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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
January 2018
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
New Year nutrition: How to raise healthy eaters

With the New Year in full swing, it’s likely that many of us are making health goals. While teaching kids the importance of food and nutrition can be a challenge, healthy eating has many benefits for children - it can stabilize energy, improve minds and help to maintain a healthy weight.

Many of us get caught up in our busy schedules, and while raising a child is a challenge in itself, no one does a perfect job with nutrition. You can help raise healthy eaters by following these tips:

  • Make small shifts to healthier foods – keep healthy, ready-to-eat snacks around the house.
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The dangers of the ‘Tide pod challenge’
  PNTK Laundry Pod  

The latest teen challenge, the ‘Tide pod challenge,’ is all over the news and social media. The Tide pod challenge is when a teen intentionally bites into a brightly colored, single-dose laundry detergent pack (or cooks it in a frying pan or uses it as a topping on pizza). This new teen challenge is scary because these detergent packs are even more dangerous than regular-strength detergent due to the combination of chemicals in a higher concentration.

Not only do the detergent packs have the potential to make teens violently ill if ingested, but can teens run the risk of inhaling the detergent into their lungs or cause eye and skin irritation if punctured.

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Ask the pediatrician: Should my child eat gluten?

Hi Dr. C.,

I follow a gluten-free diet. Should my three-year-old daughter also follow a gluten-free diet?

The only reason your daughter should follow a gluten-free diet is if she has been diagnosed with celiac disease, an immune disorder triggered by gluten, or a gluten allergy.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and other grains. If you eliminate whole grains from your daughter’s diet unnecessarily, she can miss out on key nutrients such as iron, magnesium, antioxidants and B vitamins. Whole grains are also a good source of fiber. Additionally, if you eliminate a major food group, you may run the risk of not giving your daughter enough daily calories. Toddlers need about 1,000 to 1,400 calories depending on their activity level.

If you think you daughter may have a gluten allergy, make an appointment with her pediatrician.

Winter car seat safety tips

It certainly has been chilly in our region lately. With winter just beginning, it is almost certain that we have more cold weather ahead of us. Make sure your child is safe and warm in his or her car seat with these tips:

  • Take your child’s winter jacket off before securing him or her in the car seat. The bulkiness of winter clothing can flatten from the force of a car crash, causing extra room between your child and the car seat, and leading to the possibility that your child will slip through the straps.
  • To keep your child warm, dress him or her in fitted, light layers. After your child is securely strapped into the car seat, you may place a winter jacket or blanket over the car seat straps.
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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: Wohali Outdoors children’s three-piece pajama sets

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

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

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Mount Nittany Pediatrics
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