Trick-or-Treat Tips for a Safe Halloween

Halloween Family

Trick-or-Treat Tips for a Safe Halloween

Halloween Family

Halloween is such an exciting time of year for kids, they get to stay up past their bedtimes, dress up as their favorite superhero or Disney princess and indulge on candy. Parents need to make sure throughout this exciting event that their kids stay visible, follow the rules of the road, and don’t eat anything strange from the candy bag. Read the following tips to ensure this Halloween doesn’t literally turn into a scary one.

Before you take your little ghosts and goblins out for Halloween, read these safety tips:

Keep it Bright

Darker costumes obviously make it harder to spot your child in a crowd so make sure you dress your child up in costumes that are bright colored, making them more visible to you as it gets dark outside. If your child’s costume is dark, make sure to add reflective accessories or light your kids up with glow sticks.

Face Paint Instead of Face-masks

Face-masks can be a great touch to a costume for a more realistic look, but they are dangerous as they can obstruct vision. Face paint is a much better option, but just make sure to try it out first making sure your child doesn’t have a reaction to the make up. Remember to completely wash it off before tucking them into bed!

Travel in a Group

Older kids should always travel together as a group, and make sure that it’s a neighborhood that has been approved by all the parents. Check-ins by phone should happen regularly and make sure that you have set a curfew for them to be home by.

Safely Approach Homes

Only go up to homes that are well lit with a porch light, outdoor lights, or Halloween decorations. Make sure to enforce the rule to never enter a home or a car for a treat candy.

Follow the Rules of the Road

Make sure to only cross the roads where there are established crosswalks and to always hold your child’s hand when crossing the road. If you are out driving that night be sure to drive slowly through residential areas as there will be small children running around from house to house.

Check the Candy

Before you let your children dig into their pile of candy dump it all out on a table and check each piece, discarding any candy that looks like it has been opened already or any homemade or repackaged candy.

Cold vs. Flu: Ways You Can Spot the Difference

Woman Blowing Her Nose On Couch

Cold vs. Flu: Ways You Can Spot the Difference

Woman Blowing Her Nose On Couch

Is it a cold or flu?

There are so many ways to describe your physical symptoms when you are sick to the doctor. Coughing, sneezing, shivering, hacking, wheezy dry cough, runny nose, and many more. While these all seem like ways to describe the common cold, it is important to spot the different signs between a cold and the seasonal flu.

Symptoms of Seasonal Flu

Influenza or also known as the common “flu” often hits fast and takes you by surprise. The flu begins with a sudden fever including other symptoms like chills, muscle aches, headaches, and tiredness. The important thing to understand is that with the flu you feel lousy and you feel lousy FAST. If you experience any of the fast symptoms included with a flu, contact your doctor right away to begin treatment as the flu can be dangerous if not treated properly and quickly.

Symptoms of Common Cold

The common cold, on the other hand, usually starts gradually and lasts much longer. It is important to understand that symptoms with a cold often creep up on you and can last anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Colds will rarely come with a significant fever, while the flu never fails with a fever of 100 degrees or higher for at least a few days.

This is a helpful chart that shows the difference in symptoms between the flu and cold:

Signs and Symptoms

Influenza

Common Cold

Onset

Sudden

Gradual

Fever

Temperature of 100 degrees and above for 3-4 days

Temperature less than 100 degrees

Cough

Dry, sometimes severe

Hacking

Headache

Prominent 

Rare

Muscle pain

Usual, often and severe

Uncommon or usually mild

Tiredness & weakness

Lasting about 2-3 weeks

Very mild and brief

Extreme exhaustion

Early & prominent

Never

Chest discomfort

Common

Uncommon or mild

Stuffy nose

Sometimes

Typical

Sneezing

Sometimes

Typical

Sore Throat

Sometimes

Common 

Treatment Options for the Flu

Antiviral medications such as Tamiflu and Relenza are used to best treat cases of the flu which require a prescription and a treatment plan. These medications fight the flu by keeping the viruses from reproducing in your body and work best when started within 48 hours of your first symptoms.

At DOCS Urgent Care a variety of our convenient locations in Connecticut offer flu immunizations. Feel free to walk into one of our clinics today for a fast, wait-free way to get your flu shot. Find our more information about flu shots here.

What to Look for in a Primary Care Physician

What to Look for In a Primary Care Physician

There are many benefits to having a primary care provider including better patient-to-provider communication, referrals to other specialty doctors and management to chronic diseases. But, how do you go about choosing a primary care provider? 

The relationship you have with your primary care provider is one of the most important because this physician will learn your medical history, your medications, your possible health conditions, lifestyle and what treatment you prefer. To help you make the right choice when it comes to your health, we’ve listed out some of the top qualities and resources to look for in your PCP.  


Tips on How to Find Your Primary Care Provider 

 

Find Out If the Doctor is In Your “Network”

Many health plans have negotiated discounted rates for specific doctors or hospitals that are in your area. You’ll pay less out of pocket for a doctor that is in your “network.” The best way to find out what doctors are in your network is to call your insurance company to verify. You can do so by calling the 1-800 number on the back of your insurance card. 

At all 16 of our DOCS Urgent Care locations in Connecticut, we accept all major insurances. If you would like to confirm that we accept your insurance, please find your nearest DOCS location and call to verify.

Have Your Needs In Mind 

Every person has unique health needs that will often change as we get older. It’s important to find a primary care provider that you trust with your health conditions (or for your children). Start off by asking your doctor what they specialize in. Some specialize in pediatrics, while others might have a special interest in sports medicine. If you struggle with multiple complex medical issues or if you are an older individual, you’ll benefit more from seeing a geriatrician who specializes in the care of older patients. 

Consider the Location 

For some, quality healthcare has no distance too far. For others, you may value having local, convenient care right in your town. You’ll also want to also consider office hours – what days and times is the doctor available? Do they only visit one location or can you see them at other offices? 

At DOCS Urgent Care, we know that our patients want quality care in the most convenient locations. That’s why we have 16 different locations all across Fairfield, New Haven, and Hartford counties. We want to make sure that our patients don’t have to travel long distances to receive the care they deserve. All of our locations have compassionate doctors and nurses who are more than excited about offering primary care services to all of our patients. We also offer our services 365 days a year because we understand that things happen and walk-in care is an efficient way to assure that you’re seen the same day. 

Visit the Doctor 

Even if you go off referrals, you’ll get a more accurate reading of your potential doctor by visiting them for a wellness check-up. Make sure that during your visit, you feel comfortable with both the office, the nurses and the doctor. You should be able to talk confidently with your doctor and know that you can rely on them for your healthcare management. 

To know if you like the atmosphere in the doctor’s office, make note of a few different things. How is the demeanor of the people who answer the phones? Are the office assistants and nurses friendly? What is the wait like? There are many different factors that can conclude if you will enjoy making this your primary care location. 

Start Receiving Quality Care Today

At DOCS Urgent Care (throughout Connecticut), we offer both urgent care services and primary care services. Whether you need a general check-up, physical, or require a PCP that can help manage your chronic condition, we are here for you. We can offer you the same services as a primary care physician without the wait times or inconvenient schedules. Our doctors are trained and experienced in providing care for infants, adolescents, young adults and seniors. To start receiving care from DOCS, find out which location is closest to you!

Treating Fall Allergies

Fall Allergy Patient

Battling Fall Allergies?

Fall Allergy Patient

Treating Fall Allergies

Fall allergies are extremely common and can be detrimental to an individual’s everyday life. The symptoms that arise from allergies tend to interfere with one’s daily functions such as sleep and concentration. In order to effectively treat these fall allergies, we must understand what fall allergies really are and why they create such discomfort. Before treating yourself, it is important to understand your body and how it reacts to certain allergens or environmental triggers.

Symptoms of Common Fall Allergies

Allergens such as mold, pollen, animal hair, and dust can trigger fall allergies and cause moderate to severe symptoms. Common symptoms or signs of an allergic attack include sneezing, congestion, runny nose, itchy throat, and headaches. When allergens invade your body, your immune system responds by releasing a surge of chemicals, including histamine, in order to flush them out of your system.

Questions to Reflect On

These are some helpful questions to ask yourself so you can distinguish your triggers and treat your fall allergies accordingly:

  • What symptoms occur?
  • Does being outdoors or indoors trigger your symptoms more?
  • What where you doing that triggered these symptoms?
    (I.e: cleaning, petting animals, smoking cigarettes, etc)
  • What relieves you of your symptoms?
  • What treatments have you tried that work?
  • What treatments have you tried that are ineffective or exacerbate allergic flare ups?

    By reflecting on these questions, you will better equip yourself with the knowledge to treat your fall allergies and take preventative actions.

Treatment Options for Fall Allergies

Depending on your personal experience with fall allergies, there are various ways to treat this discomfort. If the symptoms you are experiencing are severe, it is best to seek medical help at Docs Urgent Care or other healthcare facilities. A medical professional will evaluate your medical/medication history to determine what treatment is most effective for you.
Some control measures to consider are:

  • Buy a dehumidifier
  • Check pollen levels
  • Remove pollen from furniture and clothing
  • Wear protective clothing/allergen-free clothing
  • Keep pets off personal items & bed

    These helpful fall allergy tips can help provide needed relief. Take the time to experiment with these control measures and determine what alleviates your symptoms. If self-treatment is an appropriate option for you, it’s still recommended to see a professional in order to prevent contraindications and drug interactions.

Taking Action 

If you suffer with fall allergies and are seeking a personal treatment plan, schedule an appointment today at DOCS Urgent Care. We have 15 different Urgent Care locations in Connecticut that offer allergy testing, treatment services, and preventative methods. These clinics are run by allergists and healthcare professionals who ensure the highest standard of patient care. We accept most major insurances too!

Preparing for the Upcoming Allergy Season

women with allergies in blue shirt laying in white bed blowing nose

Preparing for the Upcoming Allergy Season

women with allergies in blue shirt laying in white bed blowing nose

One of the blessings of the winter season is that seasonal allergies are almost nonexistent (although let’s not forget how it dries our skin. The beginning of spring is typically known for the introduction of sneezing and itchy eyes, but the spring allergy season can actually begin as early as February. We have some steps for you to smoothly transition into the upcoming months without being blindsided by allergies!

Consult with DOCS Urgent Care of Fairfield for Allergy Testing

Here at DOCS Urgent Care we offer allergy testing at our Connecticut locations such as Fairfield, North Haven, New Milford, and Bethel.

How is the Testing Done?

The allergy testing process is relatively simple and painless. Small amounts of common allergens are carefully pricked onto the skin surface of the back or forearm of the patient. After a few short minutes, the irritable allergens will become itchy and noticeably red. This is the basis of determining a positive or negative association to common allergens.

Start Medication Early to Prepare

It’s often beneficial to begin taking allergy medication prior to allergy season and not waiting until the first sign of symptoms. This gives you a time period and allows you to determine which medicine works best for your body and specific allergies. It also gives a transition period for your body to get used to the symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, etc.

Long-Term Solution

At DOCS Urgent Care in Fairfield and other locations, we offer allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy. While over-the-counter medicine is short-term and fast-acting, immunotherapy is more of a long-term solution with a higher ceiling for effectiveness. It works by injecting the patient with a small dose of the allergen throughout the course of years. It stimulates the immune system without causing a severe allergic reaction and builds up a tolerance to it over time, which in turn, reduces or entirely prevents the allergy attacks.

Allergy-Proof your Home

It might seem obvious to keep the windows in your home shut during allergy season, but this is one of the main reasons people suffer from allergies. On top of that, closing your windows also doubles as a security precaution, so there’s no reason not to!

The Washing Machine is your Friend

Excess allergens such as pollen and dandruff are attracted to the interwoven fabric of our clothing and sheets. Washing your clothes and sheets regularly can remove these allergens and make for a much happier lifestyle. Try washing your sheets once a week and if symptoms pursue, even more often!

Avoid Peak Allergen Times

For those of us who are allergic to dogs and cats, we often keep them in our living quarters and make a sacrifice for the companionship and affection they provide. Pollen on the other hand, doesn’t provide the same qualities, so why expose yourself to it when you don’t have to? Pollen levels are highest between the hours of 5:00AM and 10:00AM, so try to avoid significant time outdoors during those parameters.

Weather Plays a Large Role

Warm, dry, and windy weather is often the cause of an increase in seasonal allergies. The best time to be outside is after a rainstorm in the afternoon because the air is wet and not riddled with pollen.

If you have any questions about our services please contact us at 203-617-0319, and if you find yourself with an urgent health issue, please visit one of our urgent care centers located in Fairfield and throughout Connecticut.