General Health

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

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

Pediatrician Answers Parents’ Commonly Asked Questions

Newborn baby in father's handsDo you sometimes wish your baby had arrived with an instruction booklet? While parenthood can be one the most joyful experiences in life, the responsibilities and challenges can make a climb up Mount Everest seem like a walk in the park. Remember, though, first and foremost to trust your own intuition – that’s the real heart of good parenting. Sometimes this might be as simple as giving your child a hug.

In this blog post, pediatrician Kellen Glinder, M.D., answers some of the most common questions parents of children under five ask their doctor. Read More

Is this Normal or Is It ADHD?

Today ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) is diagnosed with increasing frequency. In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, ADHD is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting children. ADHD is not simply a case of a child behaving badly. This biological disorder causes the parts of the brain that control attention and activity level to function differently. ADHD’s trademarks – persistent inattention and hyperactivity – can make daily life, for the child and his or her parents, an ongoing challenge. Although ADHD is a lifelong condition, the right support and intervention can help set up your child for success for his or her whole life.

In this blog post, pediatric neurologist Sarah Cheyette, M.D., answers parents’ questions about how to recognize the symptoms of ADHD, the best current treatment options, and whether it’s different in boys than in girls. Read More