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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
October 2016
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Taking the fright out of food allergies this Halloween
Written by Maggie Ellis, PA-C, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group
Maggie Ellis, PA-C, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Ghosts and goblins aren’t the only scary things your children might encounter this Halloween. For parents of kids with food allergies, Halloween treats can be equally frightening.

Common allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, milk and egg are often ingredients in holiday treats. Some kids may experience a rash or red, itchy skin, vomiting, a stuffy, itchy nose, or diarrhea or stomach cramps if they eat a food to which they are allergic. For children who are severely allergic, a single bite of these foods may cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.

It’s also important to note that some non-food items still contain allergens, so always choose candy-free alternatives carefully. Play-Doh, for example, contains wheat, and some toys are made of latex which can also cause allergic reactions.

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Mount Nittany Physician Group practices earn national recognition for patient-centered care
Mount Nittany Physician Group practices earn National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home™ (PCMH) Recognition

Mount Nittany Health recently announced that its family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics locations have received National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home™ (PCMH) Recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term, participative relationships.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care and reduce costs. Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians, instead of approaching care as the sum of episodic office visits.

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Decoding symptoms: allergy versus cold

Now is the time of year where it seems kids are constantly sniffling or coughing. With cold and fall allergy seasons in full swing, how can you tell if your child is suffering from allergies or a cold? The information below can help you decode your child’s symptoms.

Fall allergens such as ragweed, mold and dust mites can trigger the following symptoms:

  • Runny nose with clear, watery discharge
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and nose

Typically, these symptoms come on rather suddenly, and can last weeks, or even months.

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New study recommends against use of codeine for kids

In a new study published in the October issue of Pediatrics, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is recommending parents and pediatricians against the use of codeine as a pain treatment for kids.

Codeine can be found in over-the-counter cough medicines and is also found in some prescription pain medicines for procedures such as tonsil removal. When codeine is ingested, the liver converts it into morphine. Depending on how fast your child’s body breaks down the drug, standard doses may not be enough to treat his or her pain, or can be too much and cause slowed breathing rates and even death. Because of the uncertainty of this medicine, the AAP encourages parents to educate themselves about the risks of codeine medicines.

Click here to read the full report.

If you have questions about pain management options for your child, contact his or her pediatrician.

Mount Nittany Health wins gold in digital health communications

Mount Nittany Health’s social media and web presence were recently recognized at the 18th annual Digital Health Awards. This competition, held twice each year, recognizes the world’s best digital health resources. The winners were chosen from nearly 500 entries, judged by a panel of distinguished experts in digital health media.

Mount Nittany Health’s website received a Gold Award in web-based digital health.

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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: Gilon electric scooters

Hazard: The frame of the scooter can break where the unit folds, posing a fall hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received three reports of the scooter’s frame breaking, including one hip and elbow abrasion injury.

Description: This recall involves the Glion SmartScooter Model 100. The foldable electric scooters are aluminum and come in black or white.

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