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Be Well, Be Well Informed
Are you expecting a baby boy? If yes, the topic of circumcision is sure to come up. Before you know it, you’ll be immersed in a lively discussion about whether it’s best for baby to be circumcised or not. Some parents choose to have their son circumcised for religious or cultural reasons. Others want their little boy to “‘look like dad or the other men in the family.”
Although recent scientific studies show some important health benefits of circumcision, it is not essential to your child’s good health, says Paul Protter, M.D., a pediatrician with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Ultimately, it’s up to the parents to decide what’s best for their child,” he says. Here are his answers to expecting parents’ most common questions about circumcision.
What is circumcision and what should I expect for my baby boy after circumcision? Read More about A New Look at Circumcision
With so much media attention on vaccinations, parents often wonder if they should have their children vaccinated.
“Although this may seem a personal choice, it’s important to know that vaccinations offer two critical benefits,” says Kathrin R. Sidell, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Not only do they protect your own child against dangerous diseases, they also ensure other children don’t get them either.”
Parents often have concerns about vaccinations. Here Dr. Sidell provides answers to some of the most common questions. Read More about Vaccinations: Why Children Need Them
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.
Did you know one foot has 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments? It does. We cram this intricate structure into a narrow shoe. We pound it running, jumping, or just by standing all day. Is it any surprise that most people have foot pain at some point in their lives?
“People go out and often buy expensive shoes, spending a lot of money,” says Jeffrey M. Gregori, DPM, a podiatrist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “But we don’t really think about the health of our feet – until they hurt.”
Dr. Gregori has these tips for three of the most common foot problems: bunions, flat feet and plantar fasciitis.
Battling Bunions Read More about How to Prevent Common Foot Problems
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 about The Risks of Energy Drinks
You may have heard of mindfulness but what is it exactly? Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the moment by focusing on your breath and on your senses of sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing. You observe your feelings and thoughts as if from a distance, without judging them.
There are many mindfulness techniques and exercises. One is as simple as conscious breathing – being fully aware of all your senses as you breathe in and breathe out.
Janetti Marotta, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who teaches mindfulness classes at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the author of the new book 50 Mindful Steps to Self-Esteem, offers this simple meditation on the breath to get started. Read More about A Mindfulness Practice to Try
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 about Exercise and Kids: Why They Need It