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a little bit ago · Body Contouring: Abdominoplasty and Liposuction

UCLA Plastic Surgeon Jaco Festekjian, MD, will discuss the contemporary approaches to body contouring, including liposuction and the tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).

a little bit ago · Lunchtime Liposuction and Other In-Office Cosmetic Procedures

UCLA Plastic Surgeon Andrew Vardanian, MD, will discuss the latest in office procedures for body contouring and facial rejuvenation, including lunchtime liposuction, chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, Botox and dermal fillers.

a little bit ago · The Treatment of Facial Aging: Surgical and Nonsurgical Options

UCLA Plastic Surgeon Jason Roostaeian, MD will discuss surgical procedures for natural-looking facial rejuvenation, including the facelift, brow lift and blepharoplasties.

a little bit ago · Breast Augmentation

UCLA Plastic Surgeon Andrew Da Lio, MD, will discuss breast augmentation and the silicone, saline and cohesive gel implants currently on the market.

Aug 28, 2018 · How childhood friendships boost social, emotional development

Health-tips-for-Parents-Building-healthy-friendships-inlineMaking and maintaining friendships are critical to a child’s social and emotional development. Developing healthy friendships early on can help children maintain positive influences and friendships throughout their lives.

Forming friendships.

“A friendship is a mutual relationship formed with affection and commitment between people who consider themselves as equals,” according to Fred Frankel, PhD, director of the UCLA Children’s Friendship Program. “Friends teach each other social skills, provide moral support, mature together, and shield each other from bullying.”

Make the connection.

In elementary school, children begin selectively choosing their friends. Parents can encourage this process by asking their child about his or her playmates at school, actively networking with other parents and arranging one-on-one play dates.

Health-tips-for-Parents-Friendships-September-2018“Chemistry between children and shared interests are good starting points for a lasting friendship,” Dr. Frankel explains. Once a child has singled out another child, they will gradually develop a reciprocal relationship.

According to Dr. Frankel, parents should not worry about how many friends their child has. “Quality is more important than quantity,” he explains. Having a few close friends will help a child feel less lonely as a young adult, Dr. Frankel advises, whereas relying on only one best friend may leave a child isolated and dependent. Parents should also help their child practice social cues by encouraging their child to approach another child to explore mutual interests. If a child starts mimicking an acquaintance’s offensive behavior, parents should explain their concerns to their child and steer them away from that person before the friendship is formed.

Be involved

If you are having trouble gauging your child’s ability to connect with peers, start by reaching out to his or her teacher to find out more about your child’s day-to-day interactions. Children who have problems making and keeping friends may benefit from attending friendship classes with a parent to help them learn social skills and set personal goals for making friends.

The role of social media

“Social media is a great way to maintain and enhance friendships by allowing children to instantly update and keep in touch with each other,” explains Dr. Frankel. “However, it does interfere with face-to-face interaction and can lead to cyber bullying.” Parents should also set firm rules on social media networking to help protect their children from online predators.


Aug 1, 2018 · Healthy social media use for children and teens

Recent research shows that children between the ages of 8 and 12 spend an average of six hours a day on social media, while teens can spend upwards of nine hours a day on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms.

Healthy social media use in kids and teensSocial media plays an important role in the individual and social development of children and teens. It helps expose them to new ideas and information, and offers convenient ways to build communities and connect to support groups. But it can have a downside, too, explains John Piacentini, PhD, ABPP, UCLA child and adolescent psychologist and director of the UCLA Center for Child Anxiety Resilience Education and Support (CARES).

“The same technology that can help a socially awkward child safely practice connecting with peers can also make kids feel isolated,” Dr. Piacentini says. “Social pressures, heightened through social media, can also lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.”

To determine if social media may be negatively affecting your child, ask yourself: • Are they using their device in secret or lying about device use?

  • Are they isolating themselves from family, friends or activities they once enjoyed?
  • Do they feel frustrated or upset when online?
  • Do they compare themselves to others online and express feelings of inadequacy?

If so, it may be time to implement some resilience strategies and set boundaries around social media usage. If negative behaviors persist over a period of time, or cause serious anxiety or physical or social problems, seek professional help.

Health Tips for Parents August 2018 InfographicCreate a social media plan

  • Set limits on screen use, especially before bedtime. Try device-free family dinners.
  • Be a good role model. Limit your own screen time and show them appropriate ways to cope with social media disappointments.
  • Emphasize the importance of personal interaction over social media use.
  • Try to avoid completely banning social media, as this might isolate your child from their peers and differing viewpoints.

Fostering positive identities

It’s important for children and teens to learn who they are and what is important to them — outside of social media. Parents can help by encouraging their kids to think about what makes them happy and their goals and values.

“Communicate openly about their strengths, social connections and fears to help them feel more resilient in the face of online disappointments,” Dr. Piacentini says. “We cannot shield kids from everything but we can create healthy environments for them at home and at school.”

May 30, 2018 · Understanding headaches in children

Headaches in children, Health Tips for Parents

Headaches aren’t only for adults. Kids get them, too. In fact, by the age of 18, more than 90 percent of children and adolescents will experience at least one headache.

There are two basic types of headaches: primary and secondary. Primary headaches include tension-type headaches, migraines and new daily persistent headaches (NDPH). Secondary headaches are caused by another condition, such as an infection or injury, and usually go away once the condition is treated.

Primary headaches

Tension headaches start slowly and cause a feeling of tightness around the head and neck. Among children, they are often caused by stress. Migraines are intense, recurrent headaches. Their exact cause is unknown, but they are hereditary in many cases and can be triggered by stress, food or environmental factors (e.g., lights or sounds).

“With tension headaches and migraines, there are distinct headache-free days between episodes,” explains Meeryo C. Choe, MD, UCLA pediatric neurologist. “NDPH, however, starts suddenly and persists daily for three or more months.”

Primary headaches are also commonly caused by dehydration, hunger, sleep deprivation, caffeine or hormonal changes.

Diagnosis and treatment

To determine the type of headache, your doctor will perform a physical and neurological exam. Be prepared to discuss any family history of headaches, your child’s lifestyle habits and specific details about their headaches (pattern, location, duration, symptoms, triggers, etc.). In more complex cases, your pediatrician may recommend brain imaging tests.

Health Tips for Parents Infographic Headaches in kids“Depending on the findings, we may recommend behavioral modifications, such as changes in sleep habits, eating patterns or fluid intake,” Dr. Choe says. “Stress-reduction techniques, such as mindfulness or yoga, may also be helpful.” For children with mild and infrequent headaches, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medicines. “If headaches worsen or interfere with regular activities, your child may be referred to a neurologist for more advanced care,” Dr. Choe says.

Pain symptoms

Tension headaches

  • Lasts from 30 minutes to a week
  • Dull, squeezing pain on both sides of the head
  • Mild to moderate in intensity
  • Intensity does not increase with activity
  • Tension in the back part of the head or neck


  • Lasts from one to 48 hours
  • Throbbing pain on one side of the head
  • Moderate to severe in intensity
  • Intensity increases with activity
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light/sound
  • Importance of healthy lifestyle habits

“Maintaining healthy habits – restful sleep, a healthy diet and regular activity – are crucial to a child’s overall health and development,” Dr. Choe says. “Depending on their age, children should be sleeping eight to 10 hours each night. They should eat small, frequent meals throughout the day and drink plenty of water. It is also important that they participate in regular physical activity.”

To read more Health Tips for Parents, visit


Apr 30, 2018 · Preventing sports-related eye injuries

Sports-related eye injuries

Each year, more than 13,000 children suffer sports-related eye injuries, and most of those injuries are preventable with proper eye protection.

Types of injuries

Sports is the leading cause of eye injury in school-age children, says Monica Khitri, MD, UCLA pediatric ophthalmologist at Doheny Eye Center UCLA in Pasadena and Arcadia. “Most of the injuries happen in baseball and basketball, but hockey, lacrosse, tennis, wrestling, football and soccer are also high risk,” Dr. Khitri says. “Most often, an eye injury occurs when a ball, bat, finger or elbow strikes the child’s face.” The most common symptoms of an eye injury are pain, eye redness, and blurred or double vision. Depending on the impact, injuries may range from relatively minor to severe:

  • Eyelid scratches and bruising
  • Bone fractures around the eye
  • Nerve or muscle damage
  • Cuts/scratches on the eye, bleeding inside the eye (hyphema) or retinal detachment (signs include floaters, reduced vision, light sensitivity)

Eye protection tips

Health Tips Infographic Sports Eye Injury

  • Schedule an eye exam before they start a sport. If they can’t see, they can’t duck the puck or dodge the ball.
  • Pick sport-specific eye guards. It is important that the guard fits your child.
  • Buy prescription glasses made of polycarbonate plastic, which is 10 times more impact-resistant than regular lenses.
  • For contact sports, choose eye guards/glasses with padding at the nose and brow.

Do not delay treatment

Do not apply any pressure on the injured eye or allow your child to rub their eyes. Contact your doctor immediately for medical guidance. The earlier that a child is seen and treated, the better their chances of recovery. If left untreated, serious injuries can lead to permanent loss of vision or loss of the eye itself. If more advanced care is required, you will be referred to a specialist.

The importance of protective eyewear

“Wearing protective eyewear is the most effective way to prevent sports-related eye injuries. Since most youth sports leagues do not require eye protection, it is really up to parents and coaches to encourage players to use them,” Dr. Khitri says. “And the more children see their peers wearing them, the more likely they are to use them too.”

To read more Health Tips for Parents, visit