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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
February 2019
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Finding calm in the chaos: Managing a busy family schedule in today’s fast-paced world
Written by Allyson Huggins, MD, Mount Nittany Physician Group Pediatrics
Allyson Huggins, MD, Mount Nittany Physician Group Pediatrics

Ask most parents and they’ll tell you that organizing a household full of family members and their various schedules can feel like swimming upstream. With a new year upon us, now’s the perfect time to take a step back and look at how things are running in your own home and why you may even need to slow things down.

Signs that kids are too busy

Sooner or later, kids who are too busy will begin to show signs. Every child is different, but overscheduled kids may:

  • Feel tired, anxious or depressed
  • Complain of headaches and stomachaches, which may be due to stress, poor eating habits, or lack of sleep
  • Fall behind on their schoolwork, causing their grades to drop
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Ask the pediatrician: Breath-holding spells

Hi Dr. Collison,

My four-year-old son can become very upset or frustrated when he does not get his way. It has gotten to the point where he passes out because he is so upset. Is this normal? What can I do to keep this from happening?

It sounds like your son is experiencing a breath-holding spell. A breath-holding spell is an involuntary reflex that occurs when a child stops breathing. This condition is most common in toddlers ages one to three, but can affect children up to six years of age.

The most common type of breath holding is called a cyanotic spell. A situation causes the child to become upset, such as when they are being disciplined, and he or she cannot bring himself or herself to take a breath. In some cases, this will cause the child to pass out. Once the child passes out, their breathing returns to normal. Another type of breath-holding spell is called a pallid spell. This is when a child’s heart rate slows down, which is often caused by pain. Again, the child may pass out.

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Five tips to keep your child’s heart healthy

February is recognized as American Heart Month to raise awareness of heart disease and remind us of the importance of taking care of our heart. It’s never too early to create heart-healthy habits. Here are five tips to keep your child’s heart healthy:

  1. Eat the rainbow by eating five servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Also, limit fast food or eating out.
  2. Get moving as a family. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends 60 minutes of play for kids each day. Use this as a family bonding opportunity and go for a walk or bike ride. Other ideas to get moving are playing tag or building an obstacle course in the back yard.
  3. Limit screen time. TV, video games, and computer use should be limited to two hours of screen time per day.
Read Entire Article ›
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: Hot Mom bed rails

Hazard: The bed rails fail to meet the federal mandatory standard for portable bed rails, posing entrapment and suffocation hazards to young children.

Sold At: Online at from March 2017 through August 2017 for about $60.

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Mount Nittany Pediatrics
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