January is National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month: Recognizing Head and Neck Injuries

Head and Neck InjuriesEvery year, throughout January, The Johnny OTM Foundation, along with the CDC, local urgent care centers, like eMedical Urgent Care, and surrounding sports clubs, work to raise awareness about common health risks related to participation in winter sports. Some of the common injuries related to winter sports include sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures. While all winter sports injuries should be taken seriously, head and neck injuries are especially serious as they have the potential to cause long-term health problems.

About National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month

It doesn’t matter if you’re five or 50, safety in the snow is important for all ages. The more you know, the more you and your family can have a safe and healthy winter season.

TBI stands for Traumatic Brain Injury. It’s a common result of head and neck injuries associated with winter activities such as skating, skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, sledding and tobogganing. The Johnny O Foundation along with National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month is a public campaign to highlight the dangers and importance of taking precautionary measures when participating in those sports. Their main goal is to decrease TBIs in the country.

Statistics on Head and Neck Injuries

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, each year, there are approximately 1.7 million head injuries in the United States. Commonly caused by falling or colliding into another person or object while skiing or skating, many of these accidents lead to head injures such as a concussion or TBI.

The top causes of TBI include:

  • Cycling
  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Softball & Basketball
  • Water Sports
  • Soccer
  • Powered Recreational Vehicles
  • Skateboards
  • Scooters
  • Golf
  • Fitness & Exercise
  • Winter Sports
  • Horseback Riding
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance
  • Cheerleading

However, not all head and neck injuries are related to sports. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 30% of TBI causes results from falls. So, whether you’re taking the dog out for a walk on an icy sidewalk or hitting the ice for a hockey game, you could be at risk. But just because there’s risk, that’s no reason to lock up and put life on hold. Go ahead and head out to enjoy the New Jersey snow, just exercise caution.

Preventing Head and Neck Injuries in the Winter

Since falls are one of the leading causes of TBIs, take caution on icy surfaces: walk slowly, wear boots with good tread and pay attention to the surface you’re walking on.

Preventive measures, such as wearing protective head equipment, choosing helmets that fit correctly and following safety rules, can help those who participate in winter sports prevent head and neck injuries. New to the sport? Don’t be afraid to take lessons.

Proceed with Caution

If you suspect a loved one has suffered a concussion or TBI, it is important to take the injured individual out of the activity until he or she has been thoroughly evaluated by an experienced medical professional. We offer convenient walk-in hours designed to fit your busy schedule; 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.

The physicians at eMedical Urgent Care want to remind you and your loved ones to enjoy the winter season, but stay safe by taking proper precautions during play.

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.

Strains

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.

Sprains

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.

Bruises

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.

Scrapes

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.

Concussions

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.

Minor First Aid Treatment for Hikers: A Wilderness Guide

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

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

Building a Minor First Aid Treatment Kit for Hikers

Staying safe in the wilderness starts at home. Before leaving the house for a hike through the woods, prepare a first aid treatment kit; this is an essential part of your hiking equipment.

A first aid kit’s supplies should be customized to include those items that are likely used on a regular basis, such as medications, insect repellent, a multi-use tool and a small roll of duct tape. But the base of your personal wilderness first aid kit should include the following:

  • Adhesive bandages (6)
  • Sterile gauze pads, 3-×-3-inch (2)
  • Adhesive tape (1 small roll)
  • Moleskin, 3-×-6-inch (1)
  • Soap (1 small bar) or alcohol-based hand sanitizing gel (1 travel-sized bottle)
  • Wound gel (1 small tube)
  • Scissors (1 pair)
  • Latex-free medical exam gloves (1 pair)
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) breathing barrier (1)
  • Tweezers (1)
  • Wilderness and Remote First Aid Report Form/Rescue Request and pencil

Already have a kit? It’s wise to take inventory of it and check expiration dates on all medications.

5 Common Injuries and Minor First Aid Treatment for Hikers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Up with a Comprehensive Exam at eMedical

Minor First Aid Treatment for HikersFirst aid treatment should be the first thing you do after you or a loved one sustains an injury on the trials, but it’s not the only thing. Once you make your way safely off the trails, visit your nearest eMedical Urgent Care clinic for a comprehensive exam.

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

Sidelined by Summer Sports? Walk-In Pediatrics NJ Urgent Care Is Here When You Need Us Most

More and more kids are playing organized sports, but along with summer fun and fitness comes the rise of injuries. eMedical Urgent Care and pediatric walk-in clinics in Middletown and Berkeley Heights are committed to providing superior for sports injuries by board-certified physicians.

Sidelined by Summer Sports? Walk-In Pediatrics NJ Urgent CarePut me in coach! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.6 million children up to the age of 19 receive emergency care for sports and recreation-related activities. Although the nature of sports and other recreational activities lends itself to occasional accidents, knowing basic safety procedures can help to prevent injuries in young athletes.

Be Prepared with a Sports Physical

Before starting any sports leagues, it’s important to make sure your child has received their pre-participation physical exam (PPE). Our urgent care doctors are here to administer a sports physical including the medical history and physical exam. No appointment is required, so you may walk in whenever it’s convenient for you and your child.

Wear Protective Gear

Many parents assume that proper equipment is the key to safety, but experts caution against becoming complacent. Growing athletes require properly sized gear; what fit last summer may not fit this summer. Pads and helmets are not effective unless they fit correctly.

Helmet ControversySummer Sports Walk-In Pediatrics NJ Urgent Care

You may have heard of the controversies over whether helmets do more harm than good. Recent evidence suggests that concussions are caused by rotational motion, rather than angular—or forward and backward—motion. Regardless, plenty of research shows that wearing protective equipment does reduce the risk of injuries, although some critics still say kids actually play rougher when they’re wearing helmets or heavy gear because they think they’re better protected.

Stay Hydrated

Before, during and after the game it’s always important for young athletes to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. A good rule of thumb is to drink 30 minutes prior to playing and then every 15-20 minutes during play time.

Be a Role Model

Demonstrate the importance of safety and sportsmanship to your children. Teaching young athletes to play by the rules of their sport can prevent unnecessary aggression (resulting in injuries) on the field.

Rest

Schedule at least one day off per week from sports to allow the body to recover. Also, be sure to take breaks throughout intense exercise. Rest periods during practice and games can help reduce injuries and prevent heat illness.

eMedical Urgent Care for Sports Injuries and Sports Physicals

eMedical Pediatrics NJ Urgent Care treats a wide array of sports injuries and administers sports physicals 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. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.

Walk-In Camp and Sports Physicals

Walk-In Camp and Sports PhysicalsIt’s that time of year again when parents are furiously filling their summer schedules with week-long sports camps and themed recreational activities.

We realize there’s a lot that goes into figuring out your kid’s summer schedule, from piecing everyone’s calendar together to figuring out what’s going to keep the kids occupied and teach them some fun, new skills. While we can’t help you determine if soccer, swimming or softball is the right answer, what we can do is help ease the anxiety of having to schedule their physical exam to fill out all those forms. Because here at eMedical Urgent Care, we offer convenient walk-in camp and sports physicals that will have you in and out in no time.

Sports Physicals vs. Annual Physical

Sports physicals, also known as pre-participation physicals, are usually required to evaluate the athlete’s general health, risk of injury, and make sure he or she can safely participate. It’s different from a standard, well-child exam in which the doctor will more comprehensively address the child’s overall well-being unrelated to sports.

What to Expect

During the exam, we will review medical history including things like allergies, asthma, medications, as well as any questions or concerns.  And during the physical part of the exam, the doctor will usually:

• Record your child’s height and weight
• Take your child’s blood pressure and pulse reading
• Test your child’s vision
• Exam his or her heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat
• Evaluate your child’s posture, joints, strength and flexibility

Bring your children to eMedical Urgent Care Center for their sport physicals about six weeks before the season begins so there’s enough time to follow up on something if necessary.

What to Bring

Remember to bring your insurance card and any sports or camp-required forms to your appointment so our physicians can sign any necessary forms provided. Also bring your immunization records so that we may review this to make sure they are up to date. If your child wears glasses or contacts, bring those as well.

New Jersey State Mandate

A pre-participation Physical Evaluation Form is required by the State of New Jersey for students in grades 6 through 12 participating on a school-sponsored interscholastic or intramural athletic team or squad. It must be completed prior to a student’s participation as per N.J.A.C. 6A:16 Programs to Support Student Development.

Included in the State of New Jersey mandate regarding participation in sports, physicals are valid for one calendar year only, so it’s important to have this done annually.

Convenient Walk-In Sports Physicals at eMedical Urgent Care

Even if it’s at the last minute, our trained physicians can perform a thorough camp and sports physical to ensure your child is healthy and fit to participate in any activity this summer; no appointment necessary. Plus, with our caring and compassionate staff to help take care of minor breaks, sprains and cuts, eMedical Urgent Care is here to help you get back in the game and feeling better fast if an accident occurs.

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. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.

Tips for Identifying and Preventing Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration

Some say, “By the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.” Staying hydrated is very Heat Exhaustionimportant in the hot New Jersey summer months, especially if your body is trying to fight off an illness, if you’re engaging in physically activity, or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

eMedical Urgent Care can help you understand and identify the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses, how to treat them and (most importantly) how to protect yourself and your child against the dangers of becoming dehydrated in the first place. So, grab your water bottle and read on to enjoy a hydrated and happy summer.

Dehydration

Signs of dehydration do in fact include the sensation of thirst and a dry mouth (cotton mouth) as well as dry skin, decreased or yellow urine, headaches and dizziness. Severe dehydration also can cause extreme thirst, fatigue, irritability and confusion. Since your body can lose fluids through sweat, urination, diarrhea or vomiting, it’s best to replenish before activity, at regular intervals during and continue drinking water after exercise.

Dehydration can be expressed as the loss of percentage of body weight. Scientists define dehydration as fluid losses greater than only one percent. Water is lost first from the blood, which is 90% water. (Dehydration can become fatal when 9-12% of your body weight is lost via fluids.) On the average, water makes up 60 to 70% of your body weight. Different cells contain different percentages of water, for example: muscle cells are 70 to 75% water whereas fat cells are only 10 to 15% water. Therefore, a muscular person will have a larger percentage of his or her body weight coming from water.

What is Heat Exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is a condition that generally includes intense sweating and an increased heart rate due to your body’s response to overheating. It is usually caused from a prolonged exposure to hot temperatures (especially when involved in physical activity and high levels of humidity).

Common symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Intense sweating
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness / fainting
  • Significant increase in heart rate
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Sudden headache

Other Heat-Related Illnesses

In addition to heat exhaustion, untreated dehydration can lead to two other heat-related illnesses including heat cramps and heat stroke. Heat cramps are the least aggressive of the three and include painful cramps of the abdominals, arms or legs. Heat stroke requires immediate care and includes severe symptoms such as 104 temperature or higher, nausea, vomiting, seizures, disorientation, lack of sweating, shortness of breath, unconsciousness and could even lead to a coma.

Don’t Let Your Body Fool You, Stay Hydrated!

It’s even easier to dehydrate during the hot summer months when sweat evaporates faster and losing large amounts of fluids might not be as noticeable. According to the old rule of thumb, drink eight glasses of water per day (some experts recommend even more), but you also can quench your thirst by consuming hydrating foods (all of which are at least 90% water by weight) including: cucumber, lettuce, celery, radishes, tomatoes, green peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, spinach, star fruit, strawberries, broccoli, grapefruit, carrots and cantaloupe.

Replenish Fluids and Electrolytes

Remember, anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk. If you or a loved one experience any of the symptoms above, it is important to seek shade, rest and drink plenty of hydrating fluids. Extreme dehydration and heat stroke are medical emergencies that require immediate attention, possibly including a saline IV. Don’t ever hesitate to seek medical attention from the doctors at eMedical Urgent Care in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

Getting Medical Care While On Vacation

Medical Care On VacationVacations are supposed to be a relaxing time spent away from the daily stressors so you can enjoy more fun-filled time with your family and friends. However, there are times when illnesses or accidents occur that can bring the focus away from your trip to the Jersey shore to finding the appropriate medical care. If you are visiting from out of state or perhaps you are hosting friends or family from out out-of-town, rest assured that if someone gets injured or becomes ill, they will be provided with great doctors and great care at eMedical Urgent Care.

Get Medical Treatment Right Away

Whether your child has a sore throat on your trip to Point Pleasant or you are thrown by a wave and injure your ankle while paddle boarding on the Navesink River, it’s important to seek the necessary medical care you need when you need it. You don’t need to wait days (or weeks) to see your hometown doctor when you can be seen by our emergency medicine physicians right away. We provide great care seven days a week without the long waits and expenses. Even on weekends, evenings and holidays we‘re here; our convenient hours are designed to fit your schedule. We pledge that, on average, you’ll be seen by one of our professional providers within 30 minutes.Visiting eMedical Urgent Care allows you to been seen by a doctor quickly who will assess your condition so you can be on the road to recovery…and get back to the beach.

Save Money on Quality Care

Emergency room visits can be very expensive. This can become even more pricy if you go to a hospital’s ER when on vacation because many insurance plans have steep charges for out-of-network coverage of treatment for injuries or illness. Choosing eMedical urgent care instead of going to the emergency room can save you the shock of an outrageously high bill when you get home. As your Middletown and Berkeley Heights urgent care facility, eMedical helps you get the medical care you need without worrying about costs. We work with a number of health insurance providers; call to confirm coverage of your visit and learn more about the services we offer.
As an affordable option for the uninsured, we also offer a discount eCard program.

Enjoy Your New Jersey Vacation

Getting ill or injured while on vacation or even traveling on business can be frustrating. Rather than waiting for hours in an emergency room, you can ensure that you and your loved ones will receive the treatment that’s needed, when it’s needed. 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.

Feel better knowing we’re here.