMedical Urgent Care in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, 908.464.6700, or Middletown, New Jersey, 732.957.0707.

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Minor First Aid Treatment for Hikers: A Wilderness Guide

Posted on Wed, Jul 20, 2016

Minor First Aid Treatment for HikersNo matter if you’re hiking on the local trails at Cheesequake State Park, trekking through the water cascades and lush paths of Coppermines Trail or backpacking on vacation somewhere in the wilderness, you should be prepared for anything to happen… at any time. The purpose of this first aid treatment for hikers guide is to provide you and your loved ones with a general overview should the unexpected accident occur.

Note: These guidelines should not be considered final, as they are constantly updated to reflect current standards of care. See the American Red Cross Wilderness and Remote First Aid Emergency Reference Guide for more information.

Building a Minor First Aid Treatment Kit for Hikers

Staying safe in the wilderness starts at home. Before leaving the house for a hike through the woods, prepare a first aid treatment kit; this is an essential part of your hiking equipment. A first aid kit’s supplies should be customized to include those items that are likely used on a regular basis, such as medications, insect repellent, a multi-use tool and a small roll of duct tape. But the base of your personal wilderness first aid kit should include the following:
  • Adhesive bandages (6)
  • Sterile gauze pads, 3-×-3-inch (2)
  • Adhesive tape (1 small roll)
  • Moleskin, 3-×-6-inch (1)
  • Soap (1 small bar) or alcohol-based hand sanitizing gel (1 travel-sized bottle)
  • Wound gel (1 small tube)
  • Scissors (1 pair)
  • Latex-free medical exam gloves (1 pair)
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) breathing barrier (1)
  • Tweezers (1)
  • Wilderness and Remote First Aid Report Form/Rescue Request and pencil
Already have a kit? It’s wise to take inventory of it and check expiration dates on all medications.

5 Common Injuries and Minor First Aid Treatment for Hikers

Some common hiking injuries include insect bites and bee stings, cuts and blisters, sprains and fractures, dehydration and sunburns.

1. Insect Bites and Bee Stings - Insect bites, such as those from spiders, mosquitoes and ticks and stings from bees, are common when you’re out in the wilderness. Your best defense is to cover up properly and avoid grassy areas. If symptoms are minimal, for example, the area of the bite is red, itchy or slightly swollen, use an antihistamine to stop the itch and ice to cool the area.

2. Blisters and Cuts - Although not technically a medical emergency, blisters are all too common and can ruin your trip if they’re not handled well. To treat a blister, wash the area and sterilize a sharp point with alcohol to drain the fluid out. Cover the area with antibiotic ointment to prevent the lanced hole from infection.

For cuts with bleeding, apply pressure to the wound area to stop the bleeding first. Once bleeding has been controlled, the next step is to think about preventing infection and promoting proper healing. Wash, or “irrigate” the wound with clean water to flush out any dirt and germs that may have made their way into the wound and under the skin. Use an alcohol wipe (from your first aid kit) to wipe the skin around the wound. Once clean, cover it with antibiotic ointment and clean gauze, wrap securely in place.

3. Sprains and Fractures - Soft tissue injuries to the knee and ankles are the most common things people need to be rescued for. Use the common “RICE” acronym as a guide: R-Rest, I-Ice (alternate 20-30 minutes of cooling with 15 to naturally rewarm), C-Compression (wrap securely with an ace wrap, ensuring circulation is preserved, E-Elevation (have victim lie down and elevate feet above their heart).

4. Dehydration - Water supports brain function, helps keep joints lubricated, boosts healing process and supports a healthy digestive system. Once you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, so be sure to carry plenty of water in your Camelbak and an extra water bottle with you on the trails and another in the car for when you’re done.

5. Burns and Sunburns - If you’re camping on your hike, you’re likely handling fire and boiling water. Burns, including sunburns, are common when you’re outside. Your treatment will depend on the severity of the burn, but the first step for a minor burn is to treat the affected area with cold, clean water and then cover the burned area with antibiotic ointment and clean gauze. And then follow up with a medical professional.

Follow Up with a Comprehensive Exam at eMedical

Minor First Aid Treatment for HikersFirst aid treatment should be the first thing you do after you or a loved one sustains an injury on the trials, but it’s not the only thing. Once you make your way safely off the trails, visit your nearest eMedical Urgent Care clinic for a comprehensive exam. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you and your family by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

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Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

Posted on Thu, Jun 21, 2012

New Jersey is experiencing its first heat wave of the summer season. While it may be easy to dash from home to car to work and back again, there may be times when you’ll be exposed to the sun’s wrath for longer than you’d like. Like most things, moderation is key. You’ll need to balance your obligations and activities with breaks from the sun and heat. Sunscreens or sunblocks, which protect the skin from the sun's harmful rays, are one of your best weapons against sun damage because they are easy to use and relatively inexpensive. The sun protection factor (SPF) number on a sunscreen shows the level of UVB protection it gives. Sunscreens with a higher SPF number provide greater defense against the sun’s damaging UV rays. eMedical Urgent Care offers the following tips to keep you safe this week – and throughout the summer.

  • Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every day, even after the heat wave, on cloudy days and when you don't plan on spending much time outside. As much as 80% of sun exposure is accidental.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Apply sunscreen thickly and frequently. If you're not sure you're putting on enough, switch to one with a higher SPF.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 1 ½ to 2 hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Take frequent breaks from the sun. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  During those hours, take breaks to cool off indoors or in the shade for a while before heading out again.
  • Wear a hat with a brim and sunglasses that provide the most protection against ultraviolet radiation.
  • Water is a major reflector of UV radiation, so be sure to apply and reapply sunscreen more often if you are sitting near the water or swimming.
  • Certain medications, such as antibiotics used to treat acne and birth control pills, can increase your sensitivity to the sun. Ask your doctor whether your medications might have this effect and what you should do.
Symptoms of Sunburn
  • Red and blistered skin
  • Wet appearance of the area due to fluid loss
  • Intense pain in afflicted area
  • Blistering
  • Blanching (whitening) to area when touched
Treatment for Burns If your skin is blistered from the sun, visit eMedical Urgent Care for treatment. If you can’t see a doctor, leave the blisters alone and use petroleum jelly and a light gauze wrap to protect it. When the blister bursts, remove the collapsed skin with sterile tweezers and gently wash the area. Continue to use gauze to protect the blister and change the dressing once or twice daily to prevent it from becoming soggy and breaking down the skin. If it’s a minor burn, use cold compresses to lessen your discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers and topical ointments will provide adequate protection. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen will control pain and swelling of the injury. When Should I See a Doctor?
  • If the area of your blistering burns is the size of your palm or larger, seek medical attention immediately.
  • If there are any signs of infection including fever, redness and swelling of the wound
  • If there is foul smelling drainage seeping from the burn
  • If there is evidence of shock, such as difficulty breathing, dilated pupils or inability to stay warm.

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