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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
December 2014
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Did you know: Blankets and stuffed animals are not safe for cribs

Most parents are aware that babies should sleep on their back in an effort to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But you may be surprised to learn that keeping loose bedding, pillows, and stuffed animals in the crib can also pose a significant threat to babies.

In a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), results showed that a surprising number of parents still keep loose bedding, pillows and stuffed animals in the crib. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that these items should not be placed in the crib, as they have been linked to suffocation, SIDS, and other sleep related deaths.

The safest sleeping environment for a baby is a crib with a firm mattress covered by a fitted sheet. No other blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals should be in the crib. If your baby wears a sleep sack or wearable blanket, they will be plenty warm through the night.



Ask the pediatrician: Should my child get a flu shot?
  Flu child  

Dr. C.,

I’ve been hearing a lot in the news that the flu vaccine is not as effective against this year’s strain of flu. Should I still have my five-year-old get a flu shot?

Absolutely! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone six months and older should get a flu shot. Each year, the flu vaccine is created to protect against the strains that are predicted to be the most common during flu season. While the flu virus can mutate into different strains, a flu shot is still the best way to keep your and your family protected during flu season.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has reported widespread flu activity throughout the state. If you or your child has not received the flu shot yet, I highly recommend getting one as soon as possible, as we are now entering the height of the 2014/2015 flu season. If you have any further questions about the flu or flu vaccine, ask your pediatrician or visit



Safety tips for sledding success

Sled riding is a traditional winter pastime enjoyed by many families. Make sure to keep your kids happily sledding all winter long by following these few safety tips:

Find the perfect spot. An ideal sledding hill is free from objects such as trees, poles, rocks, and other obstacles. It should have a flat area at the bottom for stopping, without any lakes, fences, streets, or parking lots nearby. If you choose to sled ride at night, the hill should be properly lit.

Dress for success. Sled riders should wear winter appropriate clothing such as gloves, hats, snow pants, boots, and a jacket. Clothes should be waterproof and a change of clothing should be on hand in case clothes get wet. Scarves and any other loose fitting items should not be worn to avoid strangulation in case they get caught in the sled. Helmets should also be worn, especially for children 12 and under, to prevent head injuries, the most common type of sledding injury.

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Enroll now to begin using the My Mount Nittany Health patient portal!
  My MNH  

Mount Nittany Health is excited to bring you My Mount Nittany Health, the online tool that allows you to play a bigger part in your own healthcare journey.

With My Mount Nittany Health, you can:

  • Request appointments at Mount Nittany Physician Group and Mount Nittany Medical Center.
  • View certain medical record summary information that we have on record for you and your dependents.
  • Ask questions regarding new or potential appointments, medical records, billing and clinical topics for you and your family members.
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Full-day preschool may be more beneficial for children

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that children can benefit more from full-day preschool versus half-day preschool. Conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, children that attended full-day preschool were more developed in the following areas:

  • Socioemotional development
  • Language skills
  • Math skills
  • Physical health

Additionally, kids that attended full-day preschool had higher attendance rates than their half-day peers.

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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: Dream On Me Play Yards

Hazard: The play yard’s rails can collapse, presenting a strangulation hazard to young children.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Description: The recall includes Dream On Me Incredible two-level deluxe adjustable height play yards with model number starting with 436A, 436B, 436G, 436O, 436P and 436R. The play yards, made with a steel, powder-coated frame base with rolling, hooded casters, have a fabric and mesh covering that comes in a variety of colors. The play yard includes a changing top, a toy bar with soft toys for entertainment, a side pocket for storage and a carrying case. “Dream On Me” is printed on the bottom left-hand side outside of the product. The model number is printed on a label attached to the play yard’s mattress. The play yard can be folded for storage.

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Table of contents
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Mount Nittany Pediatrics
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