General Health

Tips for a Safe and Healthy Holiday


Holiday decorations, twinkly lights, special foods, gifts and family get-togethers. The holidays can be a magical time of year for children, but all that excitement and fun can sometimes result in accidents and health hazards. Follow these precautionary tips from Karin K. Wertz, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation to ensure that everyone in your family enjoys a safe and healthy holiday season. Read More

Kids and Pets: A Pediatrician’s Tips


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

Hives: What Are They?


Acute hives are a common allergic condition of the skin. Hives are a symptom of the body’s immune system reacting (or over-reacting) to something in the environment or in the body. Unfortunately, what is actually causing the hives is frequently not found.

When hives first appear, reactions to medications or foods are possible causes. Occasionally the hives are a result of the immune system’s over-reaction to a recent infection, such as a cold or flu. Hives are rarely due to a reaction to something touching the skin, such as soaps, detergents or lotions, although these can cause different types of allergic skin reactions. These reactions tend to remain on the skin where contact was made, whereas hives come and go rapidly.

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Soothing Your Child’s Eczema

Young Girl Applying Cream

If you see dry, red, scaly patches on your child’s skin, he or she may have eczema, a condition caused by inflammation. Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema often runs in families and is linked to allergic conditions such as asthma and hay fever. Unfortunately, eliminating certain things from your child’s diet or environment may not necessarily improve eczema.

Although there is no cure for eczema, your child’s skin will often improve substantially by the time he or she has reached school age (usually around 4 or 5), and many children outgrow this uncomfortable condition.

Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s pediatric dermatologist Amy Gilliam, M.D., provides tips on managing your child’s eczema and offers answers to some of the most common questions she hears from patients. Read More

Summer Safety Tips for Kids


Swimming, skateboarding, bike riding, hiking – summer is prime time for enjoying the outdoors with your kids. But injuries, sun burns, bug bites and more can ruin the fun. Keep the kids and the whole family healthy with these summer safety tips.

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Lice Are Not So Nice!


It’s one of those moments all parents dread – the head lice exposure notice has come home in your child’s backpack. Although the thought of your child having head lice can give you the heebie-jeebies, those pesky little critters are a nuisance but not a health hazard or sign of bad hygiene nor do they spread disease. If you discover your child has lice, there are effective, safe and inexpensive ways to treat them. In this blog post Palo Alto Medical Foundation pediatrician Swati Pandya, M.D., answers some of parents’ frequently asked questions about head lice. Read More