Vaccinations & Medicine

Medication Tips for Your Child


Nina Rezai, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, answers these questions parents ask her frequently about medication safety and how best to help children when they get sick.

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Vaccinations: Why Children Need Them

Young girl getting vaccinated

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

Four Tips for Giving a Child Medicine


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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Antibiotics: Yes or No?

Antibiotic pills

Parents may often perceive antibiotics as a cure-all for every illness. But although antibiotics are a powerful tool for fighting bacterial infections, there are downsides to using them. Overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics can lead to the emergence of bacteria that are stronger and resistant to the current antibiotics we have available. In fact, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared antibiotic resistance as one of the world’s most urgent health problems.

“When parents come in with their sick child, they want them to get better as quickly as possible and may assume an antibiotic prescription is the answer,” says Stephanie C. Chiang, M.D., MPH, a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “But they should only be prescribed when truly necessary.” Read More

Why Childhood Immunizations Are Necessary

skd230465sdcSmall pox, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella all are potential life-threatening diseases that have been almost eliminated from our society during our lifetimes. The reason? The routine childhood immunization program has been widely accepted in the United States, as well as most of the modern world.

We often hear about the supposed side effects of immunizations, but we rarely hear about children getting the very diseases that the vaccines protect against. That’s because the immunization program has worked so well in preventing diseases that could have killed millions and caused untold suffering. In fact, we’ve been so successful immunizing children and preventing diseases that some might wonder whether vaccines are still needed.

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The HPV Vaccine – Why Your Preteen Should Get It

Group of smiling preteensDid you know that there is a vaccine against certain types of cancers? It’s called the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States and certain types of this virus can cause cervical cancer in women and other types of cancer in both men and women. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are about 15,000 HPV-associated cancers in women and 7,000 in men each year in the U.S. that may be prevented by vaccines. Having your preteen vaccinated is one of the best things you can do to help prevent him or her from getting an HPV-related cancer. In this blog post, Palo Alto Medical Foundation pediatrician Ross DeHovitz, M.D., answers parents’ commonly asked questions about the HPV vaccine. Read More