FastMed Blog

5 Ways to Keep Kids Safe at the Pool this Summer

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When the weather heats up, the pool is a perfect escape. It’s a great place to enjoy the outdoors and keep your kids active. But there are a few things you should keep in mind. A commitment to pool safety might be the difference between a day of fun in the sun and a call to 911.

FastMed Urgent Care has partnered with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Pool Safely campaign to help educate parents and their children about safe pool and spa practices. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children 1 to 4 years old, but a few simple steps may keep your kids safer all summer long.

1. Teach kids to swim.

Nothing can replace basic swim training. Drowning in the pool is 8 times more likely when a child does not know how to swim. Flotation devices and shallow pools can give you a false sense of security, but teaching your child how to swim is one of the best ways to prevent drowning. You can take all the precautions in the world, but accidents still happen; if your child falls in deeper water without proper flotation gear on, he or she needs to know how to get to the side of the pool.

Talk to your pediatrician. A healthcare professional will let you know when swim lessons are appropriate and how you can help your child succeed. Lessons are available at many local pools, recreation centers and YMCAs.

2. Always designate a Water Watcher.

It’s important to understand an emergency protocol, and you want to have a safety plan in place, but the most important thing to remember may be that you should be with your children at all times. Supervising swim time can sound like a chore—but not if you’re in the water playing, too. The best way to keep an eye on your children is to designate an adult as an official Water Watcher, an adult tasked with supervising children in the water. That should be their only task – they shouldn’t be reading, texting or playing games on their phone. Have a phone close by at all times in case you need to call for help, and if a child is missing, check the pool first. If you prefer, you can get in the water with them, keeping tabs on them as you play a game or race across the pool. In no time, your kids will think having mom and dad supervise is pretty cool.

3. Keep unsupervised children away from the water.

If you have a pool in your backyard, make sure it has proper fencing around it with a self-closing, self-latching gate. If you live near a pool, make sure your children respect the gates and fencing and never enter the pool without adult supervision.

While you want to ensure your children have the water skills they need before visiting the pool, it’s important to know that accidents happen to even the best swimmers. Using barriers to keep children away from the water is important. 

4. Teach children about the dangers of drains. 

A child is drawn to anything that looks different than other surroundings. That’s why we cover electrical sockets on walls when kids start to crawl. Drains in pools and hot tubs are like sockets. They stick out on the bottom and the walls, and often suck or spit water, making them even more enticing. You need to teach your child about the dangers a drain presents.

Why are drains dangerous? Because they are powerful. A child can become stuck to a pool drain and drown. When you’re at the pool or spa you should first ensure all drains have compliant drain covers. An adult or employee should also learn where the emergency vacuum shutoff switch is before everyone gets in the water. In the event of an emergency, hitting this switch can save a life.

 5. Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Many medical professionals will tell you that being prepared is one of the best ways to stop a tragedy from happening. Be sure your CPR skills are up-to-date before you take children swimming.

Even if you have taken a CPR class in the past, it’s important to review the steps or take a refresher course on occasion. The medical recommendations can change often. Knowing the proper way to help a child in need while first responders are en route can make a huge difference in the outcome of any emergency.

FastMed and Pool Safely want to keep you informed 

Make sure your child has the water skills he or she needs before you visit the pool, and always provide supervision. Even the best swimmers can get into challenging situations. These and a few other helpful tips from the Pool Safely campaign can help you and your family have a fun and worry-free summer.

Help protect children from drowning this summer. Take the Pool Safely Pledge and become a supporter of Pool Safely. It only takes a minute, and may save a life. If you’d like a FastMed representative and our mascot, FastMed Fred, to come to your child’s camp or school to share more information about the Pool Safely campaign, please email us at  The program is free, informative and fun for kids and adults.

It's National Hand Hygiene Day!

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There’s so much going on when you’re a kid – mud pies to make, friends to play with, frogs to catch and toys to share. With all this activity, it’s easy for children to forget to wash their hands. Hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid germs, bacteria and viruses that can cause illness. Print out this infographic and place it in a prominent location (like in the bathroom or on the fridge) to remind your child of the proper hand-washing technique. And remember, it’s not just for National Hand Hygiene Day; regular hand-washing should be a part of the daily routine for both adults and children.

When Should I Wash My Hands? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Parents and caretakers, don’t forget that these guidelines apply to you, too! Keep yourself and your little ones healthy by regularly washing your hands. If someone does get sick, come to your local FastMed Urgent Care. We’ll get you all fixed up in no time!

FastMed CEO Shares How He Hires for "Fit"

0 Comment(s) |   February 10, 2016 

Kyle A. Bohannon, President and CEO of FastMed, was interviewed about how FastMed hires, and he shared with us a few of his hiring secrets for FastMed Urgent Care, which went from 75 employees to more than 1,500 employees in the last four and a half years.  Read more.  


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At the South Pole, penguins are white, black and gold. They’re called Emperors. For our friend FastMed Fred, a purple penguin, living among these regal creatures was tough. He stuck out like a bruised knuckle.

That’s why Fred came north. Over the Andes and across the Caribbean, he visited Arizona, Texas and North Carolina. He wanted to make new and different friends. Now we’re lucky to announce this adventurous penguin is the latest addition to our team.

You’ll be hearing a lot from FastMed Fred in the future. He is going to help us teach kids about common health issues. He’ll cover topics like hydration, sunscreen and hygiene — all things FastMed Fred had to learn when he made his trek to the United States.

Each day, FastMed Fred discovers something new. We look forward to sharing his healthy choices and the lessons he learns with your children.

Join us in welcoming FastMed Fred to the team!

Protect Your Family with Flu Shots This Season

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Flu season is blowing in, and each year the virus seems to grow more varied and severe. The only way to avoid this perfect storm of sickness is to get vaccinated. Picture yourself laid up sick for a week, missing work, can’t take care of the kids...and then picture avoiding all that trouble with one visit to your local FastMed Urgent Care! One shot could keep you healthy all year round.

Flu shots save lives and money

In studies of the vaccination’s effectiveness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a flu shot lowered the risk of children being admitted into the emergency room by 74%. Similarly, adults saw a 71% decrease in hospitalizations.

Decreasing your chances of a hospital visit by a third is not only significant to your health, it has an impact on your wallet. If a child has to go to the emergency room it may cost you as much as $3,000. Compare that to less than $50 for a flu shot or urgent care visit with some insurance providers, and you’re seeing a heck of a difference. 

Flu prevention tips and tricks

A flu shot is not the only way you can protect yourself from getting the flu. You can try to avoid contact with sick individuals, wash your hands, stay hydrated and exercise. The goal is to keep your body as healthy as possible so if you come in contact with the virus, your body can fight it off. Getting a lot of rest is another key to flu prevention. A well-rested body is a strong, healthy body. When you get plenty of sleep your immune system may be stronger.

If you do start to feel ill, it’s important to stay home. One of the worst things you can do during flu season is take your flu to the grocery store or send the flu to school with your child. When it comes to flu prevention, we all have to look out for one another. Sure, we encourage our children to share on the playground—but we’re talking about toys, not germs. 

Get your flu shot today

If you have not gotten a flu shot already, visit your local FastMed. We can get you in quickly, so you can get on with your day. You can even check in online to save some time.  This flu season, the fastest way out of harm's way is with a visit to FastMed Urgent Care.

Go Wild At the Winter Formal?

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So you’re chaperoning the high school dance, getting your boogey on and you go a little too far, stretch a little too much and hurt yourself. Maybe pull a hammy. Who are you going to call? The E.R. will be a four-hour wait—not to mention the cost! 

FastMed Urgent Care is the answer.

Your local FastMed can get you back in the groove before the DJ calls for the final dance. Staffed with friendly, licensed healthcare professionals, FastMed is your go-to healthcare solution,, be it flu season or funky chicken. Plus, if you want to save extra time, you can check-in online.

If the beat gets the best of you, don’t hesitate. Visit FastMed Urgent Care and get back out there.

Let it Snow...But Protect Your Skin!

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Oh, the weather outside is frightful … and so are your chapped lips! The winter wind is taking its toll, and it seems like every exposed part of your body is cracked, chapped, red or raw. You’ve heard that coconut oil is a wonder; your next-door neighbor swears by something originally developed for cow udders; and your mom keeps telling you to “just wear your gloves, already.” Who’s right?

Well, it probably depends on the condition. Read on for a bit of wisdom about the different skin conditions caused or exacerbated by that winter wonderland outside, find out when to seek treatment and what you can do to help your condition. After all, changing your habits is a lot better than chapped skin!

Winter dry skin

Let’s start with plain old dry skin. In this case, winter itself isn’t as problematic as its solution: indoor heat. Air pumped through the heating system in your home, office and car becomes very dry, wicking moisture away from your skin. Dry skin shrinks — thus that tight, itchy feeling.

The solution? Lotions and oils are usually helpful for dry skin (although we recommend ones with as little scent as possible, to avoid extra ingredients that can irritate your skin). However, in this case, lowering your thermostat just a little can go a long way. When you get in the car, don’t blast the heat right away; set it lower and let it heat the car slowly. When you get home and want to get that nip out of the air, bump up the temperature by just a few degrees. In other words, avoid blowing gusts of hot, dry air directly onto your skin as much as possible.

Eczema and Psoriasis

Eczema and psoriasis  are both chronic autoimmune responses that affect the skin. Eczema causes red, itchy, scaly skin; psoriasis creates an overproduction of skin cells, producing white, red or silvery calloused patches called “plaques.” Like ordinary dry skin, they can both be irritated by dry air, but clothing can also be a problem; many winter fabrics contain wool, which can aggravate these two conditions. Try to avoid this fabric if possible. Do, however, wear gloves in the cold. Psoriasis, in particular, often shows up on the hands. 

Your doctor may give you cortisone cream to treat eczema or psoriasis. Avoid scented lotions or bath products, and don’t bathe too frequently — the oils on your skin are what keep it soft and supple, and you don’t want to wash them all away. (We advocate cleanliness, of course, but many people don’t require a shower every single day). When you get out of the bath, pat dry and then apply moisturizer or lotion before your skin dries completely. 


If you begin to wonder whether you should audition for the Rudolph role in your kid’s Christmas play, you may be dealing with something more than simple winter redness. Rosacea is another chronic skin condition. It causes redness in the face as small blood vessels swell; sometimes small bumps can appear. Rosacea is best treated by a doctor, who may prescribe antibiotics or retinoid creams. If you have rosacea, it’s particularly important that you protect your face from the cold — a difficult feat, given that you need to see where you’re going! Try wrapping a soft scarf around your face to guard against the chill. 


Ever looked in the mirror and discovered that the snowfall outside isn’t the only one around? Dandruff, a condition in which skin produces skin cells too rapidly and then flakes excessively, can be an embarrassing problem. It may be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, a condition similar to eczema and psoriasis that’s exacerbated by cold, dry weather. Protect your head when you’re out in the cold. You can also try medicated shampoos, which are thought to work by combatting the fungus that may be an underlying cause of seborrheic dermatitis. (Don’t worry — you’re not a dirty person! This fungus exists commonly on the heads of most people, but only seems to trigger dandruff in some of them). 

If there’s no place to go, FastMed is open!

FastMed’s evening and weekend hours make us a perfect pit stop if you find yourself scratching at that skin during your romantic dinner by the firelight! Find a location near you to get a sense of which kind of irritation may be plaguing you. We can’t make the season go any faster, but we can treat you with the speed and courtesy that you deserve, and, just maybe, whisk away those winter skin woes.

New FastMed Locations in North Carolina

As a neighborhood urgent care committed to helping people of all ages get the care they need when they need it, FastMed is excited to announce the opening of new locations across North Carolina. Every time we open a FastMed location, it’s a chance for us to provide that community an convenient, personal and affordable urgent care experience. It’s also a chance to hire employees directly from the community who want to serve the areas where they live or grew up.

If you live in one of the following areas, please consider one of our new FastMed locations the next time you want to make a quick visit to a healthcare provider.

If you’re driving down the road and see our purple and orange signage, stop in to see the place. We pride ourselves on creating comfortable environments and would love to have you visit. You can always check out our customer reviews online before you decide if we’re right for you and your family. 

Why choose FastMed?

We offer customers an exceptional healthcare experience. Our healthcare professionals are ready and able to handle a number of health-related concerns, including those of an immediate, non-emergent nature. At FastMed, we offer our patients the opportunity to have a candid conversation with a knowledgeable professional. If ever you have a concern or question and want to get an answer, we are here.

When you need help, FastMed is available. Keep an eye out for more information about our growing healthcare network. For your convenience, make an appointment online. We’ll have you in and out in no time.

Do you want to join the FastMed team?

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Our growing network of neighborhood urgent cares is currently hiring for a variety of positions. If you want to join a friendly team of associates and healthcare professionals who go to work daily to impact the lives of people in their community, reach out and submit your resume.

What types of positions are available at FastMed?

We’re always looking to hire intelligent, compassionate people who want to work in healthcare. Be it a medical assistant or healthcare provider, everyone who works at FastMed approaches their work with the same mission: we want to improve the lives of our patients and their families. 

If you are interested in a specific position, FastMed keeps a running tally of open jobs on the website. Current needs include X-ray technologists, part and full-time physician assistants and nurse practitioners, billing staff, medical assistants and physicians. 

What’s it like to work at FastMed?

At FastMed, we are proud of the safe, clean, friendly environments we create for customers and believe those same bright spaces improve the morale of our employees. While this work is serious and we are trying to improve people’s health, we do have some fun and we strive for a family atmosphere.

How can I apply?

Review the list of available jobs and click the one for which you’d like to apply. This will take you to an additional screen listing the job description and position qualifications. You can also find an email address where you can send your resume and a phone number to call with questions.

Step into your local FastMed and say, “Hi.”

One of the best ways to find out if you are interested in joining our team is to stop by for a visit, meet an employee or two or try our services. We want employees who believe in the quality of care we strive to offer. Make an appointment at FastMed and go through the entire experience. Is it a place you would like to work? Is it a culture where you see yourself fitting in? Are there ways you can improve the experience or make an impact? If so, apply today! We’re looking for our next star employee, and you may be just the person we need.

Avoiding Germs at School

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[Follow this link to view the infographic]

You send your kids off to school to learn and prosper. They’re all decked out in new shoes and cute little backpacks. Your son even has his first crush, and you watch him pick dandelions on the way toschool. It’s a picture of Americana, Rockwell-ian, it’s all a… sneeze?

Yes. Schools are where societies build better tomorrows and where tomorrow’s colds and coughs multiply, get sent home and spread through the family.  

What are the “germiest” places in a school?

NSF International, once the National Sanitation Foundation, tested for germs around a schoolhouse, and the results were interesting. You’ll see common areas like the water fountain are the least sanitary, and the toilet seat is by some measures cleaner than a keyboard. 


Total bacteria per square inch (CFU/in sq)

Water fountain spigot in classroom


Reusable cafeteria tray


Keyboard in classroom


Toilet seat


Student’s hand


*Data from NSF International

On the chart, you can also see that a child’s hand is a major carrier of sickness. This is why it is so important to stress handwashing for school children. Washing hands correctly can protect your child from getting sick or prevent your child from spreading an illness to another child. When flu season kicks up this winter, handwashing is even more important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists handwashing as one of the main ways to reduce the spread of the flu.

What can my child do to stay safe at school?

In addition to handwashing, the CDC recommends keeping your child home when he or she is sick to prevent the spread of illness; teaching your child to avoid close contact- like hugging- when sick; and teaching children to cover up when they sneeze or cough. These simple precautions may lower the risk of contamination.

You may also want to think about providing disinfectant wipes for the classroom. While many schools have vital supplies, donating essentials to your children’s classroom is one way to make sure the teacher has all the resources necessary to fight illnesses when they arise.

Get your flu shot

While it’s important to teach your child to focus on hygiene and avoid “germy” situations, you can also help him fight illness by getting him a flu shot this season. Your local FastMed is always available to help with seasonal vaccinations. 

This winter, teach your children to protect themselves and others from germs. And if someone in your family does catch a cold at school, come see us. We’ll get you back on your feet.