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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
April 2018
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
10 signs your child may be depressed

Mental Health Awareness Month, recognized during the month of May, works to raise awareness on the subject of mental (behavioral) health. Unfortunately, behavioral health issues aren’t adult-specific. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, around 5 percent of U.S. children and teens suffer from depression.

The following signs may help you determine if your child or adolescent is depressed:

  • Changes in sleeping patterns, such as sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Changes in eating patterns, causing weight loss or gain
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Study shows benefits of reading and playing with your children

A recent study published in the April 2018 issue of Pediatrics examined how pediatric programs that promote parenting activities – such as reading out loud and pretend play – positively affect children’s social and emotional development.

In the randomized study, “Reading Aloud, Play and Social-Emotional Development,” the parents of some children, age birth to 3 years, were enrolled in the program, “Video Interaction Project.” At every pediatric visit, these families were instructed to play or read with their children. The interactions were video taped and later reviewed by the parents, along with a coach, who helped them learn more about the important role these activities play in their children’s development.

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Ask the pediatrician: Car seat safety

Dr. Collison,

My daughter just turned 2 years old. How long does she have to ride in a rear-facing car seat?

According to Pennsylvania law, a child under the age of 2 must be securely fastened in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system until he or she outgrows the maximum height and weight limits designated by the car seat manufacturer.

As your child grows, a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether can be used for children through age 7. When your child reaches the top height or weight limit, based on the seat’s manufacturer, a booster seat can then be used. Children are usually ready for a booster seat between the ages of 4 and 7, depending on their size.

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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: Nickelodeon PAW PATROL Deluxe Marshall Hat with flashlight

Hazard: The batteries in the flashlight can overheat, causing the flashlight to become hot, posing burn and fire hazards.

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Mount Nittany Pediatrics
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