Health and Fitness Tips

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It is that time of year again: Runny noses, sore throats, nagging ear infections, the list goes on and on. As flu and cold season rears its ugly head again, there are a few things to consider if you find yourself or your child reaching for that tissue box.

The average American adolescent catches approximately six to 10 colds each year. If your young one awakes sniffling or complaining of an achy ear in the middle of the night, you need not make a trip to a pediatric emergency room. A quicker, cheaper, and more efficient option is a visit to an urgent care clinic. Urgent care centers are so popular, in fact, that the prevalence of these centers are springing up all over the country (the most reside in Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago, yet 10% are sprouting up in rural areas, too).

The reasons for the growing popularity of urgent care facilities are plenty; they have the staff and services to prescribe antibiotics, pain meds, and evaluate the needs of a patient in a fraction of the time as emergency room services in a hospital. Surprisingly, a 2010 study found that more than 20% of ER visits could have been effectively treated at an urgent care clinic.

In addition, urgent healthcare centers are a heck of a lot more economical, too. This is the biggest reason that this new branch of the healthcare industry is picking up a lot of patient volume that burdens our emergency rooms. On average, a walk in clinic or a urgent care clinic costs $150 or less, compared with a whopping $1,500 average for ER visits.

So the next logical question then, is how do you find urgent care clinics? A quick and easy internet search will lead you to plenty that are in your neighborhood. And if you are unsure of which to choose, ask your family doctor for their recommendation. Check out this site for more: