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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
July 2018
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
A decade after its introduction, the facts on the HPV vaccine
Rachel Zimmerman, DO, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group

After 10 years, parents are still conflicted about giving their child the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. All vaccines have risks and benefits, but the HPV vaccine is particularly controversial. If you are unsure about HPV vaccination, consider the following information from Mount Nittany Physician Group Pediatrics. 

Understanding HPV and the need for a vaccine
More than 40 types of HPV that can affect the genital, anal, and oral areas of males and females, making HPV infection the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. According to the CDC, roughly 14 million people become newly infected annually. Even more alarming, most people with HPV never develop symptoms. Nine out of 10 HPV infections go away by themselves within two years. Sometimes, however, HPV persists and can cause genital warts or cancer.

HPV types 16 and 18 cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and precancerous cervical lesions. The second most common type of cancer for women worldwide, cervical cancer is also one of the most preventable diseases. Vaccination and abstinence are the only proven methods of prevention.

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Keep kids safe: Lawn mower safety

Having your child cut the grass can be helpful to you and give your child a sense of responsibility. However, mowing the lawn can be dangerous. Each year, both children and adults are hurt using riding mowers and walk-behind or hand-push mowers.


  • As a general rule, your child should be at least 12 years old to operate a walk-behind power mower or hand-push mower. A child should be at least 16 years old to operate a riding mower.
  • Spend time teaching and showing your child how to properly use mowing equipment. Review the safety tips listed above with your child. Make sure your child knows how to stop the mower quickly, if needed.
  • Supervise your child’s work until you are sure that he or she can mow safely alone.

No matter who is mowing, precautions need to be taken to protect younger children.

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Start the school year right: Back-to-school tips

Adjusting from summer relaxation mode to schedules packed full with school, assignments and after school activities can be stressful for both children and adults. Consider the following tips for a healthy start to the school year.

Schedule a check-up. Back-to-school check-ups are often the only visit kids have with their pediatrician every year. Annual physicals give pediatricians a chance to give children a thorough physical exam and address emotional, developmental or social concerns. Children involved in school athletic programs often receive a sports-specific exam through school and the average timeframe for getting this exam should be at least six weeks prior to the start of the sport’s season. Don’t forget those yearly eye doctor and dentist appointments, too!

Make sure immunizations are up-to-date. According to the CDC, every state requires certain vaccinations at different grade levels for children attending public and often private school. Be sure to check which vaccinations your child may need prior to beginning the school year.

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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: Helmets R Us Rollerblade® helmets

Hazard: The helmets fail to meet the federal safety standard, posing a risk of head injury.

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