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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Parenting: Five tips on fatherhood
  Father son  

Father’s Day may have just been celebrated throughout the nation, but it’s important for fathers to understand their children and the particular parenting habits that are best for them.

"Kids are actively trying to make sense of the parenting they receive and the meaning that children take from the parenting may be as important, or more important, than the behavior of the parents,” said Jeff Cookston, psychologist. “I don't think a lot of parents give these ideas about meaning much thought. You may think that you're being a good parent by not being harsh on your kid, for instance, but your child may view that as 'you're not invested in me, you're not trying.'”

Children attach different meanings to their fathers’ behavior, and these meanings can vary depending on the child's gender, ethnicity and the presence of a stepfather in the child's life, according to Cookston and former San Francisco State graduate student Andrea Finlay in a new study published in the Journal of Family Issues. The study included children from California and Arizona.

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Top 10 reasons your child needs their well-child visit
  Doctor and kid  

Based on a recent study, children who miss their yearly well-child care visits are at an increased risk of hospitalization compared to equivalently healthy children who have their regularly scheduled well visits. You may ask, why should I bring my healthy child into the office, isn’t that for sick kids only? There are many reasons for infants, toddlers, children and adolescents to get regular physicals. Here are my top 10 reasons to take your kids to your pediatrician for their scheduled well visits:

  1. Growth – Well-child care allows your pediatrician to assess the growth of your child and determine if there are any abnormalities. Appropriate assessment and treatment can happen if there are issues. Lacking well-child care results in missing specific opportunities for intervention during a particular phase of your child’s growth.
  2. Development – Watching your child develop in multiple areas including speech, fine motor and gross motor skills, and social interaction is a huge priority through the early years. Well-child care is the best chance to keep track of young children’s development so that any delays can be found and appropriate therapies are put in place.
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Second concussion symptoms last longer

A brain injury that occurs with a concussion will take longer to recover from if the brain has been injured before, in a similar manner, according to the study “Time Interval Between Concussions and Symptom Duration,” in the July 2013 Pediatrics (published online June 10).

The study also showed the closer together the concussions occur, the longer the recovery time took as well. Children who had a second concussion within a year had nearly three times the average duration of symptoms compared to children whose concussions occurred more than one year apart. Other factors that increase recovery time include being age 13 or older, having more severe symptoms at the time of the emergency room visit and having no loss of consciousness.

Common signs of a concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
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The Red Cross gives tips on water safety

Now that the warm weather has arrived, there's nothing like swimming to help cool off on a hot summer day. Whether you are taking a dip in the pool, or spending the day at the beach, the American Red Cross urges everyone to make water safety a priority over the holiday weekend and throughout the summer season.

"With so many families planning to visit beaches and pools, it's important for parents to make water safety a priority," says Scott Conner, senior vice president for preparedness and health and safety services for the Red Cross. "Learn how to swim and take water safety, first aid and CPR/AED training so you'll know what to do in an emergency."

The Red Cross offers these safety steps to help ensure a fun-filled, safe time while you're swimming:

Summer and swimming go hand in hand:

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child's life to another child.
  • Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
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Recent product recalls

Here are just a few recent product recalls as announced by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. For the most up-to-date recall information, please visit and click on the Recalls tab from the home page.

Name of Product: Stride Rite Girls’ “Joanna” Sandals

Hazard: The metal flower on the shoe can detach, posing a choking hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received six reports of the flowers detaching and 11 reports of flowers loosening. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The “Joanna” girls’ sandals have an ankle strap, three bands and a flower on top. They were sold in white with a silver-colored metal flower, and brown with a copper-colored metal flower in girls’ sizes 8.5 through 10. The name “Joanna,” the style number CG40723 (white shoe) or CG40725 (brown shoe) and the size are printed on the underside of the front shoe strap. “StrideRite” appears on the bottom of the shoe. 

Sold at: Contact Stride Rite stores and other department stores nationwide, and online at and various online retailers from December 2011 through May 2013 for between $30 and $42.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled shoes away from children, and contact Stride Rite to receive a prepaid envelope for the return of the shoes. Upon return, customers will receive a voucher for the purchase price redeemable at Stride Rite stores or

Consumer Contact: Contact Stride Rite at 800.365.4933, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm ET Monday through Friday, or online at (click on Product Safety Information under Customer Service for more information). Consumers may also email

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