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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Top 10 summer safety tips

As the weather heats up, families will be spending more and more time outdoors gardening, taking walks and swimming. Whether you’re in your backyard or hiking in the woods, remember the following important safety tips to keep your kids healthy and happy all summer long.

  1. Use at least SPF 15 when spending time outdoors. Apply frequently, especially after swimming, sweating or toweling off. Try to avoid the midday hours when the sun is most intense and use clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays to prevent sunburns. Infants should be kept out of the sun entirely.
  2. Avoid spending time outdoors in the early morning and early evening hours when insects are most active, and use an insect repellant with 20 percent DEET. To prevent tick bites, avoid tall grass and piles of leaves. If you cannot do that, wear long-sleeved shirts and tuck the ends of pants into socks. Always check your child’s head, back, armpits and ears for ticks after playing outside. Do not use insect repellants on infants – use mosquito netting to prevent insect bites.
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Many parents still not following safe infant sleeping practices

Despite the launch of the “Back to Sleep” campaign more than 20 years ago, designed to remind parents to place babies on their backs to sleep, a significant number of babies are still placed on their stomachs. In some states, it is estimated that 50 percent of babies are not placed on their backs to sleep.

SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is the leading cause of death among infants between one month and one year of age. Despite a 50 percent decrease in the rate of SIDS since the inception of the “Back to Sleep” campaign, SIDS continues to be an issue. Although the precise cause of SIDS remains unknown, practicing safe sleeping habits, including placing babies on their back to sleep can reduce the risk of SIDS substantially.

Some parents worry that their baby will get a flat spot on their heads from sleeping on his or her back. This can be prevented by repositioning the baby’s head while he or she is sleeping and allowing them to spend supervised time on their stomachs during the day. Also, swaddling can help a baby sleep longer if he or she tends to flail and wake him or herself when sleeping on his or her back.



Preventing ACL tears in young athletes
  child sports  

When children play sports, there is always a risk of injury. Most injuries occur to ligaments, tendons and muscles. Sprains, strains and stress fractures are the most frequent sports injuries. Torn ACLs (anterior cruciate ligaments that provide stability to the knee) are increasing in young athletes as well, especially in girls who participate in soccer, basketball, volleyball and gymnastics, causing long-lasting effects. Those effects can extend from long-term pain, to depression from being distanced from their social network, poorer academic performance due to missed school to early-onset degenerative knee osteoarthritis.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your child safer while playing sports. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends specific types of training, specifically plyometric and strengthening exercises, that can reduce the risk of an ACL injury by as much as 72 percent, especially among young women.

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Measles on the upswing
  Child Measles  

Despite the efficacy of vaccinations – more than 732,000 deaths and 21 million hospitalizations have been prevented as a direct result of vaccines – measles, the leading cause of death in children, is on the rise. Measles is a highly contagious illness that affects 20 million people worldwide and kills 122,000 each year – about 330 deaths every day or 14 deaths every hour.

As of mid-April, 129 people in 13 states have been diagnosed with measles just this year. The majority of those were not vaccinated. These are the most cases diagnosed in just four months since 1996. In all of 2013, 189 people were diagnosed with measles.

The measles vaccine became available in 1963 and twenty years ago, the Vaccines for Children program was launched to provide free vaccines for families who cannot afford them. Despite this, the majority of people who contracted measles opted out. A lot of times, people forget how bad vaccine-preventable illnesses, like measles, were and choose not to get their children vaccinated. However, vaccine-preventable diseases have not been eradicated and are just as dangerous as they were decades ago. Prior to the availability of the measles vaccine, 500 people died each year in the United States.

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Children’s Advocacy Center of Centre County, Mount Nittany Health, welcomes Kimberly Saltsman, forensic interviewer
  Kimberly Saltsman  
Kimberly Saltsman, MA, forensic interviewer, Children’s Advocacy Center of Centre County, Mount Nittany Health

Mount Nittany Health is pleased to announce the addition of Kimberly Saltsman, MA, forensic interviewer, to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

Saltsman obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in forensic psychology from the University of Denver.

Previously employed by CenClear Child Services, Inc. in Philipsburg, Pa., Saltsman worked as a behavior specialist consultant, mobile therapist, outpatient therapist and psychological assistant to provide treatment services, such as therapy sessions, to children and families who need physical, social, emotional and educational support.

In her role as forensic interviewer at the Children’s Advocacy Center, Saltsman conducts child friendly interviews, in which children are invited to tell their story about abuse or neglect they have experienced or witnessed. Information gathered from the interview aids in the criminal investigation and is used to assess the wellbeing of the child to ensure they are provided with adequate support in their healing process.

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Recent product recalls

Here are recent product recalls announced by the U.S. 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: Rechargeable batteries used in Summer Infant video monitors

Hazard: The battery in the handheld video monitor can overheat and rupture, posing a burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Summer Infant has received 22 reports of overheated and ruptured batteries, including incidents of smoke and minor property damage.

Description: The recall involves rechargeable batteries in Summer Infant handheld color video monitors. The rechargeable batteries are about 1 ½” tall by 2 ¼” wide and are ¼” thick, black, and are marked with TCL on the lower right corner of the battery. Monitors are sold with a matching camera and A/C adaptors. Batteries will have one of these letter and number combinations in the beginning of the serial number on the back of the battery: S/N: JNN-S150A, S/N:JNS150-BA, S/N:JNS150A, S/N: JNN-S150B, S/N:JNS150-BB, S/N: JNN-S150C, S/N:JNS150-BC.

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