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How to Keep Kids Hydrated This Summer

Keeping kids hydrated can pose a few challenges… They may not like the taste of water and prefer sugary drinks.  And sometimes an overlooked spill could lead to an injury from slipping and falling.

Symptoms of Dehydration in Children

Depending upon a child’s sex and age, he or she should drink at least 10 cups of water a day.  Other factors of dehydration include physical activity and air temperature as well as humidity level.

Some symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Extremely dry mouth
  • Decreased urination
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Crying without tears

Causes of Dehydration in Children

Dehydration is not just a summer health concern.  It can happen any time during the year with common causes including fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive sweating.

Don’t wait for your kids to tell you they’re thirsty before offering them water.  Here are a few tips to ensure that they get their recommended intake of fluids with these five tips.

Offer it up

Sometimes it’s as simple as asking if they’re thirsty and making sure water is readily available.  Be sure to pack a water bottle before they head for the day and keep one handy for yourself.

Create a reminder system for drinking water

Whether you set a timer on your phone when you’re out with the kids, or if you create a chart on the refrigerator, create a system that helps track when it’s time to take a drink to ensure they stay hydrated throughout the day.

Include water-based fruits and vegetables in their diet

Many fruits and vegetables are great sources of water as well as being a nutritious snack.  Be sure to pack lunches that include fruits and vegetables with a high-water content such as watermelon, strawberries, celery, and cucumbers.

Make water easily accessible

If your little ones are unable to reach the sink or the water tap in your refrigerator, consider setting up an easy-to-reach water dispenser in your home to encourage them drink water.

Make sipping fun

Just like anything your child doesn’t want to do, you have to entice them and make it fun and exciting.  Make sipping fun by letting them pick out their own drinking cups and reusable bottles in their favorite colors or decorated with their favorite animated characters.

If you think your child may be dehydrated, be sure to visit an urgent care center immediately.  You can also discuss concerns about hydration during pediatric wellness exams.

6 Surprising Signs of Dehydration

Dehydration usually occurs when the body has insufficient fluids to function properly.  While mild dehydration may just make you feel a little tired and thirsty, severe dehydration can lead to fainting spells, blood clots, seizures, and other complications that can lead to seeking medical attention.

Normal symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth and throat, dizziness, fatigue while other signs of dehydration aren’t as obvious.  Here are six surprising signs and symptoms of dehydration.

Bad Breath

Dehydration can prevent your body from producing enough saliva, which can cause bacteria overgrowth in your mouth, a side effect being bad breath.

Dry Skin

Even if you applied lotion before you left your home for the day, being dehydrated can also cause dull, dry skin.

Dry Eyes or Blurred Vision

When you’re exercising, or have been outside for a while, overall body fluid goes down, which can result in dry eyes and blurred vision.


If your work load isn’t already giving you a headache, not drinking enough water might be the cause of it, too.

Muscle Cramps

A nice summer day might be ideal for a pick-up soccer game, but if you’re not hydrating throughout play time, being dehydrated can also cause muscle cramps.  As the muscles work harder and harder, they can seize up from overheating.

Fever and Chills

When you’re severely dehydrated, you may experience fever and chills which can make you even more thirsty.  If your body temperature reaches 103°F, you should seek medical attention quickly.

How to Tell if You’re Dehydrated

It’s a no-brainer that if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.  But there are other ways to check if your body is dehydrated:

Check your urine: If you’re well hydrated, your urine will be mostly clear, or a tine of yellow.  If your urine is a darker yellow, or even orange, be sure to stock up on some H2O.

Test your skin: If you can pinch your skin, and it doesn’t revert to it’s normal position after a few seconds, you might be dehydrated.

If you’re feeling dehydrated, or suffering from symptoms of dehydration, be sure to visit any of Instant Urgent Care’s locations in San Jose, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale.  For more information about the services we provide, please call to speak with one of our medical professionals at 408-687-4806.

Does My Child Have Seasonal Allergies?

If you think your child might have seasonal allergies, there’s no doubt you’re suffering too!

There’s nothing worse than watching your son or daughter struggle with an illness. Parents of young allergy sufferers often have questions about their children’s symptoms. Below, you’ll see a selection of frequently asked questions and their respective answers.

What are the most common allergy symptoms?

Children who are dealing with seasonal allergies typically suffer from the same symptoms that plague adult allergy sufferers. Watch for nasal congestion, clear nasal discharge, and watery eyes.

Most kids will also have sore throats and low-grade fevers. They are also likely to act lethargic. If your son or daughter is old enough to tell you how he or she is feeling, have a conversation about his or her symptoms, especially those that may not be immediately apparent by merely observing his or her behavior.

Do we need to schedule a doctor’s appointment?

Generally, when parents think their children are suffering from allergies, they ultimately make the decision to visit their pediatricians. Doctors can recommend prescription treatments that are not readily available on the shelves of local drugstores.

Although you do not have to put your son or daughter on prescription medication, many children find that their symptoms are greatly relieved once they start taking medicine.

If your child is suffering from particularly severe allergies, an allergy test may be required. This will help you and your doctor develop an effective treatment plan that meets your family’s unique needs.

What can I do at home?

Whether you’ve decided against visiting a doctor at this time or you’re simply looking for additional steps you can take in your own household, it’s sure to be a relief to know there are a lot of things you can do to help your child at home.

The first step is to make sure you’ve removed any allergy triggers from your house. If, for instance, your child is allergic to a particular sort of house plant, you shouldn’t keep any at home.

You should also make an effort to find homemade remedies that will make your son or daughter feel better when his or her symptoms act up. Maybe, for instance, you’ll discover that tea with honey works wonders when your child’s throat hurts. 

But for times when you’re unsure about your child’s symptoms, visit one of Instant Urgent Care’s locations in San Jose, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, or Sunnyvale for evaluation and treatment.

How to Cure Spring Allergy Symptoms at Home

Seasonal allergies are miserable any time of year, but they are often hardest to deal with in the springtime.

After a long winter, the birds are finally chirping, the sun is out, and the weather is just calling you to come outside. Unfortunately, you’re stuck indoors fighting a sore throat, a fever, and sinus congestion.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though! Even if you don’t take prescription allergy medicine, there are plenty of things you can do at home to get rid of your allergy symptoms and get back to enjoying your life. Five of the best home spring allergy remedies are detailed here.

Tea with honey 

One of the most popular at-home spring allergy remedies is tea with honey. This not only soothes sore throats, but can have other health benefits as well. Herbal teas, for instance, often contain ingredients that will bolster your immune system, preventing you from getting other illnesses on top of your allergy symptoms.

Vitamin C

Loading up on Vitamin C is a tried and true way to cure all sorts of ills, including a multitude of spring allergy symptoms. This vitamin is a natural antihistamine and antioxidant, so it can help you feel better quickly and safely. It’s a good idea to consult your doctor before taking Vitamin C; this way you’ll know how many milligrams are the best choice for your age, weight, and gender.

A saline rinse 

Saline rinses, such as the popular Neti Pot, are a great way to clear out your sinuses without visiting a doctor’s office. Once your sinuses are less congested, you’ll be able to breathe more easily and your allergy symptoms should start to dissipate. Be aware that you may have to use a saline rinse multiple times over the course of an allergy flare-up; make sure you use fresh, purified water with each use.


Over the last several years, essential oils have enjoyed a surge in popularity. If you happen to have an oil diffuser in your home, you’re likely to find that aromatherapy is a great way to treat your allergy symptoms. Some of the most popular oil combinations to open airways and encourage general relaxation are mint with lavender and mint with eucalyptus.

Stay hydrated 

Drinking water might not be the first thing you think to do to alleviate your spring allergy symptoms, but you’ll find that it is extremely effective. Not only does proper hydration thin mucus, making it easier to clear your airways, but it keeps your throat moist, preventing it from getting too scratchy and irritated.

These are just a few ways you can relieve springtime allergy woes without leaving the comfort of home. It may take some trial and error to figure out which combination of remedies works best for you, but don’t give up because it will be worth it in the end!

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, be sure to seek treatment from the physicians at Instant Urgent Care.  We have four easily accessible locations in San Jose, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale. We’ll make sure that you can enjoy the rest of the season in ease rather than always feeling the need to sneeze.  Visit us today – no appointment necessary!


Top Four Spring Cleaning Tips For Allergy Sufferers

If you have seasonal spring allergies, spring cleaning might be more of a chore for you than it is for most people. Some common spring cleaning tactics can actually make your allergies worse instead of better. How’s that for tough luck?

Fortunately, there are plenty of steps allergy sufferers can take to keep their homes allergen-free, while still getting them ready for fun in the sun all spring and summer long! You’ll find our top four tips in this guide.

Invest in Allergen Barrier Bedding

Pollen and other outdoor allergens can easily make their way into your bed, even if you just lay your clothes on it after a long day outdoors. Buying allergen barrier bedding is a great way to combat common allergens from making you sick while you sleep.

Pro tip: Covering furniture in entryways and mudrooms with washable slipcovers is another excellent way to prevent allergens from entering your home.

Keep Your Windows Closed

As appealing as it can be to let fresh springtime air in by opening your windows, it’s not a great idea for allergy sufferers. Pollen can quite literally invade your home through open windows, so it’s best to keep them shut as much as possible.

If you want to freshen your home naturally, try putting some orange slices in water on your stove or using essential oils in a diffuser.

Make Sure Bathrooms Are Mold-Free

Bathrooms can be veritable petri dishes for bacteria and mold, thanks to their steamy, wet surfaces. To make sure your bathrooms aren’t harboring mold that is making your allergies worse, regularly clean all surfaces and grout with a product specifically engineered for mold removal.

Wash Winter Clothes

If you stow your winter clothes as part of your annual spring cleaning routine, make sure you run them through the washer first. This gets rid of any allergens that may be present in the fibers. You should also purchase zippered bags for storage; this will keep your clothes dust-free until cold weather sets in again.

Spring cleaning is a rite in many households. Hopefully these tips will make it easier for you to stay healthy while you get your home prepped for warmer weather!  

If you still experience a flareup, be sure to visit Instant Urgent Care for treatment.  We knew seasonal allergies can get the best of patients during this time of year, which is why we’re here to make sure you can wake up and smell the roses without reaching for a tissue.  For more information about our services, please call us at 408-687-4806.

Do I Have Seasonal Allergies or a Cold?

Both the common cold and seasonal allergies can make you feel miserable! Treatment for the two ailments differs, so it’s important to figure out which is afflicting you prior to trying any remedies to get rid of your symptoms.

This helpful guide features a few key differences and treatment options for colds and allergies alike. By the time you’re done reading, you should know what steps to take to get rid of your illness and be back on the road to good health!

How Do Cold and Allergy Symptoms Differ?

Cold and allergy symptoms can be extremely similar, which is part of the reason people often struggle to tell which issue they are dealing with. No matter what the problem is, for example, you’re likely to experience a runny nose, a scratchy throat, and watery eyes.

If you have a cold, however, the odds are good that you’ll also have muscle aches and a low-grade fever.

You should also pay attention to the color of your mucus (it’s not as gross as it sounds!) Yellow or green nasal discharge usually signals a cold, while liquid indicates non-infectious allergies.

How Do I Get Diagnosed?

Although you can make an educated guess, there’s no way to be 100% certain whether you’re suffering from a cold or allergies unless you visit a doctor. It does bear noting that f you’ve already been to a physician regarding your seasonal allergies in the past, you will probably be well-equipped to recognize them when they flare-up annually.

If you don’t want to consult a physician for one reason or another, the longer your symptoms persist, the less likely it is that you have a cold.  The common cold generally lasts from 7 to 14 days whereas allergies can plague people for weeks.

What Are My Treatment Options?

There are a variety of treatment options for both cold and seasonal allergy sufferers.

Since the common cold is caused by a virus, there are no antibiotics to treat it.  Most people find that over-the-counter congestion/cough relievers and fever reducers help them feel better.

Allergy sufferers can also benefit from taking over-the-counter medicine, but many ultimately opt to ask their doctors about prescription medications that are specifically designed to keep seasonal allergy symptoms at bay.

Both cold and allergy victims may also want to try certain homeopathic remedies, such as herbal tea infused with honey.

Remember, even though it may not feel like it when you’re in the throes of your illness, both cold and allergy symptoms will eventually pass and you’re sure to be back to doing all of your favorite activities soon!  But if you want to alleviate your symptoms sooner than later, consult with a physician at Instant Urgent Care to discuss treatment options.

Seasonal Allergy Treatment at Instant Urgent Care

At Instant Urgent Care, we treat seasonal allergy symptoms such as:

  • Watery, itchy, puffy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Sinus congestion
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Coughing

For more information about our seasonal allergy treatment, please call to speak with one of our medical professionals at 408-687-4806.

What You Need to Know About STDs

College is an exciting time that’s full of change for young adults.

Students are often fending for themselves for the first time and making many of their own decisions when it comes to their health.

At first, it may be challenging to find healthy balances amidst this newfound freedom and increased responsibility – a student might opt for the dining hall’s cheeseburger and french-fry dinner over the salad bar, skip the gym in favor of a party, or pull an all-nighter to study for a test.

In addition to finding the right balances in physical and mental health, it is extremely important for college students to consider their sexual health.  As this is a time where students can become sexually active, it’s crucial to understand that sexual behavior can lead to life-long infections.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are widespread across college campuses – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10 million cases of STIs are diagnosed in people ages 15-24 annually.

While these infections and diseases are almost completely preventable through practicing abstinence, it is not a realistic solution. But, educating yourself on the different types of STIs and STDs, using condoms, limiting the number of sexual partners you have, and getting tested can significantly lower your risk of contracting or spreading them.

Common symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases and infections include genital discharge, genital sores, and painful urination. If you experience these symptoms, you should get tested as soon as possible. But, many STIs and STDs do not have symptoms, and many won’t show up on tests immediately, so routine testing is recommended.

If you are under the age of 18, you can still get tested without a parent’s consent (be aware, however, that the visit may show up on your parents’ insurance forms). Tests are often as simple as submitting a urine sample, blood sample, or swab of genitals or cheeks.

If you test positive for an STD, let your partner(s) know. They will likely need to be tested as well. It is also smart to require your partners to be tested before engaging in sexual activity.

Instant Urgent Care provides comprehensive testing for STIs and STDs and we can diagnose and treat them. If you suspect you or your partner has contracted an STI or STD, come on it for a visit.

For more information about our STD testing services, please call to speak with us at (408) 687-4806, or stop by today!

Benefits of Visiting Urgent Care

Urgent care facilities have been popping up all over the United States in recent years, and for good reason. It often takes days, or weeks, to get appointments with primary care doctors, and many Americans are choosing walk-in medical clinics over emergency rooms for less severe ailments and shorter wait times. Urgent care clinics typically treat non-life threatening illnesses and injuries, such as colds, flu, cuts, burns, and broken bones. These are some of the advantages of visiting urgent care centers over a primary care office or emergency room:

Shorter Wait Times

The most obvious benefit of visiting an urgent care facility is in the name: it’s urgent. This means that physicians see patients on a walk-in basis. So, if a health concern arises suddenly, you do not need an appointment, like you would if you were to visit your primary care doctor. Similarly, you won’t be spending hours in an emergency room waiting to be seen.

Available Services

Most urgent care facilities offer a greater range of services than primary care offices. They are usually equipped with x-ray machines and onsite lab testing, so physicians at these clinics can quickly and accurately diagnose medical conditions. Instant Urgent Care provides a wide range of health services, including diagnosis of infections, men and women’s cancer screenings, STD testing, and immunizations.

Saves Money

Urgent care clinics generally offer services at a lower cost than hospitals do. Additionally, most insurance providers cover urgent care costs. Co-pays for walk-in clinics are typically the same or lower than those at primary care offices.

Extended Hours

Urgent care clinics are typically open on the weekends, nights, and holidays – times you’re your primary care doctor’s office might be closed.

Treatment for Travelers

As mentioned, most insurance companies cover visits to urgent care centers, and many do so no matter where you are. So, if you are traveling and need medical attention, you can usually walk into any urgent care facility for treatment.

Visit Instant Urgent Care

At Instant Urgent Care, we provide a number of medical services at convenient wait times and prices.

Some of the urgent care services we provide include:

  • Cold and Flu Symptoms
  • Seasonal Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and Fainting Spells
  • Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • Sinus Infections
  • Viral Infections
  • Bacterial infections
  • Minor Injuries and Cuts
  • Cuts, Abrasions and Broken Bones
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Minor Burns
  • Removal of Foreign Objects

For more information about the services we provide, please call to speak with us at (408) 687-4806, or stop by today!


When to Take Your Child to the Doctor for a Cold

Cold and flu season came in with a vengeance this year, hitting nearly the entire United States at the same time and breaking records left and right.

The CDC has reported this year’s flu season as “widespread,” affecting 49 states, with 1 in 13 hospital visits being flu-related.  

Sadly, some of these record-breaking statistics include the number of patients hospitalized and the number of patients who have died.

Children and older adults are especially at risk for colds and the flu, and knowing when to seek medical attention can be life-saving.

Here are some signs that it is time to take your child to the doctor:

  • Your child has been experiencing cold symptoms for more than 10-14 days
  • The child has a fever – For babies under three months of age, a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher is cause for concern. Seek medical attention for older children that have a fever of 102 degrees or higher, and for any fever that lasts more than 72 hours.
  • He/she has a cough lasting more than 72 hours – this could be a sign of whooping cough or pneumonia
  • Your child is experiencing trouble breathing, rapid breathing, or wheezing
  • He/she has a loss of appetite – it is especially important to monitor this in babies under three months old
  • The child has blue lips
  • Your child is extremely tired, even with rest, is cranky, and is not interested in playing

The best thing you can do for children that have a cold is to let them rest and give them plenty of fluids.

Consult your doctor before administering any over-the-counter cold medicines, and closely monitor your child’s temperature.

The staff at our Instant Urgent Care centers has years of experience treating children. If your child is suffering from any of the symptoms above, feel free to come to our clinic!  For more information about our treatment for general illnesses, please call us at 408-687-4806.

Sports Injury Treatment

Injuries are all but inevitable in sports. They are so common, in fact, that we have names for them like ‘tennis elbow’ and ‘runner’s knee’.

Sports injuries come in all shapes and sizes – keeping an athlete on the bench for a day or two, ending their career, or anywhere in between.

Although most sports injuries are the result of overuse, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to treating athletic injuries. Treatment depends on the severity and location.

There are certain preventative measures that can be taken in order to reduce the risk of injury while exercising:

  • It is important to warm up before engaging in athletic activity and to cool down after
  • Stretching regularly can improve muscle flexibility, which reduces the risk of sprains and strains
  • Start slow – doing too much too fast can result in injury
  • Listen to your coach – work with a coach or trainer to make sure your form is correct

Many minor injuries, such as sprains and strains, do not require care from a medical professional. Athletes with these types of injuries commonly feel relief with painkillers such as Advil, and PRICE therapy, which consists of:

  • Protect – support the injury with a brace or wrap
  • Rest/Restrict – take some time off to keep the injury from worsening
  • Ice – ice helps with inflammation and swelling. Use ice for 20 minutes every two hours for two days
  • Compression – reduce swelling by providing compression with an elastic bandage
  • Elevate – if possible, keep the injured area elevated above the heart to reduce swelling

If you do not feel relief with PRICE therapy within a few days, take it as a sign that medical attention is necessary. More serious sports-related injuries may require care from specialists such as a physical therapist.

Treatment options for more severe injuries may include:

  • Corticosteroid Injections – if you have a persistent joint or tendon injury, your doctor might suggest an injection to reduce inflammation
  • Physical Therapy – this treatment uses massage, strengthening exercises, and heat treatments to heal injured muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones
  • Regenerative Medicine – regenerative medicine, such as stem cell treatment, encourages the regrowth of healthy cartilage and tendon cells
  • Surgery – in extreme cases, surgery on the injured area may be necessary

Instant Urgent Care provides high-quality health care services to the Silicon Valley region. Our four state-of-the-art facilities, located in Santa Clara, San Jose, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale, are staffed with fully-qualified and caring medical professionals whose top priorities are your health and satisfaction.

For more information about our sports injury treatment, please call us at 408-687-4806.