Category Archives: In The News

Nearing Global Pandemic: What You Need to Know About Swine Flu and Children


What do you do when you hear “global pandemic?”  Is it time to build a bunker?  Should you and your family lock yourself in with enough PB&J for weeks of sustenance? With swine flu creeping towards meeting the definition of global pandemic, everyone is in a flutter.  Parents especially are wondering how to protect their families from this illness.


Today it was announced that there is at least one case of swine flu in my home, San Francisco.  Being on the front line of a potential pandemic is quite an experience, and at times I am tempted to feel a little nervous myself.   At the moment, however, the best thing that all of us can do is use common sense, stay informed, and, as usual:  don’t panic.


What do we know about the swine flu?   Continue reading



Filed under Common Illnesses, In The News

Top 10 Child Health Articles of 2008: The Science of Medicine

Physicians are always trying to stay abreast of the latest news in order to provide excellent care for their patients.  Parents, too, can learn from cutting edge medical news.  

Do you want to know what your child’s doctor is reading about?  Here is my take on the first five of top 10 most read online pediatric and adolescent medicine stories of 2008, according to Journal Watch.  Stay tuned for my thoughts on the 2nd half later this week.  

  • Regularly Eating Breakfast Reduces Weight Gain
    • Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.  This one we’ve known for a while.  So get up a few minutes earlier to make sure that breakfast fits into the morning rush every day. Continue reading

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Filed under Common Illnesses, Healthy Eating, In The News

Dog Food May be Yummy, But Beware: On The Pet Food Salmonella Outbreak

My general philosophy about childhood is that kids should get down and dirty as much as possible. I think that dirt is good for kids (as are stubbed toes and scraped elbows). Builds character!

So when parents tell me that their kid ate some sand at the beach or the playground, I tell them not to panic. It’s good for them!

A mother of one of my patients called me to report that her child had recently dined on some gourmet goose poop at the local park. Delish! And, luckily, ingestion of goose poop is unlikely to transmit any severe infections.

When I was growing up the family that lived next to us had a great brood of kids. Andrew, the 3rd child of 4, was always getting into their pantry and eating the dog food. Gross! But I never imagined that it was harmful for the little tike.

Well, Andrew, I hope that you have grown out of that habit. The CDC has reported an outbreak of salmonella in humans, which was transmitted from dry pet food. Apparently most of the cases are transmitted when young children touch or eat the contaminated pet food.

Despite this news, I am still going to advocate for kids to jump in puddles, to make mud pies, and occasionally to eat a little dirt. But, at least for the time being, please stick to human food. Continue reading

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Filed under In The News, Safety