Kids’ Health

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

New Parents: When to Call the Doctor


New parents often marvel that such an adorable and precious bundle of joy has become part of their lives. But the responsibility for another human being – one who can only communicate by crying, pooping and sleeping – can be overwhelming. Especially if you think your baby might be sick.

“New parents should never hesitate to call their child’s doctor if they are concerned,” says Rebecca Fazilat, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Doctors who care for children, such as pediatricians and family medicine doctors, expect a lot of calls because it takes experience for parents to learn how and when to respond to their child’s illness.”

While you are still learning to understand “baby language,” follow Dr. Fazilat’s guidelines on when you should seek medical help for your little one. Read More

Sports Injuries in Kids: What Parents Need to Know


 sports injuries in kids

Most parents know that an active child is a healthy child – but what about the inevitable injuries if they play sports? Sally Harris, M.D., MPH, a specialist in pediatric and adolescent sports medicine at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, says the most common serious sports-related injury for young children (prior to puberty) is a broken bone, also called a fracture. Before reaching puberty, children’s flexible bones are their most vulnerable points as cartilage is still filling in and the ends of the bones are weaker and softer to allow for growth. See Dr. Harris’s answers to common questions from parents about fractures and other sports injuries in kids. Read More

Introducing Your Baby to Solid Foods

A father feeding their baby.

Watching the changing – and often comical – expressions on your baby’s face when they first try solid foods is a delightful and exciting time for many parents. It’s also a time when parents have many questions for their child’s doctor: when to start, what foods to begin with and how much to feed.

“In the beginning, it’s important to remember that starting solid foods is all about learning for the child,” says Katharine Padrez, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Keep the experience fun and enjoyable. Your baby is learning about new flavors, different textures, how to move solids from the front to the back of the mouth and how to take food from a spoon.”

Read More

Soothing Kids’ Seasonal Allergies


Sneezing, coughing, puffy eyes and an itchy nose are some of the uncomfortable signs that allergy season is under way and your child is affected. Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, happens when your child’s immune system overreacts to allergens found in the air he or she is breathing.

“Seasonal allergies are typically caused by plant pollen, and different plants release pollen at different times of the year,” says Steven Rubinstein, M.D., an Allergy and Immunology specialist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “This means that the worst season for a child who suffers from allergies will depend on what plant pollen causes his or her allergies.”

Although it’s impossible to avoid certain trees and plants, and on a windy day pollen can reach your child anyway, Dr. Rubinstein explains that, “Knowing your child’s trigger season can help you prepare in advance so you can minimize allergy symptoms.”

Dr. Rubinstein offers these simple measures to help reduce the likelihood of your child experiencing an allergy attack: Read More