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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
February 2015
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Measles: What you need to know about the current outbreak

If you’ve been watching or listening to the news lately, it is likely you’ve heard a lot about the recent measles outbreak.

As of mid-February, 141 people in 17 states and Washington, D.C., have been diagnosed with measles. The majority of these cases are linked back to an infected person that visited an amusement park in California in late December.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared measles eliminated from the United States in 2000. Despite the efficacy of vaccinations, measles is on the rise.

Mount Nittany Health is committed to keeping you informed about measles and has created a fact sheet about the disease. Download the fact sheet here.

Additionally, a fact sheet about pertussis (also known as whooping cough), is available as recent reports of pertussis have surfaced in the community. Download the fact sheet here.

Both fact sheets can be found at



Extreme cold temperatures: Keeping your kids safe

It’s been a very cold winter so far, especially with the recent below freezing temperatures. Keep these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in mind when dressing children for winter weather:

  • If you are taking your baby outside, or if older kids want to play in the snow, it is best to dress them in layers. The best tip is to dress them in one more additional layer than what an adult would wear.
  • Make sure they are wearing warm boots, gloves, and hats.
  • If your child’s clothing becomes wet when playing in the snow, they should stop playing and change clothing. Staying in wet clothes could lead to hypothermia.
  • Remember to keep blankets out of cribs to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If you think your baby may be cold, use a flannel fitted sheet or let your baby sleep in a sleep sack or wearable blanket.

Because children’s skin is more sensitive than adults, they are more susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite may occur to tissue or skin when blood circulation is limited to certain body parts, such as fingers, toes, nose and ears due to excessively cold weather.

Read Entire Article ›


Are your toddler’s snacks unhealthy?

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that a large number of commercial infant and toddler prepackaged snacks, food, juices and desserts have too much salt and sugar.

Out of 1,074 foods that were tested, researchers found the following:

  • Forty-one out of 79 mixed grains and fruits contained added sugar
    • Thirty-five out of the 41 choices contained more than 35 percent of calories from sugar.
  • Seventy-two percent of toddler dinners contained more than 210 mg of sodium. Children aged one to three should only consume about 1,000 mg (about half a teaspoon) of sodium each day.
  • Dry fruit-based snacks averaged 60 grams of sugar and 66 percent of calories from sugar.

Giving toddlers foods that are high in sugar and sodium can set unhealthy taste preferences in food that could contribute to obesity in the future. Look for food and snacks that have “low-sodium” or “no sugar added” to help control your child’s sodium and sugar intake.



Ask the pediatrician: What is RSV?

Hi Dr. C.,

Can you explain what RSV is? One of the kids at my daughter’s preschool was recently diagnosed and I am wondering how I can keep my daughter protected.

Respiratory Syncitial Virus, commonly known as RSV, is a virus that causes the common cold in adults and older children. Young children are especially susceptible to RSV, and will have had it at least once by the time they are two.

RSV spreads very quickly, especially in daycares or schools. It can be transmitted by being near someone with RSV that coughs, sneezes, or blows his or her nose. You can also get it by shaking hands, kissing, or touching someone that is infected, especially if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth after contact. Symptoms usually appear four to six days after exposure and include:

  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite

Because RSV is a virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Over-the-counter cold medications can help relieve symptoms. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce fevers. It is also important to keep your child hydrated.

Read Entire Article ›


Sprains versus breaks in kids: how to tell if it’s a broken bone or just a sprain
Written by Caryl Waite, PA-C, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group
Caryl Waite, PA-C, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Sprains and broken bones happen to kids all year round, including the winter months. Whether an injury occurs from sledding or from a fall walking across an icy driveway, unless you are blessed with the powers of Superman and his X-ray vision, you won't be able to determine whether it’s a broken bone or if it is just a sprain. That being said, there are many clues that can help steer you toward a probable diagnosis.

  1. Location: Pain and swelling that occur in the middle region of a bone (away from either joint) are more likely to indicate some type of break. Pain and swelling at a joint can be either a fracture (break) or a soft-tissue sprain.
  2. Deformity: Any sign of change from the normal anatomic structure of a body part is a clear sign of fracture or dislocation. Swelling at a joint that doesn't alter the normal direction of a body part can be a fracture/dislocation or a soft-tissue sprain.
Read Entire Article ›


Amy Johnson, RN, BSN, MS, named patient centered medical home coordinator for Mount Nittany Physician Group
Amy Johnson, RN, BSN, MS, patient centered medical home coordinator, Mount Nittany Physician Group

Mount Nittany Health is pleased to announce the addition of Amy Johnson, RN, BSN, MS, to its staff as a patient centered medical home coordinator for Mount Nittany Physician Group.

“My first nursing job was at Centre Community Hospital (now Mount Nittany Medical Center), so I am excited to be returning to the area, this time working for Mount Nittany Physician Group,” said Johnson.

A patient centered medical home is a philosophy of primary care in which your primary care provider coordinates your care throughout all healthcare settings  – from specialty care, hospitals, and community services to home healthcare and more. The primary care team works with you to meet your physical and mental healthcare needs and goals.

“I really like the philosophy of the patient centered medical home model, and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be the patient centered medical home coordinator for Mount Nittany Physician Group,” said Johnson.

Read Entire Article ›


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: The PouchPop™ Topper

Hazard: The tube of the pouch topper that screws onto the food pouch can separate from the round base, posing a choking hazard to young children.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received four reports of breaks above the round base of the toppers. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled PouchPops are silicone toppers that screw onto a baby food pouch that allow infants to feed themselves. The PouchPops were sold in a four-pack of four colors including green, orange, red and yellow and have a cylinder-shaped tube stem that attaches to a round base. The pouch toppers have a “SipP” logo and smiley face embossed on the circular base.         

Read Entire Article ›


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