Riverside Community Hospital
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Why a Hot Car Is No Place for Your Child

Dozens of young children lose their lives each year because of heatstroke caused by being left alone in a parked car. And contrary to popular belief, these deaths do not usually occur because the parents were being negligent or were uninformed of the risks. Typically, these cases arise simply because exhausted parents forgot their kids were in the backseat. Since a tragic death could affect any family, it’s critical for all parents to take precautionary measures. Here at Riverside Community Hospital, our emergency care team urges parents to adopt safety habits that may save their children’s lives.

Understanding Heatstroke

Heatstroke is the most severe type of heat-related illness. It occurs when the body’s temperature is over 105 degrees Fahrenheit. When a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, the condition is fatal. Heatstroke can cause seizures, delirium, unconsciousness, weakness, and rapid heartbeat, and it requires immediate care in the ER. Heatstroke is a particularly serious risk for infants and young children because they cannot regulate their body temperatures as well as an adult can. This means that they cannot withstand the high temperatures within a car for any length of time.

Identifying the Risks of a Hot Car

On a hot day, a parked car is like a sauna. Within a matter of minutes, the temperature inside a car can rise to dangerous levels. It’s important for parents and caregivers to know that children have died in cars because of heatstroke even when the outdoor temperature was in the 60s; hot car deaths are not only a concern when heat waves occur. It will not protect a child to leave the windows cracked open or the car parked in the shade. The only way to prevent hot car deaths is to never leave children in parked cars, not even for a few minutes.

If you see a child in distress, call 911 immediately. The ER physicians and nurses at Riverside Community Hospital provide responsive care that can save lives. Residents throughout the Riverside area can direct their non-emergent questions about our hospital services to a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.


Top Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

Most of the time, parents want what is best for their kids, but protecting a young child from every possible risk is a big job. Fortunately, there is a simple way to protect kids from dangerous infectious diseases: vaccinations. A vaccine contains dead or severely weakened organisms. The introduction of the vaccine into the body triggers the creation of antibodies against the disease, which offers protection from disease transmission. It’s natural for parents to have some questions about vaccinations. In the Riverside area, parents can turn to the doctors at Riverside Community Hospital for guidance.

Vaccinations protect your child.

The primary reason to vaccinate your child is to protect him or her from serious diseases, some of which may be life-threatening. Vaccines guard against diseases like hepatitis B, rotavirus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, and measles—just to name a few. Since diseases like polio aren’t present in the U.S. any longer, it’s easy to forget just how dangerous they truly are. This may be why some parents still have reservations about vaccines, but you can rest assured that vaccinating your child on schedule will help save his or her life.

Vaccinations protect others throughout the community.

Some individuals are not able to receive vaccines because of health reasons such as severe allergies. Others, such as newborns, are too young to be fully vaccinated. By choosing to vaccinate your child, you can protect his or her playmates and everyone else in the community from the spread of dangerous diseases.

Travel increases the spread of infectious diseases.

Some parents might wonder why they should vaccinate their child against diseases that aren’t usually a problem in the U.S. The answer is that global travel allows diseases to infect people regardless of residency. It is possible for a child to acquire a deadly disease from a playmate, who may have acquired it from traveling abroad.

The risks associated with vaccines are minimal.

Vaccines undergo intensive testing and reviews before being made available to the public. They are very safe and effective. It is normal for the injection to cause some localized and temporary tenderness and discomfort at the injection site. However, the risks are minimal and it’s important to note that vaccines do not cause autism.

Families in Riverside will find exceptional maternal, newborn, and pediatric care at the Family Birthplace Riverside Community Hospital. Our hospital team strongly encourages new parents to get their kids vaccinated in accordance with their pediatrician’s recommendations. For general questions about vaccines or about our hospital services, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (951) 788-3463.


Essential Back to School Safety Tips

Back to school time is approaching quickly and for parents this means it’s time to be on the lookout for a whole new set of safety concerns. While sunburn and insect bites are common risks during summer break, the school year brings concerns about backpack injuries, school bus safety, and sports injuries. Families in the Riverside area can turn to their local hospital for preventive healthcare and emergency care. Riverside Community Hospital is your partner in wellness.

Backpacks

It’s often thought that an orthopedic doctor’s primary patients are older adults, but in fact orthopedic injuries among children are a widespread problem. Heavy backpacks are a common cause of back and shoulder pain among young kids. To protect your child, consider purchasing a slightly smaller backpack to prevent him or her from filling it too full. Kids who must transport heavy loads can use a wheeled pack. When choosing a backpack, look for one with wide, well-padded straps, hip and chest belts, and reflective material to increase your child’s visibility. Avoid messenger-style bags and teach your child to always use both shoulder straps.

School Bus

Some school districts have established very strict policies regarding the way in which children board and leave a school bus. Teach your child to wait off the road until the bus has completely stopped. If your child needs to cross the road, it’s best if the bus driver waves to let your child know when it’s safe to cross. However, kids still need to look both ways before crossing. Kids should also be taught to avoid engaging in disruptive behaviors while on the bus that may distract the driver.

Sports

Before joining a school sports team, kids should undergo a sport physical at their community hospital to make sure it’s safe for them to play. It’s also a good idea for parents to become aware of the risks of a particular sport before agreeing to let their child play. All kids should wear appropriate safety gear for their chosen sport.

At Riverside Community Hospital, you’ll find compassionate emergency care services, which includes a Level II Trauma Center. Our community hospital is also a leading provider of orthopedic care, robotic surgery, and Ob/Gyn services. Residents of Riverside can call (951) 788-3463 to speak with a registered nurse at our hospital.


Do You Know the Signs of Dehydration?

Did you know that if you reach for a drink because you feel thirsty that you are already dehydrated? While mild dehydration may be resolved by sipping a glass of water, ignoring the symptoms and allowing it to progress can lead to serious health complications, including heart emergencies. Stay aware of these symptoms of dehydration so you can take action to prevent complications.

Thirst

As mentioned, thirst is an indicator that you are already dehydrated, not a warning to drink before dehydration hits. With mild to moderate dehydration, you may notice an increase in your thirst and your mouth may feel dry and sticky. As dehydration becomes more severe, so does thirst. Your mouth may feel extremely dry and your tongue may become swollen. Once you become severely dehydrated, you may dramatically increase your fluid intake without increasing your urine output, as your body tries to hold onto the water. You may stop urinating completely, or your urine may appear much darker than normal, despite drinking more fluids.

Rapid Heart Rate

Being dehydrated can upset the electrolyte imbalance in your body and make your heart work harder to supply your cells with nutrient-rich blood, so many people experience rapid heartbeats when they are dehydrated. This can be particularly dangerous for people with existing heart disease or other chronic conditions. Often, rapid heart rate caused by dehydration is also accompanied by rapid breathing.

Headache

Dehydration plays a role in a large number of headaches, and chronic dehydration can lead to chronic headaches. The lack of water in the body causes muscle tension, which in turn can cause headaches. Increasing fluid intake can be the key to reducing chronic headaches for some people.

Severe dehydration is a medical emergency, and the ER at Riverside Community Center is here to provide the urgent treatment you need when you have dehydration symptoms. From OBGYN services to our heart hospital in Riverside, we’re invested in your good health. To find out more about all of our hospital services, please call (951) 788-3463.


Planning a Safe Summer Road Trip with Your Family

Summer is the perfect time to hit the road with your family, but unfortunately, it is also a time that people find themselves making trips to the hospital ER more frequently. You can make sure your road trip doesn’t involve an unplanned detour to the hospital with this planning advice.

Pack a Disaster Kit

Bad weather, unexpected road closing, and mechanical trouble are just a few of the things that could leave you unexpectedly stranded on the side of the road. If this happens, it helps to have a disaster kit on hand. Pack your kit with First Aid items, high-protein snacks, water, and a flashlight with extra batteries. It can also help to have a battery-operated radio and extra prescription medications as well as emergency contact information. This kit can save the day if someone gets injured or if you are stuck for an extended period of time.

Share the Driving

Even when you are well rested, driving can be tedious and tiring. On long road trips, it can help to share the driving to make sure your attentiveness doesn’t slip. Make frequent stops as well to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and recuperate. These stops can also add to the fun of the journey. If there is no one to share the driving with, or if all of the drivers are too tired to drive safely, find a safe spot to stop and get some rest.

Tell Someone Your Driving Route

Make sure someone at home knows your driving route and itinerary. If something goes wrong on your journey, that person can send assistance along that route so you can get the help you need sooner. He or she can also make sure you know about any inclement weather or other alerts that appear on your route when you’re on the road.

If a summertime injury or illness does occur, Riverside Community Hospital is here to help. We provide ER care all year long, as well as OBGYN care, heart care, and bariatric surgery in Riverside. Get a referral to one of our physicians or find out more about our services by calling (951) 788-3463.


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