How to prevent the flu during flu season

How to Prepare for Flu Season

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Healthy Habits to Prevent Colds and the Flu

Sneeze. Cough. Ache. It’s no fun being sick. As the seasons change and temperatures drop, influenza, commonly known as the flu, begins to circulate the world around us. The flu is a contagious disease that attacks the respiratory system and causes mild to severe symptoms that can linger for weeks. These symptoms can wreak havoc on our ability to work and play, so it is especially important to strengthen your immune system and take preventative measures to avoid illness. To stay healthy throughout “flu season,” read on.

  • Keep it clean

It’s common sense to wash your hands after using the restroom, but it’s also important to keep them clean throughout the day. Be aware of touching common-use surfaces like railings, door handles, and elevator buttons. Get into the habit of washing your hands after touching these surfaces. If you can’t always reach running water, carry antibacterial gel or hand sanitizer spray as a convenient alternative.

Common flu symptoms include fever, sore throat, body aches, fatigue, headache and runny nose. The good news: an annual vaccine can help prevent the flu and reduce its side effects. The flu vaccine allows your immune system to make antibodies, which can then be used to attack and destroy the flu virus if you are exposed to it. Although getting a flu shot doesn’t guarantee that you won’t catch the flu, it is a simple and affordable measure that helps protect your body from infection and reduces your risk of sickness. It is generally recommended that everyone aged six months or older receive the flu vaccine each year.

  • Treat the Fever

If you do succumb to the flu, you can help to recover by treating your fever at home. Rest up, stay home from work or school, drink lots of fluids, and try a non-prescription medicine or visit your local urgent care.

Healthy habits and good hygiene can help prevent the flu. Whether you need a flu shot, urgent medical attention, or to find out why your flu won’t go away, we can help. Sand Canyon Urgent Care welcome walk-in patients. Call our Irvine location at (949) 417-0272 or our Laguna Hills location at (949) 206-4633 to get started on your treatment.

Back-to-School Healthcare Basics

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How To Keeping Kids Healthy as They Head Back to School

You’ve shopped for classroom supplies, fall clothes, gym uniforms, lunch boxes, and comfortable shoes. Although it may feel as if yesterday was the start of summer, it’s now time to prepare your child for the new school year ahead. This time of year is a perfect opportunity for the whole family to adopt healthy habits. Follow along for some easy tips to help your children start – and continue – the new school year in good health.

Take a look at eyesight

When was the last time your child had an eye exam? Even if your child has no problem reading signs, he or she could have underlying vision issues. A comprehensive eye exam is one of the most important tasks to do during the school season to maximize your child’s ability to contribute to classroom activities and do well in school.

Reinstate a routine

Summer may have been full of late nights and sleeping in, so when the first day back of school rolls around, it comes as a rude awakening. Practice getting your child into a regular sleep schedule to ensure adequate sleep every night. Not catching enough zzz’s can impede the learning process and make it difficult for your child to focus on learning.

Power up with good nutrition

Proper nutrition and food fuel is essential to maintain focus and energy throughout the day. Start the day off right with a hearty breakfast, such as oatmeal, whole-grain toast, or fruit and yogurt. Keep them going with a well-balanced lunch and healthy snacks, such as nuts, fruit or vegetables. Invest in a reusable water bottle for your child to promote water intake throughout the day.

Be aware of allergens

A new school year also means the start of allergy season. Children who suffer from allergies may suffer in classrooms where there is dust and mold. Ensure that you stay on top of your child’s allergies and that he/she knows how to handle them when they aren’t under your supervision. Discuss any allergy concerns with your child’s school nurse and teacher at the start of the new school year.

Get a sports physical

If your child will be playing sports in the fall, get ahead of the game and schedule a physical exam at a local urgent care center. Schedule yours early to beat the back-to-school rush.

Have any health concerns about your children? Need to schedule a sports physical? Visit Sand Canyon Urgent Care, where we provide top-quality medical care for you and your loved ones. We welcome walk-in patients. Call us at (949) 536-7892 or visit us here to get started!

Hand Foot Mouth Disease

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease: Symptoms and Prevention

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Safeguard Your Child From Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a common viral infection among young children. Many children become infected while they are in child care, where they are in close contact with other children that are potty-training or wearing diapers. The disease occurs most often during the summer months, and although it is highly contagious, there are preventative steps you can take to help lower your child’s risk of infection. Read on to learn common symptoms as well as preventative measures that can help you protect your child.

Symptoms of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Keep in mind that every child that contracts hand-foot-and-mouth disease will experience a different combination of symptoms. Below are common symptoms that he/she may express:

  • A low-grade fever is typically the first symptom to occur, although it may not always be present.
  • Younger children will often complain of a sore throat.
  • Almost all will complain of feeling ill.
  • Lesions (small, red, blister-like lesions) will appear on the inside of the tongue and cheeks.
  • Rash on the bottom of the hands and feet is often present.
  • Many children experience a lack of appetite.

Preventing Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease

  • Encourage your child to frequently wash his/her hands well with soap and warm water, especially after using the restroom and before eating.
  • Keep hands away from his/her face, particularly the nose, eyes, and month.
  • Toys can harbor germs – teach your child never to put toys or other objects in his/her
  • If your child has hand-foot-and-mouth disease, keep him/her at home until the fever breaks. This virus is highly contagious, and going near other children can spread the disease quickly to others.

You can help prevent your child from contracting hand-foot-and-mouth disease with these tips. At Sand Canyon Urgent Care, we provide fast and reliable medical attention for your children. With facilities in Irvine and Laguna Hills, we can help treat your child quickly. We welcome walk-ins and have an expert team of medical professionals ready to help you.

Can Online Gaming Impact My Child’s Health

Can Online Gaming Impact My Child’s Health?

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Gaming is a popular pastime for children to relax, socialize with their friends, and have fun. Children can play on video game consoles, apps or websites. As new technology continues to develop, live streaming and interactive games are grabbing the attention of children which creates an easy distraction and a potentially unhealthy hobby. This has led to the growing concern from parents about the health and safety of their kids when playing these games. Excessive online gaming poses physical and mental health dangers that you should be aware of.

Physical Impact of Gaming on Children

  • Sedentary Lifestyle
    Online gaming and internet browsing can become addictive and habit-forming, and takes away from socializing with friends and physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to high blood pressure in children, placing them at a higher risk of cardiovascular health problems in later years. Long periods of inactivity can also impact their weight and the likelihood of developing diabetes and other medical conditions.
  • Poor Sleep

Researchers have found that children and teenagers who spend long periods of time online gaming have significantly shorter sleep durations, which are oftentimes correlated to further physical and mental health problems.

Mental Impact of Gaming on Children

  • Depression and Anxiety

Online gaming has been linked to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and suicide – even in children. Researchers found that the feelings of depression are directly related to the amount of screen time, not the type of content.

  • Violence
    There are a number of violent video games on the market today, particularly first-person shooter games. These have been found to spark more aggression in children. Habitually playing violent and graphic video games can inherently create a tendency for children to act out and have anger issues. It’s a good idea to limit exposure to these violent games to curb offensive behavior.

For all of your health concerns for you or your child, visit Sand Canyon Urgent Care. We welcome walk-in patients and are open 7 days a week. Our on-site diagnostic and lab facilities help us to best serve you and your loved ones. Call us at (949) 536-7892 or visit us here to get started!

when to use urgent care or emergency room

Urgent Care and the Emergency Room: What’s the Difference?

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When to Visit Urgent Care vs. an Emergency Room

A disaster strikes and you or someone you’re with needs medical attention immediately. What do you do? For most people, their first thought is to visit the nearest Emergency Room. However, in many cases, going to your local urgent care is just as effective and oftentimes quicker and more affordable. You should know the differences between these two centers before an accident occurs so you can make an informed decision when the time comes.

Simply put, emergency rooms (ERs) can handle trauma, x-rays, surgical procedures, and other life-threatening situations. Urgent care is equipped to handle non-life threatening situations.

When to Go to Urgent Care

Studies show that seventy percent of emergency room visits can be handled in an urgent care setting. Most urgent care centers are open late and on weekends and accept walk-in patients with no appointment necessary. They are staffed with high-quality professionals who have access to x-ray and on-site lab testing. Urgent cares offer an affordable, efficient and convenient alternative to the emergency room and can help treat medical conditions quickly, given the situation is not life-threatening. If you are in a life-threatening situation and require immediate medical attention, dial 9-1-1 immediately.

You should visit an urgent care center if you experience any of the following:

  • Minor sprains, strains and fractures
  • Neck and back pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Blood work or x-rays
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Fever
  • Burns, cuts and lacerations
  • Travel or flu vaccinations
  • Rashes and allergic reactions
  • Cold or flu symptoms

When You Need an ER

ER visits are necessary when a patient is suffering from a life- or limb-threatening medical condition. Common signs that you need to visit an ER include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Stroke
  • Head trauma
  • Severe bleeding
  • Loss of vision
  • Major car accident

For your health concerns and medical needs, visit Sand Canyon Urgent Care. We welcome walk-in patients at our Irvine and Laguna Hills locations. Call us at (949) 536-7892 or visit us here to get started!


Tips to Survive Spring Allergy Season

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Simple Tips for Allergy Season

An allergy is an overaggressive immune response triggered by a foreign substance called an allergen. Common examples include dust and pollen. During this time of year, seasonal allergies start to act up. Just as you’re enjoying the delights of spring, you get hit with a stuffy nose and itchy eyes. These allergies predominantly affect the respiratory system and are often the most difficult to control. Luckily, you can still make the most of spring with these tips to keep symptoms at bay!

  • Allergy Medications

It may take a bit of trial and error in order to find the right allergy medication that works for you. Antihistamines can help if you’re sneezing, have a running nose or experience itchy eyes. Be aware that some antihistamines may cause drowsiness, so it is advisable to find a “non-drowsy” version, or avoid driving when taking this type of medication. If you feel stuffy, look for a decongestant to help shrink the lining of the passages in your nose. You can try a decongestant in a nasal spray or pill form.

  • Get an Allergy Shot

You may want to consider getting an allergy shot if the over-the-counter medications don’t do the job. Your doctor will give you a series of injections that contain a little bit of the pollen that you’re allergic to. Your body will start to build up a defense system that keeps the pollen from causing symptoms. Although allergy shots are typically effective, keep in mind they work gradually and will not cure your symptoms overnight.

  • Neti Pot

A neti pot is a natural way to cleanse your nasal passages from pollens and other allergens. Make sure that the water you use for the neti pot is distilled and as sterile as possible. If you don’t have access to a neti pot, you can try a saltwater sinus rinse by mixing sea salt with warm water and inhaling it through one nostril.

  • Limit Your Allergen Exposure

You may not be able to avoid contact with pollen completely, but you can take steps to reduce your exposure.

  • When you’re outside, wear sunglasses to prevent allergens from getting in contact with your eyes.
  • Exercise in the afternoon or evening when the pollen counts are at their lowest. Better yet, hit the gym and save the outdoor workouts for another season!
  • Shower at night to wash the pollen off your skin and hair so that you won’t be breathing it in while you sleep.
  • Delegate outside chores such as gardening and mowing the lawn to others.

If you’re struggling with allergies, check out these home treatments for your seasonal allergies that can help you keep sniffles and sneezes away. Additionally, Sand Canyon Urgent Care is here to help you through your medical issues. Call us today or visit us in Irvine or Laguna Hills, California.