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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Laundry detergent single-dose packs pose threat to children
  mr. yuk  

We all know how much children love to put things of all shapes and sizes in their mouths. Single-dose detergent packs, which are brightly colored, bite-sized, and appealing for curious kids, are no exception to this rule.

While they may be convenient for busy parents, these detergent packs are even more dangerous than regular-strength detergent due to the combination of chemicals in a higher concentration. These pods not only have the potential to make children violently ill if ingested, but can cause eye and skin irritation if punctured.

Signs of possible ingestion are:

  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing, gasping, or other difficulties with breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Burning in the mouth
Read Entire Article ›


Moving past a type 1 diabetes diagnosis

As a parent, you do everything in your power to keep your children healthy and safe. You make sure that they eat nutritious meals, stay active, and wear their seat belt in the car. So it may come as a shock if your child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is needed to turn glucose from food into the energy your body needs to function on a daily basis. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. 

A type 1 diabetes diagnosis can leave you with a lot of questions. What do I do next? Will this change our daily routine? How can I teach my child to manage their diabetes? The following tips can help point you in the right direction to move forward after the diagnosis:

  • Assemble a team – When it comes to managing your child’s type 1 diabetes, they will need specialized care of diabetes experts. Your team could include an endocrinologist, nutritionist, a diabetes educator, and more.
  • Educate yourself – There are several reputable online resources, such as the American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, and more.
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The not-so-hidden dangers of texting and moving

Everyone knows that driving and texting is a bad idea. But did you know walking and texting is almost as bad?  A recent study by Safe Kids Worldwide shows that one teen pedestrian every hour is killed or injured by a motor vehicle.

In today’s connected world, multi-tasking has become a norm. Your kids may listen to music, check social media, text with friends, and do their homework all at the same time. Though they might think they have everything under control, they are certain situations that require their full attention.

As a parent, what can you do to keep them safe? Teach your child situations when it’s not safe to text:

  • Walking or running
  • Riding a bike, skate boarding, or other physical activities
  • Walking in a congested area
  • Sitting alone in public – Not paying attention to your surrounding area can leave your vulnerable for theft or assault
  • Operating a vehicle of any kind such as a car, four-wheeler, snowmobile, and boats

Of course, kids pick up habits from their parents. Be sure to practice the same safety tips to keep the whole family safe.



Keeping your new baby safe and healthy
Written by Robert Huffard, MD, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group
Robert Huffard, MD, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Bringing home your new baby is an exciting time. To make sure your bundle of joy stays safe and healthy during the first few months, the following tips are recommended:

  • Always use an approved car seat whenever you travel with your baby.
  • Make sure your baby’s crib is safe by keeping crib slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, using a snug-fitting mattress, and making sure there are no loose, broken, or missing pieces such as screws, brackets or other hardware.
  • Do not use pillows, large stuffed animals, or other fluffy items in the crib, as your baby may suffocate. Also keep the crib away from curtains and blinds.
  • Lay your baby flat on his or her back for sleeping, and do not overdress your baby while he or she sleeps.
Read Entire Article ›


Keep safety in mind when buying toys this holiday season

December is recognized as Safe Toys and Gifts Month. As the holiday season begins to ramp up, many of us are beginning to buy gifts for families and friends. Keep these recommendations in mind when choosing the right toy.

Before purchasing a toy: Researching a toy is your first step. Check to make sure the toy is appropriate for the child’s age and ability. Make sure the toy can withstand heavy use and will not break into sharp pieces. Try to avoid toys that have sharp edges, points, or spikes. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has set national safety standards for toys. A toy will be marked with ASTM if it meets their requirements. 

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Treating and preventing pink eye

Throughout your journey of parenthood, it is likely that you’ve encountered pink eye, whether your kids have acquired it or if you’ve been unfortunate enough to have it yourself.

In the medical industry, pink eye is known as “conjunctivitis.” Essentially, this means the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye is inflamed. When this happens, the eyes can become very pink or red, hence the name pink eye. Pink eye is also characterized by itching, burning, or swelling of the eye. Discharge may be present, too.

Pink eye may occur from bacteria or viruses, allergies, or even a foreign object or substance in the eye. Luckily, the condition is very common and usually doesn’t cause any long-term damage. Sometimes, no treatment is needed and the pink eye will clear up on its own; other times, doctors may recommend medication.

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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: Graco Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierra, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate Model Strollers and Travel Systems

Hazard: The folding hinge on the sides of the stroller can pinch a child’s finger, posing a laceration or amputation hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Graco has received 11 reports of finger injuries including six reports of fingertip amputation, four reports of partial-fingertip amputation and one finger laceration.

Read Entire Article ›


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