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News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Getting the red out: How to manage your child's eczema

Dry, red, itchy and scaly patches on your child’s skin may be signs of eczema, a condition caused by skin inflammation. Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema often runs in families and is linked to allergic conditions such as asthma and hay fever.

While there’s no cure for eczema, your child’s skin will often improve substantially by the time he or reaches school age (around 4 or 5), and many children outgrow this uncomfortable condition.

Eczema flares up, subsides and often improves on its own. The rough, scaly and occasionally oozing patches that signal eczema usually appear on babies’ cheeks, forehead and scalp at three or four months of age.

Older children typically have the patches inside their elbow creases and wrists, at the back of the knees and on their necks.

Managing eczema

Following are some tips to help manage your child’s eczema.

• Moisturize frequently. Apply a cream or ointment-based moisturizer twice a day if possible, even when the skin looks good. Products that contain ceramides (natural lipids) that repair the skin barrier, such as CeraVe and Cetaphil, may be particularly effective. Other options include products made by Aquaphor, Aveeno, Eucerin and Vaseline.

• Apply steroid creams. Use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or ointment twice a day to help control itching and reduce inflammation. Your child’s doctor can prescribe a stronger topical steroid medication if the itching or rash is severe.

• Try antihistamines. Calm itchiness with an over-the-counter oral antihistamine, like Benadryl or Zyrtec, especially if the itching disrupts your child’s sleep.

• Choose the right sunscreen. Avoid products containing “chemical blockers.” Instead, pick a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide (“physical blockers”) as the active ingredients and doesn’t include a long list of other ingredients

• Try these bathing tips. Daily baths or showers are recommended, keeping in mind that the goal is to “soak and seal.” Use lukewarm instead of hot water, with a gentle soap product from Aveeno, California Baby, CeraVe, Cetaphil or Dove. Immediately after the bath, apply the topical steroid medication (if you use one) followed by moisturizer.

• Stop the scratching. Children with eczema are sometimes more prone to skin infections. Scratching compounds the problem, making skin vulnerable to staph and other infections. When the skin is raw, scabbed or oozing, skin infection might be playing a role in driving the eczema. In this case, consider trying diluted bleach baths to control eczema flare-ups. These baths can sterilize the skin and prevent as well as treat infections. Add one-eighth to one-quarter cup of regular bleach to the bathwater in a full-sized bathtub three times per week. It’s also important to see a doctor in order to treat infections as quickly as possible so they don’t spread.

• For severe eczema, try wet-wrap therapy. After bathing and applying the topical steroid medication and moisturizer, put your child in a barely damp pair of pajamas, then add a pair of dry pajamas over the top. This may help improve sleep and calm the inflamed skin.

• Learn about long-term therapy options. Under a doctor’s supervision, children older than 3 or 4 with chronic and severe eczema may benefit over the long term from systemic therapies, including ultraviolet light therapy and oral medications.

Dr. Amy E. Gilliam is a pediatric dermatologist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Palo Alto, Dublin and Fremont centers.

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation and column editor Arian Dasmalchi provide this monthly column.

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