All Better Pediatrics

Congratulations to our Father’s Day Photo Contest winner.

Enjoy your $50 gift certificate toward Best Buy!

In observance of the Fourth of July, we will be closed, today, Monday July 5th.

My husband Jim took this picture of “Old Glory”  near my parents home in Wheatland, CA.

Happy Fourth of July!

Here’s a picture with my Dad and my daughter on our recent trip.

This was taken  in front of his new solar energy generating system.

Happy Father’s Day to all our Dads!

            SEND US YOUR PICTURES!

All Better Pediatrics recognizes not only our Moms but also our Dads every day of the year (Sometimes they get counted out of the nurturing, care, and overall parenting process).

We’ve created a contest just in time to celebrate our Dads on Father’s Day and we want you to join in on the fun.

Send us your best Father-child or Father’s Day pictures.  ABP  will post each day for the remainder of the month of June on our family album Facebook page for all to see. Here are the important dates for you to keep in mind:

Submission for pictures: week of June 20-25

Contest Winner announced on or during week of June 28 

The winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to Best Buy (No Dad can resist that!)

Here’s all you have to do:

1) Email us your most recent Father’s Day picture. Email: allbetterpeds@gmail.com

2) In the subject line, please write, “Father’s Day”

3) If you are not a fan of All Better Pediatrics, please click the following link: http://bit.ly/9TMDE6 

*You must be at least 18 to send a picture.

This is a great opportunity for children to send us your pictures and give your lucky dad an unexpected Father’s Day present.

Pictures will be posted daily through deadline on the All Better Pediatrics Facebook page.

We look forward to seeing all of our Dads and their kids!

We want to salute and acknowledge all that you do for your children. 

Happy Father’s Day 2010 from the whole team at All Better Pediatrics.  Ms. Bobbie, Becky, Stephanie, Jennifer, Jamar, PJ, Dr. Ware, and Dr. Tam. 

All Better Pediatrics: Healthcare for kids.  Helpcare for parents.

 Recently The Commercial Appeal ran an inspiring story about the former coach, John Calipari. Although he left with some mixed reviews from fans, his wife Ellen and their kids were patients of mine and very special people. Here are some personal thoughts and my opinion on the recent article. (my post was also published in the editorial secion of last Saturday’s Commercial Appeal)

 

 Having cared for Ellen and John’s children when they lived in Memphis, I got to know her like I do all of my moms. I always appreciated that Ellen’s first worry was the kids (not basketball), she always was so respectful to my staff (she never expected any special treatment), and had raised her kids to be grounded in the face of such a public life.

You reported on June 2 that Coach Calipari is gone from Memphis, but is donating $1 million to Streets Ministries.

Way down, in the last paragraph, your article provides a quote from John Calipari that mentions Ellen’s role in the donation. I wish The Commercial Appeal’s headline had read “Ellen and Coach Calipari gone from Memphis, but donate $1 million to Streets Ministries.” If Coach Calipari is still a good enough human being to make such a generous commitment to Memphis, I’m certain Ellen’s influence has a lot to do with “team” Calipari remaining so generous.

Way to go, Cal, on such a great recruiting class about 25 years ago. Ellen is definitely a “once in a lifetime,” not a “one and done”!

Dr. Tamara Folz

Some good ideas on how to take better pictures with your mobile phone.

Dr. Tam

 

By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES — Summer photo season has arrived, and that means millions of vacationing shutterbugs will be snapping images on pocket cameras and cellphones, hoping to achieve the professional quality they see in ads and magazines.

Disappointment is sure to set in, because inexpensive models rarely stack up to more advanced point-and-shoot cameras or big digital SLRs. Or do they?

Technology has enabled these little cameras to produce better-than-ever images. The trick is to use traditional photography techniques to make the cameras work for you.

Chase Jarvis, a Seattle-based professional photographer, uses his big Nikon SLRs for client work but sometimes shoots up to 1,000 images a day on his iPhone camera.

He believes you can get great images on tiny cameras and feels so strongly about it he wrote a book, The Best Camera Is the One That’s With You, and created a website,TheBestCamera.com, devoted to just that.

 

He has two big tips for getting great shots this summer:

Shoot liberally. “People don’t take enough shots,” he says. “Instead of taking one picture and walking away, why not take three, or five, or 10? That shift in thinking will fix 75% of the problems.”

For instance, take the same image from every possible angle, he says. “Memory cards are dirt-cheap now and can store thousands of pictures. Use them!”

Be still. Shutter lag is a fact of life with most point-and-shoot cameras. But you can help the cause by being still, holding the camera steady and anticipating the shutter lag.

On the iPhone, shutter lag is actually worse. When the image is about to be snapped, it looks like the picture has already been taken when, in fact, the shutter is just about to snap.

“It’s not when you press it. It’s when you let go of it,” Jarvis says. “Hold the iPhone like it’s a camera and use two hands.”

Los Angeles photographer David Honl travels often for his work, where his camera of choice is a point-and-shoot. He says it’s easier to throw a small camera in his pocket, and it doesn’t draw attention, which allows him to get more natural-looking pictures.

Honl, who also sells flash accessories for pro and aspiring photographers and teaches photo seminars, suggests using basic lighting techniques with point-and-shoots.

“Don’t shoot in bright sunlight, where faces get harsh shadows,” he says. “Shoot in the shade instead.”

In the shade, you’ll get nice, even tones on faces and a more pleasing portrait.

Point-and-shoots don’t perform very well in low light conditions, such as at nighttime parties, school sporting events and dark restaurants. But under optimal outdoor conditions, such as sunsets and sunrises, or by a window, the small cameras do just fine, he says.

“Study the light,” he says, “And look for when it’s the best. It’s all how about the light falls on the subject and capturing it.”

Honl’s products fit on top of flash units for SLRs, to help redirect the light for a more pleasing, softer look. The flash on a point-and-shoot, however, is a different animal, one that tends to blast out images with unnecessary nuclear-like glows. Honl recommends turning the darn thing off.

Nine times out of 10, you’ll get a better image, he says. “The thing about digital: If it doesn’t turn out well, delete it and try again. You’ve got nothing to lose.”

Finally, Honl suggests thinking about composition. Many point-and-shooters and cellphone snappers will stand far back, afraid to move in. “Get a little closer in on the face, rather than showing the entire yard,” he says. “You’ll get a much nicer image.”

 A LOOK AT 3 POCKET-SIZE SUPERZOOM CAMERAS | Story

There’s a relatively new category of point-and-shoot cameras — call it the “mini superzoom”: bigger than the standard 3X zoom, yet smaller than the 20X to 24X found on the bulky and more expensive “superzoom” models. And unlike the bigger models, they all fit in your pocket.

Here’s a look at three:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7

 

Price: About $300.

Specs: 16X zoom (superwide angle 25mm to 300mm), 12-megapixel sensor, 3-inch LCD, image stabilization and built-in GPS receiver.

Video: AVCHD Lite (clips won’t open in QuickTime Player or Windows Media Player); 720p high-definition video.

Pro: Really far-reaching zoom in a camera that fits in pocket; great wide-angle view.

Con: Needs a lot of light for good images.

A few years ago, a camera with the specs of the ZS7 would have been too bulky to fit into a pocket. But Panasonic has pulled it off, with the most far-reaching zoom I’ve seen in a small camera.That’s the good news. As with most point-and-shoots, the results were stellar in bright, bright light — for instance, outdoors at the beach. In darker settings, results weren’t as sharp.

Zooming in gets the acclaim, but going really wide (what you see on the LCD before zooming in) is probably more used. Any time you take a big group shot, you want to go wide so you don’t have to stand a block away to fit everyone in. The Lumix has a terrific wide view.

That said, the video is a bear to work with. It’s in the AVCHD Lite format, whose clips won’t open with QuickTime Player or Windows Media Player. You need to convert them before you can watch them, unlike cameras such as the Cisco Flip and Canon’s PowerShots, which offer video formats that don’t need to be processed first.

Nikon Coolpix S8000

 

Price: $260.

Specs: 10X zoom (30mm to 300mm), 14-megapixel sensor, 3-inch LCD, image stabilization.

Video: 720p high-definition video in consumer-friendly format that can be opened in Windows Media Player or QuickTime Player.

Pro: Compact camera, fits in pocket or purse, good wide-angle and telephoto views, exposes correctly even in difficult situations.

Con: Lower-resolution videos.

I spent a week with the S8000 on vacation in Hawaii, where it was my camera of choice. I left the digital SLR in the hotel room, because it was more fun to tote a camera that fit in the pocket. It didn’t disappoint.

Daylight was abundant on the Big Island, so I was able to use it to my advantage and get great shots. Indoors, once I disabled the flash, the images came out to my satisfaction, without obliterating the background, as many point-and-shoot flashes are known to do.

In more-complicated lighting situations, such as those great Hawaiian sunsets, the S8000 was impressive. On point-and-shoots, sometimes the automatic sensor wants to override, expose for the bright sun and darken the image to the point of not being recognizable. Didn’t happen.

It would be nice to see 1080p-HD video on this camera, but at least video clips are in an easy-to-handle, consumer-friendly format.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5

 

Price: $329.99.

Specs: 10X zoom (25mm to 250mm), 10-megapixel sensor, 3-inch LCD, image stabilization, built-in GPS.

Video: AVCHD (clips won’t open in QuickTime Player or Windows Media Player), in 1080p high-definition.

Pro: Cute, compact camera, takes sharp photos, great manual controls.

Con: Video format not consumer friendly.

 

This beauty has terrific zoom and manual controls for better exposures and shoots well in low light.

Manual exposure mode on most point-and-shoots seems gimmicky; on the HX5, it worked well. Outside, a close-up of a flower was washed out and overexposed in auto mode. I switched to manual, adjusted the exposure, and the image was now perfect.

Sony gives you a nice wide-angle lens, although the zoom is not as big as some competitors’. My test shots were nice and sharp, under a variety of different lighting conditions.

The video, as with the Lumix, is a pain to work with, because the clips won’t open in either Windows Media Player or QuickTime Player and must be processed to be viewed. But, overall, this is about the best little compact superzoom I’ve seen yet.

Another Memphis Mom left her child in a scalding hot car this week. I do not know whether she forgot or was simply negligent (it is my place to be proactive not to judge). I can honestly say, I don’t think any of my moms (or dads) would intentionally leave a child in the Memphis heat.

Here are some ideas to prevent such tragedies for your family. Let me know if anyone has any other ideas.

1. Leave your purse or some other necessary item in your back seat with your child as a reminder.

2. If your trip is to return some item, then put that item in the back seat with your child as a reminder.

 3. When your child is in the back seat, keep a small stuffed animal on your dashboard as a reminder.

4. Put a picture of your child between the driver’s side window molding and the window glass as a reminder.

5. Leave your mobile phone in the back seat as a reminder.

6. Set your computer or mobile phone to ask “Did you drop off at daycare today?”

7. Consider purchasing devices like The Child Minder http://www.babyalert.info/ or The Child Presence Sensor http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/releases/2002/02-008.html Please pass this on to any friend who has small children.

 Dr. Tam

Today is Memorial Day and I would personally like to thank all the men and women of the United States Armed Forces for their efforts. 

Both of my parents served in the Navy.  My mother was a nurse at the Charleston Naval Hospital and my father was a physician aboard the submarine USS Nathanael Greene.  I am proud to be one of the few pediatricians in Memphis who accepts Tricare Insurance (the insurance provided to the families of those serving in the armed forces)

On this Memorial Day, I would like to give special recognition to Jamar Bing, one of the Medical Assistants who works at All Better Pediatrics.  Jamar spent close to 5 years as a Corpsman in the US Navy, 18 months of which while being deployed in Iraq.  As a Naval Corpsman, he gave medical support to the US Marines because hey lacked their own medical staff.  Thanks Jamar for your service to the country.  You are also a wonderful Medical Assistant.

I would like to take this oppoertunity to remind everyone who is in a position to hire employees that one of the best things you can do for someone who has served is provide them with a job.  I’m sure there are a lot of men and women, just like Jamar, who work extremely hard, are fun to work with, just need that first opportunity as a civilian.

Best wishes to everyone on this Memorial Day.

Dr. Folz

PS-These are some photos we thought you would enjoy on ths special day.

Dr. Folz, her father, her mother, and her family in front of the sail of the USS Nathanael Greene which is on permanent display at the US naval base in Port Canaveral, Florida.

Jamar Bing, Medical Assistant of All Better Pediatrics

                   

It is a myth to consider your children “drown proof”.  I would use the term “drown resistant” if they have taken or are taking swimming lessons.  With the summer swimming season underway, I thought I forward this article about basic pool rules and making your kids “drown resistant would be interesting”

My girl’s swimming abilities are progressing but both girls wore “floaty” suits (see picture) until they were 5 and became good swimmers (they were able to swim the entire length of the pool).  We also had and currently have a mandatory family rule. The rule that we enforce is that  two adults must be present when children are swimming

One last pool safety tip.  If you are at a house with a swimming pool and can not find your child, check the pool first not last.  Most people, in such situations, check the pool last which is a mistake if, God forbid, your child has fallen in.

Have a fun and safe summer of swimming!

Dr. Folz

Article: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/painter/2010-05-24-yourhealth24_ST_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip&POE=click-refer

Student financial aid has become a topic that is as complicated as practicing medicine.  If you position your finances properly you have great advantages and a leg up over families who are not as organized.  The attached article from The Wall Street Journal reviews some short and long-term strategies that might improve your odds of receiving increased aid no matter your income or net worth.

Clearly it is never too early to start planning for the cost of college.

Dr. Folz

Financial Aid: How to Get More

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703612804575222303415618316.html

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