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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Ebola preparedness continues at Mount Nittany Health

If you’ve been watching or listening to the news lately, it is likely you’ve heard a lot about Ebola. While it is easy to become overwhelmed, it is important to stay up-to-date with facts about the disease, especially if your kids have questions.

Mount Nittany Health is committed to keeping you informed about Ebola and our preparedness. To learn more about Ebola and how Mount Nittany Health is prepared, please visit our Ebola preparedness page at

As officials learn more about the virus, Mount Nittany Health is closely monitoring the global situation and staying prepared by exceeding the most current guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and others for staff and facility preparedness.

If you visit our office, you will notice signs in our registration and waiting areas asking patients to notify us if they have a risk factor for exposure to Ebola and have a fever. Additionally, we have taken steps to modify our patient triage assessments to include a more detailed travel history.

Mount Nittany Health efforts are focused on educating our physicians and staff with all-employee information forums, regular system-wide leadership meetings, clinical refresher education sessions and drills, along with a staff resource web page with information on the latest Ebola news and recommendations.



Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Autumn brings a lot of family festivals and, of course, the Halloween season. It's easy to get caught up in the fun of dressing up for Halloween and enjoying all kinds of treats and forget some simple rules that parents should share with their kids about trick-or-treating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some great tips - spelling out Safe Halloween - that revelers of all ages can appreciate:

S – Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
A – Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
F – Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
E – Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

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Protect you and your family against the flu
  Flu child  

Flu season typically begins to ramp up in October, but can appear as late as February or March. The best way to protect your heath and the health of your friends and family is to get a flu vaccine.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu and advises that everyone six months and older receive a flu vaccine. People who are at high risk of developing serious complications from the flu, including young children, pregnant women, people 65 years and older, and those with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease are at high risk of developing flu complications and are strongly recommended to get the flu shot.

If you are moderately or severely ill with or without a fever, you should usually wait to get the flu vaccine until you are fully recovered. If you are mildly ill, you should be fine to get the vaccine; however, please check with your physician first.

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Proper backpack fit can prevent future problems

Now that school is back in full swing, kids are shuttling back and forth with homework, lunches, musical instruments and sports equipment in tow. Many children carry their needed items in their backpack. Backpacks are wonderful, but if misfit, overloaded, or worn incorrectly they may cause undue stress on a child’s back and shoulders.

This stress can lead to back, neck or shoulder pain, as well as tingling and numbness in the arms and hands. Children do not always complain of these symptoms, but their actions may indicate they are having problems. They may struggle to lift their pack onto their back or bend over at the waist when wearing their backpack. These are both signs that their backpack is too heavy. To prevent discomfort or injury from backpacks, there are three steps to follow:

  1. Purchase a good fitting backpack
  2. Load the backpack correctly
  3. Wear the backpack properly
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Celiac disease in children

Celiac disease is an immune disorder triggered by gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. The disease is considered common, affecting 2 to 3 million people in the United States.

Signs of celiac disease can appear at any age. Children with undiagnosed celiac disease can show a variety of the following symptoms:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Bloating
  • Increased tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • Poor growth
  • Weight loss or poor weight gain
  • Regular mouth ulcers

Celiac disease is diagnosed through a blood test. If specific antibodies in the blood are found, then most physicians recommend a small intestinal biopsy to confirm results.

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Car seat safety
Written by Kristie Kaufman, MD, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group
Kristie Kaufman, MD, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Having a baby is an incredible experience, but you’ll find that there are so many new decisions you must make as a parent. One of those important decisions is the type of car seat you’ll use for your little one.

The type of car seat you choose should be based on your child’s size. There are also seats that are considered all-in-one, which can change from rear-facing to forward-facing, and then also convert into a booster seat when appropriate.

At birth and for children under the age of two, your child should be in a rear-facing car seat. This option can be used through age three, especially if you have chosen an all-in-one car seat that adapts to your child’s growth and weight gain.

As your child grows, a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether can be used for children through age seven. When your child reaches the top height or weight limit based on the seat’s manufacturer, a booster seat can then be used. Children are usually ready for a booster seat between the ages of four and seven, depending on their size.

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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: Trimfoot children’s soft-soled shoes

Hazard: A small metal eyelet can detach from the inside of the sneaker, posing a choking hazard to infants.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: The recall involves First Impressions high-top, soft-soled sneakers for infants that are crawling or standing. The recalled shoes have blue denim soles and uppers, brown canvas tongues, tan shoelaces and white polyurethane toes. Each upper has eight 3/16-inch eyelets for the laces. The shoes came in sizes 0, 1, 2 and 3. Style number 42090 is on a cloth tag inside of shoe.

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