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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
March 2016
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
How to care for a newborn’s umbilical cord

After your baby is born, one of the first things a doctor does is clamp and cut the umbilical cord. When the cord is cut, a stump is left behind, and it can take around two weeks for it to fall off naturally.

In the meantime, be sure to keep the cord clean and dry to prevent infection. Check out these do’s and don’ts of cord care:

  • Do keep the cord open to air.
  • Do fold down the diaper to keep it from rubbing against the cord.
  • Don’t put your baby in restrictive clothing that may rub against the cord.
  • Don’t put your baby in a bath until the cord falls off. You may give your baby a sponge bath.
  • Don’t pull the cord off yourself — let it fall off naturally.

Following these tips can help prevent an infection. If you notice redness or swelling around the cord, bad smelling discharge, or your baby crying when you touch the cord and surrounding area, call your pediatrician immediately.



Talking to kids about Alzheimer’s disease

With Alzheimer’s disease as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, it is likely that you may know someone with the disease. Alzheimer’s can be difficult to understand, especially for children, because the person may not look sick.

The best way to talk to your kids about Alzheimer’s is to be honest and keep things simple. You may explain to them that the person’s brain is sick, and that the disease can affect how the person thinks or acts. As the disease progresses, changes in personality and memory will become much more significant.

It’s important to let your child know that he or she can still spend time with his or her loved one. Activities such as listening to music, going for a walk, watching TV, or drawing pictures are good ways to spend time together and do not depend on memory or verbal communication.

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Give Kids a Smile and Vision for the Future Day

Do you know a child in need of dental, vision, or hearing care? Any Centre County child (age 1 - 18) without dental or vision insurance is invited to attend Give Kids a Smile.

Friday, April 15
Pediatric Dental Care and Nittany Eye Associates
1019 Ghaner Road, Suite A
Port Matilda, PA 16879

Exams are given by appointment only. Proof of income is required. For more information, call Centre Volunteers in Medicine at 814.231.4043.

Access to dental care is a priority of the recent Community Health Needs Assessment. To learn more about the Community Health Needs Assessment and our commitment to access of care, visit



Ask the Pediatrician: Healthy eating habits for teens

Hi Dr. C,

My 15-year-old son is known to be constantly hungry. We often joke that his stomach is a bottomless pit. My son plays football, so he is pretty active, but I’m concerned that he is eating too much food.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that male teens, aged 14 to 18, should eat around 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day, depending on activity level. While this may seem like a lot, the increased caloric intake is important to support the changes their bodies go through during puberty. Teen boys also need more calcium and protein in their diet to support their bone mass development and build muscle.

Since your son is an athlete, he may need to eat up to 5,000 calories, depending on his workout, practice, and game schedule. Meals should include lean proteins, such as beef, chicken, fish, or eggs. Green, leafy vegetables and whole grains, such as brown rice or whole wheat bread, can also provide the nutrients your son needs to stay healthy, on and off the field. Additionally, I would recommend keeping snacks — such as fresh fruits, cheese, yogurt, or nuts — on hand for him to snack on before practice or a game.

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Get your family moving with the Fit Families Challenge!

Did you know?

  • Adults who exercise reduce their risk of diabetes by 58 percent
  • Children who exercise with their parents are more likely to be active later in life
  • Children who exercise regularly perform better in school

Families are invited to get moving with the Centre Moves’ Fit Families Challenge. Beginning April 1, the month-long, family-based exercise challenge encourages families to log all workouts during the month of April.

Families must consist of at least two members, so invite your parents, spouses, children, best friends, co-workers and even your dog to get moving with you. Families that log at least 15 workouts during the month of April are eligible to win one of many fun prizes.

Click here to download a step-by-step guide on how to register for the challenge. For more information, visit or email

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Recent product recalls

Here are recent product recalls announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). For the most up-to-date recall information, please visit and click on the Recalls tab from the home page.


Name of product: Anchor Industries safety pool covers

Hazard: The brass-plated snap hooks used to connect the cover’s cables to the wall can break, posing a drowning risk.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received 20 reports of snap hook failure. No injuries have been reported. 

Description: This recall involves mesh and solid-material Anchor 5-Star, Anchor Mesh, Classic Solid and Defender Mesh brand custom safety pool covers. The covers’ cables are connected to the pool wall using brass-plated snap hooks with a gold-tone spring tab, a seam and a hook end with a bezel. The date of manufacture appears on the warning label on the underside of each pool cover. Manufacture dates of “Sep 14,” “Oct 14” and “Nov 14” are subject to the recall. “Manufactured by Anchor Industries, Inc.” also appears on the label.

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