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.

Suffering from Headaches in Middletown? Find Out When Should You Go to the Doctor

If you’ve ever experienced a headache in Middletown, you can probably attest to the fact that suffering from one can result in lost time at work, home and even in social settings. Suffering from Headaches in Middletown? Find Out When Should You Go to the DoctorWhile most people with headaches can feel much better by making simple lifestyle changes and learning ways to relax, sometimes, a trip to Urgent Care is necessary to further investigate the root of the problem. The first step in managing headache is to determine what type the headache is causing the pain.

Headache Classification

In 2013, the International Headache Society released its latest classification system for headaches:

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Cranial neuralgias, central and primary facial pain and other headaches.

Primary Headaches

Primary headaches account for about 90% of all headaches and are not associated with other diseases, for example migraine headaches, tension headaches and cluster headaches.

Migraine Headaches

What is a migraine? Migraines are a chronic and episodic disorder, characterized by headache attacks. Migraines are very common and affect nearly 12% of people in the US 12 years and older. They are more common in women (17% vs 6% in men). Associated symptoms include:

  • Recurrent headaches lasting 4-72 hours
  • One-sided, pulsating, moderate-to-severe pain
  • Decreased ability to function in everyday situations

Often, associated symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound are also present during an attack. Other symptoms include sweating, cold hands, diarrhea, pale skin color and scalp tenderness.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache likely caused by tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. Symptoms may be related to stress, depression, anxiety, a head injury or holding your head in an awkward position. They often start at the back of the head and spread forward with dull-like or squeezing pain.

Home remedies for tension headaches include rest and over-the-counter (OTC) medications for pain.

Cluster Headaches

A cluster headache tends to be sharp and very painful that can occur daily, sometimes several times a day for months. The headaches usually last less than an hour and tend to occur around the same time each day. Symptoms are due to swelling in the sinus passage behind the cheeks, nose and eyes and tend to worsen first thing in the morning or when the individual bends forward. They may also occur with a fever, cold or flu or premenstrual syndromes.

Secondary Headaches

Secondary headaches are usually a symptom of an injury or an underlying illness. These headaches may be related to allergies, caffeine withdrawal, hunger or sinus headaches due to increased pressure or infection in the sinuses. Additionally, an associated disease, sometimes life threatening conditions such as brain tumors, strokes, and meningitis or less, can cause secondary headaches.

Cranial Neuralgias, Central and Primary Facial Pain and Other Headaches

Other types of headaches include: cranial neuralgias, central and primary facial pain and other types of neuralgias. Neuralgia means relating to the nerves. Headaches and facial pain can be very complex, with many interrelated causes.

If you or a loved one has suffered a new onset headaches or if headaches are associated with fever, stiff neck, weakness or change in sensation on one side of the body, change in vision, vomiting or change in behavior, seek medical care immediately.

Treating Headaches at Middletown eMedical Urgent Care

If you or a loved one experience constant headaches, it is a good idea to see a doctor. It can be difficult to determine what triggers your headache; we want to help you find relief. Prepare for your visit by keeping a headache diary so you can discuss your specific symptoms. Include information such as: how many days in the month you’ve had a headache, how long they last, what made it stop, if you’ve changed your diet or habits recently, sleep schedule, how the headaches are impacting your daily life and if you are taking any medications.

Talk with your eMedical Urgent Care doctor about what sets off your headaches in Middletown to help find the right treatment for you. Call to learn more about our services in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, (908) 464-6700, and Middletown, New Jersey, (732) 957-0707.

Pediatric Urgent Burn Care: Prevention is Your Best Defense

Burns can result in serious injuries at any age, but children are at a high risk for burn injuries because of their innocent curiosity. According to the CDC, younger children are more likely to sustain injuries from scald burns that are caused by hot liquids or steam; older children are more likely to sustain injuries from flame burns which are caused by direct contact with fire. But they can happen any time… anywhere. When it comes to pediatric urgent burn care, prevention is your best defense

Preventing Pediatric Burns

A young child’s skin is more susceptible to burning because it is thinner and more delicate but thankfully, burns can be prevented with these tips in and around the house:

  • Around the Home
    • Install smoke detectors in hallways outside bedrooms, in the kitchen, living room, and near the furnace. Make sure at least one is on every floor of the house.
    • Test smoke detectors monthly.
    • Always clean out the lint trap in your clothing dryer.
    • Use cool-water humidifiers or vaporizers. If you use hot-steam vaporizers, keep them out of the reach of children.
    • Practice home fire drills and escape plans. Teach children to crawl to exits if smoke is present to avoid inhaling it.
    • Practice how to “stop, drop, and roll” if their clothing catches fire.
  • In the KitchenPrevent Urgent Burn Care in the Kitchen by never leaving food cooking on the stove unattended. Two of every five reported homes start in the kitchen and cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries. Follow these important kitchen safety tips:
    • Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended.
    • Remember to turn pot handles toward the back of the stove every time you cook.
    • Don’t warm baby bottles in a microwave. The liquid may heat unevenly, resulting in pockets of hot milk that can scald a baby’s mouth.
    • Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters.
    • Keep all chemicals in a locked cabinet and out of children’s reach.
    • And do not allow young children to play in the kitchen while someone is cooking; create a “no play zone.”
  • In the BathroomAlways check the temperature of bath water before putting a child in the tub to prevent urgent burn care.
    • Lower the temperature of your water heater to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.9 degrees Celsius) to prevent hot water scalds and burns.
    • Always check the temperature of bath water before putting a child in the tub.
    • Use caution when using curling irons and clothing irons and keep cords far from reach.
  • In the Living Room
    • Use caution when using candles and space heaters.
    • Screen fireplaces and wood-burning stoves.
    • Unplug appliances and other electrical equipment from extension cords if they place too much “amperage” or load on the cord.
    • To prevent electrical burns, put covers on any electrical outlets that are within children’s reach. Throw out electrical cords that are frayed or damaged in any way.
    • Smoking is the leading cause of civilian home fire deaths. Avoid smoking indoors at all costs.
    • Keep matches and lighters away from children, locked and out of reach.
  • Outside
    • Use playground equipment with caution. Watch out for uncoated metal equipment, dark colored plastics and rubbers, asphalt and concrete surfaces that are directly exposed to the sun.
    • Remove your child’s stroller from the hot sun and cover car safety seat buckles when they’re not in use because children can get burns from the hot vinyl and metal clips.
    • Don’t forget the sunscreen! Use a product with at least 15 SPF. Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going out and then reapply every 2 hours or more if they’re playing in water.

See our recent blog, “First Aid and Treatment for Burns,” in which we discussed four different burn classifications and proper urgent burn care for more information.

Pediatric Urgent Burn Care Available at eMedical Urgent Care

Even simple burns should be treated properly (and immediately) to prevent bacterial infections. Early treatment of pediatric burns greatly impacts how well they will heal.

eMedical Urgent Care treats first- and second-degree burns and injuries at both of our locations. 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.

Do You Know When to Seek Medical Attention for a Fever?

Do You Know When to Seek Medical Attention for a Fever?It’s 2 a.m. and your toddler wakes up for the second time tonight complaining of a stomach ache. You reach down to kiss her forehead and notice that she’s burning up. What do you do? No matter your scenario, dealing with a high fever (especially in a child) can be scary and confusing. Fevers, also known as Pyrexia, are very common. They’re the body’s natural reaction to fighting off an illness. While many cases don’t necessarily require a trip to the doctor, it’s important to know when to seek medical attention for a fever.

What is a Fever?

A normal body temperature is 98.6 F although factors such as menstrual cycles or heavy exercising can affect a “normal” body temperature. When your body experiences an increased body temperature, that means it’s on the defense against some sort of infection or illness. As defined by the Mayo Clinic, a fever occurs when an area in your brain called the hypothalamus — also known as your body’s “thermostat” — shifts the set point of your normal body temperature upward.

What Causes a Fever

Sometimes the cause of a fever cannot be identified, but a few common reasons include:

  • virus
  • bacterial infection
  • heat exhaustion
  • extreme sunburn
  • certain inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • medication reactions

When to Seek Medical Attention for a Fever in Adults?

We’ve all experienced symptoms of a fever: the fatigue, the chills, the body aches, night sweats… the list is exhausting. Sometimes it’s tough to tell when to seek medical attention for a fever and when to just “tough it out.” But for adults, a temperature taken orally that is higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (101 degrees or higher for ear or rectal temperatures) is considered a fever.

For adults, usually an over the counter medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, will help to lower a high fever. But if the fever elevates to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, lasts longer than three days or is accompanied by other symptoms such as sore throat, confusion, sharp stomach pain or severe headache, it’s time to take a trip to urgent care.

When to Seek Medical Attention for a Fever During Pregnancy?

Mild fevers that last only a short time usually are not a concern but a high fever during early pregnancy could be dangerous for a baby’s fragile development. Expecting mothers should take note of any additional symptoms including shortness of breath, back pain, chills, abdominal pain or neck stiffness and contact their doctor for proper treatment right away.

When to Seek Medical Attention for a Fever in Children?

No matter how careful you are, every child will eventually experience a fever at some point. For the purpose of this section, we’ll define child as 3 months to 3 years of age or up.

A fever can’t always be detected by feeling your child’s forehead. Similar to adults, a fever is defined as 100.4 F. But if your child’s behavior is fairly normal (eating, drinking, sleeping, playing) and has a low-grade fever (102.5 F or less) lasting less than five days, you don’t need to be too concerned.

Now for the important question: When should you seek medical attention for a fever in your child?

  • Your child’s fever lasts more than five days.
  • The fever elevates to 104 F.
  • Fever reducers are not helping.
  • The child has signs of dehydration.
  • You’re concerned.
  • Your infant, younger than 3 months of age, develops a fever.

When to Seek Medical Attention for a Fever in Infants?

Infants are much more sensitive to high body temperature and fevers have to be taken very seriously. If your infant is younger than three months, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises a trip to the doctor for temperatures of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

The best way to get an accurate temperature reading for infants is with a rectal thermometer. For older children, under arm, oral or tympanic thermometers are accurate and easy to use.

Fever Treatment at eMedical Urgent Care

Never hesitate to seek medical attention for a fever if you are concerned. When your child becomes ill, choosing the right medical provider is important; eMedical Urgent Care makes it easy to get the help you need, from pediatric health services to treating sinus infections in adults. Call to learn more about our services in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, (908) 464-6700, and Middletown, New Jersey, (732) 957-0707.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August has arrived, which can only mean one thing — it’s time for the kids to start heading back to school! But did you know that August is also National Immunization Awareness Month? Getting immunized against infectious diseases is an important part of going back to school. You’re not only protecting you and your child’s health, but also protecting the health of those in your community.

Ready for School?August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Getting vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health. Diseases can quickly spread among groups of children who aren’t vaccinated. Whether it’s a baby starting at a new child care facility, a toddler heading to preschool, a student going back to elementary, middle or high school – or even a college freshman – parents should check their child’s vaccination records.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their play groups, child care centers, classrooms and communities – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

But vaccines are not just for kids. All adults, including pregnant women, should get the influenza (flu) vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu. Even healthy adults can become seriously ill, and can pass certain illnesses on to others.

Recognizing National Immunization Awareness Month

At eMedical Urgent Care, we believe that the best treatment is prevention which is why we’re happy to recognize the importance of National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) in our communities.

An annual observance held in August, NIAM highlights the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. It is considered one of the top 10 public health accomplishments of the 20th Century, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them. Communities have continued to use the month each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.

Quick, Convenient Vaccines at eMedical Urgent Care

Vaccines give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from serious diseases. Parents can provide the best protection by following the recommended immunization schedule – giving their child the vaccines they need, when they need them.

eMedical is here for all of your back-to-school health needs. We can provide you with any immunizations you or your children may need, as well as school physicals and an annual flu shot. Find out more about our quick, convenient services by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

National Immunization Awareness Month

Back to School Physicals and Health Check List

Backpack? Check. Notebook? Check. Cool new school clothes? Check. Back to School PhysicalsWalk into any store with your child’s school supply checklist in hand, and you’re likely going to be faced with bright orange “BACK TO SCHOOL” promotions. Summer is almost over (we know, we can’t believe it either), which means it’s time for parents to start thinking about a health check list, and it starts with scheduling back to school physicals.

Healthy Back-To-School Checklist

As you’re transitioning the kids from summer to school, parents can do a little homework of their own with this handy back-to-school health checklist.

  • Get Organized – Organize all medical history records and emergency medical contact information for your child. Provide copies to your child’s school and day care providers. The form needs to include information related to prescription medications, medical problems, previous surgeries as well as pertinent family history and emergency contact information.

You can find a few medical history templates and free consent-to-treat forms online which allow caregivers to authorize medical treatment if necessary.

  • Plan School Physicals – Schedule dental check-ups and school physicals including eye exams, hearing tests and immunizations six weeks before school starts. Back to school physicals are a time to monitor children’s growing rate, check that no new health concerns have arisen over the past year and administer any vaccines necessary. It is also an opportunity to determine if they are clear for physical exertion in school sports.

Find out more about the medical history and physical exam details in depth on our school physicals webpage.

  • Connect with the School – Connect with your child’s school nurse to create an action plan for any health issues, such as asthma or food allergies.
  • Get to Sleep – Healthy sleep habits are critical for transitioning back to school. Gradually adjust sleep and wake schedules two weeks before the start of school to help set their biological clocks to the new schedule. Keep a regular bedtime routine, even on the weekends, and eliminate exposure to electronics within an hour before bed. Read more about the importance of sleep on our blog.
  • Stock Up on Healthy Foods – Eating well at school can be challenging; talk with your children about healthy choices and discuss their menu options to help them make smart decisions on their own. Make it even easier by stocking up on healthy foods to pack for your kids’ lunches. Taking a few minutes on the weekends to cut up fruits and vegetables and prepare nutritious lunches can go a long way to keeping kids healthy.
  • Teach Good Hygiene Habits – Remind kids how to protect themselves from getting sick by preventing exposure to germs. Encourage them to wash up after using the restroom, before and after eating and avoid touching their face. They can also prevent getting others sick by sneezing/coughing into a tissue or into the crook of their elbow.

Who’s ready for a successful start to the new school year?

Scheduling School Physicals?

No need to schedule anything! All visits at eMedical Urgent Care are quick, convenient and do not require an appointment. Simply walk in whenever it’s convenient for you and your child; expect the exam to take only about 20 minutes to complete.

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.