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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
January 2019
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
 
Scary world events: Relieving your child’s anxiety
Written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group
 
   
Craig Collison, MD, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Images and talk of violence affect our everyday lives, causing a lot of anxiety. However, these incidents are especially confusing and overwhelming for children. Although age plays a part in determining when a child can understand stressful events, there are steps you can take to reassure your children and make them feel comforted and safe. Senseless can be hard to deal with for people of any age.

It’s important to start the conversation with your kids. Start by asking what your child already knows. Between friends, social media and non-stop news coverage, chances are they’re aware of recent events. Listen carefully and try to find out what they’ve heard. As they explain, listen for misinformation, misconceptions and underlying concerns. Gently correct inaccurate information and take time to provide accurate information in an age-appropriate manner.

The following are more detailed tips to help your child cope and understand tragic events:

  • Always be honest and give answers that are simple and age-appropriate.
 
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Ask the pediatrician: Nasal flu vaccine
 
 
 
   

Hi Dr. C.,

My six-year-old daughter is afraid of needles, but I want her to get a flu shot. Can I ask for the nasal vaccine instead of the traditional flu shot?

First, I’m glad you recognize the importance of protecting your daughter against the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity is elevated across the nation. Several years ago, the CDC determined that FluMist®, the nasal flu vaccine, reduced incidence of the flu by only three percent, compared to unvaccinated people. Those who received a traditional flu shot reduced their flu risk by 65 percent. Because of this, only flu injections were recommended.

 
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Three reasons why well-child checkups are important
 
 
 
   

Going to the doctor when your child is sick is a no brainer. But did you know that going to the doctor when your child is healthy is important, too? These visits are often referred to as well-child checkups and are beneficial for several reasons:

  1. Establishes a baseline of your child’s health. At each visit, your child’s vital signs, such as temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure (depending on your child’s age) are checked.
  2. Keeps your child up-to-date on age-appropriate immunizations. Your child’s pediatrician will have a list of age-specific vaccine information to help determine if your child’s vaccines need to be updated.
 
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Study shows benefit of increasing baby’s vocabulary early
 
 
 
   

A recent study by researchers at The Pennsylvania State University examined how early learning can affect a child’s school success down the road.

In the study, parents of two-year-olds completed a survey about the number of words their children know. Researchers then followed up with the children when they started kindergarten three years later. Children that knew more words at age two excelled in the following areas:

  • More ready to read and learn math
  • More attentive during class
  • Better behaved

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), toddlers should be able to say 50 to 100 words, along with several two- and three-word sentences by two years old.

 
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Please submit your question to communications@mountnittany.org and look for the answer in future months for Parents Need To Know.
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