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Kids’ Health

Blog posts from PAMF physicians and medical staff with pediatrics, teen health and parenting tips.

How to Prevent ACL Tears in Teens

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ACL tears happen suddenly, almost without fail, each high school sports season. A teenager jumps or pivots fast to get the ball. The teen may feel a pop in the knee, but usually can walk off the field. Within 24 to 48 hours the teen’s knee is severely swollen.

And if your teenage athlete is a girl, her risk of tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is four to six times greater than a boy’s. Why? “That’s the hot question right now,” says Sally Harris, M.D., a pediatric sports medicine doctor at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. At first, researchers thought hormones and girls’ body structure increased their risk. But studies now indicate those are minor points. More likely, Dr. Harris says, girls are at greater risk for ACL tears because of two factors, both preventable:

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Kids and Pets: A Pediatrician’s Tips

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Kids and pets – this pair seems like a natural fit. Pets for children can bring many health benefits, and they make loving companions. They also provide an excellent opportunity for your child to learn responsibility and commitment, says Cara Barone, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. But before Fido or Fluffy joins the family, there are a few things to consider. Here, Dr. Barone answers common questions about children and pets.

Is it true that pets can improve children’s health? Read More

Breastfeeding and Diet

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You’ve been careful about what you eat and drink during your pregnancy to do what’s best for your baby. Now that you’re breastfeeding your precious little one, can you resume enjoying a glass of wine or your favorite soft cheese or sushi?

“Yes,” says Joanna Koch, a lactation consultant at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “It’s time to return to and enjoy your normal diet.” Here are her answers to new moms’ common questions about what you can and can’t eat during breastfeeding.  Read More

Healthy School Lunches

 

BLOGschoollunchFor many parents, packing their children’s lunches and snacks can feel like guesswork. Will they eat it, or not? Packing sugary, unhealthy items may often seem like the only way to make sure they eat something during the school day.

However, don’t give up on healthy foods, even if your children don’t always return from school with an empty lunch box. The preschool and elementary school years are a critical time to help children learn healthy eating habits for life.

Manisha Panchal, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, offers these simple guidelines to help you create healthy school lunches. Read More