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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
June 2016
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Keeping your teen safe behind the wheel

Teenage years are filled with many milestones. One of most noteworthy milestones is when your teen starts driving. Teaching your teen to drive can be stressful for both parties, but it’s important to know that you play an important part in helping your teen become a successful driver.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident. To help your teen stay safe behind the wheel, keep these tips in mind:

  • Start out slow. An empty parking lot is a good place for your teen to get a feel for being behind the wheel. He or she can practice making turns, backing up, and braking. After practicing these skills, graduate to a quiet road to practice sharing the road with other drivers and pedestrians, and following road signs. Eventually your teen will be ready to practice on high-traffic roads and highways.
  • Practice different scenarios. Driving during bad weather, at nighttime or dusk, and through construction zones offers a variety of challenges for new drivers.
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Celebrating dads all year long

Every year on the third Sunday in June, Father’s day is celebrated to recognize and thank fathers and father figures for all they do for their families. From providing a home and food, to playing and listening, these men play an important role in their children’s lives.

In a recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids with involved fathers learn how to take safe risks and are introduced to more words when playing with dad. Additionally, teens are less likely to suffer from depression and risky behaviors such as drinking or early sexual experiences.

For new dads, it can be hard to find your role in a newborn’s life. Newborns depend a lot on mom, but there are still ways to bond with baby. Playing and holding baby while he or she sleeps are great ways to nurture that bond.

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What you need to know about Zika virus
Written by Evan Bell, MD, infectious disease specialist, Mount Nittany Physician Group
Evan Bell, MD, infectious disease, Mount Nittany Physician Group

If you’ve heard about Zika virus and are wondering what it is and how to protect yourself, you are not alone. As summer approaches, concerns are growing over the mosquito-borne illness.

Zika virus is normally transmitted to people through bites from mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, which breed in pools of water and are common to the U.S., mostly in Florida, along the Gulf Coast, and in Hawaii, although they have been found as far north as New York in hot weather. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms are typically mild (if any at all), last about a week to ten days and could include headache, fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Treatment usually involves treating the symptoms with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain relief medications.

A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy, and there have been documented cases of Zika virus transmitted through sexual contact. Unborn babies are most at risk from Zika virus complications; evidence indicates that the virus causes microcephaly, unusually small heads, and damaged brains in infants.

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Recent product recalls

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: Osprey child backpack carriers

Hazard: A cut in the plastic buckle on the shoulder strap can cause the shoulder strap to release, posing a fall hazard to a child in the carrier.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Description: This recall involves the Poco AG, Poco AG Plus and Poco AG Premium model child backpack carriers. These nylon carriers come in seaside blue, ivy green and black. They have a metal frame and a gray padded child’s seat inside. The back of the carrier also has an upper zippered pocket and a lower zipped compartment, along with a stretch pocket in the middle. The production date code identifying when the carrier was manufactured is stamped on a black label sewn in the interior of the large lower zippered compartment in the back of the carrier. Recalled carriers have a production date code of S16SB03, S16SB04, S16SB05, S16SB06 or S16SB07. “Osprey” is printed on the back at the top of the carrier. The model name is printed on the back at the bottom.

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