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Kids’ Health

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

Four Tips for Giving a Child Medicine

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Giving medicine to a child can sometimes be stressful for parents — and children. It is important to give the correct medication and dose, at the right time and in the right way. Gretchen Berry, R.N., BSN, a Palo Alto Medical Foundation pediatric advice nurse, offers these simple tips to ease the process of giving medication to a child. If you have any questions about medications or dosage, consult your pediatrician or pharmacist.

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The Risks of Energy Drinks


Ads for energy drinks are plastered on the walls of sporting events and on the jerseys of leading athletes. The beverage makers sponsor models, music events and videos games. Red Bull, the market’s leading drink, even has its own TV series and printed magazine. They claim to boost your immune system, enhance your performance, and help you stay up longer.

No wonder 30 to 50 percent of adolescents and young adults say they buy energy drinks. But are they safe for young people to drink?

“No,” says Stephanie Nguyen Lai, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Energy drinks are loaded with caffeine – often twice as much as coffee and eight times as much as a soda. They’re especially dangerous when mixed with alcohol.

“As a parent, it is important to talk with your adolescent, and explain the risks of these products,” Dr. Lai says. “Their health could be at stake.”

Hidden Caffeine in Energy Drinks Read More

Exercise and Kids: Why They Need It

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It can seem like kids are constantly on the move. But many hours of children’s days can be spent sitting at school or in front of computers, iPads or TVs, drastically reducing their daily activity level.

“Regular exercise has many health benefits for children – and adults, too,” says Elizabeth Anne Huffman, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “It helps us all maintain a healthy weight and build strong bones, muscles and joints. Exercise is also an excellent stress buster, encourages better sleep and will help your child concentrate at school.”

Here Dr. Huffman answers common questions from parents about exercise and kids and offers tips on how the family can be active together. Read More

What Teens Can Do About Acne

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Acne: it’s caused stress before many a first date and sent teens scurrying to the drug store for the latest miracle potion. If your teen has acne, he or she is not alone.

“Approximately 85 percent of all teens have acne at some point,” says Amy E. Gilliam, M.D., a pediatric dermatologist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Although there is no magic bullet or quick fix for teen acne, there are several effective treatment options that – with patience – can help clear up this skin condition.” Read More

Concussions: What You Need to Know

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The rate of concussions in kids from sports or recreation injuries rose 60 percent in the past decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Each year, more than 173,000 children and adolescents are treated in emergency rooms for concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.

Everyone wants to prevent concussions, but how? Proper safety equipment such as helmets and general safety precautions are the best prevention currently available.  And what do you do once your child or teen has a concussion?

Pediatricians at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation offer this quick guide to coping with a concussion.

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