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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
April 2016
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
FDA proposes new limit for arsenic in infant rice cereal

On April 1, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a plan to reduce the amount of inorganic arsenic found in infant rice cereal. The new plan will reduce the amount of inorganic arsenic to 100 parts per billion. Interestingly enough, the FDA tested 76 samples of infant rice cereal in 2014 and found that 47 percent met the proposed level already.

The two types of arsenic are inorganic and organic. Inorganic arsenic is commonly found in rice because rice plants tend to absorb arsenic from the soil easier than other crops. Consistent exposure to high amounts of arsenic during infancy can lead to stomach irritation, skin changes, reduced nerve function, and lower IQ scores.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends waiting to introduce infant cereal until infants are at least six months. Additionally, the AAP advises feeding infants iron-fortified cereals. Parents do not have to rely solely on rice cereal and can choose from other infant cereals such as oat, barley, and multigrain. 



Recognizing April as Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month
Written by Kristina Taylor-Porter, MA, executive director, Children's Advocacy Center of Centre County, Mount Nittany Health
Kristina Taylor-Porter, MA, executive director, Children's Advocacy Center of Centre County, Mount Nittany Health

Nationally, April is recognized as Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month. During the month, we challenge our community to learn more about the role we all play in preventing and protecting children from abuse. Through awareness and prevention, we can make a difference in the lives of so many children.

Statistically, one in five children has a likelihood of being sexually abused before their eighteenth birthday. This staggering statistic alone raises questions as to what can be done to not only prevent child abuse, but to accurately and appropriately respond, should one have suspicions of abuse.

Children are often hesitant to disclose abuse because the very nature of child abuse is built on an imbalance of power, secrecy, isolation, and shame. Purposefully working to eliminate barriers, we must foster an environment that empowers children to talk about problems they may have, teach children the proper terminology for their body parts, and empower children that they have the right to establish body boundaries by saying “no” if anyone touches them in a way they do not like.

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Conversation starters with your teen

Many teens feel comfortable talking to their parents about medical issues; however, others may prefer to keep certain aspects of their health private. So, who can teens talk to about physical and emotional concerns? While friends or parents are helpful, teens often forget they can talk to their doctors, too.

It is perfectly normal to feel nervous when talking with a doctor about things like sex, drugs, eating problems, weight concerns, depression, and even body odor. Being examined and questioned about your body can be intimidating; however, keep in mind doctors have cared for hundreds or even thousands of patients. Chances are no matter how troubling something may be to you; it most likely will not surprise your doctor.

Many providers use The Patient Health Questionnaire – 9 (PHQ – 9) during annual checkups. This is a tool used for patients between the ages of 12 and 18 to assist with diagnosing depression and monitoring treatment response. Questions are designed to address physical, emotional, and social topics. The information on the questionnaire is confidential between the provider and the teen, unless there is a significant health or safety concern.

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Help protect our children during the 2016 Centre Gives campaign

Did you know that 1 in 5 children have a likelihood of being sexually abused before their eighteenth birthday? With such a staggering statistic, we invite you to help protect our children by making a gift during Centre Gives.

Centre Gives is a 36-hour online giving event that supports nonprofit organizations in Centre County. We are proud to once again partner with Centre Foundation for this great event, which will begin Tuesday, May 3, at 6:00 am, and end at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, May 4.

Whether you choose to donate to The Foundation for Mount Nittany Medical Center or the Children’s Advocacy Center of Centre County, Mount Nittany Health, each gift of $25 or more will benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center and make our community a leader in protecting children from abuse.

For more information about Centre Gives, visit Thank you for your support!



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: Creating X children’s footed pajamas

Hazard: The pajamas fail to meet the federal flammability standards for children’s sleepwear, posing a risk of burn injuries to children.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Description: This recall involves two styles of children’s footed pajamas. The first style is a child’s 100 percent cotton one-piece, long-sleeved footed pajama with a zip-up closure starting from above the left ankle. The second style is a child’s 100 percent cotton one-piece, long-sleeved footed pajama with a hood, two front pockets and a zip-up closure starting from the left ankle. The pajamas were sold in a variety of colors and patterns including solids, stripes, plaids, hearts, white snowflakes, yellow moon and white and blue stars, white bunnies and colored Easter eggs. The pajamas were sold in sizes infant large through kids large.

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