Get Rid of Head Lice For Good!

Head LiceBack to school is a very busy and exciting time as our children are exposed to a new curriculum, new teachers and new friends. But it’s also a time of the year when our kids are exposed to new germs and new health concerns such as head lice. Second only to the common cold, an infestation of these contagious parasites is a leading cause of absenteeism among elementary school children.

Head Lice Considered “Super Lice”

Head lice is not an indication of poor personal hygiene; they actually thrive in clean environments. Infestations can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social status or hair length. And now some are even calling lice “the new four letter word” as these tiny bugs are becoming more and more immune to over the counter treatments. They’re turning into indestructible “mutants” that are overwhelming parents nationwide.

A new report from the Journal of Medical Entomology says that “super lice” have turned up in more than 42 states where 100% of the lice tested were resistant to over-the-counter treatments. Six other states, including New Jersey, found lice to be resistant to OTC treatments.

Back to school after summer and after winter vacations are the busiest time for head lice, so you’ll want to be prepared with an alternative treatment plan.

Alternative Treatments for Head Lice

  1. Metal Tooth Lice Comb- Combing is one of the best ways to get rid of head lice. You must be thorough, so expect to spend at least an hour on a full head of hair. Do this once a week for 3 weeks.
  2. Olive Oil or Coconut Oil- Apply to your child’s scalp and hair and leave it in overnight under a shower cap. The oils will smother the lice. In the morning, use the nit comb to comb out the dead bugs.
  3. Essential Oils- Mix 2 ounces of olive oil or coconut oil with 15 to 20 drops of an essential oil. Apply to the scalp with cotton balls. Leave this mixture on the scalp and hair overnight, or for at least 12 hours. The best oils to use are tea tree oil, lavender, clove, eucalyptus, aniseed, cinnamon leaf, red thyme, peppermint and nutmeg.
  4. Lice Preventive Shampoo- Stock up on a few bottles for the entire household. Keep hair in braids, puns or pony tails and never. stop. checking.

While treating heads, it’s just as important to remove any nits or lice that may be hiding in your home. Be sure to vacuum areas of the house and any furniture that was exposed. Wash clothing, towels, sheets, hats, coats, etc., in hot water and dry using high heat. Vacuum car seats and put backpacks, stuffed animals and helmets into the freezer overnight.

Last but not least, do not be afraid to tell the school nurse, coach or daycare provider so they can check the rest of the class or team and notify parents. Those who are too afraid to utter that “four-letter word” inadvertently allow the spread to continue.

So, are you scratching your head yet?

eMedical Urgent Care Walk-In Treatments

The good news is that lice cannot fly or jump, they’re spread from one person to another by head to head contact. The adult lice can live up to 30 days on your or your child’s head, while making a home in your hair, each louse can lay up to 8 eggs per day. Those eggs (called nits) hatch within a week and mature a week after hatching. Without a host head, a louse lives only a day or two and nits will only survive a week; they need body heat to grow and hatch.

If you or your child still has head lice after two treatments, sores on the scalp, a fever or swollen neck lymph nodes, visit eMedical Urgent Care. Walk-in care is available at our locations in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707 with convenient hours designed to fit your busy schedule.

The Dangers of Scented Candles and Plug-Ins on Indoor Allergies and Asthma

Indoor Allergies and Asthma On a chilly afternoon, there can be something soothing about lighting a scented candle and filling the home with aromas of vanilla, pumpkin spice or lavender. Maybe you already have those fragrances wafting in every room with a scented plugin.

As soothing as they might smell, as your trusted New Jersey urgent care provider, we want you to think twice before lighting that candle or plugging in a fragrance box. Because when it comes to indoor air quality and your health, many studies show that they are both significant pollutants. Thankfully, through natural alternatives, you can still create an aromatic scent throughout the home without stirring up your indoor allergies and asthma.

Dangers of Scented Candles

Many studies show that scented candles pose dangerous health risks; so you might want to think twice before lighting up that sugar-cookie candle.

Besides the clear fact that candles pose a dangerous fire risk especially if you have children, they also give off smoke which can irritate people with nasal allergies. To those with a sensitive nose, a scented candle can be no different than cigarette smoke and trigger uncomfortable symptoms such as a runny nose, watery eyes and headaches.

Burning paraffin wax also produces soot with particles that can remain in the air for hours after being burned. In size and composition, these ultrafine soot particles are similar to diesel exhaust and can penetrate deeply into the lungs. A study by the Environmental Protection Agency shows that candles with more fragrance in them produce more soot; the agency suggests choosing unscented candles to reduce this leftover debris.

Additionally, many mass-produced candles on the market are made with paraffin wax, a petroleum byproduct; many also use synthetic fragrances and dyes. When burned, they release toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air (including acetone, benzene and toluene), that not only trigger indoor allergies and asthma but are also known carcinogens.

Scented Plugins Pose Health Risks

Many people who are cautious about the flames of candles often turn to scented plugins. However, it’s not just scented candles making us sick; plug-ins, gels and aerosols are also irritating to our airways and troubling to our health. The chemicals found in the fragrance and wax have researchers fearing that long-term use of these items may also lead to allergy irritation and asthma.

Safer Scent Alternatives to Prevent Indoor Allergies and Asthma

If you’re still longing for that soothing ambiance of a candle, don’t despair. As an alternative to traditional candles, non-toxic soy or beeswax candles produce less soot, burn slower (lasting about 30% longer) and are less likely to trigger indoor allergies or asthma.

Or try an even safer way to scent your home and add some humidity to the air at the same time through diffusion. Essential oil diffusers create a wonderful aroma with therapeutic benefits. Depending on the oil used, diffusing oils such as lavender, peppermint and frankincense can deodorize the household air of odor, promote a calm environment and support respiration all while leaving your home smelling great.

eMedical Urgent Care Walk-In Medical Clinic

At eMedical Urgent Care, we take your health very seriously. And part of maintaining your health is maintaining good indoor air quality. If you feel that you or your child is suffering from asthma, see a doctor at one of our locations. Walk-in treatment for asthma and allergies is available at eMedical Urgent Care in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your busy schedule.


Ready for the New Jersey Flu Season? Here’s What to Expect and Where to Get a Flu Shot

New Jersey Flu SeasonFall is officially here which means the days are getting shorter, Halloween decorations are in full effect and Santa’s reindeer have hit the shelves. At eMedical Urgent Care, this time of year means our experienced providers are already underway with preparations for the upcoming New Jersey flu season. And we’re already getting reports of seasonal influenza-like illness activity throughout the state.

The New Jersey flu season can vary in their timing, severity, and duration from one season to another. Most of the time, flu activity starts around October and peaks between December and March, lasting as late as May. Flu activity is unpredictable, for example, last year’s flu season peaked later (March 12, 2016) than the previous seasons.

2016-2017 New Jersey Flu Season: What To Expect

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that influenza vaccination coverage declined 1.5 percent across the entire U.S. population during the 2015-2016 flu season, with only 46 percent of Americans receiving the annual vaccine.

The decline in influenza vaccine coverage is causing concern among public health officials that more Americans might wave off a flu shot this year. Since vaccination not only reduces the chance of getting the flu but it also helps reduce the severity of infection and complications, this is particularly troubling for older adults because seniors are disproportionately affected by the flu.

Although Nasal spray flu vaccine has been pulled off the U.S. market because it has proven ineffective, according to the CDC, this season’s flu vaccine has been updated to protect against the four influenza viruses that research suggests will be most common during the 2016-2017 season.  This year’s vaccine offers protection against: A/California (H1N1), A/Hong Kong, B/Phuket and B/Brisbane.

Don’t Delay Protection for the New Jersey Flu Season

Each year, millions of Americans come down with the flu and hundreds of thousands of them are hospitalized. Flu vaccine effectiveness can vary from year to year, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that for the 2013-2014 flu season, the vaccine prevented approximately 7.2 million illnesses and 90,000 hospitalizations.

In an effort to continuously improve prevention of seasonal flu, the CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu shot every year. The CDC states: “Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of severe influenza and their close contacts, including healthcare personnel and close contacts of children younger than 6 months.”  It takes up to two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop and protection may last for up to one year.

Flu Shots Available at eMedical

Because of the unpredictability of flu activity, the earlier you can get your vaccine, the more protection you, your family and your community will have.

The influenza vaccine for the 2016-2017 flu season is now available at both eMedical locations. At eMedical Urgent Care, receiving the flu vaccination is as easy as stopping by when it’s convenient for you; no need for an appointment.

Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

Is it Pneumonia?

Is it Pneumonia?If you or a loved one are experiencing coughing paired with a fever, nausea and other symptoms, you could be suffering from pneumonia. Commonly the result of a cold or upper respiratory infection, pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and the symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

Not sure if you’re experiencing symptoms of pneumonia? Our medical team at eMedical Urgent Care can pinpoint the root of your illness and find a treatment that works best for you. It’s also helpful to understand what it is, what causes it and how to recognize the symptoms. Let’s take a look:

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection of one or both of your lungs causing the inflammation in the passages that carry air into your lungs. These airways get filled with fluid, making it hard to breathe.

What are the Causes of Pneumonia?

Pneumonia may occur because of exposure to a bacteria, virus, or fungus. For example, bacterial pneumonia is contracted simply from breathing infected air particles from the mouth, throat or nose into the lungs.

“Community acquired pneumonia” may occur from exposure at school or work and “healthcare acquired pneumonia” may occur from exposure in a hospital setting.

Additionally, your lungs may also become infected if you breathe in (aspirated) contaminant particles into your lungs, such as stomach contents from vomiting or have had exposure to hazardous materials.

Who is at Risk?

If your immune system was already weakened from medications or another illness, such as the flu, you could be at a higher risk. Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, children under the age of 2 and adults over the age of 65 are also more likely to get pneumonia.

Is Pneumonia Contagious?

Pneumonia, in itself, is not contagious, but viruses and bacteria that can lead to pneumonia often are contagious.

What are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?

  • Fever with chills
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • “Wet” cough with fever
  • Mucus that appears rusty or green, maybe bloody
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Each type of pneumonia is treated differently. At eMedical Urgent Care, you can trust our medical professionals to provide you with a reliable diagnosis and treatment for pneumonia. We will assess your condition by doing a physical exam and ordering an X-ray or blood test, if necessary, to help formulate the diagnosis.

eMedical Urgent Care in New Jersey

Searching for a place to get convenient urgent care in Middletown, NJ or Berkeley Heights, NJ? Since 1984, our physicians have been building relationships with families within the communities we serve and are here to help! At eMedical Urgent Care, it’s our mission to offer immediate care for a wide range of medical needs, from flu shots to fractures and neck pain to pneumonia, our experienced providers can diagnose and treat you quickly.

Open 7 days a week, including holidays, both of our medical offices have onsite diagnostic equipment, including laboratory and X-ray services. Walk-in for immediate care or contact us today with any questions.

Allergy Sufferers: Ragweed Allergy Season in New Jersey Has Begun

While many people think of spring as prime-time pollen season, it’s ragweed pollen that is wreaking havoc right now. Ragweed allergy season in New Jersey usually reaches peak levels in mid-September and the fine powder hangs around until the first frost. Allergies affect as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children. Approximately 10-20 percent of suffer from the ragweed allergy.

When is Allergy Season in New Jersey?

We have three allergy seasons in New Jersey:

  • Tree allergy season: March, April and May, going into June.
  • Grass allergy season: May and June and sometimes into July.
  • Ragweed allergy season that starts in late summer and goes into the first frost.

What Exactly is Ragweed?

Ragweeds are soft-stemmed weeds that grow in much of the U.S. most common to the East and Midwest. Of the seventeen species, ragweed belongs to a family of plants that also includes sage, marigolds, sunflowers, burweed, etc. Warmth, lowered humidity and a breezy evening can all help create the ideal environment for ragweed flowers to release pollen.When is Allergy Season in New Jersey?

Airborne pollen tends to peak between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., depending on the weather. Rain and low morning temperatures can slow the pollen release.

Symptoms of ragweed allergies are similar to those of other pollen allergies and can include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, headaches, irritated eyes, and itchy throat.

Climate Change May Be Increasing NJ Allergy Problems

Milder winters and warmer seasonal air associated with climate change could be having an impact on allergies by creating a longer allergy season in New Jersey and spawning more intense releases of pollen.

It is estimated that a single ragweed plant can produce up to 1 billion grains of pollen. And that pollen is being felt (and suffered) by many residents in New Jersey.

Asthma and Allergies

Ragweed pollen can also aggravate asthma symptoms, leading to increased coughing and wheezing. Nine out of 10 children who suffer from asthma have allergy triggers.

One of the most important things you can do to reduce symptoms is to reduce exposure. Create a personal allergy action plan. Sufferers can track the pollen counts online through the Allergy and Asthma Centers of New Jersey and stay inside during peak hours.

Keep windows closed to keep pollen out of the house or car, remove outer clothing before entering the house and take a shower as soon as possible after being outside to remove pollen that has collected on hair and skin.

eMedical Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic

Allergic disease, including asthma, is the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. in people of all ages. If you are unsure or have never experienced allergy symptoms before eMedical Urgent Care can help you differentiate the cause of your symptoms.

Our emergency medicine physicians provide urgent medical care to both adults and children with convenient hours designed to fit all your busy schedules. 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.

Top 6 Common Sports Injuries for Children Athletes – What Parents Need To Know

Football, the Number One Cause of the Most Common Sports Injuries It’s fall! Which means it’s time to break out the cowbells and get ready to cheer for your kids out on the field. But as school sports ramp up, it’s important to also become aware of the risks associated with them. Did you know that football is considered the number one most dangerous sport in terms of common sports injuries for children? It’s followed in order by basketball, soccer, and baseball.

The top two diagnosed sports injuries are strains and sprains — 451,480 diagnosed annually, in fact. Next include broken bones, bruises, scrapes and concussions. The body parts most injured include the ankle, head, finger, knee and face. Sports injuries are common, and while some can be cared for at home, there are others that require the attention of a medical professional. Let’s take a closer look at the signs and symptoms the top six most common sports injuries.


A strain is an injury to either the muscles or tendons. They are not as serious as sprains, but can still hurt just as much. Strains are common for someone returning to a sport after the off-season and/or if they haven’t warmed up enough. They often occur in the feet, legs (typically the hamstrings) or in the back.


A sprain happens because of an injury to a ligament, one of the bands of tough, fibrous tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint and prevents excessive movement of the joint. An ankle sprain is the most common athletic injury, wrists and knees also sprain easily.

The recommended at-home treatment for a sprain is the same as for a strain: rest, ice, compression and elevation. If your child is experiencing pain and swelling and can’t move the affected area without assistance, get them to eMedical Urgent Care for a thorough exam.

Broken Bones

Broken bones or bone fractures are common to contact or outdoor sports and can be classified into several types: the most common ones are the closed, open or compound, spiral, impacted, transverse and oblique fractures. Normally, minor broken bones can be dealt with in urgent care settings, such as those of the hand, wrist, ankle or feet. But compound fractures, where the bones are exposed and also involve wounds, warrant a trip to the emergency room.


A muscle or bone bruise due to a direct blow is common in contact sports. Consider giving pain control such as an ice pack and acetaminophen and watch your child for a few hours if there are no open wounds or swelling of the injured area. But if the pain prevents your child from doing normal activities, you’re not sure what’s the best approach, or the incident resulted in “goose egg” type-swelling, give us a call.


Minor scrapes, cuts, and road rash are common on the sports field and can often be taken care of at home. After washing your hands, clean the wound to prevent infection, stop the bleeding with gauze and apply a clean bandage and antibacterial ointment.


Our last, and most serious injury on the list is a concussion. A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) that temporarily interferes with the way the brain functions. Because the brain “floats” in fluid in the skull, a blow to the head or jolt to the body, such as a car accident or collision between players on the sports field, can send it crashing into the hard bones of the skull, resulting in this injury. For boys, football is the leading cause of sports-related concussions and for girls, it’s soccer and basketball. Bicycling is responsible for the most non-sports related concussions.

According to a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics, about one-third of pediatric patients with concussion experience symptom spikes over the consecutive days. The risk of symptom spike was increased with an abrupt increase in mental activity (i.e., returning to school and extracurricular activities) from one day to the next.

Symptoms of a concussion can include headache, light/sound sensitivity, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, trouble concentrating and/or remembering things, trouble balancing or walking as well as difficulty sleeping. When in doubt, take your child to urgent care if they have sustained a head injury and symptoms are mild to moderate. If the child displays more intense symptoms such as loss of consciousness for longer than 30 seconds, don’t hesitate to go to the emergency room.

Preventing and Treating Injuries Common Sports Injuries

Injuries can happen to any active child who participates in sports, but a couple ways to help prevent injuries is to make sure your child has (and consistently uses) proper gear, engages in proper warm ups, follows safety rules and is prepared with a thorough preseason physical.

At night or on weekends, we‘re here. Patients are seen on a walk-in basis without appointment with convenient hours that are designed to fit your busy schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

Pediatric Care in Berkeley Heights Recognizes National Childhood Obesity Month

About 1 of every 3 children in the United States is obesity or overweight which is putting kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The good news, however, is that childhood obesity can be prevented with lifestyle changes. In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, eMedical Pediatric Care in Berkeley Heights and Middletown, NJ encourages your family to make healthy changes together and start the school year off on the right foot.

September is National Childhood Obesity Month

Taking simple steps (literally) as a family can help your child stay at a healthy weight. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Get outside and get active – make fitness fun. Get Your Kids Active | Pediatric Care in Berkeley HeightsWalk around the neighborhood, go for a bike ride, simply play at the park! Create environments that support exercise and encourage children to try new sports until they find one that they enjoy. The more they love the activity, the more they’ll want to participate.
  • Limit screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV, playing video games) to less than two hours a day; for children under the age of 2, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time at all. Since studies consistently show that the more screen time children have, the more likely they are to gain excess weight, consider setting up an “allowance” for screen time to help implement these limits.
  • Prioritize breakfast. Choose healthy options to ‘break the fast’ in the morning, jump start metabolism levels and get energy to do more during the day.
  • Make healthy meals at home. Healthy Eating for Kids| Pediatric Care in Berkeley HeightsEncourage your children to eat more vegetables, fruits and high-fiber foods. Get creative in your presentation so even the pickiest eater will enjoy snack time!
  • Watch out for portion distortion. Portion sizes are much bigger than they used to be, and if a child is eating an adult-sized (super) serving, those extra calories can contribute to obesity.
  • Avoid added sugars. Currently, the average child in the U.S. gets 50 to 75 grams of added sugar per day, or about two to three times the recommended amount. Mary Poppins may need to find a new way to make the medicine go down now that new recommendations from the American Heart Association say children should consume no more than six teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugars daily.
  • Establish a regular bedtime routine ensuring children get adequate sleep every night. Sleep is especially important for children as it directly impacts mental and physical development. Additionally, much research has revealed a strong connection between inadequate sleep and being overweight, making it just as important as exercise and nutrition. Experts from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend 11-14 hours for toddlers (1-2 years), 10-13 hours for preschoolers (3-5 years), 9-11 hours for school-aged children (6-13), and 8-10 hours for teenagers (14-17 years) to help ward off risks of obesity, diabetes, illnesses and even cancer.

September is Also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

A child is diagnosed with cancer every three and a half minutes. Despite this unsettling statistic, thankfully childhood cancers are relatively rare, making up less than 1% of all cancer diagnosis each year. But the rarity of childhood cancers makes them generally less known than adult cancers. And unlike adult cancers, there are no lifestyle-related risk factors that are known to influence a child’s risk of getting cancer.

Go Gold this September during Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month to honor and remember children and families affected by these rare diseases and help give kids with cancer better outcomes by supporting research.

eMedical Pediatric Care in Berkeley Heights and Middletown, NJ

At eMedical Pediatric Care in Berkeley Heights and Middletown, NJ, we not only treat a wide array of injuries but also administer school physicals keeping kids healthy all year long. 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.