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    Picking Out the Safest Toys for Kids

    Last updated 2 days 9 hours ago

    Toys bring joy to children, and they even aid in children’s development by encouraging the use of fine motor skills and other abilities. Unfortunately, countless kids wind up in urgent care departments each year because of toy safety issues. When selecting toys for your children, you should always read the product label first. Look for the age recommendation for the toy and avoid purchasing a toy that is intended for children who are older than your youngsters.

    Toy labels also list other important safety information. Look for toys that are labeled as “flame retardant” or “flame resistant.” It’s also a good idea to select toys that are washable to reduce the spread of germs. When selecting paints and other art materials, make sure they are labeled as “nontoxic.” Additionally, paints and crayons should be labeled with “ASTM D-4236.” This means that they have passed a safety inspection by the American Society for Testing and Materials. When purchasing toys for babies and toddlers, make sure they do not contain small components that could be swallowed and ensure that they are sturdy enough to withstand chewing.

    If you’re looking for a children’s hospital in California or Nevada, look no further than the hospitals within the HCA Far West Division. Call our hospitals’ Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (855) 422-9378 and ask about our commitment to quality care.

    Road Safety Tips to Remember for the Holidays

    Last updated 5 days ago

    If your family intends on traveling this holiday season, planning ahead should involve more than packing gifts and making a casserole to bring to the party. By taking a few safety precautions, you can reduce the risk that your family might need to spend the holidays at the urgent care department of the nearest hospital. For example, if you plan to take a long car trip, it’s advisable to plan breaks along the way to reduce the risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

    Prevent Drunk Driving

    Any amount of alcohol can interfere with your judgment, reactions, and other abilities that are necessary to safely drive a vehicle. If you’re going to a holiday celebration at which alcohol is likely to be served, it’s advisable to designate a driver beforehand. If you notice that your family members or friends become impaired while at a holiday celebration, you may save their lives by taking the keys from them and calling a taxi. Hosts of holiday parties can serve non-alcoholic beverages to encourage safe driving.

    Wear Your Seat Belt

    You should wear your seat belt at any time of year. Before traveling this holiday season, make sure all of your passengers are buckled up. Although a seat belt can’t prevent a crash from happening, it can reduce your risk of dying by approximately 50 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Use Child Safety Seats

    It can be challenging to find the right size of car seat for your youngster and to install it properly. If you’re unsure of the type of car seat your child should be using, you can ask a pediatrician at your community hospital. You can also find a car seat inspection station near you. Certified inspectors at these stations can make sure your car seat is properly installed.

    If you do become involved in a car crash in California or Nevada, you can count on the hospitals within the HCA Far West Division to provide exceptional urgent care. Our hospitals also provide specialty care, including stroke care, inpatient rehab, cancer care, and burn treatments. Connect with our Consult-A-Nurse referral line by calling (855) 422-9378 and ask us about our premier healthcare services

    Knowing What to Do If You Experience Chest Pain

    Last updated 10 days ago

    It’s natural to become alarmed when you experience chest pain, especially if you’ve never felt it before and you haven’t been diagnosed with a condition that can cause it. Since chest pain can indicate a medical emergency such as a heart attack or pulmonary embolism, it’s best to get to the nearest hospital as soon as possible. If you think you’re having a heart attack, call 911. Fortunately, chest pain does have many other possible causes that are not life-threatening.

    Visit the Nearest Hospital

    Chest pain may be caused by medical conditions as diverse as muscle strains, panic attacks, and shingles. While your chest pain may not be indicative of a life-threatening condition, it is difficult and perhaps impossible for you to determine whether your symptoms could be serious or not. This is why healthcare experts generally advise patients to visit a local hospital if chest pain arises. At the ER, you can expect to undergo an electrocardiogram (EKG), which will let you know if you’ve had a heart attack. You’ll also likely need other tests at the hospital to pinpoint the exact cause of your chest pain.

    Follow Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan

    Once your doctor determines the cause of your chest pain, he or she can develop a treatment plan for you. It’s important to follow your physician’s recommendations to manage your condition. For example, if you have angina, your doctor might instruct you to take nitroglycerine tablets when chest pain occurs.

    Maintain Communication with Your Doctor

    In addition to following your treatment plan, it’s a good idea to stay in communication with your physician about your symptoms. Let your physician know if your symptoms grow worse or if you develop any new symptoms. Your doctor can alert you to the symptoms that indicate a need for emergency care at the local hospital.

    The Chest Pain Centers in the hospitals of the HCA Far West Division are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of patient care and safety. Our hospitals provide swift diagnosis and treatment of patients with chest pain, in addition to our patient education initiatives on making healthy lifestyle choices. You can find an HCA hospital near you in California or Nevada by calling (855) 422-9378.

    5 Great Reasons to Get a Flu Shot

    Last updated 12 days ago

    If you haven’t already gotten a flu shot this year, consider visiting a local hospital and talking to your doctor about getting one. There are many common misconceptions regarding the safety and effectiveness of the flu shot. If you have any concerns, a doctor at your local hospital will be happy to discuss them with you.

    You Will Safeguard Your Health

    The primary reason why individuals get flu shots each year is to protect themselves from contracting this viral infection. By getting a flu shot, you are drastically decreasing your risk of becoming seriously ill. Influenza is much more serious than the common cold. It can cause severe health complications, and it can cause you to miss time from work and other important activities. When you go to your local hospital to receive the flu vaccination, you’re reducing the possibility that you’ll be hospitalized and suffer life-threatening health problems because of the illness.

    You Will Protect Those Near You

    Getting the flu shot doesn’t only protect your health; it safeguards the health of your family members, friends, co-workers, and everyone else you come into contact with. Receiving a flu immunization helps those who cannot receive a flu shot and those who are particularly vulnerable to suffering complications.

    You Will Likely Experience Minimal or No Side Effects

    Many people hesitate to get the shot because they are concerned about side effects. The flu shot contains an inactivated form of the virus, which means you cannot get the flu from the shot. Serious side effects are rare. If you do experience side effects, they’re likely to be mild and temporary, such as aches, low-grade fever, and swelling.

    You’re a Good Candidate for the Flu Shot

    Almost everyone can get the flu shot. In fact, it’s recommended for everyone over the age of six months.

    You’ll Be Protected for Months

    The flu season actually lasts into the spring. Even if you get your flu shot late in the year, you’ll still be protected from the infection.

    If you do contract influenza, the hospitals of the HCA Far West Division provide prompt, compassionate urgent care services. You can also receive a flu vaccine at our hospitals and children’s hospital. To locate an HCA hospital in California or Nevada, visit our website or call (855) 422-9378.

    The Impact of Obesity on American Health

    Last updated 14 days ago

    Obesity is a condition that involves having excessive amounts of body fat. Obesity is generally defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, while extreme obesity is generally considered to involve a BMI of 40 or higher. This condition is often considered mainly as a cosmetic issue for individuals; however, it can also have serious effects on your health. If you are concerned about your weight, you might consider talking to a doctor at your community hospital. Your doctor can offer treatment recommendations and your community hospital may offer other resources, such as weight loss support groups and bariatric surgery.


    If you’re obese, you have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can reduce your longevity by up to 35 percent, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. This is because this serious disease places you at an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetic ulcers, hypertension, and stroke. It’s also a major cause of amputations.


    There are many potential risk factors for cancer, including obesity. Healthcare experts believe that obesity is linked to tens of thousands of cancer deaths each year in the U.S. The specific types of cancer that may be linked to obesity include ovarian, colorectal, pancreatic, liver, postmenopausal breast, thyroid, prostate, and kidney cancers, among others.

    Cardiovascular Disease

    Being obese is a significant risk factor of cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death in the U.S. Heart and blood vessel diseases are often characterized by the buildup of plaque within the arteries, which is known as atherosclerosis. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

    If you’re finding it difficult to lose weight through diet and exercise, you might wish to visit a surgical weight loss center at a hospital within the HCA Far West Division. Many of our hospitals in California and Nevada offer this effective, long-term solution to obesity. If you have any general questions about bariatric surgery or our hospitals’ other healthcare services, call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (855) 422-9378. 

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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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