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Frequently Asked Questions

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What do I have to do to participate and how much time will it take?

Your child will be followed regularly at 6-month intervals for 2 years. We will painlessly obtain hair samples as well as growth measures (height, weight, etc.) from your child. Here are the study details:      

  • Parents/guardians complete a study interest form
  • Screening call (5-15 min) to assess eligibility
  • Written informed consent is completed virtually or in-person
  • Labeled study kits are mailed after the first clinic visit
  • Child hair samples collected painlessly at five time points
  • Optional parent hair samples collected at two time points
  • Parents complete online study questionnaires prior to each visit

The first visit will take about 2 hours, but other visits will take about 1-1½ hours.  

How much hair is sampled for the study?

The hair sample will be about 1cm in diameter trimmed from close to the scalp. It is roughly the size of a cheerio in diameter.

Hair Sample Size


What are the risks if I participate?

There are minimal to no risks for participating in this study. Hair samples are obtained by using a hair trimmer, which is painless and non-invasive. The hair trimmer does not use sharp blades, so it cannot cause any injury to the skin.

Each participant in the study will assigned a study ID that is strictly private and confidential. Therefore, any information collected by the surveys or questionnaires cannot be linked back to the child or parent by any kind of identification (such as name, address, and/or date of birth, etc.). Parents will enter study information through a secure, encrypted online link that CANNOT be accessed by anyone else.

The hair samples will NOT be analyzed for any genetic information or drug levels.

What are the benefits if I participate?

This study will improve our understanding of wellness and resilience among children up to 4 years who cannot speak for themselves. By participating in our longitudinal research, you will also get invaluable insights into your own child’s development and growth, as well as their strengths and opportunities. 

In addition, your child will receive a “Junior Scientist Certificate” from Stanford and your family will earn up to $525 as a token of our gratitude and appreciation.                                                                                                                                             

What if something happens over the 2-year study period and I can no longer participate?

As best as we can, we will help you and your family complete all the study-related activities over the 2-year period. Families can disenroll from the study at any time if they no longer wish to be in the study.                                                     

How will the study visits be structured?

The first and last study visits will be in-person in the clinic. The other visits will be spaced 6-months apart, and can be conducted virtually (via Zoom) in the comfort of your own home. Study kits containing all the necessary materials to complete the virtual visit will be mailed to your home and our research coordinators will show you what to do.                                                                                                                                         

Where are the clinics for in-person visits located?

In-person Study Visits will be held at the:                                                                                                                          

  • Clinical & Translational Research Unit, 800 Welch Road, Stanford CA 94304
  • Stanford Children's Health Specialty Services, 1195 West Fremont Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Do I need to schedule the clinic appointments myself?

Research Coordinators will work with participating families to schedule each of their 5 visits, both in-person and virtual.                                                                                                       

If I participated in the earlier Hair Biomarkers Study (Phase-I), am I eligible to participate in this one (Phase-II)?

Yes, we strongly encourage families who participated in the previous Hair Biomarkers Study to participate in this one if they have a child who meets the study eligibility criteria.                                                                                                                                                                               

If I have more than one eligible child, can multiple children of mine enroll?

Only one child per family can be enrolled in this study.                                                                             

Ready to participate or have additional questions?

Please complete the parent interest form and a research coordinator will reach out to you soon.