Severe Sunburn: When to go to the Emergency Room 

By | Emergency Room, Health Basics, Safety | No Comments

Many Texans are accustomed to the high temperatures in the spring and summer, and we know what to do to protect our skin. Sometimes, when your skin is not protected by sunscreen or clothes, you run the risk of getting sunburned. 

Extreme sunburn Should I Go to ERWhat should I avoid doing with a sunburn?

  • Avoid popping blisters.
  • Avoid exfoliating.
  • Don’t peel the skin aggressively.
  • Avoid alcohol-based creams.

What should I do when I have a sunburn?

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Take the recommended dosage of an anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen or aspirin
  • Use topical treatments on the sunburn.
  • Do not go back out into the heat until your sunburn has healed.

When you have a bad sunburn, this increases your risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Read these other tips from the American Academy of Dermatology on how to treat sunburns: https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/injured-skin/treating-sunburn

Occasionally, a sunburn can be more severe. Keep a close eye on the area of skin for the following symptoms.

Symptoms of a severe sunburn:

  • Burn with a high fever
  • Widespread blistering
  • Extreme pain
  • Headache, confusion, trouble with vision
  • Nausea 
  • Chills
  • Severe Dehydration

If you or someone you know develops any of the symptoms listed above with a severe sunburn, you should go to a medical professional. These symptoms could lead to additional heat-related illness or indicate an infection.

Sunburn & Heat-Related Illness

Heat-related illness can happen with prolonged exposure to very hot and humid weather. 

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency that occurs when your core body temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. 

Primary Symptoms of Heat Stroke

If you have the following symptoms with a severe sunburn, you should visit the Emergency Room.

  • Headache
  • Fainting
  • Vomiting
  • Very high fever

These symptoms could indicate a more serious condition, like heat stroke. If you begin to feel sick shortly after reducing or eliminating your sun exposure, it’s more likely that the symptoms could become life-threatening.

Symptoms of heat stroke are similar to those of a severe sunburn, but the symptoms are more intense.

Other Symptoms of Heat Stroke

  • High body temperature – 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Muscle cramps and weakness
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Extreme headache
  • Confusion, seizures, hallucinations, or difficulty speaking
  • Lack of sweating despite hot external temperatures

Should I go to an Emergency Room or Urgent Care Clinic?

If you are unsure whether or not your severe sunburn should be seen by an ER or Urgent care, please call the facility, and they will assist you. Here’s the contact information for Five Star ER: https://fivestarer.com/locations/

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is a freestanding Emergency Room that provides excellent 24 hour care. We are located in South Austin, Pflugerville and Dripping Springs.

Disclaimer:

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Moreover, if you have medical questions, seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider. Never disregard professional medical advice. Don’t delay medical treatment because of something you have read on the internet. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911, or go to your nearest Emergency Room immediately.  

 

Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke in Kids

By | Emergency Room, Health Basics, Lifestyle, Safety | No Comments

As the summer months are approaching, there’s one thing most of us are dreading — the heat. Austin averages 16 days a year when temperatures reach 100 °F or more. Heatwaves with temperatures in the 100s typically occur anytime from June to September. With the monthly average high ranging from 92°F-97°F, it’s important to know the various kinds of heat illnesses, and how to prevent heat cramps, heat exhaustion & heat stroke in kids.

Heat Illness Heat Exhaustion Heat Stroke Heat Cramps

Let’s start with prevention.

How to Prevent Heat Illness:

Protect kids from heat illness by doing the following:

  • Teach children to drink plenty of fluids before and during activity in hot, sunny weather — even if they’re not thirsty.
  • Dress children in light-colored, loose clothing.
  • Always apply sunscreen when outdoors — even on cloudy days.
  • On hot and/or humid days, schedule any heavy outdoor activity before noon and after 6 p.m.
  • Teach kids to come indoors, rest, and hydrate immediately whenever they feel overheated.
  • Read about the various forms of heat illnesses, and what to do if your child has symptoms.

Heat Cramps

What are heat cramps?

They are brief, painful muscle cramps in the legs, arms, or abdomen. Heat cramps may occur during or after exercise in extreme heat.

How are Heat Cramps caused?

When you sweat during intense physical activity, your body loses salts and fluids, which causes a low level of salt. The cramp is caused by the low level of salts.

Who is at risk?

Kids are particularly at risk for heat cramps when they aren’t drinking enough fluids.

Although painful, heat cramps on their own aren’t serious. However, cramps can be the first sign of more serious heat illness, so they should be treated right away to help avoid any problems.

What should I do if my child gets heat cramps?

Put your child in a cool place to rest, and have them drink fluids. If possible, give fluids that contain salt and sugar, such as sports drinks. Gently stretching and massaging cramped muscles also may help.

Heat Exhaustion

What is heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is a more severe heat illness that can occur when someone in a hot environment, and they haven’t been drinking enough fluids.

What are symptoms of heat exhaustion?

Symptoms include:

  • increased thirst
  • weakness
  • fainting
  • muscle cramps
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • irritability
  • headache
  • increase sweating
  • cool, clammy skin
  • elevation of body temperature, but less than 104°F (40°C)

What should I do if a child gets heat exhaustion?

  • Bring the child to a cooler place indoors, an air-conditioned car, or shady area.
  • Remove your child’s excess clothing.
  • Encourage the child to drink cool fluids containing salt and sugar, such as sports drinks.
  • Put a cool, wet cloth or cool water on your child’s skin.
  • Call your doctor for advice.
  • If your child is too exhausted or ill to drink, treatment with intravenous (IV) fluids may be necessary.

If left untreated, heat exhaustion can develop into heatstroke, which can be fatal.

Heatstroke

What is heatstroke?

Heatstroke is the most severe form of heat illness. Heatstroke is a life-threatening medical emergency.

In heatstroke, the body cannot regulate its own temperature. Body temperature can soar to 106°F (41.1°C) or even higher, leading to brain damage or even death if it isn’t quickly treated. Prompt medical treatment is required to bring the body temperature under control.

What causes heatstroke?

Factors that increase the risk for heatstroke include overdressing and extreme physical activity in hot weather with inadequate fluid intake.

Heatstroke also can happen when a child is left in a car on a hot day. When the outside temperature is 93°F (33.9°C), the temperature inside a car can reach 125°F (51.7°C).  Within 20 minutes, the internal body temperature can soar to dangerous levels.

What to do if someone has heatstroke?

Call for emergency medical help if your child has been outside in extreme temperatures, or another hot environment and shows one or more of these symptoms of heatstroke:

  • severe headache
  • weakness, dizziness
  • confusion
  • nausea
  • rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • loss of consciousness
  • seizure
  • no sweating
  • flushed, hot, dry skin
  • temperature of 104°F (40°C) or higher

While waiting for help:

  • Get your child indoors or into the shade.
  • Undress your child and sponge or douse him or her with cool water.
  • Do not give fluids unless your child is awake, alert, and acting normally.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is a freestanding Emergency Room that provides excellent 24 hour care. We are located in South Austin, Pflugerville and Dripping Springs.

 

Disclaimer:

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Moreover, of you have medical questions, seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider. Never disregard professional medical advice. Don’t delay medical treatment because of something you have read on the internet. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911, or go to your nearest ER immediately.  

Measles: Symptoms, High-Risk Groups & Complications

By | Emergency Room, Health Basics, Safety | No Comments

At least five cases of measles have been reported in Texas this year. All the reported cases involved children between 12 and 21 months old. The public should be aware that measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It is important that people are aware of the symptoms, high-risk groups, and complications.

measles-symptoms-complicationsWhat are measles?

Measles are:

  • viral disease
  • caused by the rubeola virus
  • highly contagious

There is no specific treatment for measles. Therefore, prevention of measles is the best option. The best way to protect against measles is to get the measles-mumps-rubella shot (aka the MMR shot).

Moreover, the measles vaccine prevents many cases of measles around the world. In addition, if measles enters an area where people have never been exposed, the result can be disastrous.The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 2.6 million people who have not had the vaccine die of measles every year.

How are measles transmitted?

Measles can be spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Moreover, it is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons.

How contagious are the measles?

If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. In addition, the measles virus can live for up to two hours in the area where the infected person coughed or sneezed.

Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the rash appears.

What are symptoms of measles?

Symptoms of measles can appear 10-12 days after infection.

Symptoms of measles include:

  • High fever
  • “Three c’s”:
  • Cough
  • Conjunctivitis (or pink eye)
  • Coryza (or cold)
  • Small white spots on the inside of the mouth
  • Bloodshot Eyes
  • Rash on the face and upper neck, which spreads downwards
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Dry, hacking cough

Who is at risk of getting a severe case of measles?

  • malnourished young children
  • children with insufficient vitamin A
  • children with weakened immune systems (i.e. children with HIV/AIDS or other diseases)

What are complications of measles?

  • Ear infection
  • Severe respiratory infections, such as Pneumonia, Bronchitis, laryngitis or croup
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling)
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Severe dehydration
  • Death

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is a freestanding Emergency Room that provides excellent 24 hour care. We are located in South Austin, Pflugerville and Dripping Springs.

Disclaimer:

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Moreover, of you have medical questions, seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider. Never disregard professional medical advice. Don’t delay medical treatment because of something you have read on the internet. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911, or go to your nearest ER immediately.  

 

Glaucoma: When Symptoms become a Medical Emergency

By | Health Basics, Safety | No Comments

Are you experiencing the worst eye pain of your life? It could be a type of glaucoma that requires immediate medical attention. There are various types of Glaucoma. Learn about the different types, and which symptoms are a medical emergency.

Acute Closure-Glaucoma or Narrow-Angle Glaucoma

Symptoms often come on quickly. Symptoms can be:

  • The worst eye pain you’ve ever felt.
  • Severe throbbing eye pain
  • Headaches, often occurring on the same side as the affected eye.
  • Halos around lights
  • Blurry or foggy vision
  • Eye redness
  • Dilated pupil
  • Nausea & vomiting

Acute Closure-Glaucoma or Narrow-Angle Glaucoma is type of glaucoma that is a medical emergency. This type of glaucoma must be treated by a doctor within 6 to 12 hours. Otherwise, it could bring severe permanent loss of vision, blindness, and even a permanently dilated (enlarged) pupil. Therefore, you need to see a doctor immediately because damage to the optic nerve may begin within a few hours.

glaucoma medical emergencyOther types of Glaucoma include:

Open-Angle Glaucoma

  • The most common type of glaucoma.
  • However, some people don’t have symptoms until they’ve already lost a significant amount of vision.

Chronic Open-Angle Glaucoma (COAG)

  • Many times, the first sign is the loss of your side vision, or peripheral vision.
  • In addition, the loss can happen slowly, and some people don’t notice the change.

Congenital Glaucoma in Infants

This typically shows up between newborn to first few years. Symptoms include:

  • Tearing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eyelid spasms
  • A larger cornea and clouding of the normally transparent cornea
  • Habitual rubbing of the eyes
  • Squinting
  • Keeping the eyes closed much of the time

Other forms of Glaucoma:

Read more about other types of glaucoma here.

______

Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. In other words, never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have viewed or read on the internet.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911, or go to your nearest emergency room immediately.  Reliance on any information provided by Five Star ER, its staff, or any others appearing in the videos is solely at your own risk.

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is a freestanding Emergency Room that provides excellent 24 hour care. We are located in South Austin, Pflugerville and Dripping Springs.

 

Top Safety Tips When Buying Holiday Toys

By | Safety | No Comments

Best Advice to Buy Kid-Friendly, Safe Presents

When buying toys this holiday season, it’s a good idea to keep safety in mind. Here are our top tips when purchasing gifts.

1. Purchase age-appropriate toys.

Read the labels on toy packages to decide if the toy is safe for a child’s age. Make sure the label says the toy is nontoxic—especially if the child is prone to putting things in their mouth.

2. Look for potential hazards.

For instance, loud toys can damage a child’s hearing. Watch for dangling strings or ribbons that can cause strangulation, and remove any hazards if the gift is for a young child. While small toy pieces are okay for older children, they pose a choking hazard for young children, especially children three years and under.

3. Think twice about flying toys.

Toys that shoot things into the air may injure eyes or be choking hazards.

4. For young kids, avoid toys that need to be plugged in.

It’s best to stick with battery-powered toys for younger children. Always keep any button-sized batteries away from younger kids, which could be very dangerous when swallowed.

5. Beware of high powered magnets.

High-powered magnet sets are typically marketed towards adults and contain safety warnings about their risks. However, these super-strong magnetic balls can be attractive to children, and incredibly dangerous if swallowed.

6. Don’t forget the helmets!

If you’re buying a riding toy, bike, scooter, or other similar toy, include the safety gear. There are great helmets geared towards kids.

Read our other toy safety tips here, and our safety tips for decorating with Christmas lights here.

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is a freestanding Emergency Room that provides excellent 24 hour care. We are located in South Austin, Pflugerville and Dripping Springs.

 

Ice Skating Rinks in Austin & Ice Skating Tips to Avoid Injury

By | Safety | No Comments

Ice Skating is a time honored tradition during the winter months. Before you go, read our safety tips. We’ve also included a list of local ice skating rinks in Austin, Texas. Check it out below. Happy skating!

General Safety Tips

  • Be aware of the blades on the skates, especially while putting your ice skates on and off.
  • Before you step on the ice, look for the direction everyone else is moving (clockwise or counter-clockwise.)
  • Remember that everyone has different skill levels. Be aware of your surroundings, and be respectful of other skater.
  • If you’ve never been ice skating before, or it’s been a long time since you’ve been on the ice, take a  lesson or two to get comfortable with the basics. (More on this below.)

tips to avoid injury ice skatingWhat to Wear

  • Dress for the conditions. If you’re going to an outdoor rink, check the weather and wear the appropriate clothing items.
  • Even if you’re skating indoors, you should consider wearing a hat and gloves. Remember that the ice on the rinks is very cold.
  • Dress in layers.
  • Lace your ice skates appropriately – skates should be snug to help you keep your balance, but not too tight.
  • Beginner skaters of all ages should wear a helmet.

Be Sure your Skates Fit Well

  • Always make sure the ice skates fit you properly.
  • Ask for another size or different skates if you feel uncomfortable.  
  • Your feet and ankles must be supported correctly to prevent twisted ankles or blisters.

Take an Ice Skating Lesson

  • During lessons, you will learn how to fall correctly to avoid injury.
  • For example, you’ll learn to fall backwards instead of forwards because this lowers the chance of injuring your head or wrists.
  • Get comfortable with the basics before trying more complicated moves such as jumping, spinning, or skating backward.

List of Public Ice Skating Rinks in Austin

When emergencies happen, you want the best care and FAST. Five Star ER is open 24/7 to take care of you.

Five Star ER is a freestanding Emergency Room that provides excellent 24 hour care. We are located in South Austin, Pflugerville, and Dripping Springs.

 

Best Tips to Avoid a Trip to the Emergency Room this Holiday Season

By | Safety | No Comments

The last thing you want to do during the holidays is to have an emergency. However, many people end up in the emergency room for reasons related to holiday decorating. Check out our best tips to avoid a trip to the ER this holiday season.

Tips to Avoid Falls

Did you know that one of the most common reasons people end up in the ER during the holidays is from falling off ladders while decorating? Falling off ladders can cause lacerations, sprains, or more serious injuries like broken bones.

  • Make sure all ladders are on level ground and sturdy enough to hold your weight, plus the weight of any decorations you are carrying.
  • Make sure your  ladder is at least three feet taller than where you will be hanging items, so you do not have to climb to the top of the ladder or over-extend yourself.
  • The ladder should also be at least three feet higher than your roof line.
  • Always have someone spot you and help hold the ladder steady to increase stability and safety.

Tips Stay Safe Hanging Holiday Lights_CropTips to Avoid Fires

  • Do not place any trees (real or artificial) near fireplaces, radiators or other heat sources; this is a major fire hazard.
  • Even if a tree is labeled as “flame retardant” or “flame resistant,” it can still catch on fire.
  • Water real trees often to help reduce the risk of trees drying out and catching fire.

Tips to Avoid Electric Shock

  • Check all of your holidays lights for any damage, like frayed wires, cracked sockets, or loose connections.
  • Throw away any damaged lights because this can start an electrical fire – they shouldn’t be used.
  • While replacing any bulbs in your lights, always unplug the lights first to reduce the risk of electrocution.

When emergencies happen, you want the best care and FAST, especially over the holidays. Five Star ER is open 24/7 to take care of you.

– – – – – – – – – –

Five Star ER is a freestanding Emergency Room that provides excellent 24 hour care. We are located in South Austin, Pflugerville and Dripping Springs.

Diabetic Emergency: How to Save Someone’s Life

By | Health Basics, Safety | No Comments

Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Diabetes Association,  2015 alone, nearly 79,535 people died from diabetes. The symptoms of diabetes can quickly turn into a diabetic emergency. Therefore, it’s important to how to save someone’s life by following the simple steps below.

 

diabetic patient checking blood pressure doctor nurseHyperglycemia – Blood sugar level is too high

Signs & Symptoms in a diabetic emergency:

  • increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach pain
  • Fruity breath odor
  • A very dry mouth
  • A rapid heartbeat

Hypoglycemia – Blood sugar level is too low

Signs & Symptoms during a diabetic emergency:

  • Shakiness or nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Hunger
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Confusion

Very extreme cases can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures and coma.

What to Do if Someone is Having a Diabetic Emergency

It’s important to assess the situation because a diabetic emergency can be caused by two very different reasons. If the person is unconscious or unresponsive, always call 9-1-1 first. However, if the person is responsive, you can help them to test their blood sugar. This will help determine the right kind of help to offer. Low blood sugar is generally considered anything less than 80 mg/dl. A high blood sugar varies, but if the glucose meter says 250 mg/dl or above, it is considered high.

High Blood Sugar Reaction

If a diabetic is having a high blood sugar reaction, do NOT give the person any food because it could worsen the situation. More importantly, get them to an Emergency Room near you, as quickly as possible. They will be given the proper medical treatment to safely lower their blood sugar.

Low Blood Sugar Reaction

If someone is having a low blood sugar reaction, give them fast-acting carbohydrates to eat or drink. This could be juice, fruits, or soda. (Many times, diabetics will carry such food with them in case of a diabetic emergency.) Wait with the person and have them continue to test their blood sugar every 10 minutes.

– – – – – – – – – –

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is a freestanding Emergency Room that provides excellent 24 hour care. We are located in South Austin, Pflugerville and Dripping Springs.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with questions you may have regarding a medical condition.  Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have viewed or read on the internet.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911, or go to your nearest emergency room immediately.  Reliance on any information provided by Five Star ER, its staff, or any others appearing in the blog is solely at your own risk.

 

Celebrating New Year with close friends

Common Injuries from Drinking on New Year’s Eve

By | Safety | No Comments

New Year’s Eve has traditionally been celebrated with a champagne toast at midnight. And yet, every year parties to celebrate the New Year seem to get bigger and start earlier. This can result in a lot more alcohol consumed before the stroke of midnight, putting you at risk for an alcohol-related accident or injury. The best way to avoid this is to drink responsibly, but we’ve put together a list of some of the most common reasons people end up in the ER on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with some more ideas to help you stay safe.

  1. Drunk Driving
    New Year’s Day is the worst day of the year for fatal car crashes involving alcohol — half of all fatal crashes on January 1 involve a driver who was drunk. You should never drive drunk, so make sure you have a plan before you go out. You can designate a driver who will remain sober throughout the evening, or you can call a taxi, or use a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft.
  1. Alcohol Poisoning
    ER visits for alcohol poisoning increase on New Year’s Day — in 2015, New York City saw a 50% increase in alcohol-related visits to the ER compared to an average day. A good rule of thumb to help avoid alcohol poisoning is to drink one glass of water with every alcoholic drink, and to limit yourself to one drink per hour. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, confusion, slow or irregular breathing and becoming unconscious. If you see someone experiencing these symptoms you should seek immediate medical help.
  2. Accident Injuries
    As your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises, so does the effects of alcohol on your nervous system, possibly resulting in impaired judgment, vision, and hearing, decreased coordination and balance, more risky behaviors and slower reaction times. All of these make you more prone to serious injury due to an accident—and we’re not even talking about motor vehicle accidents! Everyday accidents can result in several injuries that may need medical attention such as cuts that need stitches, serious sprains, or broken bones and head injuries. Because alcohol can decrease the amount of pain you feel after injury, if someone has a serious fall or other accident while drinking, they should seek medical attention.

This New Year’s Eve, Five Star ER encourages everyone to celebrate responsibly. However, if an emergency arises, you can trust our board-certified doctors and expert staff to treat your emergency. All four of our convenient locations are open 24/7, even over the holidays, so that you can receive the same quality care you’d expect from a traditional ER.

– – – – – – – – – –

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

Toy Safety Guidelines

By | Safety | No Comments

Toy Safety

Everyone loves getting gifts around the holidays, especially kids! You only want the best for your kids, so you want them to have safe and age-appropriate toys. We’ve put together a list of guidelines to follow when buying toys for kids ages 0-12 so you can make sure they are not presented with any dangers or hazards, and everyone can enjoy a safe and fun holiday gift-giving season!

Guidelines For All Ages

  • Read Labels — Labels on toys, such as “Not suitable for children under 3” or “Flame Resistant” are there for a reason. Read and heed these labels to make sure you buy toys that are age and instruction appropriate, as well as made of high-quality and safe materials.
  • Choose with Care — Keep in mind the child’s interest, skill level and age to choose toys that will be both safe for them to use, as well as fun for them!
  • Set-up and Clean-up — When opening new toys make sure all trash is discarded quickly. For younger children, plastic wrap can be dangerous and even deadly if played with. For older kids, toys with batteries and other small parts should be set-up with the help of an adult to make sure nothing is misplaced and electrical components are installed properly.

Ages 0 – 3

  • Make sure toys do not have choking hazards. Check toys regularly for wear and tear, since pieces that break off can become choking hazards as well. Anything that is less than 75 inches in diameter is a choking hazard.
  • Any soft toys, such as stuffed animals, should be machine washable.
  • Toys with strings or ribbons can create a strangulation hazard and should not be given to young children.

Ages 4 – 6

  • Avoid electrically operated toys, especially if they must be plugged in to use or have other heating elements.
  • Don’t give children of this age toys with projectiles, like foam bullet guns.
  • Magnets are used often in toys, but if they fall out of the toy and are swallowed they can cause serious internal damage.

Ages 7 – 9

  • Buy items that fit. It may be tempting to buy a bike a size too big so they will grow into it, but this can cause serious injury. Any sports equipment such as bikes, skates, scooters, etc. should fit your child now.
  • Art supplies should be labeled non-toxic and washable.
  • Science and craft kits are great gifts for this age, but make sure they are not too advanced by reading the label. Parental supervision for some kits may be necessary.

Ages 10 – 12

  • Children at this age may really like video games, but make sure the games they receive are age appropriate and have an “E” rating.
  • As your child needs little supervision for play at this age, make sure any board games or science and craft kits are written at a level that will be easy to understand and follow for your child.
  • Keep the toys from this age group away from and out of reach of smaller children, as they will have parts that can cause serious injury. Make sure your child knows to keep their toys in a safe place so they don’t become tripping hazards to themselves, or an even bigger danger to younger children.

The holidays are a time to be with your family and friends, but emergencies can still happen–and when they do you want to be taken care of FAST. That’s why there is Five Star ER. With our four convenient greater Austin locations and board certified doctors we can get you in and out and back to the holidays fast!

 

– – – – – – – – – –

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!