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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
October 2019
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Nine tips to keep witches and ghosts safe this Halloween

With Halloween right around the corner, keep the following tips in mind to celebrate Halloween safely with your little monsters:

  • Avoid tripping hazards such as costumes that drag on the ground, loose masks and footwear that’s hard to walk in. For younger children, hold their hand and help them up and down stairs or porches.
  • Only use makeup that is meant for the face and avoid applying it around the eyes, nose and mouth. A patch test should be used on children with sensitive skin to make sure the makeup won’t be irritating.
  • Keep kids warm by adding layers such as undershirts or tights underneath costumes. Hand warmers and gloves can help prevent cold fingers as well.
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Ask the pediatrician: Is over-the-counter cough medicine safe?

Hi Dr. C.,

My five-year-old son has been dealing with a cold and is up all night with a cough. Can I give him over-the-counter cough medicine to relieve his symptom and help us both get some sleep?

Cold season is here and unfortunately coughs are a common symptom that typically gets worse at night because the mucus from the nose and sinuses drain down the back of the throat. Over-the-counter medicines are often not recommended for young children because they have not been proven to work and the side effects can be harmful. At age five, the use of over-the-counter cough medicine should be approved by your son’s pediatrician. Before resorting to medicine, I’d like to recommend a few home remedies first:

  • Give your son one teaspoon of honey*. Honey helps to coat and soothe the throat.
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Your voice matters: Please take a survey about Mount Nittany Health's website experience

As Mount Nittany Health continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of our community, we have initiated a project to assess and improve the digital experience with our main website,

You're invited to participate in the process of improving the Mount Nittany Health website by taking a quick survey. Your feedback will be used to help us redesign the website and improve the website experience for all of our neighbors and community members. All answers are anonymous. At the end of the survey, you'll have the chance to enter a raffle to win one of six $15 Amazon gift cards.

Click here to take the survey:

Thank you in advance for providing valuable feedback about our website.

When bullying hits home: How to identify the signs of bullying
Written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician, Mount Nittany Physician Group Family Medicine
Craig Collison, MD, Mount Nittany Physician Group Pediatrics

In today’s world, bullying can take on many different forms, from verbal, physical, social, to cyber bullying. In some cases, the bullying may be made up of more than one of these components, too. The first thing you should do, as a parent, is to determine if your child is being physically harmed. If this is the case, it is your responsibility to intervene immediately.

How to talk with school officials about bullying

  • Keep a written record of all bullying incidents that your child reports to you. Record the names of the children involved, where and when the bullying occurred, and what happened.
  • Immediately ask to meet with your child’s classroom teacher and explain your concerns in a friendly, nonconfrontational way.
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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: Home Meridian mid-century three-drawer chests

Hazard: The recalled chests are unstable if they are not anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in death or injuries to children. The chests do not comply with the performance requirements of the U.S. voluntary industry standard (ASTM F2057-17).

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