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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
January 2017
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
What to know about RSV

Right now, the flu and other contagious illnesses, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and gastrointestinal viruses are widespread throughout the community. RSV is a virus that causes the common cold in adults and older children. Young children are especially susceptible to RSV, and will have had it at least once by the time they are two.

RSV spreads very quickly, especially in daycares or schools. Being near someone with RSV that coughs, sneezes or blows his or her nose can transmit the virus. You can also get it by shaking hands, kissing or touching someone that is infected, especially if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth after contact. Symptoms usually appear four to six days after exposure and include:

  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite

Because RSV is a virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Over-the-counter cold medications can help relieve symptoms. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce fevers. It is also important to keep your child hydrated.

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How to choose the best child care center

Choosing quality child care is one of the most important decisions made by a parent, and can be overwhelming. While parents are children’s first teachers, child care programs help to provide early learning opportunities for young children. Whether it is a formal child care center, family day care or in-home care, there are several factors to consider when choosing the best option for your child:

  • Location – Is it close enough to your home or work that you can access the facility in case of an emergency? What are the hours? What if you are late in picking up your child?
  • Visit and ask questions – See how teachers and directors interact with the children. You want to make sure that staff will be able to attend to your child’s needs. Cleanliness is also a high priority. Healthy and safe habits should be encouraged at all times.
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Ask the pediatrician: Newborn hiccups

Dr. Collison,

My newborn seems to have hiccups all the time. Is there a way I can get them to stop? I’m worried my newborn might be in pain because of them.

Hiccups in newborns are very common and are usually caused by feeding. I can assure you that your newborn is not in any pain. If anything, the hiccups are more of a nuisance to you than to baby.

Unfortunately there isn’t a hard and fast cure for hiccups. You can try burping him or her, or giving your baby a pacifier to suck on. What I do recommend is staying away from folklore remedies, such as scaring your baby to cure the hiccups.

Talk to your baby’s doctor if the hiccups begin to interfere with his or her sleep, or if your baby spits up a lot or coughs in conjunction with the hiccups.

Bundle up to stay warm, but wash hands to prevent infection
Written by Marlene Stetson, RN, CIC, director of infection prevention and control, Mount Nittany Medical Center
Marlene Stetson, RN, CIC, director of infection prevention and control, Mount Nittany Medical Center

Conventional wisdom encourages children and adults to bundle up in the cold weather to prevent colds and other infections. Though you will be more comfortable, bundling up does not prevent the spread of infection. But what does work is good hand-washing. While it may seem too simple, it is the most effective way to protect yourself against communicable illness.

Some viruses, like the ones that cause common colds or flu, spread very easily. Right now, in fact, the flu and other contagious illnesses, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and gastrointestinal viruses, are widespread in our community at this time. Children and adults alike can significantly lower their chance of getting sick by simply washing or sanitizing their hands often.

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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: Tea Collection children’s knit denim jackets

Hazard: The metal snaps on the jackets can detach, posing a choking hazard to children.

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Mount Nittany Pediatrics
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