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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
May 2016
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
It’s okay to swaddle your infant

Recent media coverage on a study published in the May issue of Pediatrics created quite a scare for parents when they thought swaddling infants could cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). A key piece of information that wasn’t clearly communicated was that the study specifically mentioned swaddled infants should not be placed on their sides or stomach. Additionally, parents should monitor their baby and stop swaddling right before he or she learns to roll over, or if he or she can break the swaddle, which occurs around two months of age, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Whether or not you choose to swaddle your newborn, babies should always be put to sleep on their backs. While the cause of SIDS is not specifically known, studies have shown that placing baby on his or her stomach increases the risk of SIDS. For more sleeping tips, check out this past article about safe sleep environments for babies.



May is National Bike Month

Warmer weather is finally here, which means more time spent outdoors. Biking can reduce stress, create quality time for families, and is a fun way to add exercise to your daily routine. Since May is recognized as National Bike Month, keep kids safer by following these do’s and don’t’s:

  • Do have your child wear a helmet at all times, no matter how short the ride. Be sure to fasten the straps. Here’s how you can check to see if your kid’s helmet fits correctly.
  • Don’t let your child go for a bike ride alone. Ride with them or make sure they are riding with friends. Also, be sure to set boundaries on where they are allowed and not allowed to ride.
  • Do make sure the bicycle is the right size for your child. Don’t be tempted to buy a bike that they can grow in to. Your child may not have the skill needed to control a bike that is bigger than he or she.
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What you need to know about lead poisoning

The lead water crisis in Flint, Mich., has brought the harmful effects of lead exposure in both children and adults to everyone’s attention. Additionally, recent news coverage of a 2014 Pennsylvania Department of Health study released in October 2015 that reported that children in 18 cities in Pennsylvania had higher blood lead levels than Flint, has added to the concern.

What’s important to note about the Pennsylvania Department of Health study, however, is that the high blood lead levels were from sources such as lead-based paint exposure from homes built before 1978 or old toys and furniture, not contaminated water. Other sources of lead exposure may include soil that has lead in it, dust and paint chips from old paint, and mini-blinds manufactured outside of the U.S. before July 1997.

Symptoms of lead exposure usually include irritability, headache, loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss, nausea or vomiting, metallic taste in mouth, muscle and joint weakness, or seizures.

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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: Flying Tiger Copenhagen Wooden Toy Blocks and Giraffes

Hazard: Parts of the wooden toys can become detached, resulting in small pieces that can pose a choking hazard to young children.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Description: This recall involves Flying Tiger Copenhagen wooden blocks and wooden giraffe toys. The Twist & Lock blocks were sold in a combination of blue, green and yellow and red, pink and yellow. Item number “1701354” is printed on the packaging for the blocks. The Twist & Lock giraffe toys were sold in pink and red combination and a yellow and orange combination. Item number “1701493” is printed on the packaging for the giraffe.

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